Skyline trail closed indefinitely due to moose activity
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Skyline trail in the Sanctuary neighborhood of Steamboat Springs is closed indefinitely due to moose activity in the area.
The city of Steamboat Springs and Colorado Parks and Wildlife posted the closure Thursday after a hiker had an encounter with a startled moose, which happened to be running down the trail as the hiker was going the opposite direction.
“Something had the moose startled farther up the trail,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Kyle Bond. “There was a rise in the trail where visibility was poor. … The moose, from my understanding, knocked her over on its way through, but didn’t display aggressive behavior or anything like that.”
A portion of the Sanctuary trail was closed last year due to moose activity, as it seems to be a popular area for the animals to frequent in the early spring. It’s unclear if it’s the same moose returning each year, and it’s unknown how long the animal will remain in the area.
“They tend to reside in one place for a few days and then move on,” said Bond. “So, we’re not sure if this is the same moose that was in the area last year. It’s possible, but we’re not 100% sure.”
Moose also have been spotted near Whistler Park, Sailor’s Way Trail, as well as Emerald Mountain. There are no other closures in place, but people should be on alert while in those areas.
Bond asks people to keep dogs on leashes and suggests making as much noise as possible while hiking to prevent startling any animals.
If someone encounters a moose, they should remember to give the animals its space and shouldn’t try to pass closely by the moose.
Watching the moose’s body language can be a sure way to avoid any negative interactions as well. As spring arrives and female moose, or cows, start giving birth to their calves, they will be more likely to defend themselves.
“If they’re raising hackles or licking their nose, pinning their ears back, that could be an indication they are disturbed and they could either attack or charge or even bluff charge,” Bond said.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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