All posts by gliffen

Live Music is Back in Jackson Hole!

As we move through the summer months, we yearn to be outside enjoying the elements. Like a fine pairing of food and libations, music and the soul go hand in hand. It’s wonderful to finally hear the trickling of music as it dances through the streets of Jackson. On the mountain winds of the Grand Teton’s comes pickers, rockers, movers, and shakers as the music scene in Jackson fires up again. Looking to get out tonight and cut a rug? Take a look at these venues in Jackson Hole!

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is Wyoming’s landmark watering hole that is located on the town square right in the heart of Jackson. Established in 1937, it is famous for western swing dancing, country music & iconic saddle bar stools. The Million Dollar Cowboy bar is a big tourist attraction in Jackson, so if you go to Jackson, you should go to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

The Wort Hotel

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is filled with breathtaking views, hikes, rides and most of all, music and nightlife. The Wort Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel combines the charm of the old West with sleek sophistication and modern amenities. The Silver Dollar Showroom in the Hotel is one of Jackson’s premier downtown music venues. The Silver Dollar features both local and regional bands.

Grand Teton Music Festival

Celebrating their 60th Festival, The Grand Teton Music Fest brings 6 weeks of classical entertainment to the Walk Festival Hall. Founded in 1962, the GTMF consists of top talent from across the country, including more than 200 musicians from 80 orchestras. In the mood for a classical event? Check out the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Concerts on the Commons

Looking for a great venue to catch some live music on Sundays? Check out the Concerts on the Common. These concerts are FREE and happen at 5pm on Sunday. Concerts on the Commons is celebrating it’s 11th season and has grown to be a wonderful experience for all since it’s opening in 2010. Grab some food and drinks, kick back with friends and family and enjoy the show!

The Center for the Arts

The Center for the Arts boasts a 500-seat theater that houses 19 nonprofit art and education organizations.  It is a high-energy powerhouse for performances in Jackson Hole from theater to live music.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house so if you’re in Jackson Hole and have time to catch a show, check out their current schedule HERE and grab some tickets.

Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Horseback Riding in Jackson, WY!

Have you ever dreamed of waking up early to the mountain sunrise, grabbing a hot cup of coffee and heading to the stables?  Dreams come true in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with non-stop adventures riding through incredible scenery, amazing trails and absolutely breathtaking back roads that can take you across rivers and through valley’s.  Check out these great places to get riding in Jackson Hole!

Mill Iron Ranch

In Jackson, there really isn’t a bad place to go riding and when you’re with the folks at Mill Iron Ranch, you’re sure to see some of the best views unmatched in elevation and scenery. Saddle up and head to Bridger Teton National Forest were you will climb up 2,000 vertical feet. Ride into the Gros Ventre Wilderness and get views of Hoback, The Snake River Canyon, and the very beautiful Teton Range. With alternate tours available from Fishing to Hunting, Mill Iron Ranch has it all plus, their horses are born and raised on their ranch.

Introduction To Rodeo

Have a wild side? Love the thrill of a Rodeo? Now you can take part in Jackson Hole’s most popular new horseback experience. Get down and dirty with their intro to the timed-events portions of a rodeo. Learn and experience things like, team roping, barrel racing and more.  If you have the love of adventure, Introduction To Rodeo is a fun and exciting program that is sure to please and, it’s the only one of its kind in Wyoming!

The A-OK Corral

Just 15 minutes south of Jackson, Wyoming you’ll find The A-OK Corral, a place filled with incredible views that will keep your eyes gazing while on horseback heading up their exclusive trails through the majestic Gros Ventre Wilderness. There you will find the most breathtaking views of the Teton Mountain Range while enjoying the serenity of the Snake River Canyon. From beginner to experienced, riders of any ability will have an enjoyable time.

Swift Creek Outfitters & Teton Horseback Adventures

At Swift Creek Outfitters, you can find some of the most remote & unique hourly trail systems in the Jackson Hole area. There are quite a few creek crossings, flowered trails, wildlife and not only that, you’ll experience some of the best views of the Teton Mountain Range! If you’re into more than just riding, Swift Creek Outfitters also offers pack trips up to 5 nights / 6 days in the Teton Wilderness and the Bridger Teton National Forest! Be sure to stop in and check them out.

