All posts by gliffen

Theater in Jackson Hole

Not all the fun in Jackson is strictly outside of the confines of building walls. As the off-season creeps in and camping becomes less pleasant due to colder weather, heading to the theater in Jackson Hole for an evening of entertainment indoors is a great alternative. There are a few options depending on when you are able to attend a play, what kind of show you are wanting and whether or not you would like dinner to go along with your entertainment.

The Jackson Hole Playhouse

Located at the oldest building in the town of Jackson, The Jackson Hole Playhouse provides the classic western feel that many come seeking when visiting Jackson. With shows paired with dinner (optional) Monday through Saturday nights during their on-season June 1st- October 6th 2018, there is plenty of opportunity to see a play. Currently this year the featured play is “The Ballad of Cat Ballou” which is aptly described by the theater company as “A Zany Western Musical Comedy”.  See their site for further details and reservations.

Off Square Theatre Company

Off Square offers unique performances as the Resident Theater Company of the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, they perform at both the full 530-seat Center Theater and the intimate Black Box theater which has 100 seats. Recently, Off-Square also held a performance of Macbeth outdoors at the center for the arts in their brand new series “Thin Air Shakespeare”.

Off Square Theater Co. does not have performances quite as regularly as the playhouse, with performance dates on select weekends throughout the year making each performance a bit more special. Their next upcoming show “Annapurna” is set to take place on November 1st-3rd and 8th-10th, at 7:00pm. Check on their site for tickets and more upcoming performances as they are announced.

Photo from: http://jhcenterforthearts.org

Other Live Entertainment

If watching a play is not exactly what you had in mind, there are several other options for live entertainment in town including various live concerts, speakers and more. The Center for The Arts and the Pink Garter Theater host and book all kinds of different artists and shows, check out their calendars for upcoming events. For more consistent live music the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar has live bands nearly every night, and the Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort also offers live music weekly.

Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole

As you likely already know, the Jackson Hole valley has a vast array of gorgeous areas with stunning views, but it can be tiring to hike to many of these areas. Although it’s not for everyone, horseback riding is a great solution to avoid this excessive hiking and there are a number of various outfitters around the valley that are more than equipped with the knowledge and trusty steeds to take you on a great adventure.

When considering horseback riding in Jackson Hole there are several outfitters and types of trips to choose from. For example you may be interested in riding for just a few hours, a few days, or even a multi day camping trip. As far as the different outfitters are concerned, each one has its own specialties, whether you want to simply take a short ride near the town square or get further away hubbub in the surrounding wilderness areas.  We decided to break down some of our favorite options for you.

Teton Village Trail Rides

With trips leaving every hour between 8am and 5pm there is plenty of opportunity with this outfitter to get trips in. Most of their trips all take place on the property of the beautiful and historic Snake River Ranch which is located right across from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.  They offer 1, 2 and 4 hour trips, with the 4 hour trips taking place on Munger mountain, about 10 miles south of the ranch. Trips range in price from $45 to $100.

Spring Creek Ranch

Spring Creek Ranch’s horseback riding trips take you atop the East Gros Ventre Butte with the Teton Range as your backdrop. Similar to Teton Village Trail rides they offer trips on the shorter end of the spectrum with one and two hour ride options which are $49 and $69 respectively. Aside from the basic horseback trips they also offer a two day package trip in conjunction with Jackson Hole Whitewater where you can combine trail riding with a view-filled meal at the Granary as well as a choice between either a fun and exhilarating whitewater rafting trip or relaxing scenic float.

Mill Iron Ranch

This outfitter is perfect for those looking for more than a brief one hour trip, as they offer two hour, four hour, full day, and pack trips by request. If you are looking for a full day trip they have three different options including a ride from the ranch into the Gros Ventre Wilderness, a ride into the Hoback/Granite area where you can see herds of Elk and their babies, and lastly a fishing trip into the Willow Creek area in the Bridger Teton National Forest. Prices range from $80 for the basic 2 hour trip to $450 for a Pack Trip.

Get Engaged In Jackson Hole

Thinking of proposing in Jackson Hole? Finding that perfect romantic place and time to ask your love to marry you can be a challenging task, luckily if you are going to be in Jackson Hole there is an abundance of locations and occasions that are perfect for popping the question.  Here are some of the most ideal spots in the valley for professing your desire for everlasting love with your partner.

