Experiencing the Elk in Estes Park is one of the top 3 experiences of my life. You can go to the zoo or an animal sanctuary, but nothing compares watching these wild animals in a unnatural setting.

My entire childhood was spent in the forest hunting deer with my dad. In 18 years of living on the side of Mt. St Helens in Washington State I never saw a elk. That made this trip even more incredible.

 

1. The Wild Animals

The star of the show at Estes Park is defiantly the elk, but keep your eyes peeled for deer, bighorn sheep, antelope, and bears. Just don't get to close and end up getting attacked like this lady.

 

2. Mountain Town Charm

Estes Park is absolutely beautiful and worth the short trip to experience the small town charm. Check out the full list of events HERE.

 

3. Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is a breathtaking way to see Colorado from the top of the mountains without hiking. Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through road in Colorado. Find out when it's open, closed and when you can go without paying admission on special days HERE.

 

4. Go On a Hike

Estes Park sits along the Big Thompson River and is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. The area boasts an area of 265,000-acres with 359 miles of hiking trails, 150 lakes, and nearly 100 tall mountain peaks. Make sure you're alert, the photo below is from a recent hike where the deer popped up and scared the heck out of me. I'm just glad it wasn't a bear.

 

5. Fall Colors

Fall is in full swing in Estes Park. From the elk in rut, to the stuffed bears getting ready to hibernate, you can experience the best of the Rock Mountains in the beautiful color of the changing leaves.