A Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari
If you are a regular reader of this site, you will know that we are simply crazy about wildlife experiences. From a farm stay in Napa Valley to watching parrots feed on a clay lick in the Peruvian Amazon, animal encounters are at the forefront of our travels. Well, imagine our delight when we discovered that our Jackson Hole family ski vacation could also include a Grand Teton National Park tour to see moose, bighorn sheep, bison and more ! Adding a Jackson Hole eco tour to our weekend itinerary made for the perfect winter family getaway.
While I will tell you all about our Grand Teton wildlife safari with Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures, if you would like a quick little peek, check out this 1 minute video.
Jackson Hole Wildlife Tour – The Experience
When planning our Jackson Hole ski trip, we decided to base ourselves in the town of Jackson rather than at the mountain base of Teton Village. Our primary motivation for this was that we wanted to see what this quaint little western town had to offer after our ski day was done (lots it turned out). The town was also the perfect location to set out for our Sunrise Wildlife Tour with Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures since the meeting spot was right across from our fun little hotel (The Anvil). This allowed for a few minutes of extra shut-eye before we had to pop out the door in the morning, cross the street, and join our tour (Jackson is pretty small).
Upon meeting our biologist guide Shaun and 3 other wildlife-loving guests, we were off in a comfortable 4×4 truck. We were lucky to have a gorgeous bluebird morning, making the drive to the protected park area extra special as the sun lit up the Teton Mountain Range. It didn’t take long for us to have our first animal sighting – some grazing bison in a field, followed quickly by a pair of moose right on the road. The moose took me by such surprise (as is typical for me because I am always looking the wrong way) that I didn’t even get a photo of them! Thankfully, our expert guide had much more in store for us. As has been my experience with skilled wildlife guides, they have an uncanny ability to spot animals that no one else can see. Shaun, for example, would see an antler poking up from some grass in the distance (a moose), where I would only see a stick. Throughout our morning, we would continue on to see more bison, more moose, bighorn sheep, a coyote, a bald eagle and some elk.
It was a rather chilly morning, but we were kept warm in the truck, hopping out when we wanted to get a clearer look. We were each equipped with a pair of binoculars and our guide would also set up a telescope at key locations so we could get a more detailed view. He even helped me get my best photos of the tour through the lens. While we were all rather preoccupied, every time we stopped, he would offer us a snack and something warm to drink.
As a traveling family with a love of wildlife, we often book a trip based on seeing a certain species in its native habitat. It is important to me that we always partner with guides and tour providers that support education, responsible tourism and conservation. There were several things I really appreciated about Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures including the fact that their guides have an enormous amount of training and clearly have a passion for their chosen field. In fact, many hold advanced degrees in environmental studies, wildlife and natural resource management. (See guide bios here.) The company also donates 2.5% of all tour costs to local nonprofit organizations that contribute to the well being and conservation of The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In my research, I didn’t see any other Jackson wildlife tour companies doing the same. If you are considering a Jackson Hole wildlife tour, I think this company is a great choice. See a full list of their winter tours here.
Disclosure: We were welcomed by Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures with a complimentary Sunrise Wildlife Tour. All opinions in this post are entirely my own. As always on this site, I encourage you to also read reviews from other recent travelers before making a booking. Please see more reviews for Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventure here.