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Your guide to Jackson Hole
All About Jackson Hole
Framed by the soaring peaks of the Teton Mountains and Gros Ventre Mountains, Jackson Hole is a picturesque valley in northwest Wyoming, located near the border of Idaho. In winter, visitors arrive here to ski at major resorts, with the city’s main ski area offering more than 2,500 acres of skiable terrain. In summer, the snow melts from the jagged mountain peaks, and adventurers are drawn to whitewater rafting and kayaking on Snake River and hiking through pine forests past sparkling lakes in Grand Teton National Park.
There are four towns that lie within the Jackson Hole valley, including the vibrant town of Jackson. The center of Jackson is lined by bars, restaurants, and shops, and the town square is home to an ice-skating rink in winter and the Old West-style Jackson Hole Shootout demonstrations in summer. Both Jackson Town Square and Gaslight Alley offer robust shopping options in Jackson, with shops selling a variety of items including handcrafted jewelry, quirky T-shirts, and unique candies from all over the world.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Jackson Hole
Each season offers something different at Jackson Hole, and there are many house and condo rentals to choose for your visit. In summer, you can expect mild and dry days for enjoying the outdoors. The nights can cool down, so it’s a good idea to pack a jacket with your sunscreen. A music festival in July and August offers six weeks of classical musical performances from some of the country’s finest musicians. In fall, days are still warm enough to spend outside and the changing foliage gives a vibrant appearance to the forest here.
During the autumn season, the Fall Arts Festival in September showcases contemporary and Native American art. Spring temperatures can be a little unpredictable, so it’s a quieter time in Jackson Hole. The wildflowers are blooming, and wildlife is more visible, so it’s still a great time to visit. In winter, the valley is covered in snow for skiing, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing. With all that snow comes cold temperatures, so make sure you are prepared with warm clothing layers.
Top things to do in Jackson Hole
Grand Teton National Park
There are nearly 500 square miles of wilderness and many trails to explore in Grand Teton National Park. The Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail is a mostly flat two-mile loop that will reward you with amazing views of Jackson Lake and the Tetons. If you’re up for something more challenging, you could hop on the shuttle boat across the lake to Hidden Falls and embark on the Inspiration Point Trail. This two-mile loop leads you to the magnificent Jenny Lake, which sits at the base of Cascade Canyon.
Yellowstone National Park
Take a 45-minute drive to this world-famous park, which is home to the largest concentration of geysers in the world — around 10,000 active thermal features. You’ll see rocky flats with plumes of rising steam, bubbling mud pots, geothermal pools, and the park's most famous feature, Old Faithful, which erupts regularly. The park is also a haven for diverse wildlife, including herds of elk, bison, and moose that roam freely on the plains, while grizzly bears, coyotes, and wolves hunt in the valley.
Snow King Mountain
Just a few blocks from Jackson’s Town Square, board a scenic chairlift to the summit of Snow King Mountain. Since this chairlift is open year round, you can experience the 360-degree mountain views regardless of whether there’s snow on the ground. During summer, the landscape features white-capped mountains peeking behind green, grassy foothills. During the winter, the bright white, powdery snow covers most of the landscape, aside from the undersides of evergreens and the jagged features of the area’s tallest peaks. Once at the summit, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, and you could even hike back down to town — or simply hop back on the lift for another beautiful trip to the bottom.