The National Elk Refuge, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was established in 1912 to provide winter habitat and preserve the Jackson elk herd. The Refuge is an integral component of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem; it is bounded by Grand Teton National Park and a wilderness area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Refuge receives nearly 1 million visits annually.
While elk are the primary reason for the refuge, other animals including bison, bighorn sheep, moose and deer are common in the winter. Small mammals such as coyotes, badgers, beaver and voles can also be seen. Birds are easily spotted year round, including hawks, eagles, ducks, trumpeter swans, and sandhill cranes.
The Jackson elk herd was used as a nucleus herd to replenish other elk herds and elk re-introductions across the country.
The migration of the Jackson Hole Elk is the longest herd migration of elk in lower U.S.
It is winter range for the largest bison herd (more than 800) in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
It is the world's largest wintering concentration of elk with national and international significance.
The Visitor Center is located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson and includes displays, educational programs and trip planning assistance.
Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer.