Visitor Activities

Visitor Services Promo

Recreation activities on wildlife refuges, commonly referred to as the "Big 6," include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.

  • ElkFest

    Antler Auction

    Since 1968, antlers collected on the National Elk Refuge have been sold annually at a public auction on the Jackson Town Square. The antler auction is now part of a weekend-long community celebration called ElkFest, taking place on the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.

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  • Hunting

    Hunting Promo

    Hunting is the primary management tool used to control the size of the Jackson Elk Herd and its main source of mortality. The first hunting season on the refuge occurred in 1943, but hunting did not become an annual event until 1955.

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  • Fishing

    Fishing Promo

    Fishing on Flat Creek is a challenging but popular angling experience in late summer.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing Promo

    The National Elk Refuge offers outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities, particularly during the winter months. Visitors can choose from a guided trips such as a sleigh ride offered in the winter, enjoy a walk or bicycle ride on the multi-use pathway from May through October, or explore the Refuge Road and other Jackson Hole valley locations on their own with maps and suggestions from visitor center staff.

    Special regulations and guidance are key to reducing stress to wintering wildlife and are outlined in a Winter Wildlife Viewing link.

  • Interpretation

    Interpretation Promo

    Interpretive programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. The National Elk Refuge offers both formal programs and opportunities to talk with a naturalist in an informal setting.  

  • Environmental Education

    Environ Educ Promo

    Refuge naturalists and volunteers are available for environmental education programs. By calling well in advance, staff can create a program to meet your curriculum needs. Contact the refuge at (307) 733-9212 at least two weeks prior to your planned visit to schedule a program.

  • Photography

    Photography Promo

    The National Elk Refuge offers wonderful year-round opportunities for wildlife and scenic photography. Be sure to visit the National Elk Refuge photo gallery to view scenes from the refuge.

    The National Wildlife Refuge System offers tips to enhance your wildlife photography.

    All commercial uses require special use permits, including professional photographers, videographers, and media.

  • Multi-use Pathway


    A beautiful, scenic pathway runs along the western boundary of the National Elk Refuge. The pathway is part of a large network of multi-use paved trails operated by the Jackson Hole Community Pathways. Walkers, runners, and cyclists can enjoy stunning views of the refuge from May 1 through October 31.

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