Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park Trip Report September 2021 - Tom Bol Photo Workshops

moraine park

The tall tawny grass and meandering stream in Moraine Park make for prime elk habitat. We spent mornings and late afternoons alongside the road photographing strutting males and harems of female elk in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Elk cow and youngster in the meadow
Glen showing his long lens technique
Males will "fight" with bushes and grass to show their aggression

The call of the wild

The bugle of the elk is part roar and part whistle. The sound carries across the meadow advertising the bull's availability to roaming females.

Plenty of light to hand carry when on the move
Young bulls watching the action on the periphery

not just elk

Other animals in RMNP are preparing for winter by stocking up on calories. We photographed a bull moose at Sheep Lake, least chipmunks and birds like Stellar's Jays, Black-billed Magpies and Mountain Bluebirds

Clark's Nutcracker at Rainbow Curve

harvest Moon

Our timing was perfect to photograph the harvest moon setting from the top of Trail Ridge Road at Rock Cut. At over two miles high and eighteen degrees the experience was awe-inspiring and very chilly!

Alpenglow in the high country
Keith, Naroath and John on the Continental Divide
Alan, using his Nikon Z in the high country


The west side of the park is higher in elevation and tends to have fall color earlier than the east side. We stopped in the aspen trees to take some fall color photos.

Carol working on new techniques
Long lens to capture aspen color on the far hillsides
Joe.....is he looking for a snowy owl?

Rut Behavior

The best elk behavior of the workshop was on our final morning. A large herd of females moved into the aspen glade corralled by 8 or more males, roaring and fighting to show their dominance.

Dappled light in the Ponderosa Pines made for dramatic images
Wayne trying out the 400mm 2.8 for Sony
Two large males locking horns
Our Elk Photographers for the 2021 Workshop

New Workshops - Just Added

Hummingbirds in Ecuador - June and January 2023 dates: Click here to learn more

Creative Portrait Lighting in Fort Collins - October: Click here to learn more

Brown Bears at Summer Solstice - June 2023 dates: Click here to learn more


Created By
Cree Bol


Tom Bol and Cree Bol