Just about 4 miles up the road from our campground is the beautiful Lily Lake, just on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). We have been there a number of times during our time in Estes Park, to hike the lake loop, the Lily Ridge Trail, or have a picnic lunch, but I have not written about it since this post early in our stay. Recently, we had heard about several bull moose sightings at Lily Lake, and a bull moose was still on our must-see wildlife list. 🙂 On a recent evening, we took our camp chairs and went on a moose hunt.
We set our chairs and admired the peaceful, uncrowded lake. During the day, this lake literally swarms with people. What a wonderful difference in the evening! An RMNP volunteer with a very long lens on her camera came by to chat and let us know that the bull moose in question had been hanging around the aspens on the east side of the lake for about three weeks, and typically showed himself around 7:30 or so each evening.
The fact that it was already after 8 pm did not discourage us. The scene was so beautiful, we simply soaked in the views and waited.
A brief video looking southwest across the wetlands south of the lake.
A family came by wondering what we were looking for, and we told them what the park volunteer had shared. We chatted for a bit, then they headed back toward the parking lot. A few minutes later, we saw them pointing into the aspens on the east side of the lake!
We hurried over, and lo and behold, it was a bull moose! They had heard rustling in the trees, and spied the moose ripping away at the foliage! We all gathered at the edge of the walkway, straining to see Bullwinkle!
He was still fairly far away, and partially hidden by the trees. This is grainy, but the best of the early photos.
He was ripping branches off and devouring them quickly, and he actually ate a hole in the trees so we could see him better!
And a quick video right before he disappeared into the brush.
It was thrilling to see Bullwinkle in his element…however distant the photos. Especially since we were only 4 miles from home! We had been waiting to see a bull moose, despite having seen several cows and even calves. Our wildlife checklist is complete!
Please join us again soon for more fun Around Estes.