Teton Wagon Train & Horse Adventure

If you’re looking for an exciting and unique family vacation experience then look no further! Venture into the past and relive the American Wild West on a Teton Covered Wagon Train and Horse Adventure. Ride in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in covered wagons for an incredible trek full of majestic views and wildlife. Gentle riding horses are available for those who would like to ride from camp to camp or trail ride further into the back-country to visit waterfalls and viewing areas. When you’re in Jackson, be sure not to miss this experience!

Top 10 Mexican Restaurants in Jackson Hole, WY

Top 10 Mexican Restaurants in Jackson Hole, WY

It’s been said that tacos save lives and who are we to disagree, they are and have always been a go to for fun, delicious and easy dining.  Jackson Hole, WY has some of the best Mexican restaurants and eateries around.  Dine in or take out, you can’t go wrong with this list of top 10 places to have a fiesta in Jackson!

Merry Piglets Mexican Grill

Merry Piglets was originally founded in 1969 on Crabtree Corner and has been serving Jackson Hole’s locals and travelers for over 50 years. From the house-fried tortilla chips and Jackson Hole’s favorite salsa to their fresh-squeezed margaritas, Merry Piglets is famous for their fantastic house Tex-mex recipes. Stop in after a long day on the trail or a beautiful day in town. Be sure to try the twisted cowgirl dip as a starter, made up of house queso, ground beef, guac and pico de gallo.

Fiesta Mexican Restaurant

Fiesta Mexican Restaurant is a casual, family-friendly restaurant serving delicious Mexican food. Outstanding authenticity goes into every dish, Fiesta features a large selection on the menu for the entire family. Fiesta is known best for it’s no fuss meals, giving you nothing but traditional style dishes at a great price. If you’re looking to kick back, relax and enjoy Jackson, grab a meal from Fiesta Mexican Restaurant today!

Tortilleria y Tacos El Metate

When you want great tasting Mexican food in Jackson, be sure to head over to Tortilleria y Tacos El Metate. Tortilleria y Tacos El Metate offers a wide array of authentic dishes such as Fajitas, Fresh Tortillas, Tacos and a whole lot more. Using the freshest ingredients, Tortilleria y Tacos El Metate has something for everyone in the family. Hungry for hot and spicy tacos, burritos or an icy cold margarita, call on Tortilleria y Tacos El Metate!

Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas

Located near Jackson Hole’s historic town square, Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas combines fresh modern Mexican cuisine with a family friendly, lively atmosphere.  Boasting 10 different varieties of fresh tacos that are made with gluten free and non-GMO tortillas. Looking to wet your whistle? Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas margaritas, are made with 100% agave and house juiced limes. Whether dining or enjoying drinks with friends, Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas brings it all together right here in Jackson, WY!

El Abuelito Family Mexican Restaurant

El Abuelito, Spanish for the little grandfather, serves up hot and delicious authentic Mexican cuisine so good that you could just imagine a little grandpa making this food as it comes out. Family friendly atmosphere serving appetizers, lunch & dinner. They have a great variety of dishes that are made with fresh ingredients. Excellent service makes for a wonderful dinning experience. Grab a table today!

Pica’s Mexican Taqueria

When you’re visiting Jackson Hole stopping at Pica’s to fuel the family for your next adventure is a must. The entire menu is incredible but what really stands out are the burrito’s. Nothing fills you up or helps you recover better than Pica’s amazingly authentic cuisines. Known well by the locals for their unique margarita blend that hits the spot after a long hike or bike ride. One of our favorite dishes from them is their wet burritos, order any burrito wet to have it smothered in their delicious red sauce. Enjoy a drink and some grub here at their awesome outdoor seating in the warmer months.

Tin Can Cantina

Love food trucks? Who doesn’t! Some have the best food in town and the Tin Can Cantina is no exception!  Perfectly situated at the base of the Bridger Gondola and the downhill bike park, the Cantina is a great spot for a quick bite, casual lunch or a margarita and chips with fresh salsa and guacamole.  Whether it’s before or after you hit the hill for a beautiful hike, an outstanding trail ride, a historic disc golf game or if just for sightseeing, the Tin Can Cantina has just what you need. This spot is only open in the summer so get it while its hot!

Best Mountain Biking Trails in Jackson Hole

While hiking on many of the different trails around Jackson Hole can be a blast for most people, others prefer to go a little faster. Cue mountain biking, the thrill seekers preferred method of transport on the vast trail systems throughout Jackson Hole. Aside from Grand Teton National Park, where biking along the hiking trails is not allowed, almost all other trails throughout the valley are fair game! Here are some of our favorite trails to get out for both downhill and cross country mountain biking action. 

