Best time to travel to Yellowstone National Park

Elks

The Elk rut is one reason that draws so many visitors to the park every year during September, and early summer bring elk calves

Elks in Yellowstone National Park - Best Time
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Neal Herbert | Yellowstone National Park | NPS

Elks have the largest population in Yellowstone, compared with other large mammals. Over 15,000 elks can be found in the park. They are a little smaller than moose with a weight of around 300 kg and height of 1.5 m at the shoulder. Bulls' antlers grow in spring and drop the next year around March or April.

Bull elk at Mammoth
Bull elk at Mammoth

Summer and autumn are great seasons to see elk in Yellowstone in large quantity. During winter the elks migrate to other places and refuges. The most popular time for elk watching is the mating season that occurs in fall, from early September to mid-October.

Elks in Yellowstone National Park - Best Season

The peak of the rut usually falls on September. The call of the elk is an outstanding sound that attracts thousands of visitors. This is the time when elks gather in mixed herds. A large number of females watch several bulls showing their availability and power. Usually, they fight with each other and these battles can be really violent. They crash their antlers and push each other. The weaker bull gives up and goes away. During the rut you can watch elk in the northern ranges of the park, in Mammoth Hot Springs, and Madison River.

Best time for Elks in Yellowstone National Park

The calves are born in May and June. They are considered the cutest baby animals in the park.

Newborn elk calf in Mammoth Hot Springs
Newborn elk calf in Mammoth Hot Springs
Best time to see Elks in Yellowstone National Park

Elks Map & Location

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