Explore the Best 12 Things to Do in Jackson, WY: Your Ultimate Adventure Guide

Discover the ultimate adventure guide for things to do in Jackson, WY. From exploring Grand Teton National Park to experiencing the vibrant culture and dining, find your perfect Jackson getaway.Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Discover Grand Teton National Park

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find a paradise in Grand Teton National Park, one of the many breathtaking national parks in the country. The park offers a myriad of hiking options, from the beginner-friendly Taggart Lake Loop to the challenging yet spectacular Paintbrush Canyon and Cascade Canyon Loop. For the more adventurous souls, the Teton Range provides exhilarating climbing and mountaineering experiences.

The park offers:

  • Extensive opportunities for hiking and rock climbing
  • Scenic drives that reveal the region’s breathtaking beauty
  • Several campgrounds for visitors to stay at
  • Backcountry expeditions with the necessary permits, allowing visitors to truly immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the park.

Experience Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Famous for its downhill skiing, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort transforms into a winter wonderland, presenting the opportunity for adult group skiing lessons, self-planned skiing or snowboarding activities, and even cross-country skiing near the picturesque Jenny Lake. A 50% discount on lift tickets is available through the Golden Ticket promotion. The Automated Lift Ticket Pick-Up Boxes at the resort ensure quick mountain access, keeping the focus on fun and adventure.

As the snow melts away, the resort transforms into a hub for summer activities. Teton Village comes alive with:

  • Sightseeing on the Bridger Gondola
  • Horseback trail rides
  • A ropes course
  • Mountain biking opportunities

Enhancing the experience further, the resort offers a range of winter-ready retail and dining options.

Wildlife Encounters at National Elk Refuge

National Elk Refuge, a serene retreat from the bustling adventure sports, opens a gateway to nature and wildlife. Spanning over 24,700 acres, the refuge provides a winter home to various species and holds the rich history of indigenous homelands since its establishment in 1912. Here, wildlife enthusiasts can revel in the sight of a vast array of animals in their natural habitat and participate in educational programs focused on wildlife natural histories and life sciences.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employs best practices to safeguard the habitat for elk, bison, and other species, ensuring their conservation. Visitors have the unique opportunity to experience wildlife encounters throughout the year, with activities like winter sleigh rides offering a close view of elk herds against the picturesque backdrop of the Tetons, especially in the early morning, evening, and winter months.

Embrace Wyoming’s Culture at Town Square

Transitioning from natural marvels to cultural experiences, Town Square in Jackson Hole embodies Wyoming’s rich heritage. Renowned for its iconic elk antler arches, which serve as guardians of the corners of George Washington Memorial Park, these arches have been a symbol of the town since 1953. Each arch involves weaving 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of antlers around a steel frame, and they are typically replaced every 30 to 40 years for safety and decomposition reasons.

Town Square is not just about the arches; it is a hub for lively events. Visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts like JacksonHoleLive and Concerts on the Commons, as well as a variety of family fun at the Teton County Fair featuring pig wrestling, carnival rides, and 4-H exhibitions.

Whether you wish to immerse yourself in music or experience a local fair, Town Square truly captures the spirit of Wyoming.

Unwind on Snake River

Following the cultural immersion, a serene yet thrilling journey awaits on the Snake River. Famous for its river rafting experiences, the Snake River offers a range of adventures from whitewater to scenic trips in the Snake River Valley. Jackson Hole Whitewater offers these diverse river adventures, with Class 3 water rapids for the thrill-seekers.

The best period for whitewater rafting spans from the beginning of May through September. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Late spring or early summer is ideal for experienced rafters aiming for bigger rapids due to increased water levels from snowmelt.
  • However, mid-to-late summer provides milder waters, accommodating families and novice rafters.
  • Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a relaxed floater, Snake River offers a memorable experience.

Step Back in Time at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Our Jackson journey continues with the historic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. With origins dating back to 1933, the bar aims to replicate the authentic cowboy culture, from its past of hosting Country Western acts like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson to its present of live music and western memorabilia.

Significant renovations, including the addition of saddle bar stools and the iconic neon signs and bucking bronco, have marked the bar’s history. Today, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a hallmark of Jackson, Wyoming, known for its saddle bar stools, western memorabilia, and live music that encapsulate an authentic western après ski experience.

Attend the Exciting Jackson Hole Rodeo

Jackson, Wyoming’s wild spirit extends beyond the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Jackson Hole Rodeo, a beloved tradition for over 120 years, offers a fun and informal atmosphere true to the spirit of the American West.

Running from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the rodeo takes place every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, starting at 8 p.m. The thrilling events passed down by the Wilson Family through generations bring the excitement of the American West to life, including:

  • Bareback riding
  • Bull riding
  • Barrel racing
  • Team roping

Gates open early for the 8 pm events, ensuring a smooth entry and a night of unforgettable fun.

Soak in Natural Hot Springs

Following the thrilling adventures, a relaxing and rejuvenating moment awaits in the warm waters of Granite Hot Springs and Astoria Hot Springs. Located about an hour south of Jackson, Granite Hot Springs is a developed concrete pool surrounded by natural forest. The hot spring offers a relaxing soak for a small entry fee and is equipped with amenities like picnic tables, toilets, and informational kiosks.