Cache-Game Area Trails

Cache Creek Dr. is the road on the southeast corner of town, that turns into a service road and travels back through the canyon on the east side of Snow King. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails that offshoot on either side of the road, all of these trails would be considered cross country as they each vary between uphill and downhill, requiring some pedaling no matter which one you take. These trails are also all interconnected, allowing you to create your own path depending on how far you want to go or if you wish to create a loop.

Cache Creek Sidewalk

The Sidewalk trail is one of the most beginner level trails in all of the area, it is short (1.5mi), and relatively flat in comparison to the other trails nearby, making it perfect for getting your mountain bike feet wet. The trail itself runs almost fully parallel to the road, and is mainly uphill on the way out, so you have the reward of riding it back downhill once you reach the end. 

Putt Putt

This trail is one of the most popular cross country trails that locals love to ride on a daily basis, it is a bit of a step up from the sidewalk, considered intermediate, but still nothing out of reach for someone looking to take their biking to the next level. Putt Putt is located on the West side of Cache Creek Dr. with its main beginning point starting at the Crystal Butte Trailhead. The trail is great because there are several great loops you can make out of it if you do not wish to ride out the full length of the trail. The full Putt Putt Trail is about 4.6 miles long with 893 ft. of uphill elevation gain and 362 ft. of downhill if you are riding it away from town, and it leads you back to the Cache Creek Rd and can be looped over to the end of the Hagen trail. 

Hagen is another popular trail that is right on the other side of the road and has comparable difficulty to Putt Putt.

Upper Cache-Game Trails

There are a number of trails that provide some serious incline gain for those more experienced cross-country mountain bikers that are really looking to earn their downhill turns. One of the most popular and simultaneously most challenging trails in the area is the Ferrin’s trail, this trail serves as the most efficient way to the top of Snow King. Not for the faint of heart, Ferrin’s travels up 1217’ in just 3.4 miles with only 27’ of downhill travel in that span. Once you reach the top, rehydrate and have a quick snack, the world of Cache-Game trails is your oyster. 

You can choose to head back behind Snow King, on the Wilson Canyon Trail and the several others that it links to, Head east on the Skyline trail to take a longer route back down to the Cache Creek Road, or head west on the skyline trail to reach the summit of Snow King. The Snow King Summit, offers a couple other options including the fast but not so fun Summit Trail which will take you to the base area of the Snow King Resort, Leeks Canyon Trail which is straight off the backside of the mountain, and Josies Ridge, which is a steep and technical ride down the west side of Snow King. All of the trails off of the summit of Snow King are considered black diamonds aside from riding Skyline back down to the top of Ferrins. It is important to note that if you decide to head down the backside of Snow King, that you are in for a long ride back to town, and many people opt to shuttle from south of town depending on their preferences.

Downhill Galore

For those less thrilled with the cardio side of mountain biking, Teton Pass and Teton Village offer ways to skip the uphill, by either shuttling on the Pass or riding the lift at Teton Village. There are options to ride uphill at both locations but pedaling is not as popular in these areas. 

Teton Pass

At Teton Pass, bikers can set a shuttle car somewhere in Wilson (often the Stagecoach bar for post ride refreshments) and drive their bikes up to the top of the pass where there is access to about 5 or 6 main trails with a few smaller offshoots of each. Some of the more notable ones being Phillips Canyon, Lithium, Black Canyon, and Fuzzy Bunny. All of the trails eventually lead you back to the base of Teton Pass in Wilson. Depending on whether or not you really hate pedaling, several of the trails do require a short trek to reach the downhill glory, these include Lithium, Black Canyon, and both Phillip’s Ridge and Canyon. Many of the more hardcore downhill riders will hike-a-bike to these trails, as they have bike setups that are less than ideal for uphill travel. Lithium is the holy grail of trails for expert downhill riders on the pass, with steep areas, technical features and mini kickers and gap jumps. All trails off of the pass are rated as blue or higher, and recommended for more experienced riders.

