Every year in the fall, the delightfully haunting bugle of an elk can be heard throughout the Rockies and in the town of Estes Park. Elktober, otherwise known as the month of October, kicks off with the celebration of the season at the Estes Park Elk Fest. Visitors can enjoy live music, elk seminars, a beer garden, food, and a self-guided elk-viewing tour.

Related: What is the elk rut?

As the elk gather at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park to show off for the ladies during the start of the rutting season, gather in town for the Estes Park Elk Fest and see why this beloved event draws in thousands of visitors each year.

Bugling contests

Test your lungs at the bugling contest where contestants use a bugle tube to imitate the sound of a bugling elk. The kids will love this one!

Craft Beer garden

Head to the beer garden to sample some local breweries such as Estes Park BreweryRock Cut BreweryLumpy Ridge Brewery, and many more.


Vendors will display various artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and other elk-inspired arts and crafts. Visitors will also be able to sample different elk cuisine from local food vendors.

Educational seminar tent

Professionals from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Mile High Note Game Calls will provide educational seminars to learn more about elk and wildlife in Estes Park. Spectators can even see a raptor up-close with a visit from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program.

Live music

A variety of country, rock, and bluegrass music can be heard both Saturday and Sunday from popular Colorado bands.

To view the elk, visitors can either hop on a bus tour that will take you around favorite elk haunts in Estes Park or go it on your own and take a seat along the roadsides of Rocky Mountain National Park’s meadows around dawn or dusk, for best viewing opportunities.

For further event details be sure to visit the event’s website.

Estes Park Lodging

One of the best ways to enjoy the Estes Park Elk Fest is to book your stay with Rocky Mountain Resorts. We offer multiple Estes Park lodging options such as condoscabins, and vacation rentals. With seven different locations and over 125 units to choose from, we have something to fit your needs. All locations are within minutes of downtown Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Rooms fill up fast in the fall so start planning your trip to Estes Park and book your stay with us today!