The haunting call of the bull elk fills the Estes Valley during the early days of fall. The call begins with deep, resonant tones that rise rapidly to a high-pitched squeal before dropping to a series of grunts.
What is this strange sound and what does it mean?
To celebrate the annual elk rut and learn about the “wapiti,” the Native American name for elk, Estes Park hosts the annual Elk Fest in Bond Park.
The free festival features bugling contests, elk exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, a childrens’ area with elk-themed activities, and a craft beer garden. For safe & respectful elk viewing tips, please visit our Wildlife Watching page.
Vendors will display artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and will offer distinctive elk cuisine. Mountain men from around the country will gather at the Mountain Man Rendezvous to sell their wares and demonstrate their skills.
Enjoy the Educational Seminar Tent to learn more about Elk and wildlife in Estes Park from a variety of professionals including Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Mile High Note Game Calls. Representatives from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will display on a gloved hand some of their magnificent rescued birds. It’s amazing to see these majestic birds close up! Colorado Parks and Wildlife are on-site offering an Elk Camp where you can explore a variety of educational booths, and their staff will be helping in the field as attendees take the self-guided elk tour!
Live country, rock and bluegrass music will light up the park Saturday and Sunday with popular Colorado bands performing on stage.