Male elk sparring with antlers on the National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole, WY
Male elk sparring with antlers on the National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The refuge was created in 1912 to provide a winter home for around 7,500 elk. It consists mostly of meadow and marsh, habitats that welcome foraging elk. Many of the elk spend their summer in Grand Teton National Park, located just north of the refuge.
The original park was created in 1929, but the park was expanded in 1950 when these lands were combined with the Jackson Hole National Monument and 35,000 acres donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to create the current Grand Teton National Park. Elevation ranges from 6,400 feet to 13,770 feet at the summit of Grand Teton. The park contains forest, meadows, marshlands, and the magnificent Teton Range, as well as snowfields and 12 glaciers. Snow covers the park from November to April, and temperatures as low as -63 degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded. The flora and fauna of the park have adapted to this harsh climate by way of hibernating or migrating when the going gets tough.