Dodging Bugling Elk and a Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

Living in Boulder County, Colorado, has its advantages like the drive to Rocky Mountain National Park takes less than an hour. I know! I grew up in Wisconsin where deer rut in November and was surprised to find a bull sniffing around his sixty-plus harem on the edge of Estes Park. They rut two months earlier than Wisconsin deer. Who knew?

Bull Elk bugling in Estes Park.

They moved quickly from the forest and soon gathered at the corner of a busy intersection.

Elk in Estes Park

A couple of one-point, yearling bulls checked out the party. See the one sneaking up from the left in the photo below? Yep.

A yearling, a bull, and his harem
Yearling, bull, and a harem

I knew there would be trouble when those young bulls thought it would be a great idea to have a go at the cows.

That didn’t fly, but I did — The bull elk was pissed! Make sure to turn on the sound.

The boys stuck around, so I jumped in the car for a quick hike before sunset. I took this picture through the window. The elk herds were EVERYWHERE!

A herd of Elk at Rocky Mountain State Park

Hikes are plentiful. We pulled over and hit the trail.

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Spectacular views everywhere.

National Park view of Rocky Mountains

As the sun set in the west, I took another look before heading home.

Susie looking over Rocky Mountain National Park

Luckily, the Colorado and California smoke didn’t make another appearance until Monday. The skies were pretty dang clear.

Next time, I’ll start before three in the afternoon. You never know what you might discover on a Colorado adventure!

Have you been to Rocky Mountain National Park? Are you choking down smoke like me, or are you able to see clearly where you live?

31 thoughts on “Dodging Bugling Elk and a Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

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    1. Thanks for watching, Anneli! After two close calls, we took advantage of the clear skies to hike instead.

      Today, the air is thick with smoke. When will these horrible fires end? I’m sorry to hear you are experiencing poor air quality too. It seems like the whole coast is burning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is!! The fire maps are scary to look at. We’ve had smoky skies before when BC had fires, especially a couple of years ago, but nothing like this. We’re expecting rain at last and are hoping it will wash away the smoke and with any luck the rest of the coast will get enough rain to help with the fire fighting. It will take a LOT of rain for that though.


  1. Gorgeous scenery as always. Photos and filming never quite do justice to how big and imposing these elk are. I remember having to fight to protect my harem back in my younger days. Sure don’t miss that hassle.


    1. YES!! Lots of lovin’ goin’ on. Actually, it’s the start of the season, so more sniffing than anything else! 😂

      The smoke is thick in the mountains too. It’s been a hell of a year!


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