The soaking experience at Granite Hot Springs varies with the seasons, offering different timings for summer and winter. Those looking for a family-friendly option can head to Astoria Hot Springs, where kids can swim in hot springs pools and play in a nearby playground. With access options for adventurers and families alike, the natural hot springs offer a rejuvenating experience amid the natural beauty of Wyoming.

Admire Wildlife Art at the National Museum

Our journey proceeds with an exploration of the art world at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. As the nation’s sole museum dedicated entirely to wildlife art, it aims to inspire visitors’ appreciation for nature through art and education. With special exhibits showcasing Inuit culture, success through loss, and community collaborations, the museum also boasts several permanent installations revealing deep connections between humans and wildlife.

Outside, the National Museum of Wildlife Art offers:

  • A free Sculpture Trail featuring nearly 30 permanent and temporary wildlife sculptures in various styles
  • The trail connects to the Community Pathways, offering an immersive educational outdoor experience
  • Stunning views of the National Elk Refuge
  • Interactive events and educational programs

The National Museum of Wildlife Art truly brings the world of wildlife to life.

Adventure through Yellowstone National Park

An adventure through Yellowstone National Park is a must for a complete experience in Jackson, Wyoming. This iconic park spans over 2.2 million acres, featuring:

  • World-renowned hydrothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls
  • Set within one of the planet’s most intact temperate ecosystems
  • Home to iconic geysers like Old Faithful and Steamboat Geyser
  • Hydrothermal wonders like the Grand Prismatic Spring
  • One of the most famous Yellowstone National Parks in the United States

Beyond its geothermal attractions, Yellowstone offers sights of majestic wildlife and scenic landscapes. Areas like the Lamar Valley are celebrated for their natural beauty and animal inhabitants. With five entrance stations, ten visitor centers, and amenities in eight developed areas, the park ensures visitors have a comfortable and accessible adventure through its wondrous landscapes.

Savor the Flavors of Jackson Hole Dining

Following the adventures, it’s time to savor the diverse and unique culinary delights in Jackson Hole. Home to award-winning restaurants and cozy coffee shops, Jackson offers a myriad of options. From the home-cooked breakfasts at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, the European-style small plates at Bin 22, to the diverse Asian cuisine at Teton Tiger, there is a wide range of culinary experiences to explore.

For a quick bite, Cowboy Coffee, voted Best Coffee Shop in Wyoming, and Pearl Street Bagels, with homemade bagels and a variety of cream cheeses, are great options. If you wish to relax after a day on the slopes, The Bar at Continuum and Mangy Moose in Teton Village offer lively après ski scenes with regional cocktails, live music, and delectable bites.

Family Fun in Jackson Hole

Jackson, Wyoming, goes beyond thrilling adventures and serene landscapes, presenting opportunities for unforgettable family-friendly activities. Teton Village offers a range of activities like disc golf, climbing walls, and educational programs with wildlife experts that engage the young and old alike. From huckleberry picking in mid to late July to a mountain ‘beach’ day at String Lake, families can enjoy a variety of outdoor experiences.

Winter brings its own charm with:

  • Snow tubing at Snow King Mountain
  • The Cowboy Coaster offering family-friendly winter fun
  • The Jackson Hole Children’s Museum, which encourages playful learning with daily programs designed to spark children’s creativity and curiosity
  • Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures’ Wild Child Adventure program, where families can embark on a private forest retreat and enhance their nature experience with provided meals.

In Jackson Hole Valley, families can experience the exhilaration of ziplines, wildlife safaris, and scenic floats, all designed for all ages to enjoy.


In essence, Jackson, Wyoming, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, thrilling adventures, rich cultural experiences, and delectable dining options. From the majestic peaks of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks to the thrilling events at the Jackson Hole Rodeo, from the serene soak in the natural hot springs to the lively après ski scenes at Teton Village, Jackson offers a myriad of memorable experiences. Whether you’re an adventurer at heart, a wildlife enthusiast, a foodie, or just someone looking for a unique vacation, Jackson, Wyoming, holds an unforgettable adventure for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I spend a day in Jackson Hole?

Spend a day in Jackson Hole by exploring the town square, visiting the Historical Society and Museum, taking a horse-drawn stagecoach ride, and enjoying some retail therapy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take an inevitable selfie under the arches. This will surely make your day memorable and enjoyable!

Is Jackson Wyoming worth visiting?

Yes, Jackson, Wyoming is definitely worth visiting, especially for outdoor and nature enthusiasts, with its proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. The area offers stunning mountain landscapes, hiking trails, and whitewater rafting.

What are some of the must-visit places in Jackson?

You must visit Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, National Elk Refuge, Town Square, Snake River, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art when in Jackson. These places offer unique and memorable experiences.

What are some family-friendly activities in Jackson?

Jackson offers a variety of family-friendly activities, such as outdoor adventures at Teton Village, huckleberry picking, and educational programs at the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum. Enjoy a fun-filled time with the whole family!

What dining experiences can I expect in Jackson?

In Jackson, you can expect a diverse range of dining experiences, from award-winning restaurants to cozy coffee shops, as well as après ski scenes with regional cocktails and live music at various spots around the area. Enjoy your culinary adventure in Jackson!