Local Attractions

National Elk Refuge

The Jackson elk herd has both national and international significance for its size, migration and significance in helping to restore other herds throughout the country. It was created in 1912 when public outcry over the herd’s destruction prompted the government to ensure it would be safe for years to come.

Elk stay on the 25,000 acre refuge for approximately six months out of each year. Their natural diet is supplemented during the harsher months to insure the stability of the herd’s population. Visitors can view the wildlife from the Refuge Road, the Miller Butte or Flat Creek Bird Viewing pull-out. From mid-December through early April, visitors can experience the thrill of a close look from a horse-drawn sleigh. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is located across from the Refuge, and offers a great vantage point to view the herd. You may also enjoy lunch at the Rising Sage Café. Sleigh rides are a great way to learn more about the history of the refuge from your knowledgeable guide. The Rusty Parrot Escape into Winter package includes a sleigh ride for two as well as Museum admission fees, along with a Wildlife tour, Snowmobile adventure, and dinner at the Wild Sage restaurant.

Visitors can do more than marvel at the enormity of the herd and magnificence of the animals, however. “Elk Fest” is a special time at the National Elk Refuge. Each May, antlers that have been collected throughout the refuge are sold in an auction format. Nearly five tons of antlers are sold within two hours! Eighty percent of the proceeds go to the Boy Scouts of America and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The refuge is truly a national treasure, and makes for a great trip while you’re here. It’s both a beautiful site and an incredible effort in animal management and conservation.

Let our concierge staff make all your arrangements in advance to insure the best experience.

For more information visit:

National Elk Refuge.