16 Best Things to Do in Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Delving into the majestic landscapes and the untamed wilderness of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, each day unfurls a new adventure at my doorstep.

Every morning, I'm greeted by the grandeur of the Teton Range; their silent strength sets the tone.

Each season here holds its own magic, from the pure, white serenity of the winter, to the vibrant bloom of wildflowers in the spring and the golden hues of the fall.

Life here is a constant dance with Mother Nature - wild, captivating, and profoundly beautiful.

It's a privilege to call this corner of Wyoming home, and I can't wait to share with you some of the treasures it holds, just waiting to be discovered.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Discover the Wonders of the National Elk Refuge

Els at National Elk Refuge in the Snow
Reimar / shutterstock.com

Every day, I find myself drawn to the majestic tranquility of the National Elk Refuge.

Nestled just a short drive from my home in Jackson, Wyoming, this preserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

It all starts with the stunning sight of thousands of elk that descend here during the winter.

The beauty is you can experience this breathtaking spectacle without even stepping out of your car.

You can drive right through the preserve, stopping at various pullouts to watch and admire these magnificent creatures.

As a seasoned visitor, I have ventured out into the longer stretches of road that many tourists overlook, and I can tell you that it's well worth the extra miles.

You'll discover even more wildlife tucked away in these less-traveled corners.

But elk aren't the only stars of this refuge.

On one memorable visit, I had the good fortune to witness a group of rams vying for dominance.

National Elk Refuge
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Their spirited battles added an unexpected dose of excitement to the serene landscape.

On another occasion, I spotted a bunch of mountain goats effortlessly scaling the cliffs and lounging in the grass.

The refuge also houses a visitor center conveniently located in the heart of town.

There's an observation deck at the back that offers expansive views of the preserve.

If you're planning to visit during the holiday season, especially between Christmas and New Year's Day, you're in for a treat.

You'll find numerous elks huddled in the fields near the historic Miller House landmark, a sight that is undeniably heartwarming.

While admission to the refuge is free, there's an option to take a sleigh ride for an immersive experience.

And if you're as passionate about wildlife photography as I am, don't forget to bring your binoculars and a super-telephoto lens.

Trust me, the close-up encounters with the elks and bighorn sheep are something you won't want to miss.

Each visit to the National Elk Refuge is a unique adventure, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Explore Yellowstone with the Best Guide in Town

I love living in Jackson Hole.

The scenic beauty, serene environment, and wonderful people always make me grateful to call this town home.

However, the true cherry on top of this incredible place is Yellowstone Tours From Jackson Hole.

Having been on their tours several times, I can confidently say that the experience they provide is unmatched.

What I particularly enjoyed was how the guide managed to avoid the park traffic and always knew where to park.

I didn't have to worry about logistics and could immerse myself in the beauty of Yellowstone.

It was a massive stress reliever, especially when I brought my niece and nephew.

It still felt like a family outing, despite being on a guided tour.

Spend a Night at the Jackson Hole Playhouse

Front View of Jackson Hole Playhouse
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Every town has its gems. In Jackson, it's the Jackson Hole Playhouse.

Hidden amongst the mountains, the Playhouse is an experience that cannot be missed.

Right from the moment I stepped in, I was enthralled by the rustic charm and the rich history that the theater exudes.

If you are a history buff and theater aficionado like me, then this place is for you.

I always find myself coming back to enjoy the quality performances offered by talented and dedicated artists.

My recent visit was for the performance of "Annie Get Your Gun."

The laughter and joy I experienced that night is something I'll remember for a long time.

Mind you; the seating can be a bit snug, which is typical of old theaters.

But the advantage is that every seat provides an excellent view of the stage.

The Playhouse is not just about theater; it's a whole experience.

They offer a dinner service before the show, which I didn't attend on my recent visit.

But having been to the dinner service before, I can tell you it's a delightful addition to the theater experience.

The food is top-notch, and I highly recommend trying their malted milkshake.

One of the things I love about the Playhouse is how it embodies the spirit of Jackson.

