It is Friday and that means it's time to take a day off and travel to one of Colorado's many wonders! This weekend I suggest going up the Estes Park the lovely town at the entrance gate to Rocky Mountain National Park.RockyMtnNationalPark-view

I was there yesterday enjoying the majestic scenery of snow capped mountains, golden colors of the Aspen trees and listening to the bugling call of the Elk.

It is mating time for the Elk, a time know as The Rut.  Bull Elks roam the park collecting females for their harem.

Typically one would expect this process to occur far up in the hills. But no, here  the Elk are everywhere.  One can even park at the visitor's Center in Estes and watch the herds on the golf course!RockyMtnNationalPark-ElkHerd

One of the beautiful benefits of the park is the safety it provides the wildlife.  They don't seem to mind the presence of humans who line the roads watching and photographing their every move!

As dusk approaches the herds will gather in meadows. It is not uncommon to see a couple of Bull Elk duke it out with their antlers.  Of course crowds gather along the roadside in happy anticipation of this event.

If you plan to travel to the park, ask the Park Rangers where the best places to view the wildlife.  They are very helpful and will offer the best viewing suggestions. RockyMtnNationalPark-Bullelk

The weekend of September 3 & 4 is the Annual Celebration of Elk Fest . The Fest offers a variety of events including:

  • Educational Seminars
  • Mountain Man Rendezvous
  • Elk-viewing Bus Tours
  • Live Music
  • Wildlife and Raptor Exhibits
  • Vendors Displaying Wildlife-related Merchandise
  • Native American Storytelling, Music and Dance
  • Bugling Competitions - all ages and levels

Parts of the park are now closed to automobile traffic, including Trail Ridge Road, the longest, highest continuous highway in North America.  This is a thrilling drive in the summer, but the road is not maintained once the snow falls.