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Elk Bugling Season Begins In Estes Park, Colorado

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Autumn is the perfect time to see dozens of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. Here's what you need to know.


ESTES PARK, Colo. - From the beginning of September to the end of October, hundreds of elk pour out of the mountains and flock to open fields in Rocky Mountain National Park, signifying Elk Bugling Season.

In Estes Park, a small mountain town at the edge of the National Park, travelers come in droves to see this astounding collection of elk each year. Drivers may see a herd of 20 elk trotting next to their cars on the town's main roads.

In fact, the elk have become so accustomed to human connection that they have little fear in approaching people, much like bears in Yellowstone National Park. Teams of Estes Park volunteers and officers weave through the crowds of elk to remind people that these animals are, in fact, wild.

Estes Park was home to some of the North American continent's first people, who stood in the same fields and marveled at the sounds of elk bugles reverberating off the rocky canyons and cliffs. Plenty of open spaces attract herds of elk that continue the tradition.

Near the infamous Stanley Hotel (the indoor setting for The Shining), elk flock to parks with car pull-overs. Utilize these and capture some cool animal photography, which can only happen during these few months.

As you venture through Estes Park into Rocky Mountain National Park, just remember, these elk are wild animals. Allow them to be at peace, and don't mess with nature, or it'll fight back.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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