Jackson, Wyoming is located in the northwest part of Wyoming in the Jackson Hole Valley. It is known as the gateway to two of America’s best national parks, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Jackson is a very popular ski town in the winter months and is home to great natural beauty and fantastic hiking and backpacking in the summer, making it a great vacation destination year round.
Jackson is a great place to explore the beauty of nature. Grand Teton National Park is the highlight of any trip to Jackson and will take your breath away. The park has 310,000 acres of jagged, snow-capped peaks, verdant forests, gorgeous wildflowers and crystal-clear alpine lakes. There are great opportunities to hike, mountain climb, cross-country ski and fish in the park. You’ll most likely see some interesting wildlife while traversing the park, including moose, elk and bison. Bears and coyotes also call the park home, so take extra precautions when heading out on a hike.
While in Jackson, one of the best things to do is to take a guided wildlife and nature tour through the Grand Teton National Park and surrounding areas. Some of the best companies to check out include BrushBuck Wildlife Tours and Jackson Hole Eco Adventures. On these tours you’ll be able to see and learn about animals and the nature in the area and you’ll undoubtedly have a great experience. Day hikers will love taking a boat across Jenny Lake and then hiking up to Inspiration Point in Cascade Canyon.
If you’re visiting in the winter months and enjoy skiing, check out the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Another fun activity in the winter months is to go to the giant unenclosed sanctuary of the National Elk Refuge where you can spot thousands of elk while driving through in your car or take a guided sleigh tour. This isn’t a great spot to go in the summer months, because there aren’t many elk out and about. In downtown Jackson there are great restaurants and tourist shops to check out. The town square has a great “old west” feel to it. Have a cocktail at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where you can sit on a saddle at the bar. Check out Mad River Float Trips while in Jackson, which is one of several float companies in the area. It offers scenic leisurely trips or whitewater rafting trips with up to Class 3 rapids on the Snake River.
The best day trip to take from Jackson is to visit Yellowstone National Park about 20 miles north of Jackson. Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the country and one of the most recognized around the world, though it is quite different in scenery from nearby Grand Teton. Yellowstone spans nearly 3,500 square miles atop a volcanic hot spot located mostly in Wyoming but also overlapping into Montana and Idaho. The park is famous for its beautiful natural features like its canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers including Old Faithful. Its also recognized for its hundreds of American animal species including bears, bison, wolves and elk. There are all kinds of great hikes you can take that take you to the most scenic spots in Yellowstone, so be sure to check out trail maps online or at Yellowstone’s many visitors’ centers to see what you want to do.
There are all kinds of great vacation rentals in Jackson including beautiful mountain village style homes and cabins. Most of the vacation rentals are in the Teton Village, which is an excellent option for skiers and snowboarders who are visiting during the winter. In the summer, look for rentals in Jackson Hole for some peace and quiet, or in downtown Jackson for easy access to restaurants, grocery stores, and shops where you can stock up on gear for your adventure.
You will probably have your own car in Jackson whether you drive or rent and it’s very easy to get around that way and to the national parks. The city is small enough to walk and bike around as well. There is the START bus service that runs throughout the Jackson area and to and from the Teton Village as well. You can also take a shuttle from Salt Lake City to downtown Jackson, which takes about five hours.
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