One of the great pleasures of exploring Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the intimacy of the view. Winter only enriches the opportunity to experience wildlife in its most unfiltered of settings, where the quietude of the landscape is so immense, the soft sound of snowflakes pillowing upon the ground can still be heard between the rhythmic exhalations of steam from a bison’s snout. Within this environment, the exotic and fantastical only swell in mythical stature the longer we train our eyes upon them. This is Jackson Hole winter wildlife at its most raw and beautiful. Absorb every moment in its fullest.

Jackson Hole Winter Wildlife

National Elk Refuge

Even the most boundless of imaginations would be stunned by the sheer vastness of the largest elk herd on Earth. By current estimates, the Jackson Elk Herd protected within this sanctuary is numbered at more than 11,000, an arresting sight for even the most worldly of wildlife enthusiasts. Yet the National Elk Refuge holds more than its name implies, playing home to everything from bighorn sheep and pronghorn to a herd of bison more than a thousand-head strong. Imagine taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride among an elk herd numbering in the thousands or take a drive through the refuge. Click for more information on taking a sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge.

Jackson Hole Winter Wildlife Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride

Yellowstone National Park

There may not be a more appropriate setting for experiencing Mother Nature’s most magnificent species than Yellowstone. The winter landscape creates a dramatic aura around creatures hardly lacking of such: moose, elk, bison, and big horn sheep, to name a few. Visitors can access the park via guided snowmobile tour, or by more aerobic means such as cross-country skis or snowshoes. Click for more information on winter in Yellowstone.

Jackson Hole Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Winter is a wonderful time to experience Grand Teton National Park. As the snow drapes a wintry blanket across the Teton Range, a peace settles over the landscape, offering a sharp contrast to the summer season for those who wish to capture the beauty of a Teton winterscape. The park’s main roadways are plowed and open for winter travel from the town of Jackson to Flagg Ranch just south of Yellowstone National Park. These travel routes offer outstanding mountain vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities. A variety of other trails for cross-country skiers or snowshoers offer winter visitors many ways to experience a snowy Teton wonderland. Click for more information on winter in Grand Teton.

Jackson Hole Winter Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

Bison, Bison bison, Yellowstone, USA

This article was published in the JHREA Winter 15/16 Catalog of Fine Properties provided by the Wyoming Office of Tourism. For more information on winter wildlife or winter activities visit  

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