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Elk Refuge

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of what makes the National Elk Refuge unique and unparalleled in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Conservation of native species and their habitats is the core management mission of the Refuge.

The Refuge protects critically important habitat for numerous iconic species, including elk, bison, wolves, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and cutthroat trout. The landscape of the Refuge is primarily glacial outwash plain and rolling hills with a narrow, winding creek. The Refuge is surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountain Ranges.

National Elk Refuge

We invite you to discover Jackson's national wildlife refuge, the National Elk Refuge.

The 24,700+ acres of grasslands, wetlands, and forests conserved on the Refuge support a diverse assembly of plants and animals. The Refuge is a premier location for wildlife watching and photography, as well as hunting, fishing, and educational opportunities. Through conservation efforts, the Refuge serves to benefit the people of today and future generations.

Elk are typically visible on the Refuge from mid-December through early April. In late spring, elk begin migrating off the Refuge toward their summer ranges. Most elk will follow the receding snow line up to higher elevations in Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger Teton National Forest. From October through December, deepening snow pushes the elk down from high elevation summer ranges to seek food and shelter at lower elevations in Jackson Hole.

Visitors to the National Elk Refuge may experience their Refuge through a number of outdoor recreational opportunities.
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