Teton Village

If you absolutely despise pedaling, riding a lift might be more of your cup of tea. Teton Village utilizes the Teewinot Lift, for a slew of trails ranging from beginner to expert. They also just this year opened two new trails off of the sweetwater lift for those interested in a longer ride down. The Teton Village Bike Park is great for those flying into town without a bike, as they have rental shops right at the base of the mountain. Lift Tickets are available for $49/day and they have special deals on Friday evenings for their Friday Night Bikes event, during which tickets are $20 and they offer a rental/ticket package for 50% off.

Best Camping Areas in Jackson Hole

Jackson is famous for its stunning natural landscape, wildlife, and outdoor grandeur. We play host to more than three national forest or wilderness areas and call two of America’s greatest National Parks our backyard.There is no shortage of locations to sleep under the stars in our little valley, find the best places to camp around Jackson and get ready to take it all in. 

Camping Near Jackson Hole, WY

Bridger Teton National Forest 

The boundaries of this national forest are a short drive from Jackson and easily accessed from a vehicle during late May and throughout the summer months. Depending on the weather, campgrounds will remain open until late September. Designated sites are available for $12-15 dollars a night, to learn more visit the Bridger National Forest website.

Caribou Targhee National Forest 

Idaho is a short drive from Jackson and there are a number of public campgrounds in the Caribou National Forest that will still allow you to explore Jackson and the surrounding areas without too much of a drive to reach the campsites. These sites are open from June to September, visit the Targhee National Forest recreation website to learn more.

Gros Ventre Wilderness Area

For those seeking a bit more solitude be sure to check out the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area that lies east of Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. Hiking, fly-fishing, a lake to play in, and stunning views of the Tetons will keep you busy for days in the Gros Ventre. There are free primitive sites scattered throughout the area – most of which sit along water access to make your camping experience all that much more relaxing. To learn more about this area visit the  Gros Ventre Wilderness Area website.

Camping in Grand Teton National Park  

Camping in Grand Teton National Park allows visitors to get up close and personal with the Teton Mountain Range and some of the truly spectacular water features of our landscape. Designated campsites or backcountry campsites operate on a first come, first serve basis so be sure to plan ahead. Complete information on Grand Teton National Park’s campgrounds can be found on their website.

Popular Camping Areas in Grand Teton National Park:

Camping in Yellowstone National Park 

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States and the world. Today, the park is home to the world’s largest collection of geysers, including the iconic Old Faithful. Camping in Yellowstone offers the opportunity to explore it’s unique natural landscape, glimpse wildlife in their natural habitat, and experience the history of our national park system. Visit the Yellowstone Reservations website, or find more information about Yellowstone camping from the National Park Service. 

Popular Yellowstone Camping Areas:

Breweries in Jackson Hole

Over the past decade there has been an explosion of craft/micro breweries across the country, and beer lovers everywhere love to get a local taste wherever they go. Jackson Hole is no exception to this microbrew explosion, with several new breweries popping up in the area over just the past few years. With that said there are also a few breweries in and around Jackson Hole that have been staples for much longer than a few years. Below are some of our favorite breweries that beer aficionados should try to visit while they are in town.

Snake River Brewing & Brew Pub

Snake River Brewing, or as the locals refer to it, “the pub”, takes claim as Wyoming’s oldest brewery. It opened in 1994 and has been a Jackson Hole staple ever since, serving a variety of beers from their flagship Pako’s IPA, to their Jenny Lake Lager, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen and the ever rotating cast of experimental beers. Many of the beers are available in cans at local liquor stores and on tap at plenty of restaurants and bars around town. The brewpub itself is currently undergoing renovations, but is expected to be back open to the public sometime early this summer. Once re-opened, the Brew pub is an awesome hang out or dinner/lunch spot perfect for relaxing after hiking, biking, skiing, rafting or more relaxing. They have a great outdoor lawn area to play cornhole or sit near the fire and appreciate the views of Snow King mountain on warmer days.

Melvin Brewing & Thai Me Up

Melvin Brewing is headquartered in Alpine, WY just south of Jackson, but they have a Brewpub/Thai restaurant in downtown Jackson called Thai Me Up. At Thai Me Up you will hear Wu-Tang Clan inspired hip hop on the speakers and Kung-Fu movies on the TV screens, while they serve Thai fusion dishes and their stable of beers on tap, including experimental selections not found in cans. If you wish to go straight to the source in Alpine they have a massive brewing operation that sits right on the shore of the Palisades lake dubbed the “Mothership” that offers a more american centric food menu and plenty of beers on tap. Their most popular beers include the 2×4 double IPA, the Melvin IPA, Killer Bees blonde ale, Hubert pale ale and the mexican style lager Heyzeus.

