National Elk Refuge
National Elk Refuge
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
A wildlife refuge located north of Jackson, WY that provides winter habitat for Jackson's elk herd. Seasonal hours of operation are listed on the web site for the Visitor Center, Historic Miller Ranch, and Winter Sleigh Ride tours.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Tours & experiences
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  • TexasGal
    Wimberley, Texas39 contributions
    Elk, Elk, Everywhere
    What an experience to see big bull Elk up close and personal. The tour guide was both fun and educational. This is a wonderful and inexpensive tour that I highly recommend! It is windy and cold on the open range so bundle up!!
    Visited February 2023
    Written March 2, 2023
  • George9
    Richmond, Virginia105 contributions
    Must Do!
    We’ve been to the Jackson Hole area three time. Today we stuck gold with the tour. Amazing Awesome Professional staff. Sense of awe when you actually mingle with the elk and history.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 7, 2023
  • Ryan L
    10 contributions
    Jaw Drop- Largest Elk Herd in North America
    This was one of the highlights of our trip to Jackson. If you enjoy wildlife, then this sleigh ride is a must. 7,500 elk, the largest herd in north America, and it is unbelievable. This trip will get you up close and personal into the herd. Pro tip: it is colder than you think, but totally worth it.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 7, 2023
  • sarah v
    Devon, United Kingdom104 contributions
    Well worth a Visit.
    Excellent place to visit. Free to get in. We were not going to visit this place, but on our last day in Jackson Hole we had a bit of spare time before our flight back to the UK, and we were so please we visited this place. We seen some ELK grazing there. We watched a very interesting film all about the Elk migration...but we had also see loads of ELK in yellowstone. It as a very relaxing & interesting place to visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 3, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
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Excellent
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Average
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Poor
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Terrible
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Southern_Siren
Nashville, TN265 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
The wagon ride onto the refuge was $27 pp so if you have a car, or are staying close, there is no reason to pay for an expensive tour. Tickets are available at the white trailer parked in front of the visitor center. A shuttle will take you to the refuge and bring you back.

Take a blanket with you if it is cool - or you can purchase one from the ticket booth.

It was a short tour and moderately informative ride. Our driver was good spirited and tolerated a very inquisitive group of riders very well. He informed us that his family holds a contract with the federal government to run the excursions, so he grew up doing these tours. They also do rides, camping, and chuck wagon experiences throughout the year (differing locations).

It was nice to get to visit the horses up close after the ride. They are HUGE.

You can drive around the refuge and there are trails around the backside over the butte. I’m sure you can find most of the info on the website 😅 but it’s nice to hear the details from a live person.

We stayed at Rustic Inn, just up the way and didn’t realize until our last few days that we had a direct view to the refuge from a park across the street. 😅
Written April 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

duck8to
Montville, NJ6,864 contributions
Sep 2019
The National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole Wyoming was established by an Act of Congress in 1912 It is one of 568 National Refuges. Prior to 1912 elk migrated through this area for centuries. One end of the refuge is located near the Jackson Visitor Center. It is here in the winter that tickets can be bought for their sleigh ride to see the elk. From the visitor center and van takes you to where the sleighs are located. The sleighs take you into the refuge to where the elk are located. You can not get out of the sleigh and binoculars are a real asset. Blankets are available for use. With wind and temperatures in the 20's or lower, blankets are useful. The mini -vans run every 20 minutes during the season.

As a National Refuge, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, wildlife photography, education and interpretation are acceptable uses of the refuge. There is an observation deck at the visitor center.

