Colorado Parks and Wildlife issues warning after hiker trampled by "defensive" moose

Cow moose standing by bush on sunny day
This is the third reported moose attack in Colorado this year (Image credit: Getty)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a call for caution in the backcountry after a hiker was trampled by a moose. According to a news release by CPW, the incident marks the third such encounter in Colorado this year.

Two hikers with three dogs were walking on the popular Crags Trail near Pikes Peak on Tuesday when they encountered the cow moose and her calf. The hikers told CPW that the dogs were on-leash and they observed the moose for a while, then tried to go around them while keeping some distance. 

The moose, however, continued to approach them, causing one of the dogs to begin to bark. The moose then charged and trampled one of the hikers. Though the hikers were able to run away, the moose continued to pursue them down the trail.

A moose

There are approximately 3,500 moose in the state of Colorado (Image credit: Patrick J. Endres)

Once it gave up chase, the hikers were able to get to their vehicles and go to the hospital to be evaluated. They sustained only minor injuries in the attack.

“This incident is a reminder of why we warn everyone to respect wildlife and give them their space,” said Tim Kroening, CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region.

“We know Colorado residents love their dogs. But understand that moose see dogs as predators and react in defense of themselves and their young.”

Moose safety

There are approximately 3,500 moose in the state of Colorado, and though by nature, they are not aggressive creatures, they can become so when feeling threatened, particularly around their young or if they’re harassed by people or dogs. 

If you're hiking with a dog in moose country, it's especially important to practice wildlife safety and keep it on-leash. Keep your distance and enjoy it from afar using binoculars.

CPW has posted warning signs in the are of the attack with the following advice:

  • Run! Put a large object between you and the moose.
  • Hide behind a tree or large rock.
  • If approached, climb a tree, maintain as much distance as possible.
  • Report an aggressive moose to CPW immediately.
Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.