Outdoor enthusiasts would be in their elements visiting Jackson Hole, Wyoming. More than 60 species of mammals, 100 species of birds and a half-dozen game fish live in the Jackson Hole/Yellowstone area. Most notable are big game such as elk, moose, bison, deer, antelope, mountain lion, grizzly and black bears and coyote; rare birds such as the bald eagle, trumpeter swan, blue heron and osprey; and native game fish such as the Snake River cutthroat trout and mackinaw lake trout. The land is wild and untamed in many areas of Wyoming including the Jackson Hole area which, by the way, is only 57 miles from Yellowstone National Park.
This part of the United States beckons families with children who generally love to investigate nature and relish being outdoors. The air is fresh and clean and there’s so much to do in every season. These five family-oriented experiences may entice you to this wondrous part of the country:
National Elk Refuge
When animals don’t fear humans, you can get up close and personal to see them in their natural habitats. Elk have no reason to shy away upon seeing a human on the National Elk Refuge since the elk here are protected. If you make the journey in the winter, you will be treated to a horse-drawn sleigh ride, while in the summer, you’ll be about to tour the historic Miller House sitting on the edge of the 25,000-acre sanctuary. Not only does the refuge protect elk, but it is also an important winter range for numerous other iconic species, including bison, wolves, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and cutthroat trout. The landscape of the refuge is primarily glacial outwash plain and rolling hills with a narrow, winding creek and is surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountain Ranges.
Whitewater or Scenic River Rafting
Part of the whole Jackson Hole experience is getting out to the water – especially when it comes to Snake River in all its majesty. A guided scenic river raft trip or whitewater adventure down the Snake River Canyon is one of the most special and unique ways to take in the beauty and wildlife marking this area. Sands Whitewater and Scenic River Trips is one of the foremost companies providing these adventures. If you can’t decide between a relaxing scenic float or a heart-pumping ride on the rapids, why not do both? There are an array of choices for both scenic and whitewater, from half day river runs to an overnight experience tailor-made for the memory books. Simply select one or the other, depending upon your family dynamic and the time you have available in Jackson Hole.
Traverse National Parks
Grand Teton National Park has more things to do, while Yellowstone National Park has more to see. The adventure-laden Grand Teton National Park is 484-square miles rich in incredible wildlife, pristine lakes, hiking trails, a multi-use pathway system, the Snake River, and boundless amounts of serenity. And not to forget the majestic, awe-inspiring Teton Range running the length of the park. Yellowstone National Park turns 150 years old in 2022. The world’s first national park is one of the most amazing with its varied and unique terrain – from rocky flats to mysterious streams bubbling with mud pots and geothermal pools. Yellowstone contains the largest number of geysers on the planet, including the famous “Old Faithful.” Yellowstone’s popularity in drawing sightseers to this region helped Jackson Hole’s tourist trade take hold in the 1920s, when dude ranches began inviting visitors to stay.
Your choice of accommodations in Jackson Hole should be in keeping with the splendor of this rich area, so choosing Antelope Trails Ranch is ideal. The remarkable estate is a marriage of ski lodge opulence and the rustic elements of a frontier town with the highest standards of contemporary living. You will be on 67 acres on the banks of the Snake River with a breathtaking mountain view. Even though the home sits on wild and secluded land, you’re only 20 minutes from downtown Jackson Hole. The forested estate entails three separate residences with room for up to 28 guests who will enjoy private ponds and creeks among pristine aspen and pine forests. Fabulous fishing or a midnight soak in the outdoor hot tub under a glittering bed of stars may be interrupted with the distant sounds of elk or moose. As with any LVH vacation, you will receive full services and around-the-clock support.
Soak in a Hot Springs
Most children love to frolic in a swimming pool. And what if they could go home and tell their friends they swam in a 112-degree natural hot springs pool? There are a number of hot springs in the Jackson Hole area. Granite Hot Springs, with its rustic pool, is family-friendly and a wonderful place for children to be able to swim and splash while mom and dad can relax tired and sore muscles. Astoria Hot Springs is just 20 minutes from Jackson Hole and has five swimming and soaking pools. There are also a number of natural hot springs in the area – like Kelly Hot Springs – and the locals will know all about them.
Visit a Dude Ranch
There are a number of dude ranches in the Jackson Hole area that offer day or overnight trips. There’s more to a dude ranch than horseback riding, although that can be quite an amazing experience in this part of the country. In the late 1800s cowboys out west called visitors from the east "dudes." Hence, the name "dude ranches." Activities at many guest ranches include target shooting and archery, campfire sing-alongs, hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, fishing, and even zip-lining. If horseback riding isn't your style, the cowboys would let you feed the horses some hay or even carrots.
Jackson Hole is a wonderful destination for the whole family to experience the outdoors. We can take the stress out of all the planning for your Jackson Hole visit. LVH guests know they can rely on us to give them first-class, full service luxury accommodations as well as amazing experiences tailored to their unique desires. We invite you to reach out to one of our client relations team members who will begin planning your wonderful Jackson Hole vacation for the whole family to create some ever-lasting memories!