If you want to experience the best of Jackson Hole in the winter then this is the wildlife tour for you! Your day will begin with a light breakfast before heading off into the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park in search of the area’s abundant wintering wildlife. Thousands of mule deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and bison migrate into the valley in search of food each year along with coyotes, fox, bald and golden eagles, swans, and even packs of wolves. This gathering of wintering wildlife makes winter one of the best times to view wildlife in Jackson Hole!
After a full morning in the field, we will enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant before heading back out for the afternoon. When available, we will take a horse-drawn sleigh through the National Elk Refuge into the middle of the largest wild elk herd in North America. Following the sleigh ride, we will head back into the field to spot more wildlife.
**Sleigh rides are optional and, depending on your comfort level with close contact with other groups, are not a required activity. If you decide not to do the sleigh ride, your guide will plan for more time in the field looking for wildlife. We will confirm this with you before your trip departure.
Note: Sleigh rides operate mid-December through late March/early April, depending on conditions. When sleigh rides are not available, we will spend that time in the field instead.
Professional naturalist guide
Small group safari: 8 guests per vehicle, maximum
Assorted snack basket
Lunch at a local restaurant
Hot and cold beverages
Use of UHD binoculars and spotting scopes
Activities (when available)
National Park entrance fees
All guests are picked up and returned to their place of lodging. We pick up at hotels and condos in Jackson and Teton Village. Your exact pick up time will be determined by your hotel location and the season. Please make note of your pickup time, and save it for your reference.
Please give your guide an additional 5-10 minutes before and after the scheduled time to allow for other pickups or traffic conditions.
Changes to trip timing may be made to accommodate daylight and/or optimum wildlife viewing.
Approximate pickup times for Jackson Hole include:
November 1 – February 28/29
- 7:00 AM – Teton Village locations
- 7:15 AM – Wilson, Aspens, Amangani and Spring Creek locations
- 7:30 AM – Town of Jackson locations
March 1 – April 30
- 6:30 AM – Teton Village locations
- 6:45 AM – Wilson, Aspens, Amangani and Spring Creek locations
- 7:00 AM – Town of Jackson locations
All private safari guests are picked up at 7:00 AM from November – February, and 6:30 AM from March – April regardless of the hotel location.
I would recommend this safari to anyone. Go early in your trip to get acquainted with the park, and you'll be very glad you did!
Safari Tour Gallery
What is the best winter tour in Jackson Hole?
Our full day “Best of Jackson Hole” tour is designed to offer the best opportunities at finding wintering wildlife in Jackson Hole. This tour travels along the National Elk Refuge, where you’ll see elk wintering in the valley. You may even see a coyote, or a wolf, hoping for an opportunistic meal. If your time is limited, we do offer half day tours that depart in the morning and the afternoon, but a full day tour is recommended for the best opportunities to see wildlife.
What are the best things to do in Jackson Hole during the winter?
Jackson Hole may be known as a world-class ski destination, but many winter visitors are dazzled by the abundance of wintering wildlife that can be seen right outside (and sometimes in!) the town of Jackson. Winter brings some animals to the valley floor in search of lower elevations for the winter months. The National Elk Refuge is home to 5,000+ elk each winter and moose, coyote, fox, eagles, swans, and other wildlife can be seen around the valley in the winter months. For the best opportunities at winter wildlife watching, we recommend a full day with a guide on the “Best of Jackson Hole” wildlife tour.
What do others say about this tour?
First and foremost, our guide was AMAZING. We couldn’t have asked for a more knowledgeable, friendly, and fun guide. He fit right in with us, and helped make our day so memorable. We did the full day safari with sleigh ride through the elk refuge, and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We were also lucky enough – thanks to our guide’s good eye – to have a “3 dog day.” Meaning we saw wolves, a fox, and coyotes at the very end. Highly recommend spending a day with this tour group.
We went for a full day private safari tour. It was one of the best tour experiences we had. Our guide was fun, informative, accommodating, and a wealth of knowledge about local culture, wildlife and history. The visibility that day was low, but we got to see moose, bison, big horned sheep, grouse, coyote feasting on some carcass and of course the elk (the elk reserve sleigh ride is conducted by a separate company and was woven into our safari trip) – all in their natural habitats. It was wonderful and we can’t wait to come back again in spring to check out the baby animals and hopefully we can travel with the same guide again.
Our guide gave us an in depth introduction to Jackson Hole, the wildlife, and the history of Wyoming and the West as it was being developed. We were able to see bison, a mother moose and her baby, big horn sheep, elk and an eagle. No matter what question we asked, our guide was able to provide an answer which was amazing because our questions ranged from nature, town infrastructure, Wyoming in general, etc. He explained the importance of each animal and the balance needed in nature. He gave my teenagers great photography tips. It was a perfect and wondrous day and one of our favorite excursions of all time. In addition, masks were worn at all times due to covid, hand sanitizer was readily available, snacks and water were provided and we had a lovely lunch. Thank you for a great day!
Our tour guide was exceptional with many years of experience regarding the area and where to locate wildlife. Everything was so easy from the initial booking, getting picked up where I was staying and having the day planned out. It was a worthwhile experience seeing bald eagles, moose, bison, coyote, sheep and elk. We had use of binoculars and a spotting scope for greater enjoyment. The sleigh ride into the elk refuge was a great visual and learning experience. This was a great day off from skiing!
Guides and Staff
Local, experienced, and passionate guides and photographers.
For the Love of Jackson Hole’s Moose
December 15, 2016
In the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton, the National Park Service estimates we have slightly less than 1000 moose with approximately 200 of them in Yellowstone and the remainder in the Tetons. Moose move around to prime feeding grounds throughout the year. In late spring and summer moose are found in riparian (wetlands, river banks and beaver dammed rivers) areas. During the fall and winter, moose gradually move into the sagebrush-bitterbrush meadows and fir-spruce forests.
Extraordinary Wildlife on the National Elk Refuge
February 26, 2020
Guides in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are fortunate. We are able to witness some of the best wildlife in the world, and our most bountiful single species is the elk. We become, through our time and efforts, intimately acquainted with them in all their seasons of life. We cherish the moments we are lucky enough to watch them, in their world, seemingly oblivious to our presence (though we know better).