On a hike, while camping, or from your car window, wildlife viewing is a favorite, and often unavoidable, activity in the Royal Gorge region. The lush, expansive area is home to large populations of elk, bighorn sheep, eagles, and more. Check out the following areas for some of the Royal Gorge Region’s best wildlife viewing.

Arkansas Riverwalk Trail
The seven-mile Arkansas Riverwalk Trail is a great place to spot waterfowl and other wildlife as it winds along the Arkansas River past forests and wetlands.

Bighorn Sheep Canyon
Drive up Highway 50 west of Cañon City through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, where you’ll have a chance to view Colorado’s largest herd of bighorn sheep, a species known for their big horns, some of which can weigh up to 30 lbs.

Temple Canyon
Drive through Temple Canyon for excellent viewing of birds associated with piñon-juniper habitats, such as bushtits, juniper titmice, and blue-gray gnatcatchers.

To view Temple Canyon’s wildlife, start at the First Street bridge and head south, where, for the first mile, you’ll see scaled quail, ladder-backed woodpeckers, and canyon towhees. Stay right, drive past the dump, and head toward the plateau, where there are populations of gray flycatchers and black-throated gray warblers. Continue through Temple Canyon Park, home to riparian birds, and end at the southern entrance to the Royal Gorge, where hepatic tanagers have been seen in early summer.