Picture this for a second: Jutting out from afar are snow-covered peaks, perfect for skiing or snowboarding. Then at the bottom, you see a wide park with a thicket of lush green trees, a rushing river which meanders through a field where a herd of bison can be seen grazing.
Wouldn’t that be a cool scene to wake up to every morning? Well, the good news is, you can always just go to Wyoming if you want to get away from the urban jungle to recalibrate your mood and mind in nature. And a good place to start is in Jackson Hole.
On your visit, you will see that the town is more than just the luxurious Jackson Hole cabin rentals you can get for yourself and your travel buddies. There is so much to do and see in this slopeside town. Known as a popular ski destination, it is flanked by the Teton and Gros mountain ranges, with ski resorts, hotels, spas, and restaurants scattered around town. However, its real appeal is how Jackson Hole’s old-world charm is preserved, amidst the modern luxuries you see.
Excited to go already? Here’s a guide to things to do in Jackson hole and places to visit to help you create an awesome Jackson Hole itinerary.
List of things to do in Jackson Hole-
1. Visit Parks
No Wyoming trip is complete with a visit to its popular parks, and these are all easily accessible from Jackson Hole. Each of these parks can offer visitors like you exciting outdoor activities like mountain biking , fishing, and kayaking. You can even practice scenery and wildlife photography here because there is so much of it!
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is popular around the world because of the rainbow-hued bodies of water that you can find here. It is the world’s first and oldest national park, at 2.2 million acres of land size. You will find sites such as the Grand Prismatic Spring with its ever-changing colors, the winding stairs and catwalks of the Crow’s Nest, and the boiling hot geyser of Old Faithful. You will see countless free roaming animals like elk, antelopes, wolves, and bears.
Grand Teton National Park
The Teton Mountain Range stands at 12,000 feet high and was believed to have formed millions of years ago because of a bucked fault which created 12 peaks. Other than natural trails you can hike with friends, you can also find about 300 species of birds, about 60 different species of mammals, and freshwater fish. Just like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Teton National Park is a temperate-zone ecosystem. This means that other than being the most conducive haven for wildlife, its moderate climate is also perfect for elevated prairies and thick forests. Apart from hiking, you can go rafting, fishing, and of course, skiing.
National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge was established in 1912 in Jackson Hole for its growing elk herd. They have become an important part of the Yellowstone ecosystem, so providing a winter habitat for them is way to preserve the species. Of course, while elk preservation has been the main reason for creating the Refuge, there are also other animals living with the herd like bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and bison. You can also spot different species of deer like ducks, sandhill cranes, hawks, and eagles. When you take the Refuge tour, make sure you get to try their popular sleigh ride.
2. Mountain biking
Other than skiing, Jackson Hole is a prime mountain biking destination. You can get on a cross-country bike trails at Snow King Mountain which passes through aspen groves, ski hills, and the whole stretch of Cache Creek. For the serious and more experienced mountain bikers, you can make your way to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee. For adrenaline junkies, you might enjoy the rugged terrain of the Teton Pass Trails.
3. Experience paragliding or take scenic flights
If heights are not a problem, you should definitely try paragliding. Pretty sure just thinking about running off the side of the cliff, and then gliding high (at least 3,200 feet above the valley) like a bird will appeal to you. Don’t worry, a guide will guide you through the process and will teach you how to steer and land properly. You can even choose a tandem paraglider so that an experienced pilot can do the jump with you. Or, you can just take a scenic flight around Jackson Hole. It will take you 12,000 feet high and tour you around the wilderness of the Teton Range and the Gros Ventre Mountains, or allow you to witness a dramatic sunset at Alpen Glow.
If you want to be truly immersed in nature, then camping is the best activity for you. Other than the parks, there are forest-service maintained areas that are perfect for pitching a tent. You can go to Curtis Canyon for low-impact camping in the Bridger-Teton Forest and the National Elk Refuge. But if you are an experienced camper, take a trip to Paintbrush Canyon or the Teton Crest Trail. If you find yourself low on camping gear, make your way to the Teton Mountaineering to rent equipment that will make your camping safe and enjoyable. Before you go camping to these sites, however, you must learn the restrictions set by the parks for a hassle-free camping trip.
5. Go rafting, paddle boarding, or kayaking
You can find countless lakes, streams, and rivers along the valley. So if you have had enough of the mountains and trees, you can always go to Jackson Hole’s waterways. You can go white water rafting, paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. You can even book float trips to take you through a scenic tour of Jackson Hole.
There are so many activities to enjoy on your Jackson Hole, Wyoming vacation. So make sure you’re well rested and well-equipped before you make the trip.