This is part of my Girl’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park! Everything you need to know, from the best day hikes to the best places to eat. Check out all my posts by clicking here.
I can’t write a week’s worth of posts about Rocky Mountain National Park and not include the wildlife!
Don’t forget about us, Whit!
Wildlife is, after all, one of the top highlights of the park. You can hike all day and see scenic vistas and pretty flowers, but nothing compares to seeing an elk or a bear in the wild, and Rocky Mountain National Park can almost always guarantee that.
On a recent trip there, I stumbled across this elk lounging on the side of the road beside the entrance to the park.
Just hangin’ out!
A week later, my mother called me from Estes Park and said “There’s a black bear in the McDonald’s parking lot.”
I have never personally seen a bear in the park, which slightly disappoints me, but as my brother has pointed out, “The fact you haven’t come across a bear in the wild is a good thing, Whit.”
Other than bears, there are marmots…
Some of these…(what are they?)
As a child, it was thrilling to see any of these. Certainly the fact that these wildlife are not common in Texas makes the sight of them extra special for a kid who had only seen them in pictures. I’ll never forget one morning while staying in a cabin at the base of the mountains, I opened my eyes and looked out the window beside my bed to see a huge elk staring at me through the window. I also remember seeing bighorn sheep, one of the animals the park is most known for, on the hillsides by the park entrance and being completely in awe.
The park has a great handout for kids that let’s them check off wildlife they see in exchange for a Junior Ranger badge.
As Aaricka said in her interview Monday, “Seeing the little marmot while we were having a picnic was probably my favorite thing that happened on our trip!”
Best Wildlife Viewing Time
“The best time to see animals is first thing in the morning (6:30am!) It’s basically almost guaranteed that you will see something at that time!” — Liz, friend of WW
I hope you have many memorable wildlife sightings on your trip to the Rockies and get a glimpse of the majestic animals that call this region home.
(PS. Many thanks to Liz Curtis and her dad for sharing these National Geographic-worthy wildlife pics.)