It is a testament to our town's history and the love we have for preserving our heritage.

If you ever find yourself in Jackson, visit the Jackson Hole Playhouse.

Get tickets for a show, make a reservation for dinner, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable evening.

Shoot at Jackson Hole Shooting Experience

Every time my cousins come to town, we always make sure to hit up the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience.

Right from my first session, I knew we had landed ourselves a real treat.

We were half-expecting a typical, monotonous shooting tutorial.

Boy, were we wrong!

But it's not just the seasoned hunters who get to have all the fun.

When my friend, who has absolutely no experience with rifles or pistols, joined us, she was initially intimidated.

In three hours, she learned how to shoot a variety of rifles and pistols and was able to understand some of the more technical aspects of shooting.

She keeps raving about it being the highlight of her trip!

The Jackson Hole Shooting Experience is not just about shooting; it's about a community that loves to share its passion with others.

It's about patient, knowledgeable instructors who go above and beyond to provide a safe, informative, and fun introduction to shooting.

Spend a Day at the National Museum of Wildlife Art

View of Statues at National Museum of Wildlife Art
Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com

Trust me; you haven't truly experienced Jackson until you've visited the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Nestled just outside of town, this red sandstone castle seamlessly fits into the landscape, perfectly matching the beauty of the surrounding hills.

Every time I visit, I'm taken aback by the sheer amount of artwork that greets me before I even step foot in the museum.

The outside area is a treasure trove of life-size animal sculptures, with everything from moose to big horn sheep.

Every single piece is a testament to the blend of nature and modern art.

Even on days when the museum is closed, just admiring these statues and the breathtaking view that the museum offers is an experience in itself.

One of my favorite things to do is take a leisurely 15 to 30-minute walk around the museum.

This museum is more than just a place to admire art — it's a free way to enjoy the natural beauty of Jackson, stretch my legs, and appreciate the sheer artistry of the statues.

And if you're a fan of stargazing or birdwatching, the telescope for visitors is a bonus.

When the museum is open, it's an absolute delight to explore.

Not only does it offer excellent photo opportunities, but it also has its own on-site cafe, a gift shop, and even rotating displays that showcase art projects from local schools.

Plus, their exhibit showing the progression of wildlife art over several centuries is a must-see.

I can't help but admire the works of Tucker Smith and Carl Rungius every time I visit.

If you have time, you should also check out the room set up as a wildlife artist studio — an eclectic mix of fascinating details and information.

Next time you're in the area, I highly recommend stopping by and immersing yourself in the captivating art and natural surroundings that the National Museum of Wildlife Art has to offer.

Trust me, this hidden gem is not one to be missed!

Catch a Performance at the Center for The Arts

There's an incredible place here in town that's just a short stroll from the town center, and the moment you step foot in it, you're in for a treat.

The Center for the Arts, easily accessible via their website jhcenterforthearts.org, hosts a myriad of fantastic events, and I've been lucky to attend a few.

One memorable Saturday night, I saw Leftover Salmon perform live.

The venue was buzzing with energy, and the band played a fantastic set that had the crowd on their feet.

Being a smaller venue, there wasn't a bad seat in the house - the sound was spectacular no matter where you were.

Apart from the performances, what adds to the charm of the place is the bar.

It's a great spot to hang out before the show begins, with a lively atmosphere and friendly staff.

The Center for The Arts is not just about the performances; the surrounding area is also worth exploring.

Nearby, you'll find the super cool falls, and there are plenty of other local attractions that make for an eventful day out.

Engage with the Grandeur of Grand Teton National Park

Scenic View of Grand Teton National Park
Pat Tr / shutterstock.com

My backyard is a haven of natural beauty.

Nestled amid the serrated peaks and crystal clear waterways of the Teton Range, the Grand Teton National Park is my go-to place for peace, serenity, and some much-needed reconnection with nature.

It's a wonderland, a paradise that's just a stone's throw away from the heart of Wyoming.

I've heard people complain, especially tourists, about run-ins with park rangers.

