It’s not too early to start thinking about your summer plans. For years now, people have been talking about heading to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the summer time. Having never been myself, I enlisted the help of my traveling friend and adventurer Michael Broome. He has fashioned a wonderful trip for the StyleBlueprint readers.
Jackson Hole is not just a place you go to ski. Jackson Hole is an ideal spot to vacation in the months of August, September and even into October. If you travel there in April and May, there is a potential for snow, but mainly it is rainy and muddy. Summer is crowded, especially June and July; traffic dies down in August and September. During this time, it is warm in the daytime and cooler at night. October is beautiful for the foliage, but winter can jump in on you and you can get snow.
A five day trip is ideal here. All major flights fly into Jackson and it is only about a 15 minute drive into town. You must rent a car for this trip as you will need to drive around town and to various sights. This vacation is not cheap, but is very worth it.
There are two options for lodging that I recommend: staying outside of town at the Triangle X Ranch or staying in Jackson at any hotel. If you stay in Jackson and set up base there, then there are plenty of options for day trips and sights (don’t worry, we’ll review them here!). If you stay at Triangle X for the week, that is your base and they have all your activities planned.
Option One: Triangle X Ranch
This is an authentic working dude ranch with “horseback riding, cookouts, square dancing, hiking, scenic tours, wildlife viewing, photography, and a special children’s program. Triangle X Ranch also specializes in scenic float trips, guided fishing trips, wilderness pack trips, and big game hunting.” This includes three meals a day, two horseback rides a day, your private family cabin and activities. This option is pricey and do expect to be on a horse twice a day. There are other ranches available, but this is a favorite of many and comes with the highest recommendations.
There are families and people that have been coming to this ranch for 40 years. It is 25 miles north of Jackson and only about 30 miles from Yellowstone. You need to book this lodging as far in advance as possible.
As mentioned, if you are lucky enough to be a guest at Triangle X you will be treated to two horseback trail rides a day. The first ride is from 9 a.m. until lunchtime and the second ride is in the afternoon from 1pm-4pm. These rides are designated from beginner to experienced horse rider. Rides are on designated trails led by an experienced guide. This is a great opportunity to get out and see nature. We frequently ran into deer and elk along the trail.
For more information about Triangle X Ranch, please click here.
Option Two: Base out of Jackson and take day trips and sight see. Here are some recommendations:
Scenic Float Trip: This goes from Dead Man’s Bar down to the Moose Visitor Center and entrance into Grand Teton National Park. Depending on the time of the year, this is a casual float down the Snake River. Most of the time you will never get wet on this trip and it is enjoyable for all ages. Best times to do this float trip for animal viewing (they run all day) is sunrise or sunset. Expect to see eagles, elk, moose, beaver and the occasional bear.
Whitewater Float Trip–You will get wet on this float trip. The terrain is more severe so the animal viewing is not as abundant as the float trip on the upper edge of the river. This runs below town and takes a couple hours. It is more of a water activity than an enjoyable ride.
Grand Teton Day Trip
Grand Teton National Park is just 15 minutes from Jackson.
These trails run within Grand Teton National Park right outside Jackson.
There are trails you can hike on your own with views like this. These hikes are more strenuous in the high elevation, but there are hikes for all levels and skill-sets. These are free, you just need to pay park entrance fee.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is under 100 miles from Jackson. Rent a car and drive to Yellowstone to take an overnight trip. The most popular recommended place to stay is the Old Faithful Inn, but book early as it fills up quickly.
Once at Yellowstone, the main goal is to see the the major attraction, Old Faithful, which erupts every hour. There are other geysers, but they are considered minute comparatively.
There are two designated loops to drive around Yellowstone, one big and one small. Not a lot of hiking there, just do the geysers and scenic spots off the loops. This park is so big that you will have to drive the entire thing. It is recommended that you not stay in Yellowstone more than two days. On the first day you will drive up from Jackson Hole, do all of Old Faithful, and spend the night at the lodge. On the second day drive the loops and see the sights.
Places to visit and eat in Jackson:
Western Art–Jackson has incredible selection of Western Art and galleries are plentiful.
Billy’s Giant Hamburgers/Cadillac Bar–This is famous for its half-pound burgers. Go next door for nightlife at Cadillac Bar.
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar–Enjoy great live music and Western Dancing all while you are sitting on bar stool saddles.
Bubba’s BBQ Restaurant— Known for its great BBQ, especially their ribs.
This is an ACTIVE vacation. Here’s what to pack:
- Sunscreen and a hat as the sun is very intense.
- An all terrain shoe, not some big hiking boots, for day hikes.
- For horseback riding: jeans that you can get dirty, not fancy jeans. And a boot with a heel for your stirrup.
- For float trip: Dress in layers. Early and late trips, you will need to wear pants. Daytime wear shorts. You will not be getting wet, so no bathing suit. Tevas are optimal shoes here.
- No need for a bathing suit unless you plan on swimming at the hotel.
- Windbreaker and a polar fleece. Long and short sleeve shirts. Jeans for riding horses and jeans for going out.
Thank you, Michael! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to go there, now. Sounds just incredible.