Colorado Wildlife Federation has participated in Estes Park Elk Fest ® for several years and is proud to continue their involvement in this great event.  They work hard and effectively to safeguard important wildlife habitats on public lands in our state. For information visit

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado's elk population is approximately 280,000 animals, the largest in the United States. The agency and stakeholders work hard to safeguard migration corridors that are relied upon by elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep and other big game to move between their summer and winter ranges. 

During your stay in Estes Park and visits to Rocky Mountain National Park, you likely see mule deer, too. They are much smaller than elk,  weighing between 100 and 300 pounds. Their ears are quite large and they have a white patch on their rump. 

CPW is working to stabilize mule deer populations on the West Slope. Their herds have been in decline for a number of reasons including habitat quality, development, predation, droughts, etc.

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Why do elk bugle?

During mating season, males bugle to attract females and to outcompete other males. 

How long does the rut last?

Usually mid-September til mid-October

Elk are majestic but unpredictable. Stay safe and respect their space. Mature Bull Elk can run up to 40 miles per hour and can jump 8 feet fencing. 

How many years do elk live and how much do they weigh?

Elk live an average of 10-13 years in the wild. Full grown Bull Elk typically weigh between 710 & 730 pounds.

Cow elk weigh between 500-530 pounds.