They carry a reputation for being strict, but I've found that they're just doing their job, and quite efficiently, might I add.

Their primary duty is to protect this treasure and its wildlife, so be sure to look up the park regulations before planning your adventure.

But the park isn't just about the outdoors.

Grand Teton National Park
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There's a food joint that serves the most scrumptious meals, with a view of the mountains that's almost as good as the food.

The charm of the place lies in its simplicity.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself returning for the food just as much as the trails.

Perhaps the most breathtaking part of living so close to this jewel is the view of the Teton Mountains.

They're a sight to behold, especially at sunrise.

There's nothing quite like the first rays of the sun illuminating the snow-capped peaks, a spectacle so majestic it's enough to make even the most seasoned of locals stop and stare in wonderment.

So, whether you're here for the trails, the food, or the majestic views, the Grand Teton National Park offers a unique experience that's bound to captivate any visitor.

So come, join me in my backyard, and let's revel in the grandeur of nature together.

Grand Teton National Park
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Upon the bustling town streets, tucked away, is a secret sanctuary of nature and wildlife, unspoiled by the urban bustle.

It's none other than MANGELSEN—Images of Nature Gallery, a haven for those yearning for a connection with the wild.

A casual stroll often turns into an awe-inspiring journey guided by the mesmerizing works of Thomas Mangelsen, a master of his craft.

Each visit to the gallery is like stepping into a different world, one where nature is the protagonist and we are mere spectators.

The detailed images of wildlife, frozen in time yet pulsating with life, have a way of making us appreciate the beauty and diversity of our planet.

A close encounter with a prowling lion or a graceful dance of birds in flight, Mangelsen's lens brings it all to life in vivid detail.

Stroll the Town Square

Stores at Jackson Town Square
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From the iconic elk antler arches to the lively local shops and galleries, the Town Square in Jackson has always been a place close to my heart.

It's more than just a park.

It's a community center, a marketplace, a performance venue, and a living postcard of our picturesque town.

Living here, it's hard to imagine a week without a visit to the Town Square.

Its wooden boardwalks are flanked by local businesses that offer everything from delicious huckleberry sorbet to beautiful handmade crafts.

The square's farmers markets during the summer season are a true delight, brimming with the freshest produce, homemade goodies, and local crafts that perfectly capture the spirit of our community.

It's a place where you can find unique souvenirs, enjoy great food and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Yet, it's not just the vibrant atmosphere that draws me in.

The Town Square's connection to nature is unmistakable.

Those grand elk antler arches at each corner?

Jackson Town Square
Fotos593 / Shutterstock.com

They're made from antlers collected from the National Elk Refuge nearby.

It's a prominent feature that truly represents our respect and coexistence with the wildlife around us.

The square's transformation during the winter season is nothing short of magical.

Festive lights twinkle in the trees, transforming the square into a winter wonderland.

The annual Christmas tree lighting is a cherished tradition that brings the community together, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration that truly encapsulates the holiday spirit.

What’s more, Town Square serves as a gateway to the picturesque landscapes of Grand Teton and the world-renowned Yellowstone National Park.

It's the perfect starting point for planning outdoor adventures, with plenty of information centers and tour operators available to help you make the most of your expedition.

All in all, Town Square is much more than just a meeting spot.

It's the heartbeat of Jackson, embracing a charming blend of community, culture, commerce, and nature.

Each visit is a new experience that reminds me why I love calling this town my home.

Enjoying a Night Under the Stars at Jackson Hole Rodeo

Every Saturday night, my family and I make it a ritual to head to the Jackson Hole Rodeo.

It's our little taste of the wild west right here in town, and it never fails to entertain.

Stepping onto the rodeo grounds, you're hit by the buzz of excitement and anticipation.

The night kicks off at exactly 8:00 pm - they're punctual, and you'd do well not to be late.

The arena fills up fast, and you wouldn't want to miss a minute of the action.

The first events are the roping competitions; the skill and precision of the competitors are something to behold.

My personal favorite, though, is the bronco riding.

