Photograph by Mark Fisher, Aurora
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A skier balances on a snowy ridge before dropping into the Once is Enough couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming.

Photograph by Mark Fisher, Aurora

Escape to Wyoming for an Action-Packed Weekend

It only takes a few days to fall in love with this adventurous region.

With its proximity to stunning national parks, plethora of outfitters, and easy access to massive ski-friendly mountains, Jackson, Wyoming, makes an excellent base camp for a winter adventure—even if that adventure will only last a weekend.

Start your trip off right by accepting one of the complimentary mimosas handed out at Jackson Hole Airport by the local Chamber of Commerce, then take a 10-minute drive to Jackson’s picturesque town square. Once you drop your bags at your lodge, head back outside—where all the real action is—and begin one of the epic experiences you’ve added to your weekend itinerary.

To help get you started on those plans, we’ve compiled a list of five awe-inspiring adventures in the region.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Spend a morning at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the primary winter ski and snowboard destination in Jackson Hole. With over 2,500 acres in Bridger-Teton National Forest, the resort has the longest continuous vertical rise of any ski area in the U.S., and nearly half of its runs are rated for experts. There are still plenty of intermediate runs though, and the resort’s team of guides are equipped to teach novices how to perfect turns and explore new terrain. Plus, with private lessons, you get lift-line priority and early tram and gondola access.

For the best of Jackson’s cross-country skiing, visit Teton Pines Nordic Center in Wilson, Wyoming, just four miles south of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Accessible for all abilities, trails encompass nearly 10 miles of track, groomed daily for both skate and classic cross-country skiing.

Dog Sledding

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Dogs pull a sled along a wintry trail in Jackson Hole.

With Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours, you’re in good company with eight-time Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley running the show. Drive 30 miles southeast from Jackson to learn the ins and outs of mushing with the outfit’s over 170 Alaskan racing dogs, all professionally trained to compete on sled-dog teams.

On a half- or full-day tour, embark to Bridger-Teton National Forest, a part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that encompasses over 3,000 road and trail miles and thousands of miles of unspoiled rivers and streams. During a full-day trip, you will cover 20 miles of this wilderness with sled dogs at the helm. Your destination is Granite Hot Springs, where you can take a soothing dip in piping hot, 105°F thermal waters.


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A snowmobiler rides through Wyoming's Togwotee Pass.

Experience the wonder of winter by snowmobile during Anvil Hotel’s exclusive explorer program to Yellowstone National Park. Before departing Jackson and traveling through Grand Teton National Park to Flagg Ranch, Togwotee Adventures will outfit you in the proper gear, including waterproof gloves and snowshoes. Once you arrive, zip through the snow on one of two 100-mile round-trip tours. Journey to Old Faithful geyser and Moose Falls or visit Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, a formation nearly 20 miles long, 4,000 feet wide, and 1,200 feet deep. The most iconic views of the canyon are from the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls, which are encased in an icy crust during winter.

Wildlife Spotting

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Elk gather in Jackson Hole's National Elk Refuge, home to one of the largest herds in the United States.

Get a good look at Jackson Hole’s abundant wintering wildlife—bison, elk, deer, moose, fox, coyote, bald eagle, trumpeter swans, and wolves—on an outing with Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures. Embark on a journey to the National Elk Refuge, home to thousands of wintering elk and hundreds of bison, before arriving to Grand Teton National Park to glimpse wildlife during the golden sunset hour. Most of the guides are photographers, so they can help you angle the perfect shot of big horn sheep resting on stone outcroppings or wolves mating in pastures near a heard of elk.

Sleigh Riding

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Visitors ride on a horse-drawn sleigh through the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The 11,000-strong Jackson elk herd migrate to the National Elk Refuge during winter, occupying a 24,700-acre natural area bounded by Jackson to the south, Bridger–Teton National Forest to the east, and Grand Teton National Park to the north.

After an action-packed weekend of adrenaline-inducing adventures, relax during a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy refuge. Ride in a wagon through the picturesque grassy meadows and marshes of the area’s valley floor to gain intimate access to the grazing elk. The ride lasts about an hour, including the shuttle ride to and from the sleigh ride boarding area, about three miles north of Jackson.

Michaela Trimble is a travel writer and photographer based out of southern Florida. Follow her on Instagram @MichaelaTrimble or Twitter @Mich_Trimble.