Things to do in Jackson, WY

Arches in Jackson square are composed of Elk antlers collected from the nearby Elk Refuge

The downtown square has lots of great little gift shops and simply beautiful galleries.  Often in the summer the galleries sponsor a wine-and-art nights.  You can walk through the galleries and enjoy some complimentary food and wine.

Also in the summer, the town puts on a staged shoot-out on town square many evenings.  I think Western towns have to do this, but it is cool, particularly for kids.  They play it up pretty well.  There are signs for the performance around the town square.

Gotta take a photo under the Elk arches, of course. (see above)

Very nice selection of restaurants — unfortunately the past couple of years have been turbulent and some of my favorites have disappeared. However, I’ll mention Calico, which is just a mile or so from the condos and offers a great italian restaurant in a beautifully large outdoor space.

Teton Village

  • Mountain Biking!!  It is really fun.  You can rent bikes there.  Go up in the gondola, down on the trails! The outfitters and gondolas make it easy.
  • Paraglide off the mountain!  You may want some help with that: https://www.jacksonhole.com/summer-paragliding.html
  • There are lots of hiking trails in the area.  Hike up and gondola down (or reverse that if you are a bit smarter!)
  • Dine on the Top of Rendezvous Mountain.  (“Piste”)  Reservations required.
  • Watch for Music Festivals both in Teton Village and Jackson — the place is obsessively driven to entertain and there is constantly something going on.  We stumbled on an Iditarod race last time right in downtown Jackson.
  • I hear that there is a ski resort there also.

Wildlife

The national elk refuge is just outside of town. Elk stream into the refuge from Yellowstone Park during the winter when snow gets too deep in the park. The timing of their arrival and the number depends on the weather. You will see hundreds and normally thousands in the depth of winter.

A horse drawn sleigh will take you through the refuge in the winter. The elk are used to the sleigh so you get almost close enough to touch these wild elk. Caution though, wind sweeping through the valley can make this a cold ride.

Look really closely in the winter and you may spot wolves in the refuge. Afterall, if you were a wolf, wouldn’t you?

Where is the best place to see a moose (Meese??). Well, mom and calf are often found in our backyard as pictured here. The Aspens is a favorite haunt of Moose.

If you don’t want to pay a guide, then hit these two roads:  Moose-Wilson between Moose and Wilson.  From the condo you would head towards Teton VIllage, then just keep going.  The road twists and turns a lot here.  Moose and bear are pretty common sites, but you have to look carefully and drive slowly.  You will know there is something to see when cars start lining up on the side of the road stopped.

The other road is Antelope Flats which is an area just on the other side of the freeway from the Airport.  This is more open space and may yield moose or bears.

For big horn sheep, head down Broadway towards the hospital in Jackson. Once you reach the hospital, just keep driving — you will enter the backside of the Elk refuge. Just ahead, you will see some hills on either side of the road…just a mile or two from the hospital.

Go slow, there will be sheep on the slopes (and possibly on the road). At certain times of the year, the sheep will walk over to your car and begin licking. They are looking for salt. For their health, don’t let them lick as the behavior tends to spred disease in the herd.

Eco Tour Adventures offers wildlife safaris.  The guides are pretty great and will really educate you about life and conditions in the area.  They offer lots of different types of excursions.  On the low side, they will put your group in a 4×4 and take you on the back roads of GTNP to watch for Elk, Moose, Bear, Eagles, Wolves, etc.  This is Jackson — you will see something!  In fact, you may well see something as you drive to Jackson from the airport — its that kind of place.  The guides communicate all day with each other and know where to go and what to look for.  By the way, I don’t get paid for this endorsement 😉  I’ve been out with these guys a few times.  There are lots of guides in Jackson that do the same thing, and they may be great, but I have no experience with them.

Grizzlies – yep, they are here.   You may well see one in Yellowstone or GTNP.  Unlike black bears, Grizzlies are not overly fearful of humans (they see a lot of them), though their preference is to avoid us.

  • Hike in groups of 3 or more people if possible.
  • Stay alert.
  • Make noise — whistle, talk, anything — especially when approaching a blind turn or densely forested area or hiking into the wind.
  • Carry bear spray. Bear spray is not like mosquito spray. Bear spray goes on a charging bear, NOT on a human trying to avoid bears.
  • Don’t run, stand your ground (more easily said than done — though I am thankfully only guessing about that).
  • There are tons of online resources about bear safety, check into a few and keep in mind that grizzly bears and black bears are treated differently.

As always, we would love to have you stay at one of our two Jackson Hole Condos. You can book on Airbnb, VRBO, or on our site, sunnybear.com, for the best rates.

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