Snowshoe Hare

Lepus americanus

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  • Snowshoe Hare | J. & T. Doughty Photo: Tim Rains, NPS
  • Snowshoe Hare | J. & T. Doughty Photo: Tim Rains, NPS by v8.6m

Snowshoe Hare Photo Gallery

Basic Information






Snowshoe Hares are generally between 16 and 20.5 inches in length.


up to 5 years


Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) facts, habitat, diet, range, hare pictures and more to help you learn to identify the small mammal.




Snowshoe Hares breed from early spring through summer. If conditions are right, females may have up to four litters per year. Both male and females reach sexual maturity by age one.


Northern North America

Number of Offspring

1-7 Bunnies

What does the Snowshoe Hare look like?

Snowshoe Hares get their name from the dense furry soles of their hind feet that form a "snowshoe." They have two colorations depending on the time of year. During the summer they are mostly a rusty brown, with cinnamon brown faces and legs. During the winter they are nearly all white, with the exception of black tips on their ears.

Snowshoe Hare Habitat

Open Forests

Snowshoe Hare Facts

Snowshoe Hares are widespread across the northern evergreen forest of North America. They are primarily nocturnal will remain hidden in thick vegetation until the twilight hours. As their name suggests, they have large snowshoe like feet. They are quite good at evading predators, such as lynx, bobcats or foxes. They are known to freeze when a potential predator is nearby. Their fur naturally camouflages them with the seasons. They are also extremely fast; they can sprint nearly 30 miles per hour, jumping 10 feet in a single leap with dramatic changes of direction at the drop of a dime. There are more than ten different subspecies of Snowshoe Hares.

See also