Wyoming’s incredible nature attracts thousands of visitors to the “Wild West” each year. From magnificent mammals to unique birds and fish, Jackson Hole wildlife is some of the most fascinating in the country. Observing these animals in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about visiting our native creatures. When the time comes to begin planning your trip, be sure to check out our free Jackson Hole Vacation Guide!
What You Need to Know About Jackson Hole Wildlife
What Kind of Wildlife Will I See in Jackson Hole?
The wildlife you’ll see here in Jackson Hole belong to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Each creature plays a unique role here, and each species is worthy of admiration. Here are just a few of the iconic animals to look out for as you explore Jackson Hole:
- American bison
- Bighorn sheep
- Grizzly bears
- Black bears
- Gray wolves
- Bald eagles
- And more!
Tips for Encountering Wildlife
Always remember to keep your distance from any wild animal (the general rule is to keep back at least 100 yards—the length of a football field). We also recommend preparing for potential encounters if you’re planning to hike or bike. Bear spray is a must! Though beautiful and interesting to watch, never approach a bear, moose, elk, or other wild animal (even if it’s small or seemingly docile). All wild animals can demonstrate unpredictable and dangerous behavior. Human encounters like feeding and taunting often end in tragedy for the creature. It could end in tragedy for you, too, if you aren’t careful!
How to Experience Our Native Creatures
Tour the National Parks and Refuges
The best and safest way to get up-close and personal with our animals is to go on a guided tour. At Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris, guests get to naturally encounter the amazing wildlife that roam Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. On one of these tours, you may see bison, elk, moose, and even bald eagles!
Discover the Backcountry
You can also take a 4-hour Eco-Tour Adventure, where you’ll travel through rugged backcountry in search of elusive creatures. You’ll learn all about the animals thanks to passionate and knowledgeable guides. Get ready to observe pronghorn, wolves, black bears, and even grizzly bears!
Go Fly Fishing
More interested in underwater wildlife? Jackson Hole has that, too! Experience fly fishing in Jackson Hole when you take a guided trip with Snake River Angler. Travel down the stunning Snake River and score various types of fish, including native Rainbow trout and rare Cutthroats. There are trips that accommodate all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned anglers. Fly fishing is a great way to get “hooked” on our wildlife!
Get Up Early and Hit the River
If you’re a morning person, there’s no better excursion than the Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures “Breakfast with the Eagles” trip. On one of these trips, guests push off into the river during the early morning hours. Expect to snuggle in warm blankets and watch majestic bald eagles fly overhead. The calm and serene sounds of the river will make this Jackson Hole wildlife experience one you’ll never forget.
Trust us—one of the best things to do in Jackson Hole is spot some of these incredible animals. The best part? You don’t even have to sign up for a tour! Stay at Bentwood Inn—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—and you may spot moose in the backyard over complimentary breakfast. We’re located along the edge of protected land and take great care to ensure our property is healthy and welcoming to wildlife. Learn more about our green initiatives, then pick your favorite room. See the video below for an up-close look at a family of moose roaming right through our backyard!