Roadhouse Brewing

With a Pub & Eatery right on the Jackson Hole Town Square it will be tough to miss Roadhouse while you are in Jackson. Their beer list features several of their more popular selections that are canned and distributed such as the Wilson IPA Walrus Hazy IPA, Family Vacation Golden Ale and Highwayman Pilsner as well as many of their limited offerings that are not available in stores. The Pub & eatery on the square offers a delectable food menu as well featuring mainly american fare with some seafood and specialized dishes. They also have a taproom in Jackson on Gregory lane for a more mellow experience away from the crowded downtown, the taproom is attached to their brewing operations and is strictly beer and good vibes, BYOF.

StillWest Brewery

One of the newest beer purveyors in town, the focus for StillWest lies in their fantastic brewery & grill location at the base of Snow King in downtown Jackson. They have a great selection of beers including their Irish Red, Kolsch, Pilsner and About Time IPA as well as other seasonal rotations not to mention their delicious food menu. Unlike the previously mentioned breweries, StillWest beers are only available at their grill location, however they do fill and can crowlers in their taproom on the ground floor of the restaurant for those looking to take some of their beer home with them.

Best Places to Run in Jackson Hole

Keeping up with your exercise routine while on vacation can be a challenge with all of the distractions, jet lag, and simply being out of your element. Luckily Jackson Hole is a place that beckons visitors to get outside and explore, and if you are into running there are plenty of gorgeous views and scenery to backdrop your morning (or anytime) run. The Jackson Hole valley has something for any type of runner, whether you prefer rugged trails, flat and long distance, or some steep incline to really get your heart pumping and legs working. Here are some of our favorite trails, paths and streets to run in the valley. 

Multi-Use Pathways

There is a system of multi-use pathways that run along most of the main highways as well as a few offshoots around the high school, middle school, South Park loop road and the Rafter J Ranch community. These paths are great for running as well as biking, rollerblading and walking. The three main directions you can take are following the pathways from Jackson to Teton Village (northwest) or vice versa, Jackson to Teton National Park (north), and Jackson to South Park/Hoback Junction (south). For running purposes these pathways are mainly flat, there is some mild incline gain on both of the northern trending portions, but the portion south of Jackson is the hilliest, but nothing too drastic or consistent. 

As for distances, the path from Jackson to Teton Village is 13 miles one way give or take depending on where you start/end, and there is a bus system that runs throughout the day if you wish to ride the bus back after getting some refreshments in either Jackson or Teton Village. Heading north from Jackson to Teton Park road, is about 12 miles, but it only takes around 5 miles to reach the point where the Teton range’s stunning views become visible. From Jackson heading south to Game Creek is about 6.5 miles along the path. These distances may sound daunting to some (or not daunting enough!) but rest assured there are plenty of ways to segment out these paths that still have great turnaround points or loops. Check out Friends of Pathways for the maps of these paths, as well as for more detailed information and links.

Trail Running

The trails spattered throughout the Jackson Hole area are some of the best places to run if you have the proper footwear and a desire to get away from the busy streets and out into nature. In addition many of the trails offer some significant incline if that is your cup of tea. 

Cache Creek

On the edge of the town of Jackson lies the Cache Creek trailhead, which will take you up the gravel/dirt mix service road that is also surrounded by many single track dirt trails such as Putt Putt and Hagen. The main Cache Creek trail is fairly popular for bikers, runners and dog walking, especially closer to the trailhead. About four miles in you will reach the Game Creek Trail junction, which can lead you to even more offshooting trails, so this area is chock full of trails and most of them have fairly mild elevation gain. However, there are a few trails that branch off and begin traveling uphill to the peaks that overlook the Cache Creek valley, including the popular Ferrins trail that can lead you to the peak of Snow King for some serious incline. Many of the side trails are very popular for mountain biking, so it is important to keep your head on a swivel to avoid collisions. See Friends of Pathways for trail maps.

Grand Teton National Park

For those wanting to run among the mountains, Grand Teton National Park offers some fantastic trails including more mellow, flatter options around the lakes at the base of the range or others that can take you up near the clouds for the more aggressive runners. Taggart lake offers a great 5 mile out and back trail through the forest to the beautiful lake, that is fairly flat and easy. For a slightly more challenging lake run, Phelps is a great option with a nice 5 mile loop around the lake that does have some incline, with about 500 feet of elevation gain. For a much more challenging run, Amphitheater lake serves as a great destination for the avid trail runner, at 9.9 miles and nearly 3,000 feet in elevation gain.

