ESTES PARK, Colo. — The elk mating period has begun in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).
Starting Sept. 1, RMNP park officials instituted annual closures to prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities.
The closures, which will be in effect through Oct. 31, are in place for travel on foot or horse off established roadways or designated trails from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. The areas with the closures are Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow.
The elk rut lasts from late-September to mid-October in Estes Park. During that period, hundreds of elk will descend to the lower meadows of Rocky Mountain National Park and attempt to fall in love.
RMNP officials said as always, elk calling and the use of spotlights or vehicle headlights for spotting wildlife is prohibited in Rocky Mountain National Park.
In 2020, the elk-related 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.
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.
Elk rut in Evergreen
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Animals and Wildlife
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9news" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.