Hunting Mushrooms in Vail, Colorado
Looking for something new to do? Try hunting mushrooms in Vail – an outdoor activity that provides fresh unique flavors to many recipes. And Vail has plenty of options. However, Fungi (mushrooms) do not grow seasonally; they grow based on conditions: ground temperature, precipitation and sunlight after precipitation. Before beginning a search, here are some tips for hunting mushrooms.
Hunting Mushrooms in Vail, Colorado: What You Need to Know
Not all mushrooms are edible. Some are lethally toxic, so it’s important to know what to look for. Hunting mushrooms with an expert guide is a safe, worry-free way to enjoy the fun. Try a tour with Wolfgang Uberbacher, known as Wolf, as he takes guests through Vail’s wilderness in an open-air Jeep. Those who prefer to hunt alone should carry pictures, descriptions, spore prints and other research to ensure the correct pick.
Also, do not collect different species in the same bag, and always cook them thoroughly. Experts recommend trying one new edible mushroom in 24 hours as a test and keeping a sample in the fridge in case of an emergency.
You May Need a Permit
When looking for mushrooms in White River National Forest, visitors are required to have a permit. The permit is free, and there is a maximum weight limit on how many you can collect. If hunting for commercial needs – to sell – a separate license is needed. For personal use, you may gather 5 gallons per day for a season total of 67 pounds. That’s a lot of mushrooms!
Other areas to for hunting mushrooms are Vail Pass, Shrine Pass and Tennessee Pass. Additionally, the most popular time of year is between May and October.
Vail’s open space welcomes fungi lovers to explore the area, but plan ahead so you know what to pick. Here are a few popular varieties in the area:
- King bolete (blonde), also known as a porcini, is a large mushroom. A couple of these can be used as a main dish or large side, making it highly popular.
- Chanterelle (golden) is a delicate, thinner mushroom. They can be found forging relationships with other plants or trees, so good places tocheck are near large tree populations.
- Morel (honeycomb appearance) mushrooms have a distinct cap and are hollow on the inside. However, take caution because there are many false morel species that are not edible. These are found most in the spring near disturbed ground such as burn sites, in old logging areas and areas with downed trees.