They have short ears and a long tail. Their fur is grey brown with light grey underparts. They are 18 cm long with an 8 cm tail and weigh about 50 g.
These animals are found in alpine meadows and shrubby areas, often near streams, from Alaska to California. They feed on green plants in summer and roots and bark in winter, when they burrow under the snow. Predators include owls and mustelids.
The female vole has 1 to 3 litters of 4 to 8 young.
They are active year-round, usually during the day.
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