Cold temperatures, extreme terrain, and deep snow are what we live for as skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers.
But these same elements, combined with a scarce food supply and the dire need to conserve energy, make it really hard for wildlife, especially large mammals, to survive our long, cold, harsh winters. When we disturb wildlife in the winter, we force them to expend precious energy, which can lead to poor health and ultimately, death, furthering overall population decline.
Winter closures exist to protect critical habitat for a variety of species. Bighorn sheep are especially vulnerable in the Tetons – their population has dropped nearly 50% in the last 5-10 years and continues to be threatened by human pressures, competition from other species, and habitat loss. Learn more from the Teton Range Bighorn Sheep Working Group and view their fact sheet.
As people who care about wildlife, we have a responsibility to know before we go which backcountry areas serve as critical winter habitat and migration pathways for wildlife and are closed seasonally to protect wildlife. View maps with the buttons below and learn more about closure areas from each of the responsible agencies.
Thank you to our generous sponsors and partners:
Seasonal closures include: (Location | Dates)
Bridger-Teton National Forest | December 1 – 8:00am May 1
Caribou-Targhee National Forest | Dec 1 or Dec 15 – April 30Caribou-Targhee Closure Maps by District
Grand Teton National Park | December 1- April 30
South Park Wildlife Habitat Management Area | Dec 1 Vehicle / Jan 1 Foot Traffic – April 30South Park Closure Map
N89 pathways adjacent to the National Elk Refuge | November 1 to April 30
(The five-mile segment of the N89 pathway stretching between Flat Creek and the Gros Ventre River)Teton County, WY FAQ
To report any violations of our local winter wildlife closures, please call the corresponding agency for the closure location