Get to Know Us - Visit Jackson Hole (2024)

Get to Know Us - Visit Jackson Hole (1)

Where wild and culture collide.

With a rich Native American and cowboy history, open spaces, diverse ecology, and outdoor recreation, Jackson Hole sets itself apart from any place else in the West.

The thing you’ll notice first is the raw, rugged, unsullied beauty. Forty-two miles of jagged peaks dominate the Jackson Hole skyline, giving way to a valley that’s dotted with rolling hills and pristine lakes and rivers. Dense forests are home to grizzlies, wolves, birds of prey, moose, and other wildlife. In fact, thanks to a strong focus on sustainability, the area still looks much like it did when native tribes occupied the land. And thanks to a strong appreciation for the history that shaped this valley, the structures built by some of the earliest settlers still stand and a nod to cowboy culture still exists.

Now, of course Jackson Hole is noted for its outdoor adventures. But even adventures are done with the utmost respect for the land. We invite you to get to know Jackson Hole and recreate responsibly here so that we can preserve this land for generations to come.

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Local History

The earliest occupants and environmental stewards of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem were the ancestors of contemporary Indigenous Tribal nations. Around 1884 the first homesteads were filed in Jackson Hole and settlers began building homes, farming the land, and raising cattle.

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Western Heritage

Here, frontier history and western heritage are woven into the fabric of Jackson Hole. So what most people call the Old West we call everyday life.

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Stewardship

Teton County's longstanding tradition of conservation starts with being home to the first national park in the world (Yellowstone), and the establishment of national forests, the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park, and Wild & Scenic River designation for the Snake River. But it doesn't end there.

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Sustainable Adventure

Wild places deserve our respect and care. Recreating responsibly goes beyond sharing the trail and following the rules — it begins with a reverence for this place and a commitment to keeping it intact for future generations. While you're here, remember the Wild Rules.

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Jackson Hole refers to the 42-mile long valley between the Teton and Gros Ventre mountains. Trappers and mountain men used “hole” to describe high mountain valleys. Within Jackson Hole are the towns of Jackson, Teton Village, Kelly, Wilson, Moran, Moose, and Hoback Junction and also Grand Teton National Park. Jackson, population approximately 10,000, is the largest town in Jackson Hole.

Places to Go

The combination of wildlife, wide-open spaces, jagged peaks, and Wild West culture is what makes us one of the top year-round destinations in the world. Outdoor adventurers know us as a gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, one of the world’s most challenging ski areas, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and home to America’s first guided climbing service, Exum Mountain Guides. Our most famous celebrity is 26-year-old grizzly bear 399, mother of 22 cubs, although you might also catch a glimpse of actors such as Harrison Ford or Sandra Bullock, since we’ve starred in many Westerns and extreme adventure films. The unique elk antler arches around the Jackson Town Square are one of our most photographed spots. And then there’s the food and art…

Get to Know Jackson Hole

When talking about snow in Jackson Hole, it’s important to differentiate between the valley floor (which includes all the towns in the valley) and the mountains that ring the valley. Annually, downtown Jackson gets an average of about 105 inches of snow. Between 8,000 and 10,450 feet up at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, though, the average annual snowfall is almost 460 inches, about 38 feet.

The coldest-ever recorded temperature in Jackson Hole was -62 F on December 20, 1924. While such low temperatures do happen, they’re rare. Jackson Hole’s average high temperature between November and March is around 22 F. Annually, Jackson Hole has about 50 days and nights during which the temperature dips below 0 F.

Because of the geography of the valley, on cold days we often get a temperature inversion; this means that temperatures rise as you gain elevation. It might be 2 F at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort but 25 F at the 10,450-foot top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tram.

Yes. Yellowstone National Park owes its founding in large part to artist Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson. Until these two men painted and photographed the area as part of the 1871 Hayden Expedition, people back East thought the verbal descriptions of early white explorers of a landscape of boiling mud and pools, water shooting skyward from the ground, kaleidoscopic hot springs, and mineral terraces were too fantastical to be true.

Moran’s and Jackson’s work made Yellowstone real, though, and also inspired its protection. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law creating Yellowstone National Park. Moran returned to the area almost annually until his death in 1926. Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park is named after him. See a painting by Moran of Mount Moran in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

It’s the best way to experience Jackson Hole! Slow travel is a mindful approach to traveling that emphasizes taking the time to fully experience and appreciate a destination rather than rushing through it in a short amount of time. It often involves using more sustainable modes of transportation, staying in locally owned accommodations, and engaging in authentic cultural experiences.

Slow travel can also help reduce the impact of tourism on local communities and the environment by supporting local businesses and reducing carbon emissions. It allows travelers to connect with the places they visit on a deeper level and gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for their cultures and histories. If you don’t know, go slow!

With an authentic, spirited, and distinctive Western mountain character, Jackson Hole is a popular year-round tourist destination. More than 2.6 million people visit the valley annually. Truly, anytime is a good time to visit Jackson Hole. Every season has its own personality. The most popular season is summer. Most summer visitors come for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Grand Teton National Park is in Jackson Hole, and Yellowstone is just north of the valley. Between them, these parks receive upwards of 3 million visitors every year.

According to U.S. News & World Report Travel, the best months to visit Jackson Hole are April, May, September, and October. The magazine picked these months, which are Jackson Hole’s two shoulders seasons, because travelers seeking a value can find lower rates and also restaurant specials then. Also, coming during either shoulder season means there will be fewer tourists.

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Sustainability

Facts About Jackson Hole

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