A Grand Lake Trip Isn’t Complete Without a Moose Sighting
A trip to Grand Lake is incomplete without a moose sighting. Luckily, you can see a moose most days around here.
The largest of the deer species, moose can stand at up to 7 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh over 1,000 pounds. These giants are dark brown with long legs and males, called bulls, grow antlers up to 5 feet across.
Moose eat up to 70 pounds of food a day, munching on woody plants such as willow, aspen and also aquatic plants. They like marshy, wet areas and can even be spotted swimming on hot days.
In Grand Lake, we often see Bruce the Bull Moose strolling through town, so keep an eye out for him. He especially loves the beach.
While moose are fairly common in Grand Lake today, seeing one before the 1970s was rare. Occasional sightings of moose date back to the 1850s, but these mammals didn’t become common until wildlife officials transplanted 24 to Colorado in 1978 and ‘79. Another 12 moose were transplanted in 1987.
Today, experts estimate that about 2,500 moose are living in Colorado. Many can be spotted on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and here in Grand Lake.
In fact, Kawuneeche Valley is a favorite spot for moose to graze with its marshy, wet grasses. The large mammals are easy to spot as they munch on their favorite woody snacks.
As spectacular as it is to see these larger than life animals, they are best enjoyed at a distance. If you happen to spot a moose, give it plenty of space to graze without human interference.
Both bulls and cows are equally unpredictable, reaching speeds of 35 mph when they charge. As generally peaceful creatures, as long as you give them space, you can watch them roam without worrying. If a moose seems bothered by your proximity, you should retreat.
Unlike other members of the deer family, moose are usually solitary. Cows exhibit strong bonds with their calves and are extremely protective of them, so especially don’t approach a baby moose. Newborn moose are born in the early summer and will stay with their mother for about a year.
Typically, moose will hang around a certain location for days at a time. If you hear one might be in a certain area, there’s a good chance it could still be around. Always keep an eye out, though, because unexpected moose sightings happen all the time in Grand Lake.
Like A Local: Dawn and dusk are the best times to see moose in action (and you might see a few elk while you’re at it). Wet, marshy spaces are where moose like to hang out. We suggest heading into Rocky Mountain National Park at dawn or dusk and keeping an eye out in the meadows of the Kawuneeche Valley (the first ten miles of the park).