Rut Returns to the Redwoods

Roosevelt Elk bugling, Elk Meadow Cabins, Orick (10/4/19) Justin Legge

The elk rut has returned to Redwood National and State Parks. Rut is the annual mating ritual of Roosevelt Elk, North America’s largest breed of elk.

The elk rut is one of California’s most dramatic fall wildlife displays, as massive bull elk challenge one another for the right to mate with herds of female elk cows. Young suitors playfight one another while bloody battles occur between the existing bull of a herd and his rivals.

It’s elk-styled Match.com, but with bugling, violent challenges and fights to exhaustion, as the ladies watch indifferently from afar.

To stay amidst the rut, book one of the Elk Meadow Cabins, north of Orick (US 101). There are limited services in Orick, but Trinidad – a short drive south – has restaurants and stores.

Six of the cabins have three bedrooms and two baths, one has two bedrooms and bath. All come with kitchens and living space and rent from $169 to $255 during rut season ending on Oct. 31. More about the cabins is found at elkmeadowcabins.com.