I saw this herd of elk as I was driving up Colorado 14 heading northwest out of Fort Collins, Colorado back in October of 2010. The plan had been to explore Rocky Mountain National Park as I had not been there since I was 10 years old. I was intending to take US 34 west through the park out to US 40, and then home to the Salt Lake area. Mother Nature had other plans.
As I had headed up into the park that day from Estes Park, the weather began to change rapidly. I started on a beautiful hike but turned around due to the heavy snow. The forecast for that afternoon was increasing snow with 4 feet (1.22 meters) expected at the higher elevations. US 34 was now closed through the park for the winter season. So, that evening I studied my maps and decided to take go back to Fort Collins and take Colorado 14 westward as it skirts north of Rocky Mountain Park, and didn’t appear to go as high. And I had my Jeep Wrangler Sahara, so I figured I’d be fine. If bad weather set-in I was planning on staying overnight in Steamboat Springs, Colorado before finishing the drive home.
So, that next morning I headed back down the mountain to Fort Collins, got some lunch in town, and then proceeded to head westward again on CO 14. It was here along a meadow up in first canyons that I found these elk.
I found place to pull off the road, and luckily I had packed my Sigma 170-500mm zoom lens for the trip. Elk are about the size of horses, and are definitely not to be taken for granted. They are quite fast (about horse speed), and as you can see come heavily armed. It is best to keep a good distance, so they don’t ever feel threatened.
Anyway, I noticed this nice bull in the herd. He had quite the impressive rack, and I am sure he was trying to impress the ladies. I ended up really focusing in on him, and was patient trying to get a few decent shots. I think I pulled it off.
Well, I just wanted to show you a couple of these old photos from my intended trip through Rocky Mountain National Park. Oh, in case you were wondering what became of that big snowstorm, well it hit as they said. Fortunately my route choice allowed me to skirt most of the big snow dump, but I did hit quite a bit of snow on CO 14 for awhile. I had the Jeep in 4 wheel drive and tooled along quite slowly and carefully, finally pulling into Steamboat Springs about dark.
Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you enjoyed my elk photographs. It was a fun day.