Elk Herd In Rocky Mountain National Park

So on our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park last Friday, we had only ever been there in the summer and early fall, and didn’t know what to expect as far as seeing wildlife this time of year. But I had read up on their website and other places that this time of year is actually a good time to view wildlife because snow encourages them to the lower elevations. And sure enough, we saw more wildlife than any previous visit there. Take the elk for instance: we’ve seen elk at the park of course, but never such a large herd.

They were grazing alongside the road and to our delight they continued to graze after we stopped our truck at the edge of the road.

This time of year the rut has passed, but some of the bull elk were still bugling. This year’s calves and their mamas, the cows, called to each other when they would become separated.

Some of the elk lay in the shade of the trees. At one point, a pair of coyotes trotted along the edge of the herd. Most of the elk paid little attention, except for one, who got to her feet to stare at the coyote with a non-verbal, but unmistakable message, “I’m bigger than you-keep your distance”.

We watched the elk for about an hour and then moved on. Later we saw another coyote in Beaver Meadow. He was less than 10 feet away and a very beautiful animal close up, but his comical behavior was not what we expected from a wild animal. More on that tomorrow.

—–> UP NEXT TOMORROW: The antics of a coyote.