Jackson Hole, nestled at the foot of the Teton Mountain Range in Northwest Wyoming, provides an exciting taste of the Wild West in a number of different ways.
Moose and mule deer freely stroll the streets of Jackson, a genuine Old West town where ranchers mingle with ski bums, celebrities, and the jet set at the southern tip of the valley.
Outdoor enthusiasts will have a field day because there is so much to do in the great outdoors. Grand Teton National Park and the amazing Bridger-Teton National Forest provide breathtaking alpine views throughout the valley.
Furthermore, Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal attractions are easily accessible within a day’s drive. It’s easy to understand why Mother Nature reigns in this lovely valley, what with the abundance of wildlife that includes everything from marmots and mountain lions to bison, elk, and grizzly bears.
Skiers and snowboarders may shred up the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort if all that excitement isn’t enough. It is consistently ranked as one of the greatest ski resorts in the United States due to its over 2,500 acres of challenging and typically powder-packed ski terrain.
Do you not ski? Have no fear. Exciting activities abound in the winter, and they don’t stop with only skiing and snowboarding.
Top 8 attractions in Jackson Hole
Here is a list of the best places to visit and things to do in Jackson Hole to get your blood pumping before you visit this exciting valley.
- Grand Teton National Park
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village
- Jackson Town Square
- Jackson Hole Rodeo
- National Museum of Wildlife Art
- National Elk Refuge
- Granite Hot Springs
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking mountains and spans over 310 square miles. The craggy mountains of the Teton Mountain Range in the Jackson Hole National Area are generally the first thing that visitors to the area notice. At about 13,770 feet, Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the area.
Jackson Hole Airport is one of the few airports in the world that is located entirely within the confines of a national park, so if you’re taking a commercial aircraft to the valley, you’ll really land in Grand Teton National Park.
This is a photographers’ and nature lovers’ paradise. More than 900 types of blooming plants, 300 species of birds, and 60 species of mammals—including moose, black bears, and grizzly bears—are all part of the rich biodiversity here, making it one of Jackson Hole’s top attractions.
One of the best ways to see Grand Teton National Park is on foot. There are more than 200 miles of paths that run through the wilderness, providing access to a wide variety of scenic lookouts, from pine woods and meadows of wildflowers to glistening lakes and the flowing Snake River. Trailheads lead to popular destinations, including Signal Mountain and the lakes of Taggart, String, and Leigh.
In the warmer months, people go to the lakes. Popular water sports include kayaking, paddle boarding, and water skiing; on the other hand, a picnic by the shore is a great way to relax and take in breathtaking views. Another popular activity is a boat ride on Jenny Lake.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village
For a good reason, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is consistently ranked as the greatest ski destination in North America as well as one of Jackson Hole’s best attractions. Famous for its long runs and tough in-bounds and backcountry terrain, it is sometimes credited as the inspiration for extreme skiing. There is also ample terrain that is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers.
Skiers and snowboarders have access to almost 2,500 acres of terrain over two mountains throughout the winter months. Corbet’s Couloir is a tiny chute that drops skiers 10 to 20 feet (depending on snow conditions) from a cornice above, and it’s only for experts.
When the snow melts, the good times don’t have to end. During the summer, visitors to Jackson Hole can take the 100-person Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to an elevation of 10,450 feet to experience breathtaking scenery and high alpine hiking trails, or they can ride the high-speed gondola to a restaurant with sweeping views of the valley below.
Mountain biking, hiking, frisbee golf, and even a ropes course for climbers of all skill levels are just a few of the summertime activities available at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
At the foot of the ski slopes in Teton Village, you’ll find first-rate resort facilities. Hotels, restaurants, and stores selling outdoor gear may all be found in this area of Jackson Hole. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the free summer music series held at this venue.
Jackson Town Square
Jackson is a cool Old West town where cowboys, cowgirls, and well-to-do tourists all feel at home. Located at the southern end of the valley at an elevation of 6,237 feet, the city is a popular starting point for trips to nearby Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park which serves as one of the best attractions of Jackson Hole.
