Wildlife in and around Mt. Crested Butte

Mt. Crested Butte is a pristine mountain community that is surrounded by a wilderness that is home to abundant wildlife.

This fortunate situation affords residents and visitors alike numerous opportunities to explore nature and observe wildlife in their natural habitat.


NEVER feed wildlife (it is illegal), never approach wildlife, pack out what you pack in, and leave wildflowers in the ground where they can live and grow for future generations to enjoy!

This was their home first. In order to share it, we must act in a responsible and considerate manner!

Wildlife may attack if provoked or if they feel threatened.

A few of the more prominent neighbors in our high mountain country are bears and mountain lions. The following is intended to provide a few simple tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe in bear and mountain lion territory. This information is obtained from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. For more information, visit their website
or call the Gunnison Chapter at 970-641-7060.

Living in Bear Country

  • Keep trash in bear proof containers or secure buildings.
  • Don't leave pet food outside.
  • Remove bird feeders at night.
  • Clean BBQ grills after each use.
  • Do not put fruit or vegetables in compost piles.
  • NEVER feed a bear or any other wildlife (it is illegal and teaches wildlife bad habits and untimid behavior around humans. Sadly, this often ends with the animal having to be killed).
  • Keep lower level windows and doors closed.
  • Keep your camp area clean and store food and toiletries securely and away from your camp.

If you encounter a bear

  • If the bear enters your home, open all doors and windows and remove yourself from between the bear and any escape route.
  • STAY CALM - if it hasn't seen you, calmly leave the area. As you leave, talk aloud to allow the bear to discover your presence.
  • STOP - Back away slowly while facing the bear but avoid direct eye contact. If you are on
    no, this is not a bear
    no, this is not a bear
    a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. DO NOT RUN or make any sudden movements.
  • SPEAK SOFTLY - This can reassure the bear that you mean no harm.
  • IF ATTACKED - FIGHT BACK - In black bear attacks, bears have been driven away when people fight back with rocks, sticks, or anything you can hold.

Report bear sightings to the Police Department or the Division of Wildlife. If the bear is an immediate threat, call 911.

Living in Mountain Lion Territory

Mountain lions are very elusive animals and sightings are very rare, however, they do occassionaly happen in this area. If you are hiking, make plenty of noise to reduce the risk of surprising a lion and NEVER approach a lion.

You can eliminate the chances of a lion encounter around your home by following some simple guidelines:
  • Make noise when you come and go.
  • Install outside lighting
  • Closely supervise children as they play outdoors.
  • Landscape and remove all tall vegetation to eliminate hiding places.
  • Do
    did you say mountain lions??
    did you say mountain lions??
    not encourage prey to graze in your area. Predators may follow.

If you encounter a Mountain Lion

  • STAY CALM - Move slowly and speak calmly yet firmly.
  • STOP OR BACK AWAY SLOWLY - DO NOT RUN - Running may stimulate the lion's chase instinct. Face the lion and stand upright.
  • DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER - Raise your arms or open your jacket. If you have children, protect them by picking them up so they won't run.
  • THROW THINGS IF THE LION ACTS AGGESSIVELY - Throw stones, branches, anything you can pick up without crouching or bending down.
  • CONVINCE THE LION THAT YOU ARE NOT PREY - FIGHT BACK if a lion attacks. Lions have been known to be driven away when people fight back with rocks, sticks, or anything you can hold. Remain standing, or if you are knocked down make every attempt to get back up.

Report mountain lion sightings to the Police Department or the Colorado Division of Wildlife. If the mountain lion poses an immediate threat, call 911.
Official Website of the Town of Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

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