Ouzel Falls, and Cascade Falls are the only ones I've seen so far......

by Lynn Brooks
(Aurora, CO USA)

I like Ouzel Falls, but Cascade Falls comes in as a close 2nd. I haven't had a chance to see all the falls you've photographed and commented on in this trail guide. I must get on these trails and check them out. Thank you for this information about all these falls in RMNP that I had no clue were out there. Great job!!

I have a couple questions for you and that is: will any of the wildlife, particularly the moose, randomly attack hikers? My understanding is that they can be very volatile and attack with no provocation. I wouldn't expect a cougar or other big cat to come out and hunt a human. They are more nocturnal - right? Big Horn sheep are probably sheepish - right? I came across a moose on the trail outside of the little abandoned town called Hessie and backed up slowly into the forest with no problem from the moose. They are frighteningly huge!

Thank you very much.

Enjoy as I'm sure I will and always do!!

Karen's reply: about not having had a chance to see all of the waterfalls in RMNP, (and other places in Colorado), that I've photographed and written about on this website, yes, do try to get out and see them when you can...they are beautiful :-). And there are more waterfalls out there besides the ones on this site. I just haven't had the time to add them here, (although I'm planning on adding more soon), or don't know about them...which is why I'm always on the look-out for new ones :-).

To answer your questions: most, (if not all), of the wildlife at RMNP are more inclined and likely to try to avoid people, than they are to randomly attack. The most common wildlife we see at RMNP are the elk and the deer, and they tend to be nervous of people and don't let you get too close to them. (Although, our experience of them is that they do let you get closer than other wildlife in the park do.) During the fall rut is when you have to be the most careful around the elk, especially the bulls, since this is the time of year that they are attacking, (or at least sparring with), each other.

About moose, yes they can be unpredictable but that has not been our experience with them the few times that we've seen them. We have only seen one once on the Estes Park side of RMNP, (many years ago), and it was walking down the trail a little ways ahead of us before it veered off to the side and into the bushes where it disappeared. One other time, we saw several of them on the Grand Lake side of RMNP which is where they are more common. We were driving along the main highway through the park and saw them from the road. We stopped to take pictures, and although they were fairly far away, they noticed us but didn't seem to be concerned. They just continued doing what they were doing, which was eating. I think that as long as you don't try to get close to them, or act threatening, you should be O.K. most of the time. You did the right thing when you saw the moose near Hessie. We have hiked around there several times and have never seen moose so you were lucky :-).

We've never seen a cougar or any other big cat in the park, although we did have someone tell us once that they saw what was probably a bobcat in the little cave near West Creek Falls in RMNP. When we got back to the trailhead from doing that hike, we met someone who was studying that area of the park and he said that he had also seen bobcats around that area. He even had pictures of them which he showed us. But yes, they, and other big cats are nocturnal, and you're not likely to see them.

We've seen the bighorn sheep a fairly good number of times over the years, (although not often over-all), and when we do see them, it's usually from the car, outside of the park. The area where we've seen them the most is between the Fall River entrance to the park, and Estes Park. We have rarely seen them around Sheep Lakes, which is where RNMP says to look for them. If you see them there, you're lucky :-). Anyway, the same applies for them as does for other wildlife in the park: as long as you don't get too close to them, (if they act nervous, you're too close), or act threatening, you are probably O.K. most of the time. You do need to be more careful of the rams during the fall rut, just as you do with the elk, and the deer.

Anyway, I hope this answers your questions, and thank you for the compliment on my site; I appreciate it very much :-).

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