The Town Square is an ideal starting point for exploring Jackson’s many landmarks. The famed elk antler arches and the little ice skating rink are popular photo opportunities for visitors.
You may take a horse-drawn carriage ride around town as in the Old West or browse the shops and galleries along the boardwalks that radiate out from the town center.
You may find anything from gem stores to Lee’s Tees, which sells a wide variety of Jackson Hole T-shirts, in Jackson Hole’s downtown area. The top restaurants in Jackson Hole may be found all across the city.
Jackson Hole Rodeo
The Jackson Hole Rodeo is an essential part of any visit to this wild west town as it is one of its top attractions. Exciting events like barrel racing, bull riding, bareback bronc riding, and calf roping are included, and even the local children get in on the action by taking terrifying bareback rides.
During the summer, the rodeo is performed twice weekly, with additional shows scheduled for peak visitor times. The Teton County Fair, with exciting rides, exotic animals, and exciting activities, is another popular event hosted at the Rodeo Grounds annually in July.
National Museum of Wildlife Art
The National Museum of Wildlife Art, perched above the Elk Refuge, is one of Jackson Hole’s best attractions not just for its collection but also for the building’s eco-friendly architecture. The building’s natural stone exterior looks great against the surrounding rocks, and the Sculpture Trail outside the museum has large-scale sculptures of various animals.
From 2500 BCE to this day, with an emphasis on European and American painting and sculpture, the museum houses a magnificent collection of animal art. From Romanticism to Realism and from printing to photography, the almost 5,000 artworks cover it all. The permanent collection is complemented by equally impressive temporary displays.
Guests can use the museum’s spotting scope to observe actual wildlife in the Elk Refuge after viewing the collection of wildlife art. Palate, the museum’s restaurant, is among the best in the area.
National Elk Refuge
More than five thousand elk call the National Elk Refuge home throughout the winter, making it the world’s greatest gathering of its kind and one of the best attractions in Jackson Hole.
Visitors may get up close and personal with these docile animals on horse-drawn sleigh rides over the refuge’s sparkling snowscape in the winter, with rangers narrating the refuge’s history as they go.
Sleigh rides leave from the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, which features informative displays about the area’s natural history and cultural heritage. In search of some romantic solitude this winter? One of the most romantic attractions in Jackson Hole is to arrange a private sleigh ride.
There are almost 500 bison at the National Elk Refuge, and you may possibly see cougars, bighorn sheep, and trumpeter swans if you go there.
The refuge hosts tours of the historic Miller Ranch during the months of May and September, where visitors may learn interesting facts about the valley’s early homesteaders and the region’s rich history.
Granite Hot Springs
Even more so on a cold winter’s day, a bath in the hot springs at Granite is the best way to warm yourself. This lovely pool in Bridger-Teton National Forest is a popular site for both residents and visitors and one of Jackson Hole’s best attractions. The forest is home to spruce, pine, and fir trees.
A comfortable 112 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained throughout the winter. It gets about an average of 93 degrees throughout the summer. There are showers and picnic tables available, and you may soak for up to an hour here for a nominal cost.
The journey itself is an exciting experience. The springs are accessible by snowmobile or dogsled excursion throughout the winter season (early December to the beginning of April). Another option is to ride a fat bike or ski in. A rough dirt road allows for vehicle access in the summer (typically late May to October 31).
You may be wondering what else there is to do in the town of Jackson Hole during the winter if skiing isn’t your thing. What do you say to a dogsledding expedition? For animal lovers, this is a thrilling way to enjoy the outdoors throughout the winter season. This exciting activity is one of the best attractions in Jackson Hole.
Travel along the Buffalo Fork River with a professional musher and a pack of sled dogs on the Jackson Hole Dog Sledding Adventure. Relax in a sled bag and take in the sights; there’s nothing for you to do.
Want to relax in some hot springs after your sledding trip? Dog sledding tours of the scenic Bridger-Teton National Forest and the relaxing Granite Hot Springs are also available.