Why are the Wildcat Mountain Trails closed January 1 - March 31?
The property surrounding the Wildcat Mountain Trails has been traditionally used by large numbers of elk during the cold and snowy winter months. Winter is a tough time for the elk and deer. They must conserve as much energy as possible during the winter months as nutritious food is scarce. The most likely reason the elk like to be in the Wildcat Mountain area in the winter is to be near the creek that runs through the property. This is the only live water in all of the Backcountry and proximity to water in the winter months is important. The Colorado Division of Wildlife recommends the trails be closed during the winter to allow the elk and deer to get through the winter with minimal disturbances.
The winter months are also a time when raptors such as eagles are looking for nest sites. The less human disturbance the better when raptors are searching for nesting sites.