Jackson Hole is a town in the valley of Wyoming with an estimated population of 10,500. The town gained a significant amount of fame in 2016 when a livestream of Town Square went viral on YouTube. This lead to much fascination with the town’s elk antler arches, ski resorts, and nearby national parks.
Jackson Hole is also known as a part-time home to famous actor Harrison Ford. He lives on an 800-acre ranch in Jackson with approximately half of which he has donated as a nature reserve.
So with all of this recent hype, is Jackson really as great as people say it it is? And what is there to do in this small valley town? The answer to this question is yes! Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit Jackson, Wyoming to see the elk refuge, raft the snake river, visit Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and so much more.
As a former local to the Jackson Hole area, here is a guide to the top five things you’ll want to do while in Jackson (the elk refuge would have been in the top five if it weren’t summertime):
Town Square – Antler Arches of Jackson
Town Square is the centerpiece of Jackson. It is framed by four elk antler arches (made from hundred of elk antlers) and is surrounded by great dining, bars, gift shops, and art photo galleries. It is located across from the famous Million Dollar Cowboy bar which was featured in a number of western Hollywood movies. Town Square is also close to the recreation center that features a gymnasium, lap pool, water slide, and kid pool.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming, about five miles from Jackson Hole. From the south side of the park, the park is only 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Grand Teton National Park encompasses about 310,000 acres and includes a 40 mile long stretch of the Teton mountains.
The mountains are definitely the main feature of the park, but there are plenty of other great things to do as well. Activities range from fly fishing to wildlife tours to boat excursions on Jenny Lake.
River Rafting & Tubing
Jackson Hole is also in the perfect location to offer amazing whitewater rafting and float trips. There are many different rafting companies near Jackson that have professionally trained guides to make your experience unforgettable. The river offers calm waters for relaxation as well as large rapids to give you a wild thrilling ride.
Snow King Mountain Resort
Snow King Mountain Resort is a ski hill located in the southeast corner of Jackson Hole. It was originally founded in 1939 and was the first ski area in Wyoming. Besides being used as a winter ski hill, it is also used for summertime activities. Summertime activities include the newly installed cowboy coaster, mini golf, zip lines, climbing walls, and a scenic chair lift ride. There’s also great biking and hiking trails that go all over the mountain.
Jackson Hole Museums
Just like any town or city, there is a museum. Jackson is unique in the fact that it has four traditional museums and 10 additional galleries or goldsmiths museums. All of the museums are great to see, but if you have limited time you’ll definitely want to visit the Jackson Hole Museum and National Museum of Wildlife.
Jackson Hole has so much more to offer, but this is a great start to some of the main things to do.