Colorado Moose Viewing

If you’re a lover of wildlife and mountain adventure, then now’s the time to plan a Timberline Tours jeep trip for some prime Colorado moose viewing. Big and beautiful, moose are among the most majestic mountain creatures, and while moose might seem to be docile animals when sighted grazing in their natural habitat, they can be dangerous when encountered. With your safety as the highest priority, Timberline Tours guides are knowledgeable about where to go for the best chance of viewing moose safely while also respecting the natural environment that moose and our other mountain neighbors call home.

If you’re hoping to see a moose on a jeep tour with Timberline Tours, then here are a few things to know while preparing for your trip.

Moose: Habits and Habitat

While Timberline Tours jeep guides are experts in knowing the best places in Vail to spot a moose, they can’t guarantee that a viewing opportunity will occur. Moose, like a lot of wildlife, prefer to spend their time eating, grazing on fresh leaves and shrubs during the summer and fall seasons to get their fill. Young moose stay with mothers from the time of their spring birth through the fall mating season. Male moose, called bulls, are often solitary creatures until it’s time to mate, even though they might feed in the same areas.

Bull moose grazing together. | Photo: Timberline guide Ben Hilley.

Moose are often sighted near water or boggy areas. For this reason, the Timberline Tours Piney River Ranch jeep tour from Vail often involves moose sightings. With its marshy shores and surrounding woods, Piney Lake provides the type of habitat that moose love. Even though mature moose are massive–often 6 feet high at the shoulder and with antlers 6 feet across–they can be fast swimmers and quick movers on land, too.

Vail moose trio
Moose at Piney Lake near Vail, Colorado. | Photo: Timberline guide Ben Hilley.

The Piney River Ranch jeep tour isn’t among Timberline Tours’ early season jeep tours because there’s simply too much snow up high in this area in the spring. But fall is the perfect time for a jeep tour to the Piney Lake area because the aspen trees will be bursting yellow, adding to the beauty of this scenic mountain adventure.

Colorado Moose: Viewing Safety

When viewing Colorado moose on a jeep tour near Vail, it’s important to listen to your guide’s safety instructions. Wildlife in a natural habitat should always be respected and viewed from a distance. As soon as an animal begins changing its behavior in reaction to you, you’re too close. Timberline jeep tour guides work carefully to bring you safely into areas where you might view wildlife in its natural habitat, so listen to the advice that they share for the best possible encounter.

Vail moose viewing
Respect moose by keeping a safe distance. | Photo: Timberline guide Ben Hilley.

If you are not on a jeep tour and encounter a moose on foot or on a bike, then be prepared to take additional safety measures. Moose can become aggressive when surprised, especially when protecting their young or when it’s mating season, so in those instances, follow these Tips for Watching Moose from Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Otherwise, if you are on a jeep tour and hoping to experience the beauty of the majestic moose in the Vail area, bring a camera along–and don’t forget your telephoto lens!


Timberline Tours is the Vail-area’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter, also offering stand up paddle board (SUP) and duckie river trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. All of our guided trips are open to Vail, Colorado visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.

To book your Vail, Colorado adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414, or email us at