Jackson Hole is a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers—and we’re not only talking about snow-oriented activities in wintertime.
This Wyoming hot spot is rife with natural beauty and plenty of options for enjoying it year-round. Here are our top 10 to check out whenever you book your trip.
1. Hiking the Grand Tetons
Best time of year to do it: All roads are typically open and conditions are best between May and September.
What to expect: Grand Teton National Park offers some of the best hikes and overlooks in the greater Jackson Hole area. Spot diverse wildlife, pass waterfalls, plunge from jumping rocks, scramble to glacial lakes and even camp along the way. The Cascade Canyon Trail, Delta Lake Trail and the Phelps Lake Loop provide some of the most popular day trips in the park, but there’s plenty to keep you busy for an entire week of exploring.
2. Whitewater rafting on the Snake River
Best time of year to do it: You can book with a guide service from April through October, but summer trips are most pleasant because the always-cold water inevitably splashes into the raft.
What to expect: Paddle your way down miles of the scenic Snake River while catching glimpses of bald eagles and other wildlife for an exhilarating adventure. Most tours in this area don’t exceed Class III rapids, so it’s a great outing for families and inexperienced groups.
3. Horseback riding
Best time of year to do it: Riding trails are easiest to access from June through October.
What to expect: Take a trek through the Teton mountain range on horseback for a different way to experience the backcountry. Several ranches and outfitters offer guided trips for all skill levels, from one-hour loops to full-day expeditions.
4. Fly fishing
Best time of year to do it: While some seasons extend to other times of year, May through October offer the best fishing.
What to expect: The Jackson Hole area features dozens of rivers, creeks, and lakes full of trophy cutthroat, brown trout and other species. Float or wade for some of the best catch-and-release fly fishing in the region. Bring your own gear and DIY it or book a guided fly fishing trip and have the pros show you the ropes.
5. Kayaking Jenny Lake
Best time of year to do it: Rental availability and road access make June through September the best time to paddle.
What to expect: Kayak around this glacier-fed lake, inside Grand Teton National Park, for stellar views of the surrounding mountains. You can rent a kayak or bring your own and paddle around the generally calm waters for hours. Want to make a day of it? Dock your kayak at the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trailhead for a brief but beautiful hike before turning back.
6. Downhill skiing
Best time of year to do it: While Jackson Hole sometimes sees sufficient snow for skiing as early as Thanksgiving and as late as April, January through March is your best bet for fresh powder.
What to expect: The Jackson Hole area features three different ski resorts with plenty of powder. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain and Grand Targhee Resort can accommodate skiers of any skill level and feature plenty of après activities, too.
7. Snowmobiling to Granite Hot Springs
Best time of year to do it: December through March is the best time for plenty of snow and securing a rental.
What to expect: Book a half-day tour via snowmobile to Granite Hot Springs for a fun ride and a relaxing soak in the Gros Ventre Mountain Range. Views of the surrounding Bridger-Teton National Forest as well as the pristine waters of the toasty pool make for the perfect winter adventure.
8. Dog sledding through national forests
Best time of year to do it: The conditions are usually best for the dogs from December to March.
What to expect: Get your dog fix as a crew of huskies pulls you through Bridger-Teton and Shoshoni National Forests. Watching these impressive pups work is as exciting as admiring the breathtaking surroundings and potential wildlife sightings.
9. Sleigh riding through the National Elk Refuge
Best time of year to do it: Depending on conditions, rides are available from December to early April.
What to expect: Take an hour-long tour through a portion of the National Elk Refuge to see hundreds—or thousands—of elk feeding and sparring from a horse-drawn sleigh. The tours provide a unique opportunity to get within feet of these majestic animals and learn more about the conservation efforts of the National Elk Refuge.
10. Snowshoeing Togwotee Pass
Best time of year to do it: Plan your adventure between December and early April for great snowshoeing.
What to expect: Head into the winter wonderland equipped with a pair of snowshoes. Togwotee Pass crosses the Continental Divide, offering a perfect vantage point for taking in the entire Jackson Hole Valley from above. From the top of the mountain road, you can also hop onto a variety of trailheads or go slightly off-trail for a serene trek in the snow.