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Why Go To Jackson Hole

Sandwiched between Grand Teton National Park to the north and miles of national forest in every other direction, the Jackson Hole valley has remained relatively isolated from the burgeoning travel industry. Instead it has survived on local industries like logging, ranching and, during the 19th century, fur trading. But recently, Jackson Hole has encouraged the rise of tourism. Former blue-collar settlements like Jackson and Grand Teton now boast notable art and performance venues, and mega ski resorts have transformed the region into an up-and-coming winter wonderland. When planning an opulent getaway, many people don't give western Wyoming a thought. To those travelers, we say: Think again.

Sure, you won't encounter the glitz and glam of Aspen or Lake Tahoe, but the beauty and vastness of the Jackson Hole region has caught the attention of Hollywood celebs like Harrison Ford and politicos like former Vice President Dick Cheney. Yet, even with its fresh and luxurious upgrade, Jackson Hole remains first and foremost the heart of mountain country, with rugged trails and miles of open space that recall a time before the West was won.

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Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.

Best of Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best times to visit Jackson Hole are the months of April, May, September and October, unless you’re a skier, then winter is the season for you. Although the weather during these shoulder seasons can be unpredictable – temperatures can range anywhere from the low 30s to the low 60s – you can expect to find prices at their lowest and a region practically free of tourists. Expect rates to rocket in the summer since both Yellowstone and Grand Teton are nearby and draw in thousands of visitors. Although you'll save a few bucks on a winter trip, the arrival of powder hounds will keep hotel rates relatively high.

Weather in Jackson Hole

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Average Temperature (°F)
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41
16
52
24
63
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81
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28
6
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Average Precipitation (in)
1.2
1
1.2
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1.5
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1.5
1.3
1.6
1.5
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See details for When to Visit Jackson Hole

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

  • Jackson Hole isn't Jackson Many travelers confuse Jackson Hole, the valley region, with Jackson, the town. But remember that Jackson town is located inside the Jackson Hole region.
  • You're not alone here Jackson Hole is a common stomping ground for wild animals, including bears. If you plan on hiking, go with a friend and make plenty of noise on the trails. 
  • Avoid driving in the winter Heavy snowfall and ice in the colder months can make road conditions dangerous. If you don't have experience with winter driving, it's best to stay off the road.

How to Save Money in Jackson Hole

  • Visit during the offseason Jackson Hole experiences two high seasons: summer and winter. A visit during the shoulder seasons (especially in the months of May or October) will save you big bucks.
  • Book your lift tickets in advance online You won't score significant savings, but you can save a small percentage by purchasing your lift tickets in advance online.
  • Consider a vacation rental If you're traveling with a family or group, it may make more financial sense to rent a vacation home to avoid booking several pricey hotel rooms.

What to Eat

Jackson Hole has a wealth of dining options, from old-timey saloons and steakhouses to high-end spots for haute cuisine. Outdoor adventurers often want a cold brew at the end of the day and one local favorite is the Snake River Brewery, which touts its status as Wyoming's oldest brewery, though there are plenty of other spots around town to quench your thirst, too.

While buffalo can be found on most menus in this western town, Local Restaurant & Bar features classic and specialty cuts of locally-ranched meats from its in-house butchery. Carnivores might want to try the spicy elk sausage, beef tongue pastrami, or buffalo Wellington for something different. Bin 22 offers a hip spot to drink fine wines and enjoy creative tapas. If you find a wine you love, you can pick it up to-go in the restaurant's bottle shop. Located in the historic Teton Theater, Hand Fire Pizza is a casual spot with a fun and lively atmosphere, as are Café Genevieve and the Mangy Moose. Cowboy Coffee Co. is another local favorite, and a pound of its Original Cowboy Blend makes for a great souvenir. If it's brunch you're after, consider Persephone – beloved by locals for its charming interiors and tasty pastries.

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Getting Around Jackson Hole

The best way to get around Jackson Hole is by car. Rental offices are located in the town of Jackson and at the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), about 9 miles north. There is also public transportation available around the town of Jackson and to Teton Village. However, service isn't very frequent. Taxis are also available in the area. An airport initiative called TaxiPool is a ride-sharing program to reduce road traffic. Passengers who use the service receive a $10 discount on the posted fare to their destination. Head to the taxi pool stand in the baggage claim area for details. Some hotels offer complimentary shuttle service, so make sure to ask.

Most travelers fly into Jackson Hole Airport. The airport is serviced by United, Delta and American airlines, with nonstop flights from 12 major U.S. cities.

Photos

Jackson Hole1 of 30
Jackson Hole2 of 30

Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the Moulton Barns in the Mormon Row Historic District was once home to Mormon settlers migrating from Idaho in the 1890s.

Bill_Vorasate/Getty Images

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