Difficulty Popularity Places
CommonHighWidespread
Colorado Wyoming Arkansas Idaho Montana

Local Native American tribes called them wapiti, but when European explorers came to America, they confused the wapiti with moose and gave them the European name for moose…elk.

How to see Elk

Despite having 90 lbs of thick fur coat, Elk can be seen at many altitudes in the summer, although lower altitudes in the winter. Elk used to be animals of the great plain, but are now are mostly found in the mountains. As with most prey species they are most commonly seen at dusk and dawn, but in comparatively protected places like Rocky Mountain National Park they can be seen openly day and night.

Look for Elk in the trees, and at the tree lined edges of fields. You might see one or two, and then notice a larger group behind (deeper in the shadows.)

In spring Elk seek out the fresh green grasses, often venturing out into the open in herds and spending all day grazing.

Elk (like most wildlife) avoid being out on weekends, retreating to safer locations to avoid people (and their dogs.)


Main Viewing Regions

The greatest numbers of wildobs encounters for this species have been reported in these places:
ColoradoWyomingArkansasIdahoMontanaWashingtonCaliforniaNew Mexico
Names Wapiti ‐ Cervus elaphus
See also:
MooseMule Deer

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