The “Wedding Tree” or Other Great Teton Overlooks

With its fitting name and near perfect view of the Teton range, the Wedding Tree as it is commonly known is an overlook with some unique trees not too far back on the Gros Ventre road and is within a few minutes walk from your car. The other great overlooks include Blacktail Butte, Inspiration Point, Shadow Mountain, Schwabacher’s Landing, and although this one is not necessarily an overlook, the Moulton Barn offers some of the most iconic views of the grand.

Along the Snake River: Fishing or Floating

The calming waters of the Snake River, combined with the plentiful beauty of the surrounding valley can provide the perfect romantic setting for the big question, whether you are on the shores or floating in a drift boat, raft or other aquatic apparatus. Not many things are more special than having your special someone catch their first cutthroat, and getting a ring moments later. If fishing is not you or your partners’ thing, the river and its surroundings will undoubtedly provide you with a magical backdrop.

Atop One of the many Peaks Surrounding the Valley

Whether you just want to work for your breathtaking view on a long hike to a beautiful mountaintop away from civilization, or take a simple tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain and be spoiled by the views at 10k+ feet. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the hiking options include the South, Middle, and Grand Teton, or their surrounding peaks depending on how intense you’d like your excursion. Jackson Peak and Sleeping Indian are some great ones as well.

Hot Air Balloon Among the Tetons

This activity is not one that you get the opportunity to do everyday, not to mention doing it in such a scenic area floating to the height of the tops of mountains. The romance will be present without doubt as you float gently high up in the air. Check out our blog on this topic to learn more here.

Places to Golf in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole golf courses are among some of the most beautiful in the country with stunning views and well-curated grounds. Whether you live nearby or are visiting for a short time, we recommend getting out on the links for at least a day, or more if golf is your forte. Here are some of the local courses that we feel are worth your time.

Teton Pines

Copyright Teton Pines Resort

Annually touted as the best public course Wyoming has to offer, Teton Pines was designed by Arnold Palmer himself in 1987 and is surrounded by beautiful mountain views. The course is situated on relatively flat terrain at the base of the Teton Mountain Range and is a challenging par 72 with over 7,412 yards tip to tip. Non-member play begins at noon and prices range from $70-$175 depending on season and time, with tee times before noon reserved for members.

 

Shooting Star

Copyright Shooting Star

Situated just next to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village this members-only course designed by Tom Fazio in 2009 is said to have moved roughly 500,000+ cubic yards of land when it was constructed. The course is peppered with several creeks and ponds that add to the scenery and difficulty of the course. The club offers a variety of amenities outside of its incredible fairways and greens, including a pool, spa, fitness center, and dining facilities. If you get an opportunity to play this course you would be a fool to turn it down.

3 Creek Ranch Golf Club

Designed by Rees Jones in 2005 this private club provides stunning views of the Grand Teton, situated around natural creeks, wildlife, and native greenery. The course itself is frill-free, and near perfectly maintained to provide friendly greens and fairways that are enjoyable for most skill levels while still posing a challenge to all.  This club is the only member-owned club in the valley to this day, and truly captures the spirit of Jackson Hole.

Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis

Copyright JH Golf and Tennis

Originally Designed by Bob Baldock, and opened in 1965 this club may have some of the richest history in being the valley’s first golf club. It was purchased by Laurance Rockefeller in 1967 and was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 1973 turning it into one of the countries most pristine mountain resort courses.  After being sold once again to Vail Resorts, the course was redesigned once more by Jones to refresh the layout. With a new driving range and practice facility, you will not regret spending time here.

Hot Air Ballooning in Jackson Hole

Looking for a better way to catch morning views of the Tetons? We suggest hot air ballooning. In an unbeatable location, these floating balloons can carry you up to heights of over four thousand feet above their launch site. Balloons usually range from about 75 to 85 feet tall which is equivalent to 9 stories. They typically contain at least 105,000 cubic feet (or about 105,000 basketballs worth) of air. The attached gondolas can carry anywhere from two people to twelve! As winds are most gentle during daybreak, balloon companies typically take flight in the AM presenting the Tetons in the pink glow of the morning sun and a higher possibility of seeing wildlife (our true locals) from great heights. Jackson hosts many different ballooning companies; to find your best option it is encouraged that you choose your preferred locale and optimal cost range. Here are some potential selections we have looked into:

 

Wyoming Balloon Company (Wyoming side)

Wyoming Balloon Company flies from a launch site located on a ranch bordered by the Grand Teton National Park, Snake River, and Teton Village. Take off times usually begin around 6 am and you can expect to be back on the ground around 9 to 9:30 am. This balloon company offers an hour-long flight, celebratory drinks and certificates, and lifts to and from hotels in Jackson and Teton Village.

