While visiting Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park, you will encounter many different species of wildlife if you rise early and walk quietly in more solitary locations. Some creatures, however, may be easily observed in the National Parks even if you are a loud-mouthed late riser (of which there are a whole lot when it comes to tourists.) Chipmunks are often such easily found creatures. You are almost guaranteed to see a chipmunk whenever you head out for a horseback trail ride here at Rising K Ranch, or on almost any hiking trail in Bryce Canyon or Zion.
The chipmunk that resides here in Utah is sometimes called the Least Chipmunk and is indeed aptly named, for he is only 3 ½ inches in the body with a 3 inch tail. He is small and quite slim and has stripes running down his head, sides, and back. The Least Chipmunk lives in all kinds of terrain, from the Sagebrush Deserts belows Zion National Park, all the way up through the Juniper-Pinyon Woodlands and the Coniferous Forests of both Zion and Bryce Canyon, and even up to the treeless tundra areas above Bryce Canyon National Park.
Just like many humans, when it comes to chipmunks it is usually the smallest ones who are the most active. The Least Chipmunk does at times climb up into a tree; but he is much more commonly found scurrying all over the ground from one fallen log to another, and if he is near a cabin, he will almost always be someplace inside the firewood stack! The Least Chipmunk hibernates through the winter and once awakened from its hibernation, seeks out a mate. Usually it is a month after awakening that the female is giving birth to a litter of as many as 7 young, which will stay with their mother for several months.
The Least Chipmunk will often vary in its exact coloring depending upon the terrain in which he lives. Chipmunks who live in a dense forest will usually be darker and somewhat more vibrant in their coloring while those who live in a Sagebrush Desert are usually more dull in their appearance.
I hope you will drop bu Rising K Ranch for a Utah horseback ride full of adventures and opportunity to see Zion's wildlife!