Tips for Viewing Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

06/13/2022 | by Lyles Armour | Estes Park

When you visit Estes Park, seeing Elk grazing on some grass is a common sight. While watching them roam around the city is always fun, it’s quite a sight watching them in their natural habitat in the Rocky Mountains. Here are some useful tips for viewing elk in Rocky Mountain National Park!

When visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, the best time to view elk is usually around dawn or dusk. If you’re able to spot one, it’s best to be as quiet as possible and not make any sudden movement! Make sure to drive your car engine off if you’re driving by and see one as well. Any sudden sounds or movement can spook them and run away. Keep your distance while you admire them, the safest distance between you and the elk is 75ft. If you’re having trouble finding them, be patient! Don’t use any calls to lure them near you, they’ll eventually roam by.

Now that you have pointers to viewing the Rocky Mountains’ fuzzy residents, here are the best places to spot them in the park:

 Moraine Park

Hiking through Moraine Park is one of the best spots to find elk. It’s a large meadow area and one of the main hubs for elk to snack on some tasty grass! If you’re exploring the area by car, there are also plenty of spots to pull over and view them too.

 Horseshoe Park 

Horseshoe Park is a fairly flat area, making it perfect to view the wildlife. Elk are known to frequent this area and you’ll typically have ample views given that it’s an open valley.

 Upper Beaver Meadows

This is another flat hiking area that starts with walking through a forested area and opens into meadowlands. Upper Beaver Meadows doesn’t have a large number of elk in the area, but you still can spot small herds walking about.

Kawuneeche Valley

If you’re looking for a scenic drive while searching for elk, Kawuneeche Valley is perfect for you! It’s an area surrounded by vibrant green nature and great to find elk and even moose traveling with their herds.

 Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

Located in the town of Estes Park and just minutes from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain Resorts is the ideal choice for lodging in the area. We offer a variety of accommodations ranging from cozy cabins and cottages to large and spacious vacation homes. Guests enjoy the nightlife of downtown Estes Park and are less than a 10-minute drive to RMNP. You truly have the best of both worlds when you stay with us!

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