Warmer weather brings thoughts of hitting the trail for Colorado hikes and here is a look at five of Colorado's most dangerous animals hikers may encounter.

Colorado is known for its amazing wildlife. It certainly is a thrill whenever you get an opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat. In most cases, viewing from a distance presents no threat or danger. However, when you are talking about wild animals, behavior can be most unpredictable.

If you are heading out for a spring or summer hike, you will want to be on the lookout for these five creatures.



    Doug Rudnik

    Not many people get to see moose in the wild, but if you do, it's a pretty cool experience. Moose, unlike a lot of wildlife, don't seem to have a fear of humans. The problem with that is it makes them appear to be approachable, but they aren't. While they aren't normally aggressive, they can be if they feel they or their offspring are threatened. It's definitely best to keep your distance from these majestic creatures.


    Doug Rudnik

    If you have ever seen a coyote in the wild, chances are it was on the move. It is extremely difficult to get close to a coyote, but that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. Because of their smaller size, they're unlikely to challenge an adult. However, small children and house pets are definitely vulnerable. Coyotes often hunt in packs, so if you are hiking with children and pets, this is one animal you want to be on the lookout for.

  • ELK

    Zane Mathews

    Like moose, elk generally are not aggressive toward humans, but they can be. You get too close to one of these dudes and the result could be curtain for you. These guys are big, brutally strong, and those antlers can do some serious damage. If you happen to see elk on the trail, do not approach it. Just keep on moving.


    Zane Mathews

    Bears tend to be timid around humans, but when they get hungry and it comes to food, all bets are off. If they get cornered or feel they or their offspring are threatened they can be aggressive. They look so cute and cuddly, but you have to keep in mind these aren't teddy bears. If you see one on the trail, just back slowly away, don't make any sudden moves, and keep your eye on the bear.



    Here's a familiar phrase, rattlesnakes aren't generally aggressive. However, encounters with humans are as surprising to them as it is to the human, which is what leads to trouble. Often times, a rattlesnake will let you know that it is feeling threatened by shaking that little rattle on its tail. But, because they may be tucked away under a rock or beneath a ledge, if you come upon one, it may strike before it has a chance to rattle, and before you know it's there. The best thing for hikers is to learn about rattlesnake habitat and the places they are most likely to be found. This is one encounter that could be deadly.