Wildlife of the Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Guide

Forget fences there are only mountains here. With over 60 species of mammals, 280 species of birds, and 11 species of fish, Rocky Mountain National Park is bursting with wildlife.

Watching the autumn elk rut in Moraine Park in RMNP. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

10 Ways to See More Wildlife

Our top 10 tips for stalking and spotting wildlife including picking the best weather and get signs from other animals. Read More...

Elk in a sunny field. Photo by Ben Fullerton

Autumn Elk Rutting Season in Rocky Mountain National Park

At its peak from mid-September to mid-October, the elk rut is a time when male elk, or bulls, vie for the hearts of their female counterparts, known as cows. Read More...

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Rams (Male)

Bighorn Sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park

There’s an estimated population of 7,000 bighorn sheep in Colorado, the most in any state. Rutting season is in November and December when rams butt their heads together making a loud noise. Read More...

An Osprey brings a tree branch to build a nest. His partner sits next to nest watching him to land. Photo by Dr. Tibor Duliskovich

Birds with Backpacks

Select osprey have been inducted into a unique satellite transmitter tracking project, a joint effort among RMNP, the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO), and the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Read More...

Pine Grosbeak Bird

Birdwatching in Rocky Mountain National Park

Since Rocky Mountain National Park’s creation in 1915, 280 species of birds have been spotted throughout the Park and surrounding regions. Read More...

Watching the autumn elk rut in Moraine Park in RMNP. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

Essentials of Autumn Elk Watching in Rocky Mountain Park

Where to see elk, when to see them, where to park, and elk watching etiquette at Rocky Mountain National Park. Read More...

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...

rocky-mountain-park-marmot

Marmots in The Park

The frumpy (cute) animals that can vary in length between 19 and 26 inches and can be identified by the dark head with a yellowish band across the bridge of the nose. 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...

Young male mule deer in full summer velvet

Mule Deer in Rocky Mountain National Park

One of the Park’s more highly visible large mammals, it’s not uncommon to spot mule deer quietly grazing through Moraine Park and along Glacier Gorge. Read More...

Ptarmigan in summer, perfectly camouflaged to its surroundings. Photo courtesy Ann Schonlau of Rocky Mountain National Park

Ptarmigans, the Rare White Enchanting Birds of Rocky Mountain National Park

As you walk through the park, you may notice a rock or two moving in the underbrush. Fear not, it’s just a close encounter of the bird kind. Read More...

Lions yawning at the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Courtesy photo

The Wild Animal Sanctuary Northeast of Denver, Colorado

See nearly 300 lions, tigers, grizzly bears, wolves, and other rescued large carnivores as they roam freely on the rolling plains of Colorado. Read More...

Bull elk bugling at Rocky Mountain National Park

Ultimate Elk Bugling Video, Autumn in RMNP

Elk bugling can be heard across the valleys in Rocky Mountain National Park during September and early October. Watch a video of the wailing. Read More...

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by Rob Wood

Where Can I See Wild Animals in Rocky Mountain National Park?

Home to 1000s of elk, mule deer, marmots, bighorns, and the occasional black bear, it’s not uncommon to have your Park experience include wildlife spotting. Read More...

Rocky Mountain Elk

Where to See Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Traveling in herds across open tundra and low-lying valleys, Elk are routinely considered the main wildlife attraction. 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. See our map of most likely haunts. Read More...

rocky-mountain-critter-control

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Wild Animals

Habituation happens where humans offer rewards such as food and where the creatures suffer no penalty for coming close to feed. Read More...

Black Bear

You Might See a Bear

Know what to do in case of a bear encounter, but don’t worry, odds are you’ll never know they are there. Read More...