Wildlife watching is perhaps the most popular Estes Park, CO activity…and it’s free! An abundance of wildlife, including elk, moose, deer, fox, bighorn sheep, coyote, bobcat, marmot, cougar (and an occasional black bear), plus a plethora of birds, ground critters and assorted reptiles can be found in and around the area. At many of our resorts, you don’t even have to leave your porch for a chance to see wild animals!
Of course, the Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds Estes Park, is a great place to actively look for these animals while also exploring the environment. Most notably, at least a thousand elk-depending on the time of year-can be found in the park. They are usually easy to find and see.
Mule deer, another animal to keep a watch for, can be found during the daytime in open, shrubby areas. Their large ears and good eyesight means they usually know you’re there, but they generally won't fear humans unless you approach.
Big Horn Sheep, well-known for their ability to scale sheer cliff faces, can be found around lakes and mineral licking points in Horseshoe Park, just 7 minutes outside of Estes Park. A short but challenging trail from Milner Pass can also take you to The Crater, another good place to watch for sheep from.
Looking for more fun? Find more Estes Park, CO activities to keep you entertained.