Hoof it to see wildlife on Rim Rock Drive

Black Ridge desert bighorn sheep herd back on healthy course

With apologies to the great singer Lou Reed, take a walk on the wild side.

The seasonal closure of Rim Rock Drive through Colorado National Monument opens new opportunities for hikers and wildlife watchers.

As park employees will attest, when the traffic stops, the wildlife starts.

“We all know you have better viewing opportunities when there’s no traffic,” said Michelle Wheatley, chief of interpretation and visitor services for the monument. “Through time, the sheep will come out and we’ll have opportunities that usually do not occur along the road.”

The closure, in effect until March 1, covers 14 miles from the DS Road intersection to the Independence Monument overlook.

Access in is by foot only, whether it’s human or sheep.

And mountain lions, too.

WHAT: Rim Rock Road closure, Colorado National Monument.

WHERE: From DS Road to the Independence Monument overlook.

WHEN: Today through Feb. 28.

HOW: Access by foot only, no wheeled vehicles allowed. Reduced day-use fees: $5 per vehicle, $3 per pedestrian and cyclists, where allowed.

INFORMATION: http://www.nps.gov/colm.


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