Through the Lens: Colorado Wildlife and Photography in Estes Park
Estes Park is highly regarded by wildlife photographers around the world. In every calendar month and season, endless opportunities exist to capture award winning photos of the Rocky’s seemingly endless catalog of beautiful and intriguing wildlife in their fantastically picturesque mountain environments.
What kind of wildlife can I see in Estes Park?
Colorado wildlife in and around the Rockies can be easily seen at times, while other creatures stay off the beaten path! The most common animal you’ll see around Estes Park is likely to be the brown mule deer. However, their relative the elk are in no short supply! This is especially true in the fall rut, better known and celebrated as Elk Fest. This is when these majestic animals come down from the mountains closer to town.
Other wildlife viewing opportunities such as bird watching are very common in Rocky Mountain National Park. With 300+ species of birds, it’s no wonder why! There are over 359 miles of hiking trails covering 416 square miles in the park. This national park contains some of the most spectacular views, mountains, and tundra in North America. You can often spot moose, coyotes, elk, and deer grazing in meadows. However, be aware that elusive predators do lurk nearby. Keep watch for bears, mountain lions, and bobcats!
Windcliff is bordered by both Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest. Photographers and wildlife seekers need not even leave their vacation rental home to capture mule deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and the occasional bobcat, mountain lion, moose or bear.
Windcliff Private Trails
Windcliff offers three privately accessed “house hikes” allowing resident guests (only) to walk to the top of Rams Horn Mountain (1.0 miles | 2.01 miles round trip) atop Roosevelt National Forest, to Lily Lake (2.8 miles | 5.66 miles round trip) or Sprague Lake (3.2 miles | 6.76 miles round trip from Windcliff Gate House). Moose are frequent visitors to each of these RMNP lakes. You can grab directions or maps to each of these hikes in the Windcliff Vacation Rental Office at the Gate House.
Estes Park offers a number of professionally guided tours of RMNP for photographers.