 

Teton Balloon Flights (Idaho side)

Teton Balloon Flights affords views of the Tetons, Teton Valley, Swan Valley, and possibly The Grand Teton. The balloons can travel anywhere from 4 to 8 miles through the sky and flight length averages about an hour. Upon reaching solid ground, they conclude with a traditional French celebration.

Nevertheless, whichever option you decide to choose, scenic views, peaceful rides, and time well spent is a guarantee.

If you are more interested in seeing the balloons rather than riding them, The Teton Valley Summer Festival takes place in the first week of July. It includes a craft and street fair as a part of the festivities as well. Over 40 hot air balloons ascend into the sky in the mornings to race among the Tetons.

Summer Tram Rides in Teton Village

Whether you are a Jackson Hole newcomer, fourth-time visiter, or local, adventure can be found at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Village. At the base, at the summit, or somewhere in the middle, one can find beautiful views and enticing attractions.

Teton Village

At the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort lives Teton Village. Equipment stores, clothing stores, restaurants, lodging, and the tram dock all utilize this space. Teton Village Sports boasts a collection of rental bikes, paddle boards, hiking and fishing gear, as well as clothing featuring brands like Patagonia and Black Diamond. Restaurants we suggest include Osteria, Teton Thai, and the famous restaurant and bar: Mangy Moose. The Mangy Moose offers locally sourced food and craft beers as well as live bands throughout the week, creating a perfect space for happy hour on the mountain.

In Teton Village and on the lower mountain, Jackson Hole provides the Grand Adventure Park – a great attraction for kids and adults alike. Paragliding, a ropes course, climbing wall, disc golf, and a mountain biking park are all options at the Grand Adventure Park and are available to you with the purchase of separate passes or the package Grand Adventure Pass.

Aerial Tram

If you would like to explore higher up on the mountain, we recommend utilizing the awe-inspiring aerial tram ride to the summit. In just under 15 minutes, the tram rises over 4,000 feet of ski trails, tall pines, and jagged rock cliffs enabling you access to the ski resort summit. 10,450’ high, you can stand above Rendezvous Bowl and Corbet’s Couloir as you look out across mountain ranges in all directions. Wedged into the side of the peak sits Corbet’s Cabin dubbed “Top of the World Waffles.” As its nickname implies, Corbet’s Cabin offers waffle selections with unique topping combinations like peanut butter and bacon and hosts a deck where you can relax and enjoy the endless horizon.

From Rendezvous Peak, you have access to hiking and running trails for all abilities that criss-cross the mountain. The trails wrap beneath walls of rock and through meadows of wildflowers. During the early Summer season, you may even come across snow and have the opportunity to start a snowball fight. Along the trails, expect to find wildlife like deer, moose, and fox. You can view the trail map here.

When purchasing tram ride passes, you can select an option that provides you access to other lifts including the Bridger Gondola. The Bridger Gondola brings you to mid-mountain and at the top has a wonderful restaurant and bar called The Deck @ Piste. The outdoor space is great for relaxing, soaking up sunshine, and cocktails after a hard day of hiking or recreating. For tram ride rates for yourself and/or your family, visit Jackson Hole Summer Tram.

Experience the Jackson Hole Rodeo

There are so many ‘must do’ activities when you visit Jackson Hole that it is hard to keep up with all of them, but one of these must do’s is the Jackson Hole Rodeo which embodies the cowboy culture that built and still thrives here in the valley. The rodeo has been part of the culture in Jackson since the first settlers arrived over 100 years ago and still continues to bring entertainment to the community today.  Today’s rodeo is a perfect blend of the traditional rodeo spirit with current music, humor, and excitement.

What to Expect

An evening at the rodeo will really make it sink in that you are in the wild west of Wyoming. While not necessarily bringing you the champions of today, the Jackson Hole rodeo draws in some of the best young talent in rodeo as well as former top rodeo pros. The rodeo is made up of several rounds of multiple different events including roping, barrel racing, and bull riding with some fun sideshow entertainment in between. Outside of the actual rodeo events going on inside the ring, food and drinks, including beer are available at the concession stands. Also nearby to the concessions is a mechanical buffalo for spectators to get a chance to be like the pros, as well as a miniature fake calf and lasso for young kids to get a shot at pretending to rope.

