Wintering Desert Tortoises in Co Springs


New Member
Oct 27, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado Springs, CO
Has anyone successfully allowed their tortoises to winter/hibernate outdoors in the freezing Colorado Springs area?
I currently live in the high desert (elev. 3000 ft.) where it occasionally snows and often drops below freezing. My pair has been thriving outdoors for years...but how is Colorado at 7000+ ft?


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 17, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
I would certainly not allow a tortoise to hibernate in the ground in your area. I think it is normally not a good idea in any backyard enclosure as too much can go wrong with too many variables. Flooding, predators, too unstable temps, etc. In your area it is totally the wrong climate - not just weather temperatures, but ground temperatures. A burrow for a desert tortoise in its natural habitat will cool the tortoise in winter but not allow it to get too cold, staying above 50°. In your area, the ground will be much colder than that and likely kill the tortoise.

Hibernate (brumate) them in a controlled, repurposed refrigerator.