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Essential Fall Guide '14: Celebrating Rocky Mountain National Park's Centennial, Join The Party At Estes Park
26th August, 2014
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don’t usually look to elk for hiking companions, but as I worked my way from Nymph Lake to Dream Lake towards my final destination at Emerald Lake, I couldn’t ignore the cow elk and her young calf. We didn’t share the trail, but they paralleled my travels and stuck close to the cascading creek that wore the lakes like gems on a necklace. They enjoyed the succulent vegetation while I enjoyed the Rocky Mountain grandeur.

Spend any time in Rocky Mountain National Park and you’ll agree that the elk are an integral part of the landscape. I found them cavorting in Horseshoe Park just inside the Fall River Entrance, grazing at 12,000 feet alongside Trail Ridge Road, and even moseying down the roads into Estes Park, which anchors the park’s front door. Their healthy populations in the park, and surrounding national forest, no doubt are an offshoot of Enos Mills’ efforts a century ago to see this Colorado landscape preserved as a national park.

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