These are just two of the more popular areas to run trails, but there are many more including Teton Pass, areas in the Gros Ventre, and around Snow King Mountain.

Road Running

While the multi-use pathways do encompass many of the major roads around the valley, there are a few other popular roads that are less busy with vehicle traffic and make for great running routes. The National Elk Refuge road, which can be accessed from the northeast edge of Jackson just past the hospital, is a great dirt and gravel road with fantastic views that goes on for about 8.4 miles. Spring Gulch road is another great option for a scenic run, especially if you are taking off from Jackson, you will be staring at the Grand Teton for nearly the entire stretch as you make your way toward the airport on this 7.7 mile route. Aside from these there are plenty of quieter roads throughout the town of Jackson and stretching out on either side of Wilson that are perfect for your running fix.

Spring In Jackson Hole – Things to Do

With the snow beginning to melt and weather starting to warm up, spring in Jackson Hole is here. Both spring and fall here in this mountainous region seem to be awkward transitional periods with the weather, activities to do, and the influx of visitors giving a middling ground to winter and summer. However although the ski resorts will soon be closed, there are plenty of other things to enjoy. Below we go over some of our favorite things to do during Spring in Jackson Hole.

National Parks

The beauty of this muddy snow melted season in Jackson Hole is that it is a much slower time for tourism than the heat of the summer and peak of the winter. Meaning you get to avoid the mayhem and crowds that normally gather throughout the parks during the summer months. Many of the hiking trails are covered in snow or mud still at this time of year but with some good boots you can still make the most of them. 

Also it is a fantastic time for wildlife viewing as the animals begin to start being more active as the snow clears out and warmer weather ensues. Bears especially are much more active coming out of hibernation, and moving down from the mountains into the warmth of the valley to get some of their first meals of the year. The elk also begin their migration out of the Elk Refuge and into the hills, as well as bison in Yellowstone that tend to become much more active. Wildlife is not limited to the national parks, but Yellowstone and Grand Teton are some of the more popular areas for them to roam.

Another awesome thing about Grand Teton during the spring during April is that the Teton Park Road is open to non-motorized traffic only until May 1st when vehicles are permitted to travel along the road. This means that the road is fair game to bikers, roller bladers, skateboarders, walkers and runners only, without the annoyance of having to dodge cars while enjoying the views and the ride/stroll. 

Fly Fishing

Before the snow melt is in full effect and the rivers start to roar with high water levels, the fly fishing is prime in the Greater Yellowstone region. While you will have to dress a bit warmer than usual, it is still a blast to get out and be on the water of the Snake River, or other nearby rivers. This period of calm water is typically throughout March and April, and it is recommended to get in touch with local fishing guides or shops to hear about the conditions. Once May and June roll around, usually this is when the water levels begin to rise depending on the harshness of the winter and how warm the spring has been, causing the rivers to become aggressively fast, murky and non-ideal for fishing. Fun fishing expeditions to the various lakes around Jackson can still be had.

Spring Skiing & Snowboarding

If you are still itching to slide down some slopes on your ski or snowboard, there is typically plenty of snow to still be had for much of spring in Jackson Hole thanks to the high elevation of the area. The Tetons are the place to be for spring skiing as the snow hangs around and Heli-skiing and backcountry touring guide services are usually still operating through May. For those looking for something a bit lighter, Snow King Mountain tends to retain snow for quite a while after closing and is fair game for skinning and hiking up, just exercise caution with rocks beginning to show themselves progressively as summer approaches. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is also an option once the Aerial Tram opens for summer in late May. Skiing or snowboarding without heavy winter gear can feel quite liberating.

Best Lakes to Hike to Near Jackson

While there are many amazing hikes around Jackson, we are focusing on the ones that lead you to gorgeous mountain lakes, that serve as a wonderful destination and turnaround point on your trek. Some of these lakes are fairly easy to get to while others require proper preparation for a longer haul, including snacks, plenty of water, bear spray and appropriate footwear. Below are some of our favorite lakes to hike to in Jackson Hole.