The Crowd Gets Involved Too

Throughout the night there are several opportunities for the crowd to get involved, between free giveaways and certain points where spectators are asked to enter the ring for special events.  The most popular of these events is the Sheep Scramble, where audience members 12 and under are asked to come on down and challenged to catch a sheep in the ring, making for a hilarious scene that always gets the crowd going. Also, there is typically an event that involves older attendees to get involved in the ring and is typically just as funny as the Sheep Scramble.

Schedule & Info

With rodeos occurring twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday nights, from Memorial Day through Labor Day and three times a week with rodeos on Fridays throughout August, there is no shortage of opportunities to see this Jackson tradition live. The event starts at 8 pm and typically goes until shortly after 10 pm and is located at the Rodeo grounds at 447 Snow King Ave. in Jackson nearby the base of Snow King Mountain. Groups of people usually start to arrive around 7:15 pm to buy tickets, however, they are available to purchase online. It is still smart to arrive early to get prime seats. Depending on what section you decide to purchase tickets for, tickets range from $20-$30, kids under 15 and adults over 55 get $5 off.  

This photo of Jackson Hole Rodeo is courtesy of TripAdvisor
If you are ever here visiting, you now have no excuse not take a trip over to the rodeo grounds for a night full of fun and excitement. We hope to see you there!

For more info and tickets check out JHrodeo.com

Wildlife Tours in Jackson Hole

Your reason for wanting to visit Jackson Hole is certainly not to see a football game, or see a Broadway show (although you can still do these), you likely are drawn to this valley for its wondrous views, abundant wildlife and the adventure that beckons. The best way to take advantage of these draws and increase your chances of spotting the most wildlife is to rely on a trusted guide who knows the hot spots for wildlife and breathtaking views in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Here, in no particular order, are some of our favorite wildlife tour companies and guides in the Jackson Hole area.

BrushBuck

This veteran-owned tour company has strong positive reviews and offers both public and private tours in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park guided by knowledgeable and enthusiastic locals. Their tours range from four hours to four days and also offer a “Wet n’ Wildlife Float Combo Tour” that collaborates with Dave Hansen Whitewater to spend half of the day exploring on land and the other half floating on the scenic Snake River. If exploring Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park aren’t enough for you, BrushBuck also offers tours in Africa, Alaska, and South America.

Bear Witness Safari

This small and highly personal tour company run by geologist, photographer and seasoned wildlife guide Jim Blair offers in-depth and highly educational tours through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Jim will take you through areas of both parks where he knows from experience will have swaths of wildlife. He offers private and shared tours that range from half day to three days offering delicious meals from local chefs. If the wonderful wildlife and scenery do not satisfy you, Jim’s enthusiasm and charming southern accent will!

Hole Hiking Experience

Hole Hiking Experience offers a variety of different style tours all designed to fill your adventure needs. Hole Hiking Experience has been around since 1989 and offers activities year round including hiking (obviously), wildlife sighting, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, backpacking, fishing, yoga and more.  You may choose to combine activities as well as the duration you would like for your guided experience. Hole Hiking Experience is highly versatile and knowledgeable about the area, providing for an amazing experience every time.

Teton Wild

Custom wildlife tours from Teton Wild allow you to enjoy a private wildlife tour where you let them know your interests and they will accommodate the tour to your desires. These tours can accommodate up to seven patrons and can either be half or full day tours with lunch and snacks included. Their experienced guides will let you in on the secrets of the valley and what makes it special, including the story of how the wolves saved the aspen trees.

Eco Tour Adventures

This Adventure guide company prides itself on being environmentally friendly and philanthropic to local conservation and research groups that help protect the natural surroundings in the national parks and beyond. With tours and programs ranging from half day to five days, Eco Tours will take you through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park providing you with endless photo opportunities. You can also choose to go birding with one of their bird specialist guides who will help you spot many of the rare species native to the area.

No matter which wildlife guide company you may choose to go with, we are certain that you will not be disappointed. The beauty of the Tetons and vast wilderness of Yellowstone are unlike anywhere else in the world and known to steal the hearts of nearly everyone who visits.

