Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is drawing more interest as a summer destination — Photo courtesy of benedek / Getty Images
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, rightfully enjoys a reputation as a top winter ski destination in the US, yet with Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks nearby and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life, summers in this mountain resort town have become increasingly popular. It's a travel destination that caters to adventure seekers year-round.
In the summer, visitors to Jackson Hole enjoy mild temperatures — from the low 40s to high 70s — and no shortage of diversions. Here's how to elevate your stay for an ultimate summer vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Ride the tram or gondola at Rendezvous Mountain for epic views of Jackson Hole
Scale Rendezvous Mountain in a gondola or aerial tram — Photo courtesy of Jacksonhole.com
Upon arriving in Jackson Hole, the best way to take in the full majesty of this gorgeous mountain resort town is to ride a private gondola or take the aerial tram ("Big Red") up Rendezvous Mountain. To reach the highest elevation, hop on the glass-enclosed tram. You’ll ascend an additional 4,000 feet (for a total of 10,000 feet above sea level) in only 12 minutes. Along the way, admire panoramic views of the largest vertical drop in the United States. At the top, take advantage of the view by venturing out for a high alpine hike.
Embark on a wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park
Moose sightings are very common in Grand Teton National Park — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Inna Sherman
For a wildