Jackson Hole lies in a mountainous wonderland in northeast Wyoming. Both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are in the north, and an alpine wonderland sits to the south. Thousands of tourists travel to this destination in both the summer for hiking and winter for skiing. If this is your first time, check out the following must-have experiences in Jackson and Jackson Hole at any time of the year.
Stay in a Log Cabin
Just picture waking up inside one of the traditional log Jackson Hole cabins in Teton Village. Mountains surround you and snow falls in the winter months. Splash out a little. It’s worth it for the experience on your trip. You can stay in a cabin at any time of the year. Expect the prices to be higher in the warmer months.
Go Mountain Biking
Combine hundreds of trails in rugged mountain terrain with breath-taking scenery, and you have the perfect spot for adrenaline junkies. Several mountain bike rental shops are in and around Jackson Hole catering to people of all abilities. Head to Teton Pass to experience the wilder side of biking and to speed over a few jumps. If you’re not confident enough on the track, a paved road connects Wilson, Teton Village and Jackson. You can also cycle into the Grand Teton National Park.
Another favorite for adrenaline junkies. Or perhaps you want to tick a lifelong dream off the bucket list. You can arrange a package and get strapped to an experienced pilot and glide through the peaks in Teton. The once in a lifetime experience allows you to get a birds-eye view of the valley below. And if it’s your first time, don’t worry. You’ll be in the save hands and gliding in tandem 1000 meters to the valley floor below. Paragliding tours are available in both the summer and winter.
Spend a Night or Two in a Tent
This may sound like a contradiction to the first point suggesting that you should stay in luxury. But, by spending all your time in the comfort of a cabin, you’ll miss out on the adventure and experience of the great outdoors. Jackson Hole is one of the top spots in the United States for campers. Various sites around Jackson, Teton Forest and Curtis Canyon provide some of the best and most scenic places to set up a tent. If you visit in summer, why not spend at least one-night camping? Just be aware that certain permits and restrictions may be in place.
Enjoy the Water
Jackson Hole is home to several lakes and rivers that are perfect for canoeing, paddleboarding and whitewater rafting. The top places to check out include Teton Lakes and Snake River. The lakes are gentle, clear and perfect for floating along and enjoying the scenery. Fishing enthusiasts will love Snake River, and those looking for an epic rafting experience should head to Snake River Canyon. You can also go swimming in the lakes and river or visit the Granite Hot Springs.
Most tourists come in the warmer months. But a small percentage return to hit some of the United States’s best slopes. More than 100 runs range from absolute beginner up to double black and backcountry routes. Some of the toughest runs in the country are in Jackson Hole. Snow conditions are always optimal making a good skiing session almost guaranteed. The best spots include the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort and the Snow King Ski Area. Ski schools can teach the novice or help the veterans brush up on their skills. Rental equipment is available too.
Have a Special Experience Dog Sledding
Sled Tours offer a unique experience. Visitors have the choice between a full and half day tour, which head through the valley towards Granite Hot Springs. The Northern Huskies pulling the sled are an elite breed, the same ones that transport the Eskimos around up north. Guides teach you about the dogs, their specific breed and why they’re so important. Remember to dress in warm clothes as you’ll be outside and exposed to the elements for several hours. And keep your eyes open for the wildlife such as moose, elk and bald eagles.
Rent a Snowmobile
One of the top winter activities is to rent a snowmobile and explore the surrounding winter wonderland. Tours are available to take visitors to Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful, Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass and through the Gros Ventre Mountains. As you’re driving along, keep your eyes open for the wildlife. It’s possible to rent a snowmobile on your own, but you need to have a guide to visit Old Faithful.
Rent Some Snowshoes
Snowshoeing is the best way to hike in the snow. The large shoes attach to the bottom of your boots and allow you to quickly and efficiently move around. When you’re comfortable, it gives you the opportunity to appreciate the winter and natural beauty without restrictions. Consider snowshoeing in the Grand Teton National Park, along the Nordic and Cross Country Ski Trails and through the backcountry skiing hotspots along the Teton Pass. Guides are available and recommended for those without experience.
The Must-Have Experiences at Jackson Hole
There are lots of unique experiences to have in Jackson Hole depending on whether you plan to visit in the summer or winter. Consider camping, mountain biking and canoeing when the weather is warmer. And don’t miss out on snowmobiling, dog sledding and snowshoeing later in the year.