Rise early and cruise Grand Teton National Park for a chance at spotting elk, moose, bears and other wildlife (always practice proper wildlife safety). Bison can often be found north of Jackson en route to the town of Kelly. Osprey nest on platforms on poles around town—keep an eye out on Highway 22 and the Teton Village Road.
Grand Teton National Park is located just outside the town of Jackson, and it's known as "Jackson's backyard" where locals and visitors alike hike in stunning alpine scenery, revel in some of the best backpacking and camping in the world, paddle peaceful lakes, backcountry ski, pursue numerous other outdoor pursuits and, of course, watch wildlife and admire the scenery.
Packed with geysers, hot springs, and other geological wonders—totaling more than 10,000 of these features—as well as incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and other animals, Yellowstone National Park was declared a UNSECO site in 1978 and continues to enchant visitors from all over the world.
For a taste of the "Old West," head to the Jackson Hole Rodeo during the summer, sign up for a chuck wagon ride and dinner, or stay at one of the nearby historic dude ranches for a glimpse into the area's Western heritage.
Off the Beaten Path
Take in bird's-eye views of Jackson and beyond from atop Snow King Mountain. In winter, this ski resort—which opened in 1939 and is the oldest in Wyoming—brings local families out to play, and in summer, its trails attract hikers and bikers. Its scenic chairlift ride offers incredible views without the exertion of hiking up a mountain.
Most Iconic Attraction
Ride the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Aerial Tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for an aerial peek into the nearby mountain ranges, valley, town and more. Visitors can often spot wildlife, like moose, marmots, and even bears on the ride to the top. At the summit, Corbet's Cabin dishes up waffles and a few other eats and beverages.
The Moulton Barn in Grand Teton National Park is located along the historic Mormon Row. It once belonged to John Moulton, who settled the area in 1907. The Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum offers exhibits and displays about Jackson Hole's history and heritage.
This ultra-athletic town specializes in the art of the Dawn Patrol where people rise before the sun to get in a few backcountry ski laps or miles on the trail before work. Residents also relish quirky athletic competitions like the multi-sport "Pole, Pedal, Paddle" spring tradition where teams—typically in costume—combine downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, running, biking and boating.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
The Town Square is the center of activity in downtown Jackson, and it's a great place to sit and people watch—the summer farmers market on Saturday mornings offers prime opportunities for observation. Watch tourists flock to the square to snap "elk antler arch" selfies with Jackson's famous arches.
Best Wildlife Encounter
Meet a raptor up close at one of the Teton Raptor Center's live programs. The local nonprofit focuses on public education, research, and rehabilitation, and offers public programs at local events and at their Wilson, Wyoming facility (reservations recommended).