Can I drive into the National Elk Refuge?
Yes! It’s easy to drive into the Refuge by taking (the aptly named) Refuge Road. During the winter months access is limited to only the first 3.5 miles so you don’t disturb the herd beyond. Be sure to check the winter weather conditions before you make the trek. Refuge Road can get a little icy following snowstorms.
Alternatively, there are great bike and walking paths that parallel the road if you prefer a more eco-friendly route.
How many elk are there in the National Elk Refuge?
On average, there are roughly 5,000 elk that migrate to the Refuge during the winter months. If you’re lucky you may even see more (herds of up to six to eight thousand have been reported!) Elk are usually seen on the Refuge December to April. In late spring, elk begin migrating off the Refuge toward their summer ranges. Between October and December, heavy snow push the elk down from high elevation summer ranges to lower elevations in Jackson Hole in search of food and shelter.
What other animals can I find in the National Elk Refuge?
The Refuge is a haven for a variety of wildlife in the area including bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, cutthroat trout, wolves, mountain lions, and grizzly bears.