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There is a wide range of things to see and do in Jackson Hole throughout the year. You should know that almost all of the activities in this ski town are for the outdoorsy, nature lovers. That being said, there are plenty of things to do indoors, just not as great as the outdoor attractions. Depending on the season, the five best things to see and do can range from sleigh rides to white water rafting. Here is our list of the five best things to see and do in Jackson Hole, no matter what time of year:
1. Hit the slopes. In the winter, go skiing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, one of the most challenging and beautiful ski resorts in the country. Fifty-percent of its 116 runs are expert, but that also means that half of the mountain resort is dedicated to non-advanced skiers and snowboarders — that’s 1,250 acres, which is larger than most ski resorts’ total terrain. The resort has recently invested $4.5 million in improvements. Its Mountain Sports School offers lessons for all abilities and advanced skiers wishing to take advantage of the 3,000+ acres of backcountry terrain accessible from the resort can hire guides there as well.
2. Set out on a sleigh ride. Adjacent to the town of Jackson, the National Elk Refuge is home to nearly 10,000 elk every winter, which come down from the mountains to feed at lower elevations, where there is less snow. Sure, elk are scared of people — and for obvious reasons — but they are not afraid of sleighs, so you can be driven right into the middle of the herd. Sleigh rides start and end at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
3. Take a hike. Hit a few of the hundreds of miles of trails in Grand Teton National Park during the picturesque summer months. Sure, you’ll get some amazing photos of the Tetons; but nothing beats a run-in with the plethora of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, moose, eagles and even black bears that call this national park home. But we recommend you admire from a distance.
4. Hop on the lift to the summit. For a very different view — and without having to hike — take the chairlift up to the 7,800-foot summit of Snow King Mountain. You’ll be looking down on Jackson’s quaint downtown and out at the major peaks of the Teton Range. FYI: Snow King is in one of the other ranges that ring Jackson Hole, the Gros Ventre Mountains.
5. Grab your paddle. Tackle the Snake River’s scenic and white water sections. The scenic section from Deadman’s Bar to Dornan’s in Grand Teton National Park just may be one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the country. Keep your eyes peeled for moose along the riverbank. The Snake River Canyon, 20 miles south of Jackson, has eight miles of class II and III white water guaranteed to get your adrenaline going.