Jackson Hole, WY is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Known for its western flair and proximity to stunning National Parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park), Jackson Hole captures the hearts of those looking for adventure and natural beauty.
Because Jackson Hole is a popular destination, most of its attractions come with high numbers of crowds - especially in the peak summer months. This means that you’ll want to plan your trip to include some lesser-known (but equally amazing!) activities.
From a local’s perspective, here are a few activities that are off the beaten path. Check these out to escape the crowds and to experience the unique character of Jackson Hole. These activities are divided into three things to do around the town of Jackson and three things to do that are around nearby Grand Teton National Park:
3 Off-The-Beaten-Path Activities Around Jackson Hole
The Raptor Center’s ‘Raptor Encounters’ program is an incredible, memorable activity. It is held several times per week during the summer and gives visitors an up close look at local birds: eagles, owls, hawks, and many more.
This is a fun and engaging way to learn about local wildlife and the Jackson Hole ecosystem. Especially for kids, meeting these impressive birds is a favorite experience.
The Jackson Hole Playhouse
Located just off of Town Square, the Jackson Hole Playhouse is a historical playhouse with shows that capture the spirit of Jackson Hole. Step back in time and spend an entertaining evening in this western-themed playhouse.
Most people focus on daytime, outdoor activities when they visit Jackson Hole - but this is a memorable way to spend an evening in the town.
Snow King Chairlift
Snow King Mountain is a mountain located within the town of Jackson. Though not as high or impressive as the nearby Tetons, Snow King is a local favorite. The best way to experience Snow King in summer is to take a chair life to its peak. From the top of the mountain you’ll get a stunning view of the town of Jackson Hole, the Elk Refuge, and the Teton range beyond. The photo that you take from the top will probably be the most impressive from your trip!
3 Off-The-Beaten-Path Activities Around Grand Teton National Park:
Hike Cascade Canyon
Grand Teton National Park is about 30 minutes north of the town of Jackson Hole. Sometimes overlooked for its larger neighbor to the north (Yellowstone National Park), Grand Teton is a must-see for visitors to Jackson. Grand Teton National Park is known for it’s one-of-a-kind steep and stunning mountain range as well as its wildlife (bears, moose, elk).
One of the most popular hikes in Grand Teton National Park is the hike up to Inspiration Point. Most visitors who come to the park start with this hike. But if you continue past Inspiration Point you can hike into Cascade Canyon. This is a gorgeous hike that takes you through a canyon complete with cliffs, waterfalls, and wildflowers.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, less-crowded hike that will take you into the mountains, this is it.
On Monday nights during the summer there is a hootenanny - a gathering for live music, food, and drink - at Dornan’s in Moose (just before the entrance to Grand Teton National Park). Stop by to enjoy live music with a view of the Tetons in the background. You’ll want to stay and soak up the atmosphere here for hours.
Amphitheater Lake Hike
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike with a high reward, hike up to Amphitheater Lake. This hike will show you the best of the Teton mountains: plenty of views, wildlife, and adventure.
Because of it’s uphill terrain and length (approximately 10 miles from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead), this trail is for more advanced hikers. If you’re looking for a challenging hike that will leave you in awe of the mountains, add this one to your trip.
Finding ways to escape the crowd of Jackson Hole can be difficult, but these activities will take you places that most tourists don’t venture. And getting off the beaten path in Jackson Hole always leads to more adventure and fun memories.
Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. Megan runs her blog The Cabin Diary (www.thecabindiary.com), and can be found sharing day-to-day cabin life through social media (@thecabindiary).