The refuge is 6 miles wide and 10 miles long. Predominate trees are aspen, blue spruce, willow and Douglas fir. The topography of the land consists mostly of marsh ta and meadows with some rocky outcrops. The elevation ranges from 6,300-7,200. There are roads that will take you into the refuge. Dawn and dusk are key times if you want to see wildlife. Most other times in the day you are likely to see nothing. Elk, pronghorn sheep, mule deer, moose, coyote, wolves, bear and a large assortment of birds can be seen at times.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marts03
Poughkeepsie, NY96 contributions
Dec 2020
Visiting the National Elk Refuge is safe and easy despite Covid. Tickets are available for purchase on-line or at the Jackson Hole Visitors Center. A school or shuttle bus drives the ~2 miles to where the horse-drawn sleighs are. And then the sleigh ride itself is about 1 hour with about 10 people. Although outside, masks are required as it is not possible to space 6 feet in the sled. Also, blankets are not provided due to Covid so bring your own if needed. The time in the sleigh was both informative as well as impressive being close to so many elk. After the ride, you can get pictures of the horses and then hop back on the bus to the Visitors Center. This is a great experience for people of all ages.
Written December 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nolajanie
New Orleans, LA36 contributions
Feb 2020
We called ahead to make a reservation for 3:30pm but were able to take an earlier tour as they leave about every 20 minutes. Reservations are really not necessary as the tours are frequent. The guides were knowledgeable and who doesn't like a sleigh ride drawn by beautiful horses. Blankets are provided....temps were in the low 20s F and skies a little overcast but we wore ski jackets and were comfortable. I wouldn't do it again, but also think it is worthwhile and a must do for any visit to Jackson Hole! Great for solo, couples, family!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hope S
5 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
My boyfriend and I went March 2019. I was just irritated that someone claimed the cover photo is fake. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, it’s not fake, and I attached photos I took myself. I’m sure the time of year you go has a lot to do with it. We had a great trip. The sun was out so it was actually quite warm. They provided blankets in the sled just in case (pre-COVID). Not sure what they do now. The elk were used to the sleigh and didn’t run away. We did have someone in the sled that felt the need to start making noises with their mouth and that caused a few elk to get up, and wonder away. Don’t be that person. I would definitely do this activity again. The guide was very friendly, knowledgeable and people did give him cash tips.
Written November 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mca602017
Macon, GA18 contributions
Mar 2022
You MUST go!!!!!! It was easy to sign up, the cost was reasonable, the shuttle out was nice, our driver was knowledgeable and made sure that all of our questions were answered. It was amazing to see the animals.......I HIGHLY recommend this experience!!!!!
Written March 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Krissy765
Indianapolis, IN133 contributions
Sep 2020 • Family
This is a fun distraction while driving to the Tetons National Park. One morning we were surprised buy the running elk. It was really exciting watching them run fairly close to the traffic. Lots of people capturing photos
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ann B
7 contributions
Dec 2019 • Family
The Elk Refuge sleigh tour and our guide/driver was excellent. Our guide explained about Elk survival and habit and showed us through the reserve which was beautiful. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and even took the time to explain that the horse drawing the sleigh was extremely capable of pulling us all. It is a well worthwhile trip to see the reserve, the elk and to learn a lot more about their habitat and survival.
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5Pittsburghers
Pittsburgh, PA32 contributions
Jan 2020
Just amazing..seeing these beautiful creatures up close and in their habitat. We had the best guide who was both knowledgeable and funny. Other than my family of 5, there were 2 other people which gave us ample opportunity to ask questions. The guide was so respectful as to not disturb the elk in any way. We drove out in the sleigh and stopped in the middle of the herd which were very active - we even saw two elk jostling each other's antlers. It was very windy on the plain and I highly suggest wearing a warm hat and even ski/snowboard pants. A warm blanket is provided, but even on a 30 degree day we would have been cold with the wind blowing if not properly dressed. If you have time, check out the visitor center. Lots to see and learn! Well worth the time and money! Be sure to tip your guide !
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mr. P
Moraga, CA6 contributions
Oct 2020
This was the first thing I did the first morning and I was blessed to see an elk who must have just woken up. He appeared out of nowhere and crossed the road right in front of me. He let me look at him for quite a while. Made my day!
Written December 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Elk Refuge - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)