Springtime in Estes Park is not just a visual feast of blooming wildflowers and thawing streams—it’s also the best season to witness the enchanting sight of newborn elk calves. As the Rocky Mountains shake off the last whispers of winter, these majestic creatures begin their calving season, offering wildlife enthusiasts a unique and heartwarming spectacle. Ready to embark on an adventure to spot these adorable elk calves? Here’s your guide to the best trails and Estes Park elk viewing spots!

Moraine Park

A sprawling meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park is a hotspot for elk viewing, especially in the spring. The large, open spaces allow for easy viewing of elk herds, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a few calves frolicking near their mothers. An early morning or late evening visit increases your chances of seeing these animals when they are most active. The Moraine Park Loop is an easy hike and offers fantastic opportunities for both elk sighting and photography.

Upper Beaver Meadows

Another exceptional location within Rocky Mountain National Park, Upper Beaver Meadows is less crowded than other areas but equally rewarding. In the spring, elk often come down to the meadow to graze, making it a prime spot to observe elk calves up close. The trail here is gentle and accessible, ideal for families and those seeking a peaceful nature walk. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!

Horseshoe Park

Drive along the Fall River Road to reach Horseshoe Park, where large herds of elk are frequently seen. The wide valley floor provides a safe haven for elk to raise their young, with plenty of food and water sources. Keep an eye out for mothers teaching their calves to graze—these tender moments are a real treat to observe. You can explore the area through several short trails or even from the comfort of your car.

Trail Ridge Road

For a more adventurous route, take a drive up Trail Ridge Road. This high-altitude road offers panoramic views of the park and is a favored area for elk. In spring, the snow begins to melt, and the emerging greenery draws elk to these higher elevations. Pull-offs along the road offer safe spots to park and watch the wildlife, so be prepared for sudden stops as elk sightings are common.

Kawuneeche Valley

Located on the park’s west side, Kawuneeche Valley is a quieter alternative for wildlife watching. The valley runs along the Colorado River and supports a rich habitat for elk. Early mornings here can be magical, with mist rising from the river and elk calmly grazing in the meadows.

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

After spotting the Estes Park elk, Rocky Mountain Resorts is the ideal choice for resting up in the area. We offer a variety of accommodations ranging from cozy cabins and cottages to large and spacious vacation homes. In addition, guests enjoy the nightlife of downtown Estes Park and are less than a 10-minute drive from all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. You truly have the best access to must-do Estes Park activities with a stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts! Book with us today.