Observe the Elk Rut

Each year starting first part of September, the young bull elk start to gather herds of cow elk thinking they have a ticket to the dance. In reality, they do all the work for none of the glory. As time goes on, the larger, stronger bull elk come out of the woods bugling and challenging these younger elk for the herd of cow elk.

The bulls become more aggressive during this season, charging at each other and locking antlers as they battle over dominant status and mating rights. Although competition is high, actual fighting is rare since it causes injury and depletes energy. Rather, they compete by showcasing their antlers, necks and bodies, as well as emitting a strong, musky odor.

People come from all over the world to RMNP to see this spectacular mating ritual. Places on the left are best viewing.