The Magical Elk of Estes Park

Elk of Estes Park

While most people around the United States use fall to cozy up and sip a tasty pumpkin spice latte, the residents of Estes do something a little bit different.

Elk of Estes Park

Around the end of September, residents of this chilly Coloradan village prepare for the Elk Fest! During this annual event, elk are welcome to roam through the tiny town and are welcomed as old friends.

This unique event began in 1998 as a festival to acknowledge the creatures who call Estes Park their home. It runs on October 1 and 2 and features vendors and lots of family fun.

Elk of Estes Park

But these large animals are not just a feature around Elk Fest. Estes Park News reported that they are a regular part of everyday life. “They travel our roads, our sidewalks and our trails,” said the narrator of the news feature.

While most elk would be nervous around people, these animals show no reservations. “You can see them in our neighborhoods and even downtown,” said the narrator. But that was not always the case.

Elk of Estes Park

In 1880, residents of Estes Park extirpated the native elk populations. But in 1913 and again in 1915, the creatures were reintroduced into the area with herds from Yellowstone National Park.

The people who live in Estes Park could not be more proud of their thriving elk. Elk Fest might happen only once a year, but for these Coloradans, these majestic creatures are celebrated daily.

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The Magical Elk of Estes Park