Jackson Holeis a spectacularly beautiful valley that lies between the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountains in western Wyoming. Jackson, the largest town in the area, is situated at the southern end of the valley. Adjacent to Jackson Hole is Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, while Yellowstone National Park is also nearby. Depending on the season, many Jackson Hole vacation rentals are ideally located so you can easily access a wide range of activities such as rafting, hiking, horseback riding, and numerous snow sports. Because seasonal changes can be dramatic, it is advantageous to consider what time of year you plan to visit. Here are the top things to do in Jackson Hole during each season.
Visiting Jackson Hole in the Summer
During Jackson Hole summers, the weather is warm, the water in lakes and streams becomes less chilly, and frequent afternoon showers keep the air fresh and clean. When determining what to pack for your holiday, settle on shorts, swimwear, and sunglasses. The rivers run full from the snowmelt of spring, and summer is the perfect time for a thrilling whitewater excursion or quiet river float down the Snake River with Mad River Boat Trips. By summer, trails become completely clear of snow, and a Hole Hiking Experience offers half day or full day hiking tours with expert guides so you can explore the lush valley wilderness. Mountain biking is also excellent, so hook up with Teton Mountain Bike Tours in Jackson to rent a bike and strike out on your own or join a guided tour of the Yellowstone-Teton area. For an unforgettable adventure, head for Mill Creek Ranch and join a trail ride on horseback. The horses are gentle, well trained, and suitable for all ages.
The warm summer weather gives you a great opportunity to try out the Teton Pines 18-hole golf course. Designed by legendary golf champion Arnold Palmer, the course is set amidst gorgeous scenery, and you may even spot some wildlife while you play. For an amazing view of the Teton Mountain range and the valley of Jackson Hole, take a ride on the Aerial Tram that carries you to an altitude of over 10,000 feet at the top of Rendezvous Mountain. For an even higher viewpoint, take an amazing tour of the area in a small airplane with Fly Jackson Hole, which bases out of Jackson Hole Airport. To top off all this activity, the Grand Teton Music Festival is a seven-week entertainment event that takes place each summer at Jackson Hole.
Visiting Jackson Hole in the Fall
The beginning of autumn in Jackson Hole is in some ways a less crowded version of summer, although the river and lake waters become colder, making some water sports less pleasant. If you’re unsure of what to pack, consider jackets and warm clothing to be prepared for changes of temperature. The fall aspens become riotous with red, orange, and yellow color. Fishing is excellent, and Grand Teton Fly Fishing takes anglers on excursions into Grand Teton National Park to hook trout.
Fall is a fine time to relax and pamper yourself at SpaTerre in Teton Village, which has eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, an indoor pool, numerous types of massage therapy, and a large rooftop hot tub with a panoramic view of magnificent scenery. Don’t miss a visit to the renowned National Museum of Wildlife Art, which features art representing wild animals from 2,500 B.C. to the present day. The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival highlights local Native American, landscape, western, and contemporary art every autumn.
Visiting Jackson Hole in the Winter
Jackson Hole receives heavy snowfall in winter, making possible a wide range of activities. Pack warm clothing, hats, gloves, and boots, as the temperature drops drastically. Nearby Jackson Hole vacation rentals are splendid opportunities for downhill skiing at locations such as Snow King Resort and Grand Targhee. High Mountain Heli-Skiing takes you far up on the slopes for some spectacular guided skiing on untracked powder snow. Teton Pines Cross Country Ski Center provides gear rentals and extensive trails with frequent wildlife sightings. For a swifter ride through the countryside, join Scenic Safaris for a snowmobile tour through Jackson Hole’s winter wonderland. Excite the thrill seekers with a horse-drawn sleigh ride into the National Elk Refuge to view majestic elks up close.
Visiting Jackson Hole in the Spring
Spring in Jackson Hole is a mix of warm and cold weather, so be sure to pack for both. The rivers are flooding with snowmelt, and the meadows are bursting with the flamboyant colors of wildflowers. As animals emerge from hibernation and trails become passable, spring is an excellent time for wildlife observation. Wildlife Expeditions of Teton Science Schools takes you for wildlife tours of Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in spacious, comfortable vehicles with oversized windows. Expert guides know just where to go so you can view bison, elk, moose, grizzlies, and numerous other species of wildlife. If you want to focus on picture taking, Teton Photo Adventures with renowned National Geographic photographer Jay Goodrich takes you on private tours to isolated areas where you can get the best shots. In late spring, the annual Old West Days festival celebrates Jackson Hole’s historic roots with rodeo events, stagecoach rides, live music, and many other activities.
When is the Best Time to Visit Jackson Hole?
Each season at Jackson Hole has its singular attractions. Spring and fall are less crowded than other seasons, allowing you to focus on a range of cultural and outdoor activities. Winter appeals to enthusiasts of snow sports. However, for the finest weather and an overall range of exciting experiences, summer is the best time to visit Jackson Hole.
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