The National Elk Refuge
Famous as the home for to up to 6,000 or 7,000 elk in the winter, the National Elk Refuge has so much more.
In the spring (April and May) thousands of elk migrate back to higher elevations, leaving the refuge seemingly empty. Do not be fooled! Families of bighorn sheep sprinkle Miller Butte, Trumpeter Swans play in the Flat Creek March and the Pinnacle Peak Wolves are likely out of sight. This live footage gives you a taste of the view from every room at Flat Creek Inn.
The National Elk Refuge is 24,700 acres of intermountain valley. You can walk, jog, bike, and drive through on the Refuge Road, accessible by East Broadway Street in the Town of Jackson, though you must stay on the road at all times. In addition to scenic beauty the Refuge has historical significance as well. Visit the over 100 year old Miller Ranch approximately 3/4 up the road. Open from 10:00am to 4:00pm during the summer volunteers will host you for a tour and tell you stories of the early homesteaders.
For more live views of the many gems in Jackson Hole visit our Webcams page.
Image Provided by: SeeJH
National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides
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 early April via a private contractor, Double H Bar, Inc.
The 2018 / 2019 season begins on Saturday, December 15 and is scheduled to run through Saturday, April 6. This represents the typical end of the season, though the schedule varies slightly from year to year depending on conditions. Wagons can be substituted for sleighs during spring-like weather when snow coverage is slim.
During the season, sleigh rides on the National Elk Refuge operate from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, including all weekends and holidays except for Christmas Day. The sleigh rides tickets are sold at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 North Cache Street, several blocks north of Jackson's Town Square. Visitors purchase their tickets at the Visitor Center and take a free shuttle bus to the sleigh boarding area three miles north of Jackson. Sleigh rides last approximately one hour, including the shuttle ride to and from the sleigh ride site. Accommodations for visitors with disabilities are available. Winter Visitor Center hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Reservations for sleigh rides are available but are not required. Reservations are requested for private tours and groups of 20 people or more.
Appropriate dress for a sleigh ride includes a warm coat, hat, gloves, and warm boots. Surprisingly, the temperature can feel significantly colder on the sleigh compared to conditions in town. Chilling winds often blow up the valley, and snowstorms can move in quickly. By dressing in layers, sleigh riders can adjust to changes in the temperature.
Children ages 5-12: $15
Children 4 and under: free
Private sleighs available through upon request.
Further information on group reservations is available below.
Contact information or to book a sleigh
The sleigh rides are operated by Double H Bar, Inc., a private contractor working with the National Elk Refuge. To inquire about a sleigh ride or make a reservation by phone, please call 307.733.0277 or 1.800.772.5386. To contact via email, please use firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the National Elk Refuge for providing this information from their website.
Photos courtesy of photographer Tony Cross
This year, the sleigh rides will look a little different. The health of the community and visitor’s to Jackson is our number one priority. In response to this, expect the following changes and adaptations to your favorite tour this winter:
- Ticket transactions and reservation check-ins will be made outside the GYVC in a portable building.
- The Double H Bar will be taking walk-in ticket purchases as usual, but reservations are recommended to minimize crowding and wait times.
- There will be no warm areas for gathering, so visitors should be prepared to stay in their cars or wait outside until shuttle boarding is available. Dress accordingly.
- Double H Bar will not provide blankets this year though attendees are welcome to bring their own.
- Masks are required unless otherwise stated.