The Best Things To See and Do In Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Barn, Mormon Row, Jackson Hole, Wyoming | © Allan Harris/Flickr
has been dubbed an adventurist’s amusement park, filled with outdoor recreation from the valley to the surrounding snow-capped peaks and alpine forests. With its prime location next to the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park
, Jackson Hole beckons nature enthusiasts. From winter skiing to summer rafting, discover five ways to make the most of your visit to Jackson.
Ski The Slopes At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Resort, Ski Chalet
Head to the northwest corner of Jackson Hole Valley and find the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
– one of the town’s biggest tourist draws and a world-class skiing destination. Here, find numerous hotels nestled along its base alongside the quaint Teton Village
, a little nook with restaurants, accommodations, and shops just below the mountain. During winter, visitors can take advantage of the 2,500 acres of ski runs and pristine snow-covered mountains; during the warmer months, the resort is open for hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, rope course adventures, and tram or gondola rides with panoramic views of the mountains.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park, with over 310,000 acres of snow-capped peaks and alpine forests, provides Jackson Hole with its breathtaking skyline that it’s so famous for today. Plus, Grand Teton is Jackson’s adventurist haven – a vast wilderness filled with pristine lakes, rivers, and mountainous terrain – that makes for the ultimate outdoor escape, boasting plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, paragliding, biking, backpacking, paddle boarding, canoeing, backcountry camping, and wildlife spotting. Located just 13 miles from Jackson’s downtown, Grand Teton is a must-visit for first-timers; for those not of the outdoorsy nature, opt for a drive along the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, fit with views of Jackson Lake and Yellowstone National Park.
Explore Jackson's Abundant Wildlife At The National Elk Refuge
Jackson Hole Valley is teeming with wildlife – to best experience Jackson’s most prominent resident, the elk, head to The National Elk Refuge
, a giant non-enclosed piece of land preserved for the animals. As winter approaches, thousands of elk make their way to the refuge where they feed on alfalfa pellets (put there by the staff); here, they await the return of spring until conditions are better for foraging for food. Observe from your car, or opt for a guided sleigh tour through the snow. Pro tip: head here during winter when there is reportedly more elk for the spotting.
Bathe In The Thermal Pools At Granite Hot Springs
Avid outdoor adventurer? After a day of hiking through the Tetons, or skiing along the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain, there’s nothing better than catching some downtime at Granite Hot Springs
. These thermal pools, fit with breathtaking views of the Bridger-Teton National Forest at a whopping 7,000 feet above sea level, provide guests with a steamy experience year-round – even when snow covers the Jackson Hole Valley. Located on the side of a mountain, Granite Hot Springs is considered a true treasure.
Explore Downtown Jackson
Jackson is Wyoming’s hidden treasure – tucked in a ‘hole’ in the rocky terrain of the Grand Tetons, this mountain town is a lively compilation of shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. Visitors can get to know the town’s Wild West past from the 1800s via the history of trappers, cowboys, and Native Americans at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum; or head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art: a small museum located just three miles north of the town center, with over 5,000 works of wildlife art from more than 550 artists, with some pieces dating back as early as 2500 BC. The Town Square, characterized by 19th-century log cabins and Western-style architecture, boasts chic boutiques, cowboy-style bars, rustic inns, local galleries, and a small dinner theater, the Jackson Hole Playhouse. For those looking to experience the unique western life of Jackson, opt for a trail ride, stay at a dude ranch, reserve a chuck wagon dinner, catch views from a hot air balloon, or check out the Jackson Hole Rodeo, every Wednesday and Sunday evening.
Jackson, WY / Arch of shedded Elk Antlers © Harvey Barrison/Flickr