Jim and LuAnne Spurrell were hiking the trail alongside Crater Lake in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness close to dusk last week when the alarmed cries of an animal stopped them in their tracks.
They pivoted to see what the commotion was about and were startled to see what they believe was a gray wolf loping across terrain they had just passed 30 to 40 yards behind them.
“I immediately yelled, ‘That’s a wolf,’” Jim Spurrell recounted Thursday. “At about the same time, my wife blurted out, ‘That’s a wolf.’”
The sounds of alarm were coming from a smaller animal that they couldn’t see well enough to identify but suspect was a beaver or marmot. The presumed wolf was walking across a pile of downed timber on the north end of the lake, paying no attention to the smaller animal. The wolf “floated” through the tree trunks without a problem, Jim Spurrell said. Once clear of the logs it followed the trail in a “characteristic wolf-like gait” and soon disappeared to the west into the woods, he said.
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