Phelps Lake Loop

This lake is one of the more popular hiking destinations in Grand Teton National Park, thanks to its gorgeous views and low elevation routes that lead to it. The hike begins at the Lake Creek-Woodland trailhead within the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, an area donated by Rockefeller in 2001. Due to its popularity, it is a smart move to get there early as the parking lot tends to fill up quickly. The Woodland trail is the fastest route to the lake, and there are trails that loop around the lake’s perimeter that are great to hike along or find a nice spot to picnic on the shores. Alternatively there is a longer hike from the Death Canyon Trailhead which brings you to the Phelps lake overlook that provides a higher vantage point for viewing the lake and great views looking out over the valley. For the thrill seeking hikers, there is also a popular jumping rock along the northeastern shore that is great for catching some air and cooling off all at once.

Lake Solitude

A more challenging hike due to it’s 15.3 mile round trip length, but it is all worth it thanks to the wonderful scenery and the reward of being able to dip in the lake at the end. Although it is a long trail the elevation gain is modest throughout with an average of only 307 feet gained per mile totalling at 2350 feet. The hike starts either with a hike around the south end of Jenny Lake or you may choose to take the shuttle boat across the lake to save your legs and some time, about 2.4 miles worth. There are several great viewing areas and water features to see along the way including Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Aside from the scenery you will likely encounter a good deal of wildlife on the way from bears and moose to marmot and a variety of birds. Once you have reached Lake Solitude you will see astonishing views of Teewinot Mountain, Mt. Owen the Grand Teton that makes it worth your while. Due to the length of this hike, there are many more details about the trip that you should read up on before you take off. has a great description that you can read here.

Amphitheater Lake

If elevation gain is your thing, then this hike is for you, with over 2,980 feet of elevation gain and 584 feet on average gained per mile. The round trip distance is 10.2 miles but it feels like much more with the seemingly endless switchbacks you will follow to reach your destination. You will start your hike at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. To start the trails are fairly flat and mellow until you reach the more intense portion of the hike filled with steep switchbacks. Upon nearing the lake you will pass by the smaller Surprise Lake as you reach flatter grounds. Amphitheater lake as you will notice is much bigger and surrounded by large rock walls which is where it gets its name. The lake is a great place to set up a picnic or hike around the various rock formations to look down over the valley and the rest of the mountain range. If you worked up a good sweat the lake’s frigid waters will be sure to cool you off, but most will not want to stay in for long.

Other Lakes

Aside from these lake hikes that we have mentioned there are plenty more where they came from. If you are not interested in taking any major hike, there are several great lakes that are easily accessible within a short walk from your vehicle, including Slide Lake in the Gros Ventre, and Jenny, Jackson and String Lake located in Grand Teton National Park.

Hill Climb World Championship 2021

With plenty of uncertainty in the air over whether the event would take place this year, it is now official, the 2021 Snowmobile Hill Climb World Championship is scheduled to go on – with limited attendance. The event is currently scheduled for the weekend of March 25th-28th, with races taking place each day from Thursday through Sunday. 

The races are like few others in the world with riders pushing their snowmobiles to the limit on the steep slopes of Snow King Mountain, attempting to reach the highest point possible on the hill in the shortest amount of time. Competitors from all over will travel to downtown Jackson to showcase their skills. 

Best Ways to Watch

For those wanting to catch some of the action of the Hill Climb World Championship up close, you will need to arrive early or be very patient to get into the gates of the event with the 500 person limit. Within the gates there are numerous vendors, including snowmobile companies, outdoor apparel, and of course food and beverage booths. Tickets to enter will be available at the gate for $40 each day, with no weekend passes. Alternatively spectators can purchase lift tickets to ride up to the top, with options for $20 single rides or $60 unlimited rides. Snow King is also offering a special deal for 1 hour of unlimited mountain coaster rides with an included single chairlift ride. For those who may be only mildly interested in viewing the event, it can be seen from a distance from almost anywhere in town, although you may need binoculars to really tell what’s happening from most places.

COVID Guidelines

While local legislators were somewhat reluctant to approve the event returning to action this year after being cancelled on short notice in 2020, they were able to come to an agreement to make it happen this year. The agreement came with some conditions that will make it a bit different than previous years, with the most notable change being a limited attendance of 500 people at a time within the gates of the event. Some of the other restrictions and measures include, no VIP section, masks required, COVID screenings, social distancing and sanitizing surfaces.