Things to Do in Jackson

Top Things to Do in Jackson, Wyoming

Nestled in the majestic Teton Mountain Range of northwest Wyoming, Jackson is a picturesque town rich in Western heritage and outdoor adventure. As both a tourist destination and local gem, Jackson offers an abundance of activities that appeal to all types of travelers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most popular and unique experiences, Things to Do in Jackson to fill your itinerary, from world-class skiing and hiking to cultural attractions, shopping, and wildlife viewing. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Jackson has something for everyone.

Ski and Snowboard at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Consistently ranked among the best ski resorts in North America, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a must for winter visitors. With 4,139 acres spanning six mountain peaks, it features some of the most varied terrain in the country, from gentle beginner slopes to double black diamond chutes and massive powder fields. Ride the Aerial Tram to the summit at 10,450 feet for breathtaking views of the Teton Range. Advanced skiers will love Corbet’s Couloir, a steep chute named one of the top 10 most difficult runs in the world. Snowboarders can enjoy the terrain park and halfpipe. After a day on the slopes, unwind with après-ski at the base area.

Hike in Grand Teton National Park

Hike in Grand Teton National Park

Home to some of the most stunning alpine scenery in the Lower 48, Grand Teton National Park is a hiker’s paradise. With over 200 miles of maintained trails, there are routes for every ability level. Some top options include the paved 1.5-mile Jenny Lake Trail circling a glacial lake or the more strenuous Garnet Canyon Trail climbing to lofty vistas. For a multi-day adventure, backpack the rugged Teton Crest Trail along the jagged range. In winter, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing when conditions allow. Be sure to stop at the visitor center to learn about the park’s geology, wildlife, and history from rangers.

Spot Wildlife in National Elk Refuge

Each winter, thousands of elk migrate to the flat wetlands of the National Elk Refuge, one of the largest elk feeding operations in the world. Drives along the 8-mile loop road offer opportunities to spot the majestic animals up close as they graze on alfalfa pellets. Bring your camera and binoculars, as you may also see bald eagles, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, coyotes and the occasional moose or bison. Time your visit for late afternoon when the light is beautiful and elk are most active. Be sure to respect posted distances and never feed the wildlife.

Paddle the Snake River

Flowing right through town, the crystalline Snake River offers a relaxing way to take in Jackson’s natural beauty. Outfitters like Jackson Hole Kayak run guided floats down 8-12 miles of flatwater, passing sandstone cliffs and groves of aspen and cottonwood trees. Paddleboards, rafts and inflatable kayaks are also available for rent. Multi-day rafting excursions venture farther into Grand Teton National Park, navigating Class III rapids amid stunning canyon scenery. Evenings can be spent stargazing around the campfire. Both scenic and exhilarating, a river adventure is highly recommended.

Soak in Hot Springs

After a day of activity, nothing feels better than soaking your tired muscles in Things to Do in Jackson’s natural hot springs. Soak up the views and healing waters at the rustic Buffalo Fork Hot Springs, located a half hour drive north of town. Soak in private outdoor pools surrounded by forest scenery. Closer to Jackson, the luxurious Four Seasons Resort and Spa features an indulgent indoor-outdoor mineral pool complex with mountain vistas. For a unique experience, try the Saloon Hot Springs, where you can soak in an old-timey saloon complete with a honky-tonk piano player. All locations are clothing optional after dark.

Visit Historical Sites

Visit Historical Sites

History buffs will enjoy exploring Jackson’s heritage. The National Museum of Wildlife Art showcases one of the finest collections of animal art in the world inside an impressive lodge-style building. Learn about homesteading at the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum, housed in the original town schoolhouse. Step back in time at the Menor’s Ferry Historic District, where restored cabins depict 19th century pioneer life. Ghost tours offer glimpses into Jackson’s past through stories of unsolved mysteries. Architecture fans should drive the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, famous for its ornate woodwork and taxidermy menagerie.

Go Horseback Riding

With stunning mountain vistas as the backdrop, horseback riding through Jackson’s scenic landscapes is simply magical. Guest ranches like the 8,000-acre Triangle X Ranch offer guided trail rides for all skill levels. Opt for a half-day ride through sagebrush flats or multiday pack trips into the high alpine. For something more intimate, book a private ride with an outfit like Jackson Hole Trail Rides, where you’ll trot alongside a friendly guide. Horse lovers can also help with ranch chores, go on scenic wagon rides and learn to rope cattle. It’s the perfect way to soak up the Old West atmosphere.

Explore Town on Foot

Jackson’s charming downtown area is easily navigable by foot. Browse the quirky shops along Broadway, known for its Western-inspired art galleries, boutiques and outdoor gear stores. Don’t miss the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s gift shop for unique nature-themed gifts and books. Take a free historical walking tour for a glimpse at Jackson’s frontier roots. Fuel up with homemade pastries, coffee or a hearty brunch at one of the many cafes. In summer, catch live music at venues like the Pink Garter Theatre. Stroll through Town Square, home to the iconic elk antler arch, then cool off with an ice cream from Amangani Creamery.

Learn to Fly Fish

With world-class trout streams in its backyard, Jackson is fly fishing paradise. Book a half-day lesson with a local guide service to learn casting, knots and entomology. They’ll have you catching your first fish in no time! Popular spots include the Snake River, Gros Ventre River and Hoback River. For DIY anglers, stop by a fly shop in town like Jackson Hole Fly Shop for tips on hatches, regulations and your tackle needs. Consider an advanced multi-day wade fishing excursion into the remote Wind River Range. Whether you’re a pro or novice, the fishing is unparalleled.

Catch a Show or Festival

In summer, catch live music, theater and dance performances at venues like the Jackson Hole Playhouse and Center for the Arts. The town comes alive for its annual arts and music festivals like Art in the Park, Jazz in the Park and Buckrail Days Rodeo. In winter, check the schedule at venues like Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for live concerts, comedy shows and events. No visit is complete without catching the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar’s free nightly cowboy poetry gathering and western music. With so much culture on offer year-round, there’s always a fun show or festival happening in Jackson.

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From outdoor adventures and wildlife viewing to cultural attractions, shopping and relaxation, Jackson offers an abundance of memorable activities that will keep you fully engaged. With so much natural beauty and history to discover, it’s no wonder many visitors keep returning year after year. I hope this guide has provided inspiration to help you craft an itinerary tailored to your interests during your stay in this picturesque Wyoming town. Jackson is the perfect destination for those seeking an authentic Western experience amid some of America’s most stunning mountain scenery.

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