Quirky Attraction: Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area

georgetown bighorn sheep viewing area colorado

Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area
Location: Georgetown, Colorado
When to visit: Any time during daylight hours (late fall/early winter is peak viewing season)
Cost: Free to visit, but quarters are needed to use the telescopes
Time needed to enjoy: 15-30 minutes
Website: Georgetown bighorn sheep site

On my big road trip two years ago, Yellowstone was the highlight for wildlife, but there was one creature I failed to see in that grand park – the bighorn sheep. So while driving past Denver just a week after Yellowstone, I was excited to see a bighorn sheep viewing spot in Georgetown.

Be warned, this is not a peaceful nature experience. The viewing center is next to a highway, and you actually look across to the other side of the highway at the top of the mountains, so you’ll be putting up with the rumbling of hundreds of vehicles. You can try spotting sheep with the naked eye, but chances are you’ll need to use the scopes at the center, which offer a few minutes of viewing for a quarter.

I was there during the middle of the afternoon in the summer – the worst time of day and time of year to see sheep. After 10 minutes of looking through the scope, I was about to give up, when I suddenly saw something move against the rocks. It was my first bighorn sheep sighting ever! Within five minutes, I spotted three more sheep close by. They were lying down and were hard to see until they moved.

There are four bighorn sheep in this photograph, in the rocks on the upper right. I know you can’t see them, but trust me, they are there!

georgetown sheep hill


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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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  1. That’s a cool story! Sometimes being patient is the key when trying to spot wildlife. I’ve encountered similar situations where I was just about to give up but then finally spotted something.

    1. I believe if someone with super high tech equipment were to analyze the photograph, they could spot them against the rocks!

  2. We have something similar to this near Calgary in Kananaskis Provincial Park, I always take visitors there who want to see wildlife see I see the bighorn sheep there at least 80% of the time, much better odds than most places.

  3. My wife and I were there in May of last year. We spent about half an hour looking for bighorns through binoculars and the pay scopes, but saw nothing. A bit disappointed we continued on our way west on HWY 70. After we passed by Georgetown, where the highway curves to the right, there were two HUGE bighorns standing right next to the road eating some grass. I pointed and exclaimed “HOLY S***!”. We had the windows down and the bighorn must have heard me because he stopped eating and looked directly at us as we drove by.

    1. Wow, cool! I’ve heard stories that sometimes they come down along the highway. The people who live in Georgetown apparently get up-close sightings all the time. That’s a great story.

  4. Thanks for the info. We drove within 5 or 10 feet of a ram on the shoulder of the interstate about a year ago. We’re gonna stop at the viewing site in August, as part of our pilgrimage from Nebraska to our son’s place in Glenwood Springs.

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