INFONational Elk Refuge
Elk Refuge Road
Tel: 307 733 0277
Tickets are available at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 North Cache Street in Jackson.
Jackson, WY: Home on the range
If one elk inspires awe up close—and it does, with its imposing stature, placid eyes and antlers that can grow to be four feet long—consider making your way by sleigh through the snowy, barren landscape in the shadow of Sleeping Indian and Grand Teton mountains and coming upon thousands of them, dotting the range as far as the eye can see.
That's the scene awaiting you at the National Elk Refuge, home to more than 5000 wintering elk. The sleigh weaves you quietly through the herd as they nap or graze or even play, their hot breath puffing into the icy air.
Sleigh rides started here more than 100 years ago, when homesteaders began venturing out to feed the elk to keep their numbers up (today, the Fish and Wildlife Service feeds the herd starting in late winter), and the refuge was established in 1912 to provide a sanctuary for the largest elk herd on earth.
You can visit with these majestic animals from early December through mid-March, and you may even get lucky with cameos from a few other species, from bald eagles to wolves and moose.