Elevation 6,237 feet, Population 9,577
Western US heritage collides with modern mountain town vibes in Jackson, WY. Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains at the base of the towering Teton Range, Jackson Hole is a world-class destination for skiing and mountaineering. However, those aren’t the only outdoor activities that attract people to this lively town. Visitors come from all over to climb, hike, fish, mountain bike, run, and off-road here. In addition to its all-inclusive outdoor recreation scene, Jackson, WY is home to picturesque campgrounds and a variety of flavorful dining options.
Jackson Hole is encompassed by protected wilderness, making it the perfect hub for backcountry adventures. Whether you’re interested in climbing in the Tetons, running rapids on the Snake River, skiing in the backcountry, or backpacking through the remote mountain terrain in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is your basecamp for adventure.
Local Adventure Vibe:
Jackson Hole is defined by its proximity to the mountains and pristine wilderness areas. Located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, this adventure town is home to many different species of wildlife and a beautiful landscape.
The winter season brings folks from all over for the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. This annual event celebrates the town’s love of snowmobiling with a competitive race at Snow King Mountain. With spring skiing comes Pole, Peddle, Paddle. This original race invites teams of thrill-seekers to compete in a series of four events, which includes alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biking, and boating.
Once summer arrives, the warm weather brings along snow-free mountain trails and the Rendezvous Mountain Hillclimb. This rugged race challenges runners with 4,000’ of vertical gain and a 1,200’ decent over the 8-mile course.
The Teton Range is perhaps one of the most recognizable and photogenic ranges in the Rocky Mountains. The rugged peaks proudly form the scenic backdrop for Jackson Hole. The Cathedral Group consists of Grand Teton (13,775’), Mount Owen (12,928’), Teewinot (12,325’), Middle Teton (12,804’), and South Teton (12,514’). These five mountains are the most iconic summits in the Teton Range and frequent the dreams of mountaineers and landscape photographers alike.
Food and Drink
Flavors from all over the world make up the dining scene in Jackson, WY. With so many options to choose from, here are the best spots to satisfy your palate. Fuel up for the day at The Bunnery Bakery and Restaurant! Conveniently located in the center of Jackson Hole near Town Square, this is the perfect place to find a casual atmosphere, a variety of breakfast options, and rich coffee. Liberty Burger boasts the best burger in Jackson, but you’ll have to try one for yourself! Whether you’re looking for a juicy bison burger or a vegetarian alternative, this burger joint will surely impress. Dine in style at Bin22! Try the mouthwatering small plates with a Spanish and Italian flare while you sample the premiere wine or local beer selection. If you have a sweet tooth, Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream exists to appease you! From homemade huckleberry ice cream to freshly baked pastries, there’s something everyone will enjoy! Locals and visitors alike will tell you that the best après-ski is at the Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon. At the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, this is the best place to grab a drink and a plate of nachos after a day on the slopes.
Best Places to Stay
The accommodations in and around Jackson range in levels of luxury. Pitch a tent in the Bridger-Teton National Forest if you’re looking for solace on the edge of the wild or choose to book a stay in one of the many hotels near the amenities of town. There’s even an opportunity to stay in a cozy canvas glamping cabin at Moose Creek Ranch!
Campgrounds and Dispersed Camping:
Jackson Hole is surrounded by public land that includes an abundance of camping options. Bear in mind, you’ll be camping in bear country. Always properly store food and scented items while maintaining a clean camp to avoid attracting any unwanted visitors.
This large campground is 9 miles from the conveniences of Jackson and offers an easy escape into nature. Campers who enjoy fly fishing or wildlife photography are in luck. The campground is on the banks of the Gros Ventre (pronounced grow-vont) River, a favored fishing destination with frequent moose sightings.
Tip: Try to get a site that faces the Teton Range!
If you’re looking for a quiet escape, Atherton Creek Campground is your perfect lake-side destination. Although it’s still only a 30-minute drive from Jackson and Grand Teton National Park, this peaceful campground serves as a great alternative when the other area campgrounds are at capacity.
Tip: Bring a paddle board or kayak to explore Lower Slide Lake.
Curtis Canyon Campground and Curtis Canyon Dispersed Area
This scenic campground is only 8 miles from the town of Jackson. Located above the National Elk Refuge, campers have excellent mountain views with opportunities to see wildlife. For dispersed camping options, continue up the dirt road past the established campground. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended.
Many climbers travel to Jackson, WY with the Tetons in mind, but there is a lot of non-alpine climbing in the area too.
Tip: The marmots can be ruthless at the local crags. Watch out for your gear – They have a taste for rope, sweaty backpacks, and shoe rubber.
If you’re looking for a great sport climbing crag with afternoon shade, head over to the Rodeo Wall. Only 10 miles south of Jackson on Highway 89, climbers can park in the established turnout and make the 10-minute hike up to the wall. The limestone wall hosts a dozen climbs between 5.9 and 5.11.
Often referred to as the best local crag, Rock Springs Buttress is a canvas of granite with sport, trad, and mixed routes. At 9,000’ elevation, accessing this area requires a steep and lengthy 1.5 to 3-hour approach from the parking area behind the Teton Mountain Lodge in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The approach time can be cut down to 45 minutes with the advanced purchase of a Tram ticket from the resort.
There are a total of 70 climbs at Rock Springs Buttress with most in the 5.10 to 5.12 range. Expect afternoon sun with chilly mornings in the shade here!
For a full day of climbing, pair a shady morning at The Shield with an afternoon at Rodeo Wall. Hoback Shield has 31 designated climbs. Most of the climbs here are sport, however, there is a fun multi-pitch trad route that’s worth checking out.
To get here, head south along the Hoback River for about 11 miles. Park in the large established turnout across from the wall. Carefully cross the highway to meet the established trail up to the crag.
Many climbers and mountaineers dream of the day they can summit Grand Teton. Iconic and rugged in appearance, tackling The Grand is no easy feat. There are a variety of routes that lead to the summit, all requiring expert-level alpine climbing knowledge. The Grand Teton is typically approached from the Lupine Meadow Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park.
There’s no lack of outdoor activities in and around Jackson! However, accessing adventure sometimes comes with a few prerequisites. Whether you feel restricted by time or experience, 57hours can help bring you to new levels in the outdoors. With professional direction from highly-trained local guides, you can feel confident and safe while breaking out of your comfort zone.
Backcountry Skiing in Jackson Hole
Connect with the epic backcountry ski terrain in Jackson Hole on a guided adventure with 57hours. Available from December through March, this is a trip you won’t soon forget. Whether you’re a seasoned backcountry skier or a true beginner, the professional guides at 57hours will take you to some Rocky Mountain terrain you’re sure to love.
Ski Mountaineering in the Tetons
Calling all advanced-level ski mountaineers! You’re going to love this expedition into the Tetons with 57hours. Departing before sunrise, you will make your way into the mountains. With avalanche and snow conditions in mind, your trip may take you up to Buck Mountain or Apocalypse Couloir.
Backcountry Skiing in Grand Teton National Park
Skins on and Teton views in sight. On this 57hours guided excursion, you will spend the day in Grand Teton National Park exploring the endless backcountry ski terrain. Expect to experience anywhere from 2,500 to 6,500 feet in vertical elevation gain. You’ll be earning that après-ski!
Deep Powder Ski Camp in Grand Teton
Available from January through March, this trip is for the backcountry powder seekers looking to explore the next level. During this two-day adventure participants will learn how to choose backcountry routes safely, mitigate avalanche risk, assess conditions, and perform a rescue in case of an avalanche.
With Grand Teton National Park and plenty of national forest land nearby, there is no shortage of hiking trails in and around Jackson. Trails range in length and difficulty, but there is something available for every level of hiker.
The loop trail around Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park is a perfect day hike for mountain views and potential wildlife sightings. From the parking area at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, hikers can access the 8.4 mile Phelps Lake Loop Trail. There are many options to extend or shorten this hike as needed. Some hikers choose to hit the lake’s shore and turn back for an easier hike.
An adventure of a lifetime waits for anyone with the endurance to backpack the 39-mile Teton Crest Trail. Along the way, hikers will encounter epic alpine views, crystal clear lakes, and challenging steep terrain. This trail is not for the faint of heart. With a lofty 8,000’ of elevation gain, it’s rated as one of the most difficult hikes in the area. Since this route is in the national park, a backcountry permit is required for overnight travel.
Cascade Canyon Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Moose, Wyoming. Starting from the Jenny Lake Trail, Cascade Canyon Trail ascends very steeply heading west towards Lake Solitude. Prior to the trail turning north, enjoy the gorgeous views of Hidden Falls, an approximately 100′ water fall.
Take a tour around Shadow Mountain via the Shadow Mountain Trail in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. This 7.4-mile singletrack begins with a 3.4-mile climb up 1,400’ and closes out with an exciting ride downhill.
Begin at the base of Snow King for a fun 25-mile ride through the Bridger-Teton National Forest. This loop uses a collection of different trails and some main roads. If you aren’t familiar with the area, study the route carefully and prep your GPS before venturing off into spotty reception.
Looking for a mid-level ride close to town? The Game Creek Loop is for you! With just under 2,390’ of climbing over 18.7 miles, this ride will have you feeling the burn.
Jackson Hole often ranks high on every powder hounds list of ski destinations. There’s a whopping 2,500 acres of skiable terrain within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundaries, but over 3,000 more acres await those willing to explore the backcountry.
Beginner backcountry ski terrain is a little slim in Jackson Hole, but the Blacktail Butte makes for a nice scenic warm-up. Located within Grand Teton National Park, skiers should park at the Indian Overlook turnout. Make the 2-mile skin up toward the Blacktail Butte for a mellow but fun descent.
Onto more challenging routes. Twenty-Five Short is another option in Grand Teton National Park with numerous fun descents. Be prepared for immediate incline as you depart from the Tagert Lake Parking Area. Climb until you reach the massive exposed face of Buck Mountain and get ready to enjoy the dessert of your labor!
Twice is Nice and Once is Enough
If you’re looking for that legendary double black diamond terrain, you know Jackson is the place to be. Two of the most highly recommended backcountry ski lines neighbor each other on Cody Peak ( 10,758’). If you’re up for the ride, you’ll use the Cody Peak Ascent Trail near Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for access. Experts only on these routes. There’s no room for error here!
Trail running is the sport of choice for many adventure athletes living in Jackson, WY. There’s no wonder why! With plenty of accessible alpine terrain to train in, the trails in this area breed running legends.
Death Canyon and Static Peak Divide to Teton Canyon
Prepare to have your mind blown by the alpine scenery along this route. Although it’s rated as difficult, this trail is worth the slog to experience the mountain views and alpine lakes! From the trailhead, make the gradual climb up to the Phelps Lake Overlook. You can see the jagged entrance to Death Canyon from this viewpoint. Descend to the lake before making your way west toward the canyon where the incline really starts. This route is about 20 miles round trip and can take 8 hours depending on your need for speed.
If you’ll be looking for a more leisurely run with Teton views, Snake River Dike might fit the bill. This gravel trail has virtually no elevation gain, but that doesn’t compromise the beauty. Along this 2.5-mile track, runners can glimpse views of the scenic Snake River. Unlike many of the area trails, Snake River Dike is pet-friendly! In the wintertime, the trail is groomed for Nordic skiing.
Granite Hot Springs and Granite Falls
Only 1-hour from the town of Jackson, Granite Hot Springs in the Bridger-Teton National Forest makes a great day-trip! There are about 8-miles of dirt road to get to the hot springs but be prepared for a slow-go. This road is easy enough for beginners to navigate and there are a lot of great camping opportunities in the area.
Ditch Creek Road to FS Road 4209B
Get lost in the mountains on this rugged forest service road. With rewarding views of the Teton Range and plenty of places to set up a camp, this scenic road is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Although it’s not an especially challenging drive, it is a bumpy ride with occasional deep ruts to maneuver.
There’s no end to the outdoor adventure in Jackson, WY. From the epic backcountry ski terrain in the Teton Range to the scenic hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast to revel in! Grab a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants and hit the trail because the Tetons are calling.
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