Magnificent elk stampede across Colorado mountains during migration

Elk herd in Colorado
(Image credit: Getty)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has shared a stunning video of a herd of elk stampeding across a mountain highway. The clip, which you can watch below, was shot by videographer Eric N Olson, and shows hundreds of the animals racing downhill and over a quiet stretch of road.

Colorado is home to the largest population of elk in the world, and CPW suggests there are over 280,000 individual animals in the state. In fact, as USA Today reports, some herds are getting so large that the agency put out a call for sharpshooters to help manage them in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Applications are now closed, but only exceptionally skilled hunters were urged to apply, and those shortlisted were put through a test that involved hitting targets measuring 12in x 14in (the size of an elk's vital organs) at a distance of 200 and 300 yards. Shooters had to hit the targets three times in a row without missing within three minutes.

It's not clear whether these particular elk were migrating or simply moving to a different local area en masse, but the animals typically spend the warmer months in higher mountain areas, then move downhill in the fall.

A change in the weather usually seems to be the trigger, so it's possible that we may see elk migrating later in the year as global temperatures rise.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.