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    Some Neighbors are Best Left Alone

    By Visit Jackson Hole
    Photo by Jake Davis

    Admire from afar

    In Jackson Hole, it’s common to cross paths with bison or catch a glimpse of a doe while on a hike.

    The animals have a home here in the wilderness—we’re just guests. And it’s important to take that sentiment seriously. Here’s how to view Jackson’s wildlife responsibly.

    Wildlife in the Winter.
    Keep a distance

    While the wildlife might look like big, stuffed animals, they’re still wild. Animals are unpredictable and can be dangerous to humans. Stay at least 25 yards away from most wildlife, and 100 yards away from predators like bears and wolves. Do not try to pet, feed or ride the animals. This could put you, and others around you, in danger. When traveling with dogs, make sure they are close and leashed. If you have any trash, make sure it is thrown away properly. Anything left out could be consumed by an animal, which can result in them becoming too comfortable around humans. If this occurs, Grand Teton National Park may have to euthanize the animal. Be vigilant. Their lives are not worth the proximity.

    Stop when safe

    Many roads in Jackson Hole run right through wildlife habitats and hot spots. Be mindful of your speed when passing through, especially at night when animals may be harder to spot. Keep an eye on the road at all times—it saves lives.

    When you find the scenery for that perfect photo, make sure you stop your car in a safe place. Maintain a safe distance from animals, stay in your car and don’t block others trying to get by.

    Your guides know best

    Guides across our parks are ready and equipped with vast knowledge about our local animals. Guides know the best time and spots to witness animals in their natural settings. Local spots like Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures, Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and more are ready to show you around. Tours fill up fast, so book now!

    Stay bear aware

    Both grizzly and black bears roam our lands, and seeing them is a unique experience you want to be prepared for. If you’re headed out on a trail, make sure to have bear spray handy. Travel in groups as much as you can and make extra noise in heavily wooded areas.

    On the occasion you do encounter a bear, do not run. Bears can run up to 35MPH, easily beating our speed as humans. Move away slowly and make yourself “look big.” While a bear charging you is not likely, if it does, use your bear spray and play dead on the ground. Do not move until the bear leaves the area.

    Closed means closed

    Closures on our roads are there for a reason. Sometimes they are there to nurture a critical habitat or healing land. It’s key to let these areas recover for the future of the park.

    Our wildlife were here first. They sustain the land and heighten the Jackson Hole experience for all of us. Be respectful and they’ll do the same.