"It's Herd Day" – video captures massive elk traffic jam on Colorado highway

Elk on road in Canada
In the winter months, elk herds in Colorado can range from 50 to several hundred animals, but they don't always include a pronghorn sidekick (Image credit: Getty Images)

If you regularly drive up to the mountains in winter in Colorado for a day of skiing, you'll be used to the delays caused by weather, weekend warriors and all of those skiers who didn't obey the traction laws. You might not expect your journey to be delayed by a massive herd of elk, however, but that's just what happened to one driver this week.

In a video posted yesterday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which you can watch below, the giant herd of elk numbering around 100 animals is seen crossing the road in the mountains. Fortunately, the man who captured the footage, identified only as Kyle from Creede, CO, has spotted the herd in plenty of time to stop and put on his hazard lights, and there aren't any cars coming in the opposite direction.

"Sure, some call Wednesdays hump day - but we like to call it HERD DAY," comments the CPW in the post.

Make sure to watch the video till the end and catch a lone pronghorn – a small, hoofed mammal related to goats and antelope common in the Rockies – following the herd across to the snowy field. 

In the winter months, elk herds in Colorado can range from 50 to several hundred. These giant beasts move down to the valley floor in order to find food and it's more common to come across them grazing and, occasionally, crossing the road than it is in summer. Always drive with caution in elk country, and if you come across a herd while you're hiking, secure any pets and give them a wide berth.

Elk are not inherently dangerous but may charge you if they feel threatened, as at least one phone-wielding Yellowstone tourist has learned the hard way.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com 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.