National Elk Refuge

Quick Facts

National Elk Refuge

Wyoming

(307) 733-9212

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

National Elk Refuge, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was established in 1912 to provide winter habitat and preserve the Jackson elk herd. The Refuge's nearly 25,000-acres provide a winter home for one of the largest wintering concentrations of elk, with nearly 7,500 animals annually. These animals also participate in one of the longest herd migrations of elk in the lower United States on their way to and from National Elk Refuge. In addition to elk, the largest free roaming bison herd in the National Wildlife Refuge System, about 700 animals, winters at the Refuge. A wide variety of habitats are found on the Refuge, including grassy meadows, marshes, timbered areas, sagebrush, and rocky outcroppings. A variety of waterfowl, including trumpeter swans, can be seen on nearly 1,600-acres of open water and marsh lands. At least 47 different mammals and nearly 175 different species of birds have been observed on the Refuge. Between November and May, the wildlife concentrations and diversity are so spectacular that this Refuge has been called the "Winter Serengeti."

Map of Nat'l Elk Refuge

Latitude, Longitude: 43.502785, -110.722910

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Activities

  • Fishing

    Refuge waters support a wild population of Snake River cutthroat trout. These fish are a unique variety of cutthroat species and are the only trout native to the area. Small numbers of brook, brown, and rainbow trout are also present. The harvest of non-native fish is strongly encouraged in order to reduce impact on the native cutthroat trout population.

  • Hiking

    Contact the refuge for more information on hiking trails.

  • Historic Sites

    The Miller House and surrounding land was the first property purchased by the Federal government to become part of the National Elk Refuge, established in 1912. The historic site, located approximately 3/4 mile north of the National Elk Refuge entrance on East Broadway Street in Jackson, is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the summer season.

  • Hunting

    Herd size management is an important objective of National Elk Refuge managers. Hunting helps to serve this objective and provide wildlife-dependent recreation to hunters. Hunters should review all regulations and maps prior to hunting on the Refuge

Seasonality/Weather

Open year-round. Contact the visitor center for seasonal availability.

Park Partners

Double H. Bar, Inc.

Imagine taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride among an elk herd numbering in the thousands. At the National Elk Refuge, such an adventure is available to winter visitors from mid-December through late March.

(307) 733-9212

Directions

Driving

The National Elk Refuge is located just northeast of the town of Jackson, Wyoming, and directly south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. U.S. Highways 26/191 pass directly through Jackson and 6 miles of refuge lands. The visitor center is located on the north side of Jackson at 532 North Cache Street, and the Refuge administrative headquarters is located on Broadway Street, 1 mile east of the Jackson town square.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(307) 733-9212

Links