National Elk Refuge , Jackson Hole

National Elk Refuge - A Quick Overview


Address: 675 E Broadway Ave, Jackson, WY 83001, USA, Jackson Hole, United States

Phone: +1-3077339212

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Time Required: 03:00 Hrs

Timings: 24-hrs Details

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About National Elk Refuge , Jackson Hole

Incepted in 1912 with an aim to provide a natural reserve to the significant Elk herd of Jackson Hole along with many other endangered species around, the refuge today has become one of the rare places in the world to witness these beautiful animals in their own habitat. Apart from elk, there are various birds, fishes, bisons, deer and other animals being preserved and managed in this refuge daily. For travellers planning to visit, must go there in winters as that is the only time when the sanctuary comes alive with wildlife specially elks flocking the place. The elk refuge has been spread over an area of 24,700 acres and provides a fresh breath of air for tourists who wish to delve into nature’s beauty for a while and enjoy its quiet and placid magic.

National Elk Refuge Information

  • Tickets for sleigh rides can be collected from Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Visitor Center.
  • Dawn and Dusk are best time for spotting an Elk.

National Elk Refuge Ticket Prices

  • Prices for activities such as sleigh rides may differ. Contact the respective authorities for more info. 

National Elk Refuge Opening and Closing Hours

Administrative office:

  • Monday to Friday : 8 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center:

  • From October 1- 9 AM to 5 PM daily.

How To reach National Elk Refuge by Public Transport

  • By Taxi
  • By Car

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National Elk Refuge , Jackson Hole Reviews

  • A beautiful undisturbed area closed off to almost all human activity to protect the elk. One of the only ways to access the area is by sleigh rides, which is a lot of fun. When we went, there wasn't much snow so we took a horse-drawn wagon with an excellent driver who had a lot of interesting information about the area and the Elk. We went very close to the elk and took some great photos. Bring warm clothes, the wind is intense!

  • A must-see when visiting Jackson. You can enter the Preserve and drive along the edge for free. There you will see bighorn sheep along the side of the road, as well as the elk from a distance. For an up-close-and-personal view of the elk, take the sleigh ride (on wheels when the snow cover is low) through the Preserve. Pick-up is at the Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Visitor’s Center. A shuttle bus takes you on a short ride to the Preserve entrance, where you are met by staff who hand you blankets and load you onto a sleigh/wagon drawn by beautiful draft horses (ours were Percherons, and they were gorgeous and huge!). The ride takes you out into the Preserve with a knowledgeable guide who explains all about the elks’ life stages, migration patterns, behavior, etc. It lasts about an hour, and you get very close to the herds. Cost is $15 for adults. Call for reservations. Insider tips: Go in the mid to late afternoon when the elk are active, and you will see lots of males “sparring” for fun. Earlier in the day, they tend to hunker down. Also, be sure to dress warm (hat, gloves, scarves and layers) because it gets really cold out in the wind on the Preserve.

  • Went the day after Christmas and enjoyed this time tested ride. Was good to be back and enjoy mother Nature. ($15) Be sure to drive the back side of the refuge and see the Bighorn Sheep licking the salt off the cars, its a *tip* from our guide Michael. Incredibly close up and wife took some great photos. Our guide was Michael and with proper clothing and blankets you will be warm enough. Recommend if you like nature when your in the area. Video of the (barely) sparring Elk on the YouTube Channel. Thanks for reading.

  • Amazing experience being right out among the elk. An American bald eagle waited in a tree for us to get plenty of photos before taking flight. The mountains were a perfect back-drop.

  • Absolutely Beautiful place. See wildlife that you could only see coming out west. Guides were great and had great information. Wear warm, windproof cloths.

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