Elk In RMNP

The cow elk within a herd work together to protect the newborn elk calves from predators. A coyote (not pictured) was going after this calf.

Beginning on September 1, park officials will put annual closures in place for travel on foot or horse off established roadways or designated trails from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. In 2020, the closure time extended from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. due to a significant increase in visitors approaching elk in previous years, when the morning meadow closures lifted. These closures last through October 31 and are effective in Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Fishing in the Fall River, Thompson River or Colorado River within the posted areas remain the same as previous years and are closed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The purpose of the closures is to prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during their fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities. As always, elk calling and the use of spotlights or vehicle headlights for spotting wildlife is prohibited in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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