“Helping protect the Elk population”
The National Elk Refuge is located in the U.S. state of Wyoming and was created in 1912 to protect habitat and provide sanctuary for the largest elk (also known as the wapiti) herd on Earth. The refuge borders the town of Jackson, Wyoming on the northeast while Bridger-Teton National Forest is to the east and Grand Teton National Park borders the refuge to the north. It is home to an average of 7,500 elk each winter. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Elk migrate from as far away as southern Yellowstone National Park and historically migrated south of the present location of the refuge into southwestern Wyoming during the fall, wintering on grassy plains that were usually snowfree most of the winter. During the spring, the herd would follow the retreating snows back into the Yellowstone National Park region. The original size of the elk herd has been estimated to have been in excess of 25,000. The expansion of the town of Jackson blocked off the migration route by the end of the 19th century and the elk herd was severely reduced in size due to the hostile climate and lack of food supply.
Just outside of Jackson sits a haven for endangered animal species, including one of the country’s largest elk herds. The refuge is the destination for thousands of elk that migrate south from Yellowstone and surrounding areas each winter.
Seeing the elk is amazing! In the winter, the refuge hosts sleigh tours to view the elk and their natural habitat. We think a visit here is one of the best things to do when visiting Wyoming.
Very cool. Lots to see and quite amazing.
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National Elk Refuge
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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