Moose in Rocky Mountain National Park


One thing is for certain. Moose aren’t the most eloquent creatures, but they sure are cool. Standing over six feet tall and weighing between 600 and 1,600 pounds, moose are a common sight within Rocky Mountain National Park and a visitor favorite.

But until the late 1970s it was rare to catch a glimpse of moose in Colorado, even though there are records of moose sightings as far back as the 1850s, according to an Aspen Daily News article. In 1978, Colorado Parks and Wildlife first introduced 12 moose from Utah to the area west of the Never Summer Mountains near the town of Walden. In 1979, another 12 from Wyoming were released in the same region in the Illinois River drainage. This early population thrived and some moved into the Laramie River Valley. In 1987 a transplant of 12 moose from Wyoming helped establish a strong population in that valley as well.

Today, the state’s moose populations are doing well with an estimated 2,500 living throughout the state, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Moose are primarily found on the west side of the park, but they are occasionally spotted in wet areas on the east side as well. Read our tips on where to go moose watching.

About Moose in the Rockies

Moose aren’t small. In fact they are quite large and rather clumsy looking. Traveling typically in small groups, moose feed on water plants, aspen, and willow. It is not rare to see a cow traveling with her mate or calf close behind.

During September through November their mating season (rut) takes place as bulls seek out a mate. Unlike Elk, which can have several mates at the same time, moose typically stick to one cow at a time.

Bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

How Close Can I Get to Elk and Moose in Rocky Mountain National Park?

Every year people get attacked in the park by wildlife and most of the time it could’ve been prevented simply by following the wildlife safety rules. Read More...

Moose licking salt off cars in Rocky Mountain National Park

Moose Licks Salt on Cars at Rocky Mountain Park

Can your car take a licking? This moose wandered the parking lot at Sprague Lake in search of a salty snack. Read More...

Moose Bull in Kawuneeche Valley. Photo by Erik Stensland

Where to See Moose in Rocky Mountain National Park

Head to Kawuneeche Valley and also the Colorado River near Timber Creek Campground on the west side of the park. Read More...