The mountains are a wild area with plenty of animals to show for it. In Summit County it is not uncommon to see foxes, moose, mule deer, chipmunks, marmots, elk, whitetail deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and even porcupines. Of all the major players, the only which I have yet to see is the Black Bear.
After living for so long in Dallas, I was not expecting how frequent and diverse my wildlife sightings would be out here. Some days I will see almost every animal on my list without even stepping foot onto a trail for a hike. It comes with the territory. Summit County straddles two national parks: White River National Forest and Eagles Nest Wilderness. The population density is also very low, at an average of 46 people per square mile with almost everyone living in a few concentrated areas.
Always use caution around wild animals. These magnificent beasts can be incredibly dangerous, with the marvelous moose high up on the list of concerns to personal safety. Elk and deer are another considerable danger, they frequently put themselves in the path of moving vehicles both at night and in the day. Mountain lions have been responsible for only 3 deaths in North America since the year 2000, but are obviously a very dangerous animal and special care and attention should be used when wandering in their territory.
These articles are my best efforts to share the amazing things I have encountered on my adventure in Summit County. They are a constant work in progress, so check back often for updates and feel free to contact me with questions or comments.