Most Common Animals
 Most Common Plants & Wildflowers

       Identification & Viewing Guidelines     


Some Alpine & Sub-Alpine Life in Our Region

“the scenery through which we passed onwards was grand beyond description, but oh how desolate! Mountains upon mountains raised their naked heads high above the mists which rolled upwards from the valleys below.”

                                                            —LT. JAMES WARRE, Journal entry while traversing the Rockies  
                                                                                                   via White Man Pass,

When many people arrive in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, especially if it's their first time, they have many expectations about plant and wildlife viewing. There is no doubt much to see here. However, in our experience, sometimes expectations can blind you from the incredibly beautiful and special things right in front of you. If you have an open mind, and pay attention to your surroundings within a spirit of wonder and participation, your chances of "seeing" something truly magical will greatly increase - I speak from experience. Here's an example: people see bears out here all the time, they are quite common, but many people arrive so focused on seeing a bear and nothing but a bear, they miss out on the wonder at seeing a Great Horned Owl swoop down in front of them from a Fir tree only 8 meters away. This hardly ever happens, but all that is said is, "hmmm, interesting, but what about the bears, where are they?" I know, this may be a hard concept to slide into when you're in a new place, are only here for a short time, have many expectations, and don't really know what else to look for, but far from being only a "grand" and "desolate," land out here, with perhaps only a bear or two to see every now and then, the Canadian Rocky Mountains are sheer wonder and magic if you really want to experience them for what they're worth in their entirety. Below, and in the attached pages, are some of the natural gems and treasures you may find around CrossRiver if you want to - some of them could inspire you, some of them could make you laugh, some of them could even save your life. I invite you with open heart to read through the pages with an open mind; dare to wonder further than you may have before, and let your imagination be captivated by the beauty that is all around us - you will not regret it.

Some Mammals You May See

Lagomorphs: Pika, Snowshoe Hare
Bats: Brown Bats, Silverhaired Bat
Rodents: Least Chipmunk, Hoary Marmot, Columbian Ground Squirrel, Red Squirrel,
                 Porcupine, Beaver
Ungulates: Elk, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Moose, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep
Carnivores: Grizzly Bear. Black Bear, Cougar, Marten, Gray Wolf, Red Fox, Coyote, Fisher,
Canada Lynx, Mink, Striped Skunk, Wolverine, Badger, Bobcat

Some Birds You May See

Hummingbird Family: Calliope, Rufous
Woodpecker Family: Downy, Northern Flicker
Chickadee Family: Mountain & Boreal Chickadee
Vireo Family: Solitary, Warbling, Red-Eyed
Waterfowl Family: Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Bufflehead, Blue-winged Teal, Pintail,
Grouse Family: Spruce Grouse, Blue Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Ruffed Grouse
Thrush Subfamily: Townsend’s Solitaire, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Hermit &
                                 Varied Thrush
Swallow Family: Tree Swallow, Violet-Green, Rough-Winged, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow
Corvid Family: Gray Jay, Stellar’s Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, American Crow, Raven
Hawk Family: Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Red-tailed Hawk,
                        Golden Eagle

Some Trees, Shrubs, & Non-Flowering Plants You May See

Coniferous Trees: Lodgepole Pine, Engelmann Spruce, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar,
                                 Western Larch
Deciduous Trees: Trembling Aspen, Black Cottonwood, White Birch
Shrubs: Wolf Willow, Green Alder, Bog Birch, Rocky Mountain Maple, Devil’s Club, Juniper
Grasses: Sweetgrass, Bluegrass, Dark-Scaled Sedge, Wood Rush, Spike Trisetum, Fescue
Non-Flowering Plants & Lichens: Ferns, Horsetail, Goose-neck Moss, Usnea &
                                                           Horsetail Lichen

Some Wildflowers You May See

Parsnip Family: Cow Parsnip, Water Hemlock                 Valerian Family: Wild Heliotrope
Oleaster Family: Canadian Buffaloberry                           Buckwheat Family: Mountain Sorrel
Heath Family: Labrador Tea, Bearberry, Huckleberry       Bladderwort Family: Butterwort
Primrose Family: Fireweed, Shooting Star                       Mint Family: Wild Mint
Harebell Family: Bluebell, Alpine Harebell                        Borage Family: Alpine Forget-Me-Not
Saxifrage Family: Red-Stemmed Saxifrage                     Water Plantain Family: Arrowhead
Dogwood Family: Bunchberry, Red Osier Dogwood Pea Family: Hedysarum
Buttercup Family: Columbine, Chalice Flower, Globe Flower, Alpine Buttercup, Clematis
Lily Family: Camas, Solomon’s Seal, False Hellebore, Glacier Lily, Western Wood Lily,
                    Wild Chives
Orchid Family: Bog Orchid, Lady’s Slipper, Rattlesnake Plantain, Calypso Orchid
Rose Family: White Dryad, Thimbleberry, Birchleaf Spiraea, Wild Strawberry, Cinquefoil,
                       Wild Rose
Composite Family: Yarrow, Daisy, Pearly Everlasting, Balsamroot, Goldenrod, Arnica,
                                 Bull Thistle
Figwort Family: Indian Paintbrush, Mullein, Toadflax, Lousewort, Beardtongue, Speedwell



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