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 + Directions
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.