The raw power of the horses and the sheer grit of the riders is enough to get anyone's heart pounding.

But the rodeo isn't just for the adults.

The organizers make sure there's fun for the whole family.

Toward the end of the night, they host a competition for the kids.

Seeing those little ones chasing after sheep, trying to snag a ribbon for a prize, is a sight that'll make you laugh and warm your heart all at once.

And let me tell you, the folks putting on this show are some of the finest you'll meet.

From the fabulous announcer to the dedicated staff, everyone involved truly enjoys their job, and it shines through in every aspect of the event.

Discovering History at Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Front View of Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum
Miguel Hermoso Cuesta, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every now and then, I find myself drawn to the unassuming charm of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

As soon as I step in, it feels like I've been transported back in time, surrounded by relics of a bygone era.

The employees are always so welcoming, always ready to share a story or two about the rich history of our hometown.

I must admit, I've learned much more about the history of Jackson Hole from their passionate storytelling than I ever have from a textbook.

The museum is small yet packed with an incredible variety of exhibits, each with its own unique story to tell.

It always feels like there's something new to discover.

One of my favorite exhibits has to be the one about the women of Jackson Hole, particularly the women's basketball team from 1910.

That exhibit alone tells many stories of empowerment, determination, and resilience.

It's hard to walk through those rooms and not feel a sense of pride for the women who shaped our town's history.

Immerse in Creativity at Astoria Fine Art

Living in the heart of Jackson Hole, art is part of our everyday life.

Every nook and corner of this town emanates creativity, and the one place that serves as a true testament to this is Astoria Fine Art.

Right next to the park, this fine art gallery has been my go-to spot for years.

The moment you step inside, you're greeted by friendly staff who share your love for art.

The gallery is pet-friendly too, and my medium-sized Labrador always enjoys the attention he gets here.

The eclectic collection of paintings and sculptures never fails to amaze me.

All the art pieces are diverse, yet somehow all perfectly embody the essence of our region.

What's truly special about Astoria is that it represents both U.S. and international artists.

Walking through the gallery, you embark on a journey around the world, all while staying in Jackson Hole.

Each visit here feels like exploring a new part of the world and meeting new artists through their work.

One of the most memorable encounters I had at Astoria was with the work of Greg Fulton.

His discerning eye for high-quality fine art translates beautifully into his pieces.

I remember standing in front of one of his paintings, utterly captivated by the intricate details and the compelling story it conveyed.

Astoria Fine Art has made art more accessible for people like me, and it's become an integral part of our community.

Whether you're looking to buy a piece for your cabin or just seeking some artistic inspiration, Astoria is the place to be.

And for anyone who visits, I always say the same thing - indulge yourself in the unique collection of wildlife art.

Have a Refreshing Soak at Granite Hot Springs

Two People Swimming at Granite Hot Springs
melissamn / shutterstock.com

I can't count the number of times I've escaped the hustle-bustle of life and headed towards the heart of the mountains to soak in the warm embrace of the Granite Hot Springs.

Each journey to this hidden gem, tucked away deep in the expanse of the Teton Mountains, feels like an adventure.

The drive, though a long 10-mile stretch on a gravel road, is worth every turn of the wheel.

The path weaves through the untouched wilderness, offering panoramic views of towering mountains, rushing rivers, and a spectacular waterfall that marks the near end of the journey.

It's like nature's way of preparing you for the tranquil experience that awaits.

Once I reach the hot springs, the tranquility of the place instantly washes away all my stress.

The warm water, heated deep within the Earth's crust, has a magical soothing effect.

I often spend hours soaking in the springs, enjoying the beautiful contrast of hot water against the cool mountain air.

The cost is extremely reasonable, which adds to the attractiveness of the place.

However, remember to bring cash as that's the only mode of payment they accept.

Embark on a Thrilling Adventure with Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours

I'm telling you, you haven't experienced the full essence of Wyoming unless you've braved the open wild with Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours.

Buckle up because it's not your average day trip.

