Set against the stunning backdrop of the Grand Teton mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is rich in history and full of culture.
From dude ranches to rustic campsites, one can get overwhelmed just picking the perfect place from among the various vacation rentals in Jackson Hole. With lovely mountain views from every angle, it’s hard to make a bad choice.
Once settled in, you might be tempted to lounge around all day relishing the view. But unlike attractions in large cities, the best parts of Jackson Hole are outdoors.
Jackson Hole isn’t your average wilderness area. In fact, this town will top your expectations with more than a few surprises and adventures.
Need help envisioning your trip? Here are eight bucket list worthy activities you must conquer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
1. Get Up Close And Personal With Massive Elk
Created in 1912, the National Elk Reserve has sheltered the elk herd and their habitat for over a century. And while thousands of elk live on the 25,000-acre refuge, these beasts aren’t the only wildlife calling the reserve home.
Visitors will also encounter mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and bison. Don’t forget to look up or you‘ll miss the bald eagles frequenting the area. Popular onsite activities include antler auctions, sleigh rides, and hunting.
2. Go Ice Fishing on Jackson Lake
Stop by the bait and tackle shop to get recommendations for wilderness guides who know the best ice fishing spots and safety practices. Ice Fishers need a permit and special equipment including an ice auger, special tackle, and ice skimmer. A portable shelter and heater could also come in handy!
Share this activity with a friend. Not only will you have good conversation and laughs while you wait for the fish to bite, but you’ll have someone who’ll know your big fish story actually happened!
3. Whitewater Rafting on Snake River
For whitewater rafting newbies, Snake River is an exciting place to learn the craft. More experienced rafters will appreciate that Snake River offers rapid intensities between Class 3 and Class 5 depending on the time of year. The higher the class, the greater the thrill, so choose wisely.
While on the water, keep your eyes peeled for the myriad of wildlife lurking below and above the water line. Conquer snake river and you’ll be on your way to rafting the Zambezi!
4. Go to a Rodeo
If you’ve needed an excuse to dust off your cowboy boots and yell, “Yeehaw,” the Jackson Hole Rodeo is your chance! Watch self-proclaimed cowboys ride wild horses and rope ornery bulls before a cheering stadium.
Prove your rodeo skills by hopping on the mechanical bull and showing your stuff.
Remember to book your ticket in advance to skip the otherwise long lines. The rodeo is popular in Jackson Hole with locals and tourists alike making it an ideal place to make new friends or create memories with old ones.
5. Watch a Shootout
The rules are a little different in the Wild West and there is no better welcome to Wyoming than the Jackson Hole Shootout. It’s not every day you get a front-row view of Old Western justice and you’ll likely hear the action before you see it.
To find out what all the commotion is about, head to Town Square and prepare for a helluva good show. If you don’t like the acting, don’t say so too loudly. Offensive statements lead to shootouts in Jackson Hole’s Town Square.
6. Watch Old Faithful Erupt
Located two and a half hours from Jackson Hole, Old Faithful beckons to travelers who’ve marveled at this legend for ages.
It’s a bucket list topper for sure and visitors, young and old, near and far, travel from all over to stand before its power. The eruptions are timed precisely helping you plan your day around the geyser.
After checking Old Faithful off the list, explore the myriad of trails in Yellowstone National Park. Although it’s hard to compete with a natural wonder like Old Faithful, the park grounds do an impressive job of aweing visitors.
7. Hike and Camp With a Llama
There are few places in America where you come face to face with a llama. And there is only one place where you and a llama can enjoy a hike along a Grand Teton trailhead. Gentle by nature and agile, llamas make the perfect travel companion. For a day of fun, take a leisurely hike along alpine-studded forests and wildflower-filled valleys.
If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure, consider bunking overnight with the llamas, while enjoying various hikes during the day.
8. Catch an aerial view of the Grand Tetons
You’ll find breathtaking views during your hike of the Grand Tetons, and the only way to get better views is to keep going up. Various companies in Jackson Hole offer birds eye views over this magnificent valley ridge.
Choose from paragliding, helicopter tours, hot air balloon rides, and more for a flight that will take you higher than any Wyoming trail. From 10,000 feet in the air, it’s hard to see anything but perfect.
Adventurers who are ready to fill their next vacation with extraordinary activities and jaw-dropping selfies would be hard-pressed to find a better destination than Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not only are you surrounded by some of the most beautiful lands on the continent, but you’ll have your pick of bucket list crushing pursuits.
Vacationing in Jackson Hole is an easy choice. Deciding how you spend your time is immensely harder!