One of the many reasons why people flock to this region of the United States is the abundance of wild animals that roam our majestic valley. If you are among the lucky few to own property in this beautiful valley, you will often have wildlife come to you. In fact, properties north of town and out on the West Bank such as our Grand Teton Views, Bar B Bar Meadows Oatgrass and Ryegrass properties and our one-of-a-kind Aspensong have year-round wildlife due to their privacy and peaceful lifestyle. If you aren’t on one of these properties, there are other places to see wildlife in Jackson Hole. Here our top 3 spots and times to find them.
The best time to see wildlife in Jackson Hole is early spring. Late April and early May is when the elk leave the refuge, bears come out of their den, moose move north into the park, and all other sorts of critters are out and about feeding. You really don’t have to go far to find them, although Gros Ventre Junction is a wonderful place to start for moose, elk and even buffalo. Our wild buffalo herd likes to make an appearance at Golf and Tennis during this time for their yearly “golf” tournament (they enjoy freshly mowed lawn). Big horn sheep can be spotted on the Elk Refuge, up on the rocky cliffs and if you are lucky, you might even catch a mountain lion up there too.
During this time, bears will be on the move near Jackson Lake Lodge. In fact, our most infamous Grizzlies, “399”, “610” and “Blondie”, all live near Jackson Lake Lodge. Wolves can be seen in Hayden Valley of Yellowstone after May 1st, usually in the early morning. Wolves and bears will be on the look-out for food and unfortunately will be near baby elk and deer. Fox and coyotes will be out in the fields preying on small rodents.
The second-best time would be in the fall when elk and moose are mating. Not only is it easy to hear their mating calls, but you can also easily find them in the creeks and valley floor. For moose, we recommend Fish Creek Rd where a large concentration seem to love the willow beds of the nearby creek. For elk, start by looking on Fall Creek Rd beyond Crescent H where our Aspensong rests. You will often find them in the fields as they head south towards Alpine and the SouthPark feed ground. The buffalo herd will be out in Kelly, often posing near Mormon Row under the Tetons. Bears will be headed for their dens so be sure to look up near Jackson Lake Lodge again. Wolves are still pretty elusive so be sure to look out for them in the early morning.
Lastly, the third best time to see wildlife is in the early morning when no one else is around. Animals do not like the heat of the day, nor do they like people. Thus, they are more active between first light and 8AM. We suggest taking a drive on Moose Wilson Rd at this time. Black bear, elk, moose, badgers, deer, and other smaller critters love this area. But be sure to drive slow, so as to not miss them or hit them.
If you are just visiting Jackson, it can be challenging to see animals as it is never a guarentee. They are not on our schedule. However, if you were to buy property in Jackson Hole, you would likely end up