My children and I just recently got back from our first visit to Jackson, Wyoming. We were staying with family who just purchased a home out from town. So, with my family’s help we tried to do as much as possible to get the most from our visit of this area.
First, is it Jackson or Jackson Hole? Well, Jackson is just one town located in Jackson Hole, which refers to the entire valley. The valley (Jackson Hole) also includes Teton Village, Wilson, the Aspens, Moran Junction, Moose, and more. Both the city and the valley are named for Davey Jackson, a nineteenth-century fur trapper who was one of the first Europeans to spend a winter in the valley. It was one of his favorite trapping spots, and the flat valley floor completely surrounded by mountains became known as Jackson’s Hole. (Eventually, the ‘s’ was dropped.) So, while the locals or regular visitors will use the names correctly, you will often hear both names used interchangeably.
While this beautiful part of the country is known for snow skiing during the winter, there are many great things to do and see during the summer months. So, here are my list of 9 things to do during the summer in Jackson Hole.
9 Fun Things to Do During the Summer
in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
1. Horseback Riding Whether you are a newbie to horseback riding or experienced, there are several outfitters that will take you on a guided trail ride. We chose Spring Creek Ranch. They have a one hour or two hour option. The one hour option is plenty to get a great experience riding horses and to see some magnificent views of the Jackson Hole valley. The group size was about ten people with a front and a rear guide. The staff is very helpful and give you a good overview of the things you’ll see along the trail.
2. Whitewater Rafting Ready to get a little wet while seeing some beautiful views of the Snake River? Consider a whitewater rafting trip. There are several outfitters in the area. We used Dave Hansen Whitewater & Scenic River Trips. The rafting trip is about 8 miles ling (approximately an hour and half on the river). Not interested in whitewater rafting? Check out their relaxing scenic trip.
Note: The Snake River is usually shades of blue/green. However, due to heavy rain the night before our rafting trip there was a mud slide that polluted the river.
3. Take a Free Gondola Ride at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort During the summer season after 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays - Sundays, you can ride the Bridget Gondola free of charge. What a great way to take a scenic ride to the top of the mountain and then back down. We encountered a brief thunderstorm once we reached the top and they had to temporarily suspend the gondola service. However, what a neat perspective to watch a thunderstorm passing over a valley than from way up high on a mountain.
4. Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art Looking for something a little more relaxing? Check out the National Museum of Wildlife Art just a few miles north of Downtown Jackson. Here you will find galleries full of wildlife and landscape art, a short walking trail with outdoor art pieces, and a great shop to pick up some artistic souvenirs. There’s even a cafe to enjoy lunch as you look out over the beautiful valley.
5. Ride the Cowboy Coaster and More Need something to do with the kids? Head over to Snow King Mountain near Downtown Jackson. You can ride the Cowboy Coaster or Alpine Slide, play a round of mini golf, get lost in the Amaze’n Maze and more.
6. Dine and Shop Around the Square Of course you’ll want to take home some souvenirs and enjoy some wonderful restaurants. Spend part or all of a day wondering around Downtown Jackson. There are lots of neat shops and great restaurants around the square and out a flew blocks in every direction. Be aware, while parking is free, it can be hard to find during the busy season. The public parking lots and garage do fill up quickly. Be sure to get to supper early or plan to wait a while. The popular restaurants will always have a wait.
7. Rent a Bike.
Want to take a spin through town or throughout the valley? Consider renting a bike (they even have electric bicycles). There are plenty of bicycle lanes and paths all throughout the valley leading towards Downtown Jackson.
8. Visit Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone National Park Approximately 8 miles north of Downtown Jackson is the Grand Teton National Park. About another 50 miles further north is the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Both are great options for hikes, sightseeing, and more. Be sure to stop off at their Visitors Centers for more information. It is recommended you purchase your passes in advance to save a little time.
9. Go For a Hike There are quite a few trails to choose from, depending on the level of difficulty you choose. For more information, visit https://www.jacksonhole.com/hiking.html.
Have you visited Jackson Hole before? If so, comment below on any recommendations you have for visitors to do while there.
Interested in planning a trip for any time of the year to Jackson Hole? Contact me and let’s discuss your plans so I can help book your amazing trip.