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    Why You Should Hire a Wildlife Guide in Jackson Hole

    By Visit Jackson Hole

    Jackson Hole is well known for its iconic winter wildlife, including moose, bison, elk, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and maybe even wolves. While driving around and looking for wildlife on your own is a great way to spend a day, hiring a wildlife guide can help maximize your viewing experience.

    What can I expect on a winter wildlife tour?

    Numerous wildlife tour companies in Jackson Hole offer a variety of options, including half-day, full-day, and multi-day tours. Winter tours can focus solely on viewing wildlife from a vehicle or incorporate options like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography, and other activities, like a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Many tours focus on Grand Teton National Park, some include a stop at the National Elk Refuge, and others (including multi-day options) extend into Yellowstone National Park. Many companies will also put together a specialized private tour upon request.

    Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures
    What are the advantages of going with a guide?

    Generally, guides will pick you up at your hotel or another convenient location in Jackson and provide transportation so you don’t have to worry about navigating unfamiliar roads in winter. Guides know the best spots to see different animals, have in-depth ecological knowledge, and frequently communicate with other guides to gather the latest intel on where people have been spotting animals recently. They may also provide viewing equipment like binoculars or spotting scopes, and some provide meals and snacks. Be sure to check with your outfitter so you know what they provide and what to expect.

    What wildlife can you see in winter?

    Bison, moose, elk, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and maybe even wolves, are just a few of the wildlife species you might be able to see in the winter in Jackson Hole and surrounding areas. Also keep an eye out for the little critters like ermines that turn white each winter.

    Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures
    What should you bring on a winter wildlife tour?

    Bring your long lens for photography, and be prepared to see wildlife from a distance so you don’t disturb them. An advantage of a winter visit is that you’ll not only see wildlife set against the snowy winter landscape but there will also be fewer crowds in the parks than in the busy summer season. Be sure to bundle up and dress in layers to enjoy your winter outing best. Check with your outfitter to see if they recommend bringing specific items with you for your tour. Be sure to check what your tour includes, since oftentimes, things like national park entrance fees and gratuities are not included.

    Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures
    Where can you find a winter wildlife tour guide?

    Numerous companies offer wildlife tours in the Jackson Hole area. Browse local companies, consider your schedule and desires, and find the best option for your visit. Learn more about winter wildlife tour guide options here.