Jackson Hole is the name of the valley that sits below the Teton Mountain Range in the state of Wyoming, which is part of the Rocky Mountains. The valley includes the town of Jackson, Wyoming. While some may prefer to visit Jackson Hole in Wyoming during the winter to ski down the world class slopes, I think summer is the ideal time to for a visit to Jackson Hole.
There is just so many things to do in Jackson Hole in the summer:
Grand Teton National Park: The number one attraction that brings visitors to Jackson Hole during the summer is Grand Teton National Park. With hiking, lakes, wildlife and beautiful views of the Tetons, this National Park is a must for all outdoor lovers. Top things to see in the park are Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain and Colter Bay. Check out my one day itinerary for Grand Teton National Park.
Yellowstone National Park: Speaking of National Parks, the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park is just 60 miles north of Jackson Hole. The Jackson Hole Airport is a popular airport for travelers to fly into when visiting Yellowstone National Park. This national park can’t be missed, known for it’s abundant wildlife, popular geysers and hot springs such as Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic and other natural features like waterfalls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It’s definitely one of the most diverse parks I have ever visited.
Mormon Row: You can’t miss the Teton Mountain Range when in Jackson Hole. It’s absolutely breathtaking and one of the most popular photographed views of the Tetons is at Mormon Row. Technically part of Grand Teton National Park, I’ve included it separately as it’s off Highway 191 and can therefore be accessed without entering the park and it’s also on the National Register of Historical Places.
In the late 1890’s Mormons from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah settled into the town of Grovont, Wy, which is now known as Mormom Row. A total of 27 homesteads were built in the area. To this day, some of the homestead barns still stand on these grounds and people come from all over the world to photograph the John Moulton barn and the T.A. Moulton barn with the Tetons in the background. Sunrise is an especially popular time to photgraph Mormon Row.
Teton Village: This is a popular area surrounding the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. This isn’t just a place to enjoy during the ski season, a summer visit is also great. Check out the shops and restaurants in the village. Ride the Aerial Tram or Gondolas to the top of the mountain for fabulous views and many hiking trails to explore. Pro-tip: Check the weather report before heading up. I took the Gondola up, was up there long enough to take some quick photos, pay for a beer and a snack that I was looking forward to enjoying with the view and we were all told that lightning was heading our way and we would need to go back down as they shut the Gondolas off when there is a lightning in the area. Guess I’ll just need to go back so I can enjoy more time up there!
Rafting on the Snake River: The 1,078 foot long Snake River starts in Wyoming and flows thru Idaho into Washington State. It flows right thru Jackson and is the perfect spot for a rafting adventure. From a scenic float to Class III whitewater, there’s a raft trip for everyone. I’m not the biggest fan of getting wet, especially when it’s really cold water, so I opted for the scenic float. It was a 13 mile float down the river, with not just the beautiful scenery of the Tetons, but also plenty of wildlife to see along the way. We saw a bald eagle and pelicans. I was really surprised with the pelicans, I always think of somewhere by the ocean or a river in the southern part of the US when I think of place I would see pelicans, I certainly didn’t think I’d see them in the mountains of Wyoming!
I highly recommend Teton Whitewater for your rafting trip. Their guides were knowledgable about the area and alot of fun.
Jackson Hole Rodeo: Wyoming is the “Cowboy State” and rodeo is the state sport, so how could you come to Wyoming and not attend the rodeo? The Jackson Hole Rodeo takes place every Wednesday and Saturday night in June and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights in July and August.
For this city girl, the rodeo was definitely a different way to spend a Saturday night. It’s an experience that you must have when in Wyoming. I had a lot of fun!
Downtown Jackson Hole: It may be small for a downtown, but Jackson Hole’s downtown has a lot to offer. During the peak travel months, traffic going into downtown can go for miles. Best to arrive in the morning and just spend the day exploring downtown to miss the worst of the traffic.
Located in the center of town is George Washington Memorial Park, otherwise known as Town Square. Each corner of the park features arches that are made of elk antlers. The arches are a great place to take a photo! The park is a great place to relax and enjoy the nice weather or on a warm day sit and enjoy an ice cream cone from Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream located nearby. I highly recommend the huckleberry ice cream. Or in the morning enjoy your coffee in the park, stop by nearby Cowboy Coffee. I absolutely loved getting coffee at this local spot every morning.
The Jackson Hole Historical Society offers free walking tours from the Town Square during the summer months. These tours will take you past historical buildings while you hear stories of Jackson Hole’s history.
Have a meal or enjoy a drink in one of these historic buildings. Jackson Hole Drug has been around for over 100 years, it’s gone thru different ownership and closed and reopened, but as of 2016 it’s back under ownership of a new generation of the original owners. If you are looking for a casual meal, this historic soda fountain is the place for you.
Looking for a after dinner beverage, well look no further than Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. This fun bar has been around since 1937 and has been visited by people from all over the world, including many celebrities. They offer live entertainment and my favorite part was the saddle bar stools. My short self might have had a little trouble getting up on the bar stool. lol This is a must stop in Jackson in my opinion.
Check out the shops to pick up some great souvenirs, from the typical touristy t-shirts to great quality western wear and cowboys boots.
Dowtown Jackson Hole is a great place to stay as well, there are many hotels located downtown like the historic Wort Hotel which has been in business since 1941 and has been rated as one of the best hotels in the state of Wyoming.
These are just a few of the many things there are to do during the summer in Jackson Hole. With the great scenery, the outdoor activities are endless. It’s definitely the perfect spot for a family vacation.