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National Elk Refuge

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National Elk Refuge: Our most recommended tours and activities

Jackson: Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge Winter Day Trip

1. Jackson: Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge Winter Day Trip

After an early-morning pickup from your Jackson Hole hotel, your naturalist guide will take you to Grand Teton National Park. Even in the chilling winter, wildlife such as moose, bison, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, bald eagles, golden eagles, pronghorn, coyotes, or even wolves can be spotted in the park. You'll witness the beauty of the wide, snowy plains that stretch out to the jagged mountains as you learn about the ancient geology that gave rise to the landscape. At midday, escape the cold and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the famous western-cowboy town of Jackson, Wyoming. Then head back outside for a horse-drawn sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge, carrying you through the low valley that hosts thousands of wintering elk. Snap photos of the large herds as your guide explains how the elk migrate from the surrounding area to the refuge, a 24,700-acre (9,996-hectare) winter sanctuary hosting 47 different mammals and nearly 175 species of birds such as trumpeter swans and bald eagles. At the end of a memorable 8-hour tour of this winter wonderland, return to your hotel.

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Grand Teton National Park: Wildlife Tour and Sleigh Ride

2. Grand Teton National Park: Wildlife Tour and Sleigh Ride

Discover Grand Teton National Park during the winter on a full-day tour from Jackson Hole. View wildlife and learn about the history, geology, wildlife, and more from your local and professional guide. Spend the day looking for moose, elk, bighorn sheep, wolves, eagles, foxes, and other wildlife. Weather permitting, visit beautiful sights such as Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake. From mid-December to early April, this tour includes a 60-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride on the National Elk Refuge. Get up close to large elk for fantastic photo opportunities.  During the shoulder season, the tour does not include a sleigh ride. Instead, spend more time spotting wildlife. After an exciting day and plenty of great photos, the tour will end at the same location where you were picked up.

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From Jackson: 4-Day Grand Teton and Yellowstone Winter Tour

3. From Jackson: 4-Day Grand Teton and Yellowstone Winter Tour

• Day 1: Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge Meet your friendly guide and group and head off for an afternoon wildlife tour in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge in a heated Suburban or other 10-passenger vehicle. On the tour, you'll have your best chance of seeing moose in the park, along with wolves, coyotes, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and bison. Settle in for the night at your accommodation in Jackson, Wyoming.  • Day 2: National Elk Refuge sleigh ride and West Yellowstone, Montana Depart in the early morning from your Jackson lodging for a sleigh ride in the National Elk Refuge, filled with over 5,000 elk. After the ride, the tour will continue through Grand Teton National Park to West Yellowstone. Cross over the Continental Divide and enjoy some free time to shop in the historic town of West Yellowstone upon arrival. Spend the night at an accommodation in West Yellowstone, Montana.  • Day 3: Snowcoach tour into Yellowstone National Park Depart in the morning for a wintery visit to Yellowstone. Hop on the specialized winter vehicle that will take you to see the famous Old Faithful. Along the way, keep an eye out for bison and elk, and admire the beautiful scenery as you proceed toward the Madison River. Stops include Fountain Paint Pots and Old Faithful, where you can see geysers erupt and explore the area on foot. After lunch, head back to West Yellowstone, stopping for photos along the way. Spend the night in West Yellowstone, Montana.  • Day 4: West Yellowstone National Park to Jackson Hole, Wyoming Leave West Yellowstone in the morning and set off on a trip to the geological site where the Hebgen Lake Earthquake of 1959 occurred. Sit back, relax, and marvel at the beautiful winter scenery and deep snow on your way back through Island Park and on to Jackson Hole, where the tour will end.

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Other Sightseeing Options in National Elk Refuge

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What people are saying about National Elk Refuge

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 38 reviews

This trip was very well organized and full of wildlife viewing. Our guide, Sarah, was excellent. She was very knowledgeable, friendly, and went above and beyond to help spot all kinds of wildlife. Black wolf, Moose, Bison, Bighorn rams, Coyotes, Elks, and Trumpeter Swans. If you are looking for a winner experience, this is one I would highly recommend.

Kelsie was a wonderfully informed guide. Did not locate any of the 3 B’s ( Bears, Beavers or Badgers) , but not ei her control. Lol

Awesome ride! My 10, 14, 16 y/os loved it! Very informative. Our guide Phil talked in a way that kids would listen to him.

Love our guide Neil. He was very passionate, engaging and knowledgable. All of our family loved it!

Excellent experiences with tour and Andrew’s knowledge and other activities explore in Jackson