While out snowshoeing through the wonderland that is Rocky Mountain National Park, you might just spot the white rabbit. Well...it's not actually a white rabbit, it's a hare: a Snowshoe Hare. The main differences between rabbits and hares is that hares give birth to furry young with their eyes open and ready to run.
Snowshoe hares use their huge hind feet to stay on top of the snow, and they are one of the few animals to take advantage of the snowy landscape to reach new resources. With multiple feet of snow on the ground, snowshoe hares can reach tree buds many feet higher than they're able to in the summer months.
Snowshoe hares use their white coats to stay camouflaged, but you can generally find their tracks that look like repeating T's. The need to camouflage to hide from coyotes, lynx, bobcats, mountain lions, and even owls and hawks. They are mostly nocturnal and have huge black eyes which make them look very sweet. So come to the park with snowshoes on your own feet and keep your eyes peeled for the telltale T tracks in the snow. You might just spot a furry snowball with big black eyes!
Guest Blogger is Jared Gricoskie from Yellow Wood Guiding. Contact Yellow Wood Guiding for your own winter tour of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding is today's guest blogger:
February is generally the dead of winter in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it can also be one of the most beautiful and captivating times of the year. The thought of an icy landscape, bare branches, and howling winds conjures up images of stagnancy and hibernation – though this time of year is more alive than one would think if you are willing to look closely! Even the ice on Rocky’s subalpine lakes that we think of as a frozen solid is moving and shifting as it constantly freezes and refreezes while the temperature fluctuates and the wind blows. The sights of the undulating ripples of ice can transport you into another world…that is until a 30 mph gust of wind jolts you back to reality! Even the rivers come alive with the ice. Imagine walking down the river beds as they wind through the Park’s meadows, catching glimpses of a coyote against the snowy back-drop, and following the tracks of an elk as he uses the river bed as an easy winter route to travel.
If you're more of an armchair adventurer, you can even enjoy some of these wintry sights from the warmth of your car: just drive into Rocky Mountain National Park on Bear Lake Road.
For help planning your Rocky Mountain National Park adventure (information on renting snowshoes, places to stay, and other winter activities in Estes Park) visit: Estes-Park.com.