See Old Faithful Erupt and Visit the Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful

Old Faithful is one of the most or possibly the most famous geyser in the United States. Known for its size and regularity, it is a must see on your list of places to visit throughout Yellowstone National Park. As its name suggests, Old Faithful has a very accountable eruption frequency, usually occurring every 35 to 120 minutes. ‘Pre-play,’ or little jets of water spouting from the ground and rising steam, can last around 20 minutes before the largest part of the eruption takes place. The most fascinating part of the upsurge lasts around 3 to 10 minutes and reaches heights ranging from 90 to 184 feet! During this duration, Old Faithful on average discharges 8,400 gallons of water.

There are benches meant for viewing surrounding the geyser at a safe distance of approximately 300 feet. Park rangers will usually display a predicted eruption time, so you can plan ahead. Although these predictions may be slightly inaccurate, and a little bit of waiting may be involved.

 

Old Faithful Inn

 

Old Faithful Inn (Source: www.igfusa.org)
Old Faithful Inn, northeast aspect – Haynes postcard 1914

The Old Faithful Inn, just behind the viewing area for the geyser, is the largest log structure in the World. Built during years 1903 to 1904 using local logs and featuring a large stone fireplace, the Inn is the most requested hotel inside of Yellowstone. The Inn hosts a number of different sized and priced rooms, some with a view of the geyser through the trees. It is located at 1 Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190.

 

 

 

 

Guided Adventures

The Old Faithful Inn offers Guided Tours and Adventures that depart directly from the Inn and can supplement you in your discovery of the National Park. From tours that last a few hours or a whole day, you can choose to see the Firehole Basin – the greatest geyser region in the World, go on a Photo Safari, or sight-see on rental bikes. The Circle Of Fire is the most classic adventure option in which your driver-guide brings you to as many of Yellowstone’s main attractions as he/she can including the Falls of the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Lake, and Hayden Valley.

Whether you are looking to stay in Yellowstone or simply visit, stopping to see Yellowstone’s largest most regular geyser and the historic Old Faithful Inn are highly recommended by us! To learn more visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges

How to Get the Most Out of Grand Teton Park in One Day

Taking a trip to Grand Teton National Park is a life-changing experience even if you only get to see the stunning view of the range from a distance. Once you have soaked in the view, you may find yourself wondering what else this beauty of a national park has to offer, and the short answer is… A LOT! The long answer is the reason this blog exists, so without further ado here is your guide to making the most of Grand Teton National Park in one day.  

Take a Scenic Drive

On your way north from Jackson into the National park, there are a few options to take for gorgeous views of the Teton range and its surroundings as well as the vast wildlife that flourishes in the area. The main routes to take are the Teton Park Road, which takes you around the base of the range and leads you to the Jackson Lake Junction. You can also stop well before Jackson Lake and split off to the Jenny Lake Loop scenic drive which takes you west, closer to the base of the mountains. This loop will bring you back to Teton Park Rd. and all along these scenic routes are great turnout points for photo opportunities. Scenic Drives.

Hike Around One of the Lakes

There are a few great hikes that won’t take too long or wipe you out for the rest of the day, and still offer stunning views and immerse you in the natural surroundings. The first spot to potentially check out if you want to get out hiking early is the Taggart Lake Trailhead which is a popular destination as it is one of the first trailheads if you enter the park from the south.  If you drive to south Jenny Lake there is also a great mellow 2.5 mi hiking trail that takes you to some great views of the Tetons over the lake, or you can take a ride across the lake on a shuttle boat if you do not wish to walk. Hiking Maps

Have a Meal in the Park

Assuming you are now nearby Jackson Lake after the completion of your scenic drive, there are a couple of great dining spots surrounding the lake, with the main stopping areas being Jackson Lake Lodge, Colter Bay, and Leeks Marina. Jackson Lake Lodge has three great dining options in itself with the Mural Room, Pioneer Grille, and Blue Heron Lounge. Colter Bay is home to the Ranch House and Cafe Court. My personal favorite is the Leeks Pizzeria in Leeks Marina. The pizza is great and the views are fantastic.  Restaurant Listing & Info.

Get out on the Water

After lunch, getting out on the water is a must whether you rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard or even sign up for a scenic lake cruise. Colter Bay Village is the most ideal area to take off from onto Jackson Lake. If you decide to take one of the scenic cruises you will be enlightened by your guide on some great history of the area, as well as the names of the peaks that are surrounding you. Learn More about the Colter Bay Area

 

For more information about the different areas of the park, lodging options, dining and more check out https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm.