Take Refuge in the Wild
As its name implies, the National Elk Refuge was established primarily to manage and maintain the area’s significant elk population. Since its founding over a century ago, however, it’s become one of the best ways for locals and visitors alike to commune with nature and experience a great variety of wildlife, including bison, wolves, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and many other species. Bird watching, fishing, biking, and hiking are just some of the activities visitors can enjoy. Big game hunters will also find opportunities to hunt in conjunction with refuge efforts to preserve a healthy population of specific non-endangered animals. We strongly recommend taking some time to explore the multi-use pathway, a five-mile trail that winds through a majestic stretch of America as it makes its way to the Gros Ventre River. And before you leave, check out the historic Miller House. This fine specimen of late 19th century ingenuity, which once served as the hub of social life for frontier settlers, is now the home base of the National Elk Refuge.
Address: 675 E. Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001
Wyoming's Favorite Brewery
Beer lovers will be delighted to discover that Jackson is home to Wyoming’s oldest and most acclaimed brewery. Founded in 1994, Snake River Brewing has twice won “Small Brewery of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The brewpub’s original owners wanted an unpretentious space for locals and travelers alike to sample Wyoming’s best beers, which is what led them to the old cinder block building that houses the brewpub today. The interior boasts an industrial décor, with exposed steel beams and plenty of light pouring in on all sides. Come on in to sample the Nitro Speargun Stout, the Tripel Black Diamond, the Jenny Lake Lager, and many more of our local favorites. Feel free to work up an appetite too. The burgers and wings are guaranteed to satisfy.
Address: 265 S. Milward, Jackson
Dog Sled Adventures Await
Join Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours for a breathtaking adventure through the Rockies you’ll never forget. Operated by founder and eight-time Iditarod contestant Frank Teasley, Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours treats guests to a warm ride on a state-of-the-art sled amid gorgeous scenery. Guides are experienced mushers, intimately familiar with the surrounding area, and excited to point out wildlife and major landmarks. Tours can accommodate single individuals or groups, and trips are available in half-day and full-day packages. Half-day trips depart from town at 8 A.M. and return around 1:30 P.M. Full-day trips depart at 8 A.M. and return around 4:30 P.M. Both trips offer hot beverages and soups, and the full-day includes a robust and delicious lunch as well. The full-day trip will take you twice as far along the trail, all the way up to Granite Hot Springs, where you’ll have a chance to swim in the warm, relaxing mountain waters before heading back to town.
Broadway's Cozy Coffeehouse
To get the best coffee in Jackson Hole, skip the Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Seattle's Best and head to Jackson Hole Coffee Roasters. This independent, locally-owned coffeehouse "prides itself on procuring, roasting, an serving the finest specialty coffee, including, organic, fair trade, bird-friendly, and so on!" Unlike the large chains, all beans are roasted in house, a tradition they've maintained since opening in 2010. The small batches, watched over by owners Stefan and Luba, guarantee freshness, as well as original flavors you'll find only in Jackson Hole. From the Jackson Hole Lodge, this cozy, unique spot is on Broadway, just five minutes on foot -- so close you'll practically smell the aromas wafting into your room each morning!
A December Evening to Remember
On November 25th, Jackson Hole held their annual town square lighting - a breathtaking event where thousands of LED bulbs came to life. The event included a visit from Santa Claus, Christmas carolers, fresh baked cookies, and hot chocolate. Even the town's famous antler arch was wrapped in magnificent light. Beginning December 15th, every evening from 5 PM - 7 PM, the square will light up again. Santa Claus will be collecting Christmas lists in the Stage Shop Building, so if you're bringing your kids, don't forget to bring a camera! The evenings are free and local businesses will provide holiday-themed refreshments to warm your soul and kindle your Christmas spirit. It's sure to be a December evening to remember!
Movie Season in Jackson Hole
November is typically the beginning of "movie season," the time of the year when the major studios release their most impressive pictures. So when the weather turns chilly in Jackson Hole, consider hitting up one the local theaters for a couple hours of cinematic joy. At Jackson Hole Lodge, we recommend Hacksaw Ridge for the history buffs. This film, starring Andrew Garfield, retails the story of the only American soldier in WWII to serve without a weapon. For a family friendly adventure, consider Trolls, the latest DreamWorks release, starring Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Get outside and see Jackson Hole as much as you can, but know that there's plenty of indoor ways to enjoy your visit as well. These great films are sure to cure your blues if you're stuck inside for an afternoon.
No Better Place to Get Your Oktoberfest On
Jackson Hole is becoming as famous for its breweries as its slopes. With more than a dozen local breweries, there's no better place to get your Oktoberfest on than here! Oktoberfest is a traditional German folk festival that is about - believe it or not - more than just beer. In addition to light German lagers served in giant, dimpled steins, Oktoberfest connects us to all aspects of Bavarian culture including food, music, dance, and clothing. At the Snake River Brewing Company you can enjoy German-style draft beer in one liter and half-liter portions, as well as their famous sausage bier rocks. Another great place to celebrate is the Q Roadhouse and Brewery, where discounts are offered to patrons donning lederhosen. Want a calmer, chiller way to celebrate? Stop by Lucky's, a grocery with a wide selection of traditional German sausages.
The Teton Raptor Center
The Teton Raptor Center's mission is to "help birds of prey and promote environmental health through veterinary care and rehabilitation, educational programs and conservation research." This non-profit organization is run by biologists, veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators, educators and volunteers. It is located at the historic Hardeman Ranch, on Highway 22, just a fifteen minute drive from the Jackson Hole Lodge. You can enjoy an hour-long educational experience, learning about birds of prey and meeting the center's resident raptors. You'll learn, for instance, what to do if you find an injured bird during your stay in Jackson Hole, how the center treats osprey with fractured wings, and how the center facilitates the resending of injured birds back into the wild. Hurry, though because time is running out and this opportunity ends September 30th.
Catch the Jackson Hole Farmers Market
Time is running out to catch the Jackson Hole Farmers Market. Open from 8:00am to 12:00pm each Saturday, the market will be closing in September.
You may think that the market is only for the locals, but there's more here than produce, beef, and cheese. In addition, you'll find home baked pies, honey, and anything else you may want for a late summer picnic.
We recommend keeping an eye out for the Chef of the Week booth -- a local chef generously provides a sampling from his or her restaurant's menu. This is a great way to partake in great conversation with the locals and get in touch with the tight-knit Jackson Hole community.
Your patronage provides support not just to local business but non-profits as well. A portion of all funds raised goes to a different community organization each week. In the sixteen years of this market, donations exceed $200,000!
Planning Your Trip to Yellowstone
If you're staying at the Jackson Hole Lodge, we're guessing that a trip to Yellowstone is already on your itinerary. Which is absolutely perfect, because now that August is just around the corner, it's peak season for enjoying our country's first ever national park (And first ever in the world, for that matter).
The first thing to consider is that Yellowstone is massive. It's over 3,000 square miles of lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges. Because the park is so large, consider how much time you want to spend there -- a morning? a day? multiple days? One thing that will help you make your decision is knowing that it's about an hour and a half to the southern entrance -- potentially more if you run into traffic, which is not uncommon on Highway 191, the highway running north to south from Jackson to Yellowstone.
Next, consider what you want to do when you're there. If you're only there for a morning or afternoon, it's unlikely you'll have time to do much else than enjoy the scenery from the car. But that's no reason not to go. There are many places to pull over and take pictures. The wildlife is so abundant you'll find yourself stopping from time to time to let bison and elk cross the road.
If you're there for the entire day, I'd suggest parking the car and finding one or two short hikes. August is one of the best months for hiking, since most of the trails are clear of snow and ice. Consider hiking to Mystic Falls, a 70 foot high cascade waterfall in the Upper Geyser Basin. It's 2.4 miles round-trip and considered "moderately strenuous" by the National Park Service.
If that doesn't work up an appetite, then the 5 mile round-trip Avalanche Peak Trail may be for you. This moderate to difficult hike is near the park's east entrance. It rises 2,100 feet to a summit with one of the best views in the park. It's suggested to hit up Avalanche Peak in the morning, however, because in the summer thunderstorms tend to pop up in the evening.
Can't decide between Avalanche Peak and Mystic falls? Sounds like you'll need to plan multiple trips!
Explore the Laurance S Rockefeller Preserve | Jackson Hole Lodge
The Laurance S Rockefeller Preserve is an 1,100 acre wildlife refuge located at the southern end of Phelps Lake within the Grand Teton National Park. The land was owned by the Rockefeller family for most of the twentieth century and didn't become accessible to the public until 2008, making it one of the most recent additions to our increasingly popular national park system. Most visitors to the preserve pursue the 8-mile network of well-marked and immaculately preserved trails. The trails provide extraordinary views of the Phelps Lake, Death Canyon, and the Teton mountain range. However, if you're in a hurry, there's a scenic drive along the preserve that allows you to enjoy the preserve's forests, wetlands, and wildlife. Be on the lookout for traffic jams, however, which are caused by moose, elk, and mule deer known to cross the road. If you see a line of cars parked on the side of the road that's a clue that a bear is within sight. Pull over -- but don't get out of the car.
Whether hiking or driving, all visitors should stop first The Rockefeller Preserve Center. For a deeper understanding of the Preserve, meet there to join a ranger for a guided hike. The center offers an opportunity to learn about Mr. Rockefeller, his plan for the preserve, and his legacy of conservationism. The building itself is a marvel of "green" engineering -- it's served as a model for architects interested in energy saving, conservation friendly design. The Center is also a great place to relax. Its reading room has comfortable chairs, a fireplace, and a variety of books and maps.
The preserve is a scenic thirty minute drive from the Jackson Hole Lodge. Head north on route 191 and turn left into the Grand Teton National Park at Moose Wilson Road. Then, on your way home, if you're not in hurry, head home south Moose Wilson Road to complete the loop. This way back to the hotel takes slightly longer, but it's too much beauty to pass up.
Address: Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, Jackson, WY 83001
River Adventures | Tours & Whitewater Rafting Near Jackson Hole Lodge
Now that winter is over and the snow has melted, it's time to explore all that Jackson Hole has to offer off the slopes. One classic summer activity is a journey down the Snake River. Dozens of companies offer guided trips, from the wet-est, bumpy-est rides to lazy, relaxing floats.
Barker Ewing Float trips offers a classic ten-mile trip wholly within the Grand Teton National Park. Their seasoned guides impart the park's unique history and introduce visitors to the geological features and abundant wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. This trip lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours. Reservations are required and can be made online or by phone.
For the total whitewater adventure, you'll want to book with Sands Whitewater. Book 14 or 8 man rafts and be ready to get soaked on these Class III rapids! Sands Whitewater recommends bathing suits in place of cotton clothing -- they even have wet suits for rent. The 8 mile trip takes approximately 3.5 hours. However, the rugged adventurist might consider the overnight trip.
For a scenic float gentle enough to keep your keep your camera safe, go with Mad River Boat trips. This longer 13 mile trip is a relaxing way for the whole family to get up close to the beautiful scenery of the Tetons. The guides to do all the work, which means your job is to snap pictures as you watch for wildlife. Launch times are 8:15 AM and 12:15 PM and trips last three hours.
Whether you're looking to learn about this pristine environment, ride its white-capped waves, or relax and take pictures, there's a company to help you make lifelong memories in Jackson Hole. Your trip wouldn't be complete without a view from the river.
Address: Snake River, Jackson Hole
Explore the Grand Teton National Park
One of the best perks of being located in the heart of Jackson Hole is being able to admire the Grand Tetons at any time of the day. The only thing that beats the view is taking a whole day to explore the mountains up close, an easy task for anyone who books a tour with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari group.
Spring is in full bloom, which means picture-perfect weather as you journey through the beautiful Grand Teton National Park. You’ll be greeted by experienced local guides with a passion for the area, and will go home with knowledge about the wildlife, geology and natural history of the Grand Teton park. On this safari, you’ll kick off the morning getting acquainted with the wildlife on the National Elk Refuge (a Jackson Hole favorite), then explore Antelope Flats and Mormon Row, the summer home to bison and antelope. A stop at Jenny Lake will give visitors a chance to take a boat across the lake, landing at the base of the Tetons. A stop at the top of Signal Mountain will give you a stunning view for the perfect photo opportunity, and a drive down Moose-Wilson road will give you a chance to encounter wildlife.
Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari makes touring the Grand Tetons fun and easy by offering hotel pickup, a gourmet picnic lunch, a customized souvenir water bottle and use of auto-focus binoculars and spotting scopes for optimized wildlife viewing. When the day is over, your room at the Jackson Hole Lodge will be waiting.
Address: Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris, PO Box 11396, Jackson
Visit the Wildlife at the National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge is one of Jackson Hole’s best nearby attractions to connect with nature and wildlife. With winter gone, the refuge is open to spring and summer activities such as bison and elk hunting (used to help maintain a healthy population of wildlife), fishing, bird watching, biking and hiking. We recommend visiting the multi-use pathway on the refuge, a five-mile trail that leads to the Gros Ventre River. Whether you decide to go by bike or foot, taking the trail will provide you with stunning outdoor views and the perfect opportunity for nature photography. And don’t forget to visit the historic Miller House, which was the center for social activity for ranchers and home settlers, and is now the headquarters of the National Elk Refuge and a representation of the late 1800’s in Jackson Hole.
Address: 675 E. Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001
Snag A Snake River Brew
Jackson's favorite brewery is also Wyoming's oldest, with hundreds of national and international brewing awards to its credit. (In 2000 and again in 2001, Snake River Brewery was named "Small Brewery of the Year" at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, to name but two awesome accolades.) Cranking out just 8,500 barrels per year, you can taste the passion and precision of master brewers who blend ingredients from across the globe to create such bygone winners as the Organic Beer #1 (OB-1 for short), an organic English style brown ale that earned the USDA's organic certification in 2006. Sample a few of the newer creations at the Snake River Brewpub (aka Jackson's "living room") and taste what it takes to brew "beers to match the scenery."
Address: 265 S. Millward, Jackson