1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has held its namesake as one of the top ski resorts in the country for years on end. Located in a remote corner of Wyoming it’s hard to reach locale makes it one of the more wild and off the beaten path feeling skiing destinations in the United States. Initially known for its aggressive expert terrain, over the years JHMR has evolved to include beginner to intermediate slopes, making it an ideal destination for all skier abilities. The steep terrain, slopeside luxury, incredible natural scenery, and the charming Western feel of the town of Jackson all combine to make it an experience like no other. Not to mention, this part of Wyoming receives some of the best snowfall in the country.
2. Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the main draws for visitors to Jackson Hole throughout the summer months, as the town of Jackson sits one hour away from its southern entrance and serves as the perfect place to stop on a cross country roadtrip. What visitors to our region don’t often consider when planning a trip through the valley is the lesser known Grand Teton National Park, just twenty minutes from downtown. Smaller in size compared to it’s more widely regarded neighbor, Grand Teton National Park lacks no punch on the scale of jaw dropping beauty and outdoor recreation. The Teton Range comes bursting out of the flat valley floor, laying down one of the most incredible natural playgrounds in the U.S. where visitors can hike, camp, backpack, kayak, rock-climb, swim, mountaineer, trail run, sail, or even rent a motor boat for the day.
3. Rafting the Snake River
A summer vacation to Jackson Hole is not truly complete without some sort of rafting excursion down the Snake River. There is a wealth of wildlife that live along both the scenic flat water and whitewater stretches of the Snake River. Bald eagles, moose, osprey, otters, and beavers are just a few of the species that take up residence in the valley. Not to mention the majestic Teton Range views, the hilly horizon of the Grey’s National Forest, and the impressive walls of the Snake River Canyon.
4. Granite Hot Springs
Granite Hot Springs is the gorgeous resident hot spring pool of Teton Valley perfect for relaxing after any sort of mountain adventure. Located directly next to the Gros Ventre Range, Granite is a rustic but developed hot spring that can be accessed in the winter months only by snowmobile. Take a dip in the natural spring water and revel in the 360 views of Swift Creek Pass, the Gros Ventre mountains, and in the summer months – blooming wildflowers.
From groomed trails to scenic trips to wide open powder field experiences, Jackson Hole runs the gamut on access to world class snowmobile terrain. Experienced riders will find themselves right at home with the ability to rent a snowmobile here in town and take off to the surrounding natural landscape or choose from one of the many guiding companies to show you the way. Whether your goal is to see wildlife, soak in hot springs, visit Yellowstone National Park, or play in powder the options are seemingly endless. Togwotee Mountain Pass, considered some of the best powder snowmobiling in the country, is located just one hour from the town of Jackson and offers incredible views of the Tetons and Absaroka Range.
Camping is a favorite past time of visitors and locals alike through the summer and fall months in Jackson Hole. The options range from right outside of town to more remote but there is no shortage of beautiful places to pull in for the night and throw up your tent. Curtis Canyon, Shadow Mountain, and Mosquito Creek are three of the more accessible free car camping options located near the town of Jackson. To get a bit further away you could try traveling into the Gros Ventre Range towards Slide Lake or heading out along the Granite Creek – both will offer established campsites. For the more adventurous there is a world of backpacking options between Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the national forest areas surrounding Jackson. Whichever route you choose the views are sure to please.
One of the best ways to explore Jackson Hole is on two wheels. There is a world of cycling with Jackson’s Friend of Pathways bike path system that will take you around town and into Wilson, Wyoming. Explore Jackson Hole Mountain Resort of Grand Targhee Resort’s mountain bike parks for some downhill riding or hit some of the local favorites like Munger Mountain or the Cache Creek trail system for a cross country experience. There are also the unbeatable views of riding on the bike paths within Grand Teton National Park or even further north to Yellowstone National Park.
Jackson is home to some of the best fly-fishing throughout the Western U.S. The Snake River, Green River, Grey’s River, and Salt River play the perfect host to whole range of options for fly-fishing day trips, whether floating in a drift boat or walking along the banks. The lakes within Grand Teton National Park are perfect for beautiful mountain views and the chance to view some local wildlife. A little further out from the town of Jackson, visitors can also choose to explore the Hoback River, Pacific Creek, or Granite Creek.
9. Snow-shoeing and Nordic Skiing
For those looking for an alternative to downhill skiing when planning a visit to Jackson Hole, snow-shoeing and nordic skiing are popular winter activities that can provide additional access to the surrounding natural beauty. Within Teton County itself there is a wide sweeping trail system that receives regular upkeep and maintenance. You could rent some equipment from a local gear shop and head out on your own or opt for a guided adventure to take you into some of the more pristine locales within the valley. Read about Jackson Hole’s extensive trail system here.
10. National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge is located just north of downtown Jackson and was created back in the 1900s to protect the habitat and provide a standing sanctuary for one of the largest Elk herds on earth. The refuge spans a total of 24,700 acres and borders both Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger Teton National Forest. Throughout the fall Elk migrate to the refuge and winter on the plains getting relief from the accumulating snow in the surrounding hills and mountains. The refuge offers an incredible chance to view local wildlife and watch the sunset over the Teton Range.