Alpine chipmunks are gray-brown overall with muted orange flanks. They have three white stripes on the cheeks and four down the back. The upper part of their tail is grayish-white to yellow. Overall their pattern is much paler compared to most species.
Alpine chipmunks are found in California, USA. They live only in high Sierra Nevada, from Yosemite National Park in the north, to Olancha Peak in the south. These animals inhabit cliffs, talus slopes, rocky borders of meadows and lakes, and the rocky floor of open subalpine forest and alpine fell-fields.
Alpine chipmunks are considered diurnal, though they exhibit some nocturnal activity during the summer. They hibernate from November through April, frequently awakening to eat. Alpine chipmunks are solitary and live in dens among rocks or in burrows under rocks. They usually forage in open areas and eat their food on the ground. They are very agile and may climb trees. Alpine chipmunks communicate with the help of different sounds. Their call is a thin, high pitched, repeated, sweet sound. When thretened, these animals produce a startled whipper and run to shelter or safety.
Little is known about the mating habits in Alpine chipmunks. Breeding occurs in late winter and early spring. The gestation period lasts around one month. Females produce only one litter per year that consists of 4-5 young. Their young are born in June and July in nests that are located deep in crevices between rocks. Young remain in the nest with their mother for around 6 weeks until they become mature enough to live on their own.
Alpine chipmunks are not threatened at present. However, climate change can be a serious threat to this species in the future.
According to IUCN, the Alpine chipmunk is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.