Setting off on a full-day course up to granite hot springs, the journey itself is a delight.

With the entire uphill journey taking a cool 2.5 hours, including a few breaks for our furry athletes, it was nothing short of spectacular.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the spring area well-facilitated, which was more than I initially expected.

It was so revitalizing to soak in the springs I didn't even feel the cold while changing back into my winter gear.

The adventure itself was well-planned and executed.

From the delicious hot brie and crackers served while lunch was prepared to the breathtaking views witnessed along the way — it was one thrilling ride.

I've lived here my whole life, and I can vouch that a half-day tour is also a fantastic option if you're strapped for time.

Trust me, riding in the sled or standing on the runners is an experience you won't forget.

This excursion is not just about dog sledding or soaking in hot springs; it's about embracing the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Embrace the Thrills at Snow King Mountain

Cable cars at Snow King Mountain
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It's hard not to feel a pang of pride every time I glimpse Snow King Mountain from my front porch.

The mountain, a canvas of majestic snow in winter and a vibrant carpet of green in summer is like an old friend, generously offering new adventures every day.

Zipping down its slopes on a snowboard, feeling the cool wind against my face, is a thrill that never gets old.

The skiing and snowboarding lessons available have been instrumental in improving my skills, and the tubing has made for countless laughter-filled afternoons with friends.

However, the adventure doesn't stop when the snow melts.

Summer brings with it a myriad of exhilarating activities.

I tested my courage on the zip line, the adrenaline rush as I soared through the air, making it an unforgettable experience.

The lead guide, Ryan, along with Shannon, Megan, and Zack, ensured our safety while making the whole experience immensely enjoyable.

The equipment was top-notch and suited everyone in our group, from young teenagers to adults in their 40s.

View of Snow King Mountain during summer
randy andy / Shutterstock.com

But it's not just about the thrills.

The mountain also offers a chance to experience the mesmerizing beauty of our local wildlife up close.

Gabe, the wildlife tour guide, is a treasure trove of knowledge about the local flora and fauna.

His guided tours have offered me some truly epic views, excellent animal spotting, and enlightening commentary.

And when it comes to winding down after a day filled with excitement, the resort at Snow King Mountain offers comfort and luxury in equal measure.

The newly redesigned rooms have a warm, welcoming ambiance, and the updated menu promises a gastronomic delight.

It's not just a mountain.

It's a place where memories are made, where friends and families come together to create unforgettable experiences.

And as someone who has the privilege of calling this place home, I can vouch for the magic that unfolds here every day.

Relax on a Cozy Afternoon at Phil Baux Park

Parking sign at Phil Baux Park
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

You wouldn't believe how many Saturdays I've spent at Phil Baux Park.

This green oasis, nestled in the heart of our town, is like my second living room – a place to unwind, enjoy nature, and engage with our vibrant community.

There's a sense of tranquility that washes over me each time I step foot onto its manicured lawns.

You'll often catch me sprawled out on a picnic blanket, book in hand, soaking up the afternoon sun.

And when my nephews visit, they're all over the play structure - the laughter and joy it brings them is absolutely contagious.

One of the park's standout features for me has to be the climbing rocks.

Picture me, a middle-aged local, trying to keep up with the neighborhood kids on those rocks.

Hilarious, I know. But it's not only the kids who enjoy them.

They've become something of a communal fixture for regulars.

We have rock climbing challenges, and I'll tell you, it's a sight to behold, watching everyone from toddlers to retirees taking part!

Phil Baux Park is also the site of numerous community events, from summer concerts to farmers' markets.

I'm a regular at these gatherings - they're a great way to connect with neighbors and support local trades.

Plus, there's nothing quite like a fresh ear of corn from our local farmers' stand.

Final Thoughts

Having lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for many years, I can personally vouch that this small town offers big adventures.

The plethora of activities and natural beauty of the region make it a true gem.

In the end, no matter where you go or what you do here, you will inevitably be charmed by this place as I have been.

That's the magic of Jackson Hole, a place that's truly larger than life.

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