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5 Wyoming wildlife experiences

When reminiscing about Wyoming, a few things come to mind; western flare, skiing and, most predominately, wildlife. Thanks to the abundance of National Parks, nature preserves and protected land, Wyoming has a rich diversity of species roaming among the pristine terrain. Experiencing these creatures through tours by knowledgeable experts can be the most enriching thing you do while visiting the state of grassy plains and snowcapped mountains. EcoTour Adventures The highly educated naturalist guides from EcoTour Adventures provide a vast amount of knowledge while escorting passengers via safari style vehicle deep into the wilderness of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. With your guide’s trained eye, you’ll likely see a variety of animals and often tracks of those species more rare to catch out and about. Binoculars are provided to observe activity of animals further in the distance, and the rooftop hatches on each vehicle allow passengers to pop their heads out for a better look, while remaining safely within the vehicle. EcoTour Adventures tightly adheres to Wyoming’s conservation efforts by respecting the space of wildlife, staying on the same path through each trip, and using biodiesel fuel. Local snacks like bison jerky, fresh roasted coffee and organic muffins are a welcomed treat included in the tour. ALTBecotour National Museum of Wildlife Art Composed of stone, wood and other natural material, the National Museum of Wildlife Art sits on a hillside parallel to the National Elk Refuge. “We exist to enrich and inspire appreciation and knowledge of humanity’s relationship with nature,” states the official site. While it’s not your typical wildlife adventure, visiting the museum is an important part of understanding not only Wyoming’s connection with animals, but the world’s. An extensive collection of sculptures, paintings and displays line the hallways and small rooms of the rustic styled museum. One special room, in particular, features a broad picture window complete with a telescope to view wintering elk in the refuge. ALTBMuseum National Elk Refuge In 1912, the National Elk Refuge was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for the diminishing elk population. Harsh winters in Jackson Hole proved to be detrimental, especially when the land became more populated. Protecting this species is important in preserving other animals in the Wyoming ecosystem. The refuge prevents elk from being disturbed and burning precious fat reserves. Around November, elk begin to trickle down the mountain and congregate in a group with up to 5,000 elk. Visitors can take a sleigh ride into the center of the action, and this does not disturb the animals as they cannot detect humans within the sleigh. You cannot simply walk out onto the refuge, but while in the sleigh you’ll be presented with photography opportunities of a lifetime. ALTBElk Mad River boat trip Imagine floating down a calm, 13-mile stretch of the snake river while the morning sun reflects off the picturesque Teton mountain range. Mad River Boat Trips take you on a relaxed, inflatable raft trip where you can see a variety of wildlife, possibly grizzlies, black bears and birds, along the river bank. Guides take care of the steering and no paddling is required, so it’s a laid back choice, appropriate for all activity levels. Passengers will also be educated on the history and geology of the area. Mad River Jackson Wyoming BN photo316P8110957 Jackson Hole Iditarod dog sled tours While this tour is specific to the winter, you’ll want to book months ahead to secure a spot for this authentic experience. A previous Iditarod participant and 23 year dog sledding veteran, Frank Teasly, takes guests on half and full day sledding adventures between November and April. When taking the full day trip, you’ll be whisked to the famed Granite Hot Springs, where you’ll take a refreshing dip after enjoying a true Wyoming lunch complete with soup and warm beverages. You may see deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and eagles along the way. And yes, you get to guide your own team of dogs. Dog Sled

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