National Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride from Jackson Hole

National Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride from Jackson Hole

Take an amazing sleigh ride across the winter landscape of the National Elk Refuge, the wintering grounds of the Jackson Hole Elk Herd. This unique experience has almost 100 years of tradition and is a one-of-a-kind national treasure.

When you climb into a horse drawn sleigh for a ride into the National Elk Refuge, you will find yourself in the middle of an adventure unlike any other. This almost century-long tradition is a very special wildlife activity. It's an amazing and exciting way to discover, first-hand, new things about the area's wildlife.

As you venture across the Refuge to the sounds of snow crunching beneath the horse's feet, you will encounter sights that can only be found in the National Elk Refuge.

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Tour/Activity Details


20 to 30 minutes


10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily (Mid December to early April) (conditions permitting)

Please Note:Time on order calendar is for booking purposes only. This tour departs every 20-30 minutes and your voucher is valid for any single departure. Please Note - during the Christmas/New Year season, guests must call a phone number provided on their E-Ticket to schedule a specific departure time.

Tour does not include hotel pick-ups. Prices are per person and Do Not include gratuity. Please order online or call to order or for more information.


In Jackson Hole, you will have the opportunity to see thousands of elk that make the National Elk Refuge their home for the winter season.

You may also encounter other wildlife such as eagles, coyotes, foxes, badger, bison, deer, wolves as well as trumpeter swans, ducks, geese and a variety of other birds.

Surrounded by some of Wyoming's most scenic landscapes including the Grand Tetons, this is a special opportunity that few people get a chance to take advantage. Each ride, every day, is unique with the unlimited combinations of things to see.

This adventure is for all ages and will be remembered as a highlight of your visit to the Jackson Hole area with memories that will last forever!

Tour does not operate on Christmas Day.

No food, drink or pets allowed on the sleigh.

Blankets are provided.

History of the National Elk Refuge

Hundreds of years before the settlement of the continent, elk ranged from the eastern states through central and western North America. They grazed the open prairies, mountain valleys, and foothills. As settlers pushed slowly westward, the distribution of the elk was rapidly reduced to the western mountains. By 1900, elk had disappeared from more than 90 percent of their original range.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s as more people settled in Jackson Hole, homesteads, cattle, fences, and farming encroached on traditional elk migration pathways and wintering areas. Severe winters, reduced elk forage, and decreased habitat contributed to the starvation deaths of thousands of elk. While homesteaders and other locals needed to protect their domestic cattle herds and haystacks, they still wanted to have large, healthy elk herds in the valley. As a result of that growing concern, the homesteaders and locals began feeding the elk. In 1912, the refuge was formed and they continued to feed the elk with horse drawn sleighs.

With the growing awareness of the elk through the late 1800s and early 1900s, sleigh rides for the general public evolved. They started with people climbing onto the sleighs as they headed out to feedings. Because of the growing popularity, the refuge arranged for more drivers and sleighs to handle the people who wanted to view the elk. In 1965, the refuge contracted out the first sleigh rides as a direct result of the numbers of people wanting to view the herd. This tradition continues today as thousands people have the opportunity to enjoy the elk herd from horse drawn sleighs.

Today the refuge consists of nearly 25,000 acres devoted to elk winter range. This represents the last remaining elk winter range in Jackson Hole. The National Elk Refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is one of more than 545 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This system was established to preserve a national network of lands and waters for the conservation and management of the fish, wildlife and plants of the United States for the benefit of present and future generations.

Tour does not include hotel pick-ups. Prices are per person and Do Not include gratuity. Please order online or call to order or for more information.

Cancellation Policy

There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change policy

If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.

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Use the form below to select the date for your reservation. Calendar defaults to first available date. Please verify your date selection prior to submitting your order.

If you are unable to select a date, it means the tour is unavailable on that date.

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Rates All rates are in US Dollars

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