Grand Teton National Park#2 in Best Things To Do in Jackson Hole
Boasting a whopping 310,000 acres of jagged, snow-capped peaks, verdant forests and crystal-clear alpine lakes, Grand Teton National Park is the highlight of any trip to Jackson Hole. It was amidst these stunning mountains that nomadic Paleo-Indians spent their summers almost 11,000 years ago and that America's 19th-century fur-trading industry thrived. Now, Grand Teton National Park plays the role of wild wonderland, offering visitors a taste of the mighty wilderness that pioneers encountered a couple of centuries ago.
There are numerous reasons to visit Grand Teton. To get a feel for the park, take a drive along the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, which traces the eastern side of the stunning Jackson Lake and continues north to the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. However, don't spend all your time behind the wheel. Opportunities to hike, mountain climb, cross-country ski and fish are abundant. And keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of Grand Teton's full-time residents, which include moose, elk and bison. Bears and coyotes also call the park home, so take extra precautions when heading out on a hike or setting up camp.
Recent travelers raved about the park's attractions, using words like "magnificent" and "beautiful" to describe its natural wonders. If the weather allows, many also suggested going for a few short hikes to make the most of the park's beauty. The Taggart Lake Trail is a popular, short hike that offers incredible views of Taggart Lake and the surrounding streams.
Grand Teton National Park is about 13 miles north of Jackson and about 7 miles south of Yellowstone. The park is open to exploration throughout the year; however, many roads close during the winter due to dangerous driving conditions, and several of the visitor centers only operate during the spring, summer and fall. You will have to pay a fee to get in: For $35, you (and your car) will have access to both Grand Teton and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway for seven days. Entrance to Yellowstone is separate. For more information, check out our Grand Teton National Park travel guide.
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#1 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Occupying a large chunk of Teton Village in the northwest corner of the valley, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a vacation destination unto itself. The primary resort area in the valley, this property boasts several hotels and timeshares and an adventure park, not to mention a variety of dining options on top and below the mountain. However, the main reason people visit the resort is to take advantage of the skiing; located at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, the resort offers prime access to 2,500 acres of ski runs and 4,139 feet of vertical drop. And with more than 400 inches of snowfall annually, it's no wonder why the area is considered to be one of the best ski resorts in the country.
Skiing isn't the only activity here. During the summertime, the resort offers visitors numerous opportunities to hike and mountain bike as well as paraglide. Recent visitors also said that a ride on the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram is a must, no matter the season. The 9-minute tram ride runs to the top of Rendezvous Mountain at a summit of more than 10,000 feet, allowing for breathtaking views of the Teton Mountains. If heights aren't your thing, don't fret. Travelers said there are so many activities to do there you'll likely never be bored. Some suggested arriving at the village as early as possible, as you'll probably end up staying until closing time.
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