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National Elk Refuge Tours

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National Elk Refuge
Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Elk Refuge protects a 24,700-acre (10,000-hectare) winter habitat for the Jackson Elk Herd and several other endangered species of mammals, birds, and fish. With Grand Teton National Park as a backdrop, visitors can spot 47 species of mammals and nearly 175 species of birds.
 
The Basics
The National Elk Refuge represents one of the best wildlife viewing opportunities from Jackson Hole. Visitors can choose to explore independently by driving along Refuge Road or join a guided tour of the land. Sleigh rides are popular in winter, while walking and biking tours occur in the summer.
 
The Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located in the southwest corner of the refuge, offers information on the history and habitats of the surrounding landscapes. History buffs should stop at historic Miller Ranch to learn about the first homesteaders to settle in the area. A visit to the refuge can also be combined with a tour of Grand Teton National Park.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The National Elk Refuge is a must-visit for families and wildlife enthusiasts visiting Jackson Hole.
  • Visit the refuge on a half-day tour, or combine it with Grand Teton National Park for a full day of wildlife viewing.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife, for both your safety and the animals’.
  • Dress in layers with sturdy shoes, and don’t forget to bring sun protection, even in winter.
 
How to Get There
The entrance to the National Elk Refuge is just a mile from Jackson Hole. Most visitors drive there independently, though it’s also possible to join a wildlife watching tour with included round-trip transportation from Jackson Hole hotels.
 
When to Get There
It’s possible to spot wildlife at the refuge year-round, but the best time for elk sightings is near dawn or dusk during the winter months, when some 5,000 elk come to the refuge to overwinter. If you visit during summer, ask at the visitor’s center for suggestions on where to spot elk.
 
ElkFest
Each weekend before Memorial Day, the Jackson Hole community gathers in Town Square to celebrate ElkFest. Among the main events is an antler auction, where thousands of pounds of elk antlers collected by the National Elk Refuge staff are sold to benefit the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Jackson District Boy Scouts.

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6 Tours and Activities to Experience National Elk Refuge

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Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge Winter Day Trip

Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge Winter Day Trip

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There’s a special beauty to Grand Teton National Park in the snowy silence of winter, free of the summertime crowds. On this Grand Teton day trip from Jackson Hole, a guide helps you search for bison and bighorn sheep, and you could also see moose, coyotes, eagles, or even wolves. In addition, visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art as well as the National Elk Refuge, where you ride past herds of powerful elk on a comfortable, horse-drawn sleigh.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$199.00
From
US$199.00
Taking safety measures

Best of Jackson Hole Wildlife Private Safari Tour

Best of Jackson Hole Wildlife Private Safari Tour

star-5
Explore Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge in search of wintering wildlife. After convenient hotel pickup in Jackson Hole and a light breakfast, travel with your guide to search for moose, big horn sheep, bald eagles, elk, and wolves. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and, if visiting between December and March, a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the largest elk heard in North America.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$1,275.00
per group
From
US$1,275.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Grand Teton Wildlife Private Safari Tour

Half-Day Grand Teton Wildlife Private Safari Tour

star-5
Jackson Hole may be known as a winter sports hub, but skiers and snowboarders often miss the majestic wildlife that make the Tetons truly spectacular. On this half-day wildlife tour, join a naturalist guide on the search for the region's wintering creatures, from elk and bison to bighorn sheep. Take in the natural beauty of the region's mountain ranges, enjoy breaks for scenic photo ops, and refuel with a light breakfast, included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$765.00
per group
From
US$765.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Half Day Grand Teton Wildlife Safari Tour

Half Day Grand Teton Wildlife Safari Tour

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This half-day wildlife viewing tour takes in the splendor of the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park. Travel into the great American outdoors with an interpretive guide who shares insightful commentary on the region’s natural and cultural history. Cast your lens on herds of bison, pronghorn,  elk and more. Hotel pickup and drop-off from central Jackson Hole is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$145.00
From
US$145.00
Taking safety measures

Luxury Private Grand Teton Full-Day Tour and Sleigh Ride

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Luxury Private Grand Teton Full-Day Tour and Sleigh Ride

Enjoy your hot coffee and fresh pastries while en route to a horse drawn sleigh ride on The National Elk Refuge at sunrise. This spectacular setting is home to elk, herds of bison, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, coyotes and eagles. The National Elk Refuge is the wintering ground for thousands of elk that seek the low valley in order to better endure the harsh winter. From there, you will travel into the Grand Teton National Park. Your guide will pick a special place to enjoy a boxed lunch and share their knowledge on the ecosystem and geology. You will continue your day seeing multiple mountain ranges, viewing historic structures and seeing the hidden gems of the area. Our guides will take the time to see what your individual interests are and cater their dialogue to your desires. Guides are well versed in the animals and the scenery but also the history, geology, thermal activity, ecology etc. and they always know the best hiding spots!
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$1,020.00
per group
US$1,275.00
US$255.00 savings
From
US$1,020.00
per group
US$1,275.00
US$255.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Luxury Private Half-Day Grand Teton Tour & Sleigh Ride

Luxury Private Half-Day Grand Teton Tour & Sleigh Ride

Dressed in winter white and bathed in endless sunrise and sunset colors, the Teton Mountain Range offers endless photo opportunities. The tour will start with a beverage of your choice and/or a snack while en route to a horse drawn sleigh ride on The National Elk Refuge. This spectacular setting is home to elk, herds of bison, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, coyotes and eagles. The National Elk Refuge is the wintering ground for thousands of elk that seek the low valley in order to better endure the harsh winter. From there, you will travel into the Grand Teton National Park. Stops may include Gros Ventre, Moose-Wilson Corridor, Pacific Creek, Oxbow Bend, Willow Flats, Pilgrim Creek and/or Colter Bay.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$1,075.00
per group
From
US$1,075.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience National Elk Refuge?

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(888) 651-9785
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