Jackson Hole is the type of place that makes people territorial. Whether you’ve lived there your whole life, spent a summer or just a weekend, you will want to plant a flag and tell the world– “Hey! I’ve been here! And I love it!”
My grandmother was a Jackson Hole pioneer. She built the original bones of our house before the ski resort existed. She put actual animal skins on her skis to skin up the backyard. A lot has changed since her time. There’s now a Four Seasons and a slew of high-speed ski lifts but Jackson’s laid back energy has stayed the same. People go to Jackson Hole to unwind with their family, to hike, to fish, to bike, to ski, to see a moose or two. They don’t go to see and be seen. They don’t go for bottle service on the mountain.
The lucky ones who live there year round, the locals, will proudly tell you that Jackson Hole is the most beautiful part of the world and while I’ve been searching, I haven’t been able to prove them wrong yet.
Where To Stay
There are two main areas in Jackson Hole- Teton Village, which is at the base of the ski slope and the Town of Jackson Hole, which is home to those famous antler arches. They’re about a 25-30 minute drive from each other.
If you want to go the luxurious route, look no further than the Amangani, where most rooms have unobstructed views of the Teton Mountain Range.
If you want to feel more independent, there are some great Airbnb and Vrbo options in the area. I’d stay close to the village in the wintertime and closer to town during the summer. Fireside Resort is also a great choice for either season– think rustic eco-friendly cabins with their own campfires!
Hiking: The guidebooks will tell you to go to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point on the Jenny Lake Loop. Both are beautiful hikes that are almost always mobbed with tourists. If you’re up for a bit of a challenge (around 7 miles round trip and a fairly steep climb in some areas), hike to Delta Lake. It’s a pristine alpine lake at the base of the Tetons and the most picturesque picnic spot around.
Horseback riding: Head to the Spring Creek Riding stables. They’re just a stones throw from the beautiful Amangani resort and your trail ride will be packed full of jaw-dropping vistas.
Fly-fishing: Fish The Fly have some of the best guides around. Be sure to ask for my buddy Baker Mann!
Rafting: There are a bunch of great outfitters but I’ve always gone with Jackson Hole Whitewater and they haven’t let me down yet. Make sure you mentally prepare for Lunch Counter, one of the steepest whitewater spots on the Snake. That’s where they’ll snap your picture.
Pilates/Yoga: For rainy days, the best studio in JH is Pursue Movement and the best teacher is Bea Tufo. Her mega-reformer class will quite literally kick your butt.
Cross Country Skiing: The Snake River Dike trail can’t be beat. It’s also a great place for a winter hike, especially if you’re missing a dog back home. There are always local hounds bounding around.
Skiing: There’s another ski hill in town called Snow King Mountain. It boasts a much cheaper ticket but I wouldn’t recommend it. The size of the terrain is peanuts compared to the main resort’s in Teton Village.
Apres-skiing: There are a few options in the village but my favorites are The Spur (great apps and IPAs) and The Mangy Moose (order the nachos!).
Snowmobiling: Togwotee Adventures runs a few very special trips through Yellowstone National Park. My favorite ones end at Granite Hot Springs, where you can take a dip in a steaming natural pool and Brooks Lake Lodge, a beautiful and secluded spot that serves a delicious lunch.
Year Round Dining In Teton Village
–The Mangy Moose – an iconic restaurant/bar that has sleighs and moose heads and other knickknacks hanging from the walls. They often have live music too!
–Il Villaggio Osteria – an upscale Italian restaurant with really tasty pizzas, pastas and mouthwateringly good brussels sprouts.
–Teton Thai – the best thai restaurant around. If you can’t score one of their 25 seats, order pickup. Their chicken pad thai is ridiculously good but be careful! Level 2 on their spicy scale is the most I can handle.
–The Four Seasons restaurant – a fun and cozy scene, especially during winter.
Year Round Dining In The Town of Jackson Hole
–Snake River Grill is one of the best restaurants in Jackson. It’s not cheap but if you’re ready to treat yo’self, go here.
–Trio – DELICIOUS Italian in a fun atmosphere.
– Persephone Bakery – a must for breakfast or lunch, right off the Town Square.
– Picnic– also a great lunch spot. Same owner as Persephone.
–Local Restaurant and Bar – serves up very good contemporary American food. It also turns into a fun bar around 10pm. If you’re planning a night on the town I’d recommend going to Snake River Grill or Trio for dinner, Local for a drink and then the Cowboy bar next door for a nightcap!
–The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar has pool tables, a dance floor for line dancing and saddles for barstools– a must see if you’re out in town.