To enter Rocky Mountain National Park between May 28 and October 11 two things are required: a timed entry permit PLUS a park pass or entrance fee. Use these tips to plan your trip into Rocky Mountain National Park.
Some wildlife in the area are easily seen; others are elusive. Wildlife watching is best during the early morning and early evening hours, as mule deer browse only a few feet away and elk congregate in open meadows.
While most often seen during fall and winter, summer sightings of big game are common. Smaller animals - beaver, coyote, chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, badger and marmot - are abundant year-round. Moose, bear, fox, mountain lion and bobcat also live here but are rarely seen. Looking to spot some Estes Park Wildlife during your visit, read the Top Winter Wildlife Watching Tips.
During summer, birds and butterflies abound. Tiny hummingbirds, brilliant bluebirds, noisy nutcrackers, magpies and jays share the air with hundreds of butterfly species. Far above there are raptors: golden eagles, peregrine and prairie falcons and red-tailed Cooper's hawks.
For tips on viewing wildlife in a safe and respectful way, please visit our Estes Park Wildlife Watching page.