May 10, 2021
Marmot Mountain Guide
- as seen by -Eric Januszkiewicz
The hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) can be found throughout northwestern North America in high elevation alpine environments. Touted as the largest member of the squirrel family, this furry rodent is far from antisocial. It can be found living in colonies of 10 to 20 individuals.
On a hike in the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana, I spotted this hoary marmot sunbathing on a rock beside the trail. As I walked slowly in that direction, the marmot was not bothered. Marmots spend most of their mornings soaking up the sun rays, so it was no surprise that it did not care to leave the spot.
As I came near, making sure to give it ample space, the marmot decided to hop over to the trail I was on and prance down the path. It would run a few yards and then stop and look back to see if I was coming along.
The marmot continued this behavior until it moved off to the side and watched me pass. Making sure to not disturb it, I walked past the marmot, admiring its beauty against the backdrop of the mountains nearby.
I never thought I would get a guided tour by a marmot.