If you're looking to pack outdoor adventure into your summer vacation, Jackson Hole, Wyoming offers stunning mountain views with a Wild West appeal.
A visit to the northwest corner of Wyoming will likely land you in Jackson Hole, an area that encompasses the town of Jackson and the surrounding valley. According to a 2015 census, Jackson has an estimated population of just over 10,500 people, but the area is full of attractions and activities to entice visitors, especially during the warm summer months. Surrounded by stunning mountains and embodying a feel of the old Wild West, Jackson Hole is a place with plenty to explore, see, and do.
Grand Teton National Park
Located just five miles from the town of Jackson, Grand Teton National Park consists of 310,000 acres of jagged mountains, crystal-clear lakes, abundant forests, and wildlife. Take a self-guided GPS audio tour to learn about the history of the park, animal habitats, and more as you drive around. The equipment plugs directly into your vehicles and helpfully points out scenic spots you might otherwise miss.
National Museum of Wildlife Art
Fully embrace the spirit of the west with a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The museum is open seven days a week during the summer months and offers a change of pace from Jackson’s many outdoor-oriented activities. In addition to its more than 5,000 stunning works of art, the museum hosts many events throughout the year, including the Plein Air Festival (featuring landscape artists) in June.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone’s southern entrance is 60 miles from Jackson, but the 90-minute drive up US Route 89 is well worth the trip, thanks to jaw-dropping scenery along the way. Stop the car and take advantage of several scenic overlooks en route to enjoy the mountain peaks, lakes, forests, and meadows. Yellowstone itself is an unforgettable destination, with plenty of sightseeing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Jackson Hole’s proximity to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park gives visitors the unique opportunity to view wildlife they likely won’t see anywhere else, including moose, elk, bison, and golden eagles. A summer trip to the area is the ideal time to see some of the best animals in action. Local wildlife safaris capitalize on the abundant animals and offer guests guided tours that provide history, facts of the area, and the chance for extraordinary photo opportunities.
Explore the northwest corner of the Cowboy State atop a horse, riding one of the many trails in Jackson Hole. Stables welcome visiting riders throughout the area, and some ranches also offer guides, equipment, and provisions for a multi-day horseback trip. If you would rather watch cowboys in action, head to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. This 100-year-old rodeo holds events on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and some Fridays throughout the summer.
Music lovers find entertainment all throughout the summer months. Enjoy the Grand Teton Music Festival, a summer-long event that hosts various musicians, symphony orchestras, and performances throughout the week. For a more eclectic music mix, stop by Jackson Hole Live, an all-ages summer concert series held at Snow King Ball Park.
Teton Pines Country Club
Although you can golf all over the country, few places offer the scenery and prestige of Teton Pines Country Club. This Arnold Palmer Signature Course is one of the country’s most renowned mountain courses, with unforgettable scenery surrounding each fairway. Condé Nast Traveler and Golf Digest both recognize it as one of the 75 best courses in the country. Non-member play is offered every afternoon.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole’s renowned ski resort doesn’t need snow to provide a good time. The resort offers fabulous hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding throughout the summer. Ride the aerial tram for an unprecedented view of the mountain and its surrounding area, or visit the adventure park for a day spent bungee jumping, wall climbing, tackling the ropes course, and more. Serious thrill seekers can even hop on the ski lift with bike in-tow and then ride down the mountain.
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