5 Interesting Facts About Elk in Estes Park

Elk in Estes Park are certainly something to look at. The popular park is located in the state of Colorado. They are popular wildlife and if you think you know about them, you may need to think twice. There are a lot of fascinating and weird facts about elks that you may have never know. 

Awesome Antlers

Antlers look cool because they are made from bone that is fast-growing. They can grow up to an inch per day. Depending on the amount of sunlight an elk gets, the size of its antlers will vary. This is because elks get a boost of testosterone levels from the sunlight which results in growing antlers. They can weigh up to 40 pounds in male elks. 


If you have never heard the sound of a bull elk, it is something to hear. Elks use both their nostrils and lips to make a sound that is way to high pitch to come from the voice box. Elks whistle and roar at the same time to make the infamous elk bugle sound. 

Interesting Footwork

The best form of elk communication is bugling that can be heard from miles away because of its volume. However, this is one of the few ways only that elks communicate with one another. Cracking and popping noises can be heard when they walk which comes from an elk’s anklebones. This sound is possibly made to communicate to another elk that they are approaching them. 

Fast Speed

Elks can weigh up to a whopping 700 pounds. They are known to be one of the biggest species of deer on the planet earth. They can run up to 40 miles per hour. That is normally the speed of a mature bull. A cool fact is that they are normally able to outrun horses in races that are shorter in distance. Elks can also jump vertically up to eight feet. 

Tree Rub

Every time you visit the popular park in Colorado, you may not always run into the elks. As upsetting as this can be, don’t panic because chances are rather good that you will see one as you explore the park. There are certain signs that you should look out for such as tree rubs. Male elks usually scratch the bark off of trees that are done to impress cows. This also gives the trees an attractive look and makes them look more polished. 

There are a few things to keep in mind on your journey to Rocky Mountain National Park. The best time to usually see the elk is during dawn. The park tends to also be less crowded around that time. Make sure to also keep your distance and bring a pair of binoculars with you for a much closer look at the elks. Elks will usually exhibit behavior that will tell you if you are too close to them. If an elk starts to look at you or stops grazing, these are signs that can indicate you are too close to them. 

You should also remember not to imitate an elk bugle or call during their mating seasons which happens to be in the fall. It may annoy them, or they can view it as a threat that would ultimately put yourself and the elk in danger.

 Also, make sure that you stay on the trails that are designated for people and be sure not to block traffic. The last thing you would want to do is stop abruptly after spotting wildlife. This can cause an accident. Instead, look for a spot that you can park which is off of the road. 

Pets should also be kept secured whether they are on a leash or kept away totally. This is because you do not want your pet to bark at the elk or even chase them. This can put you, your pet, and the elk(s) in danger. Feeding should also be off-limits. 

Some prime elk viewing areas are:

  • Upper Beaver Meadows
  • Moraine Park
  • Horseshoe Park

Please keep in mind that these areas are located on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Prime viewing areas for elks in Estes Park are:

  • Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course-1480 Golf Course Rd. 
  • Lake Estes Golf Course -690 Big Thompson Ave 

If you plan on going to view the elks, keep the above interesting facts in mind. Also, make sure to keep the above tips in mind for respecting them as well as their space. The last thing you would want to do is endanger the elks and yourself. Elk viewing is supposed to be an exciting adventure and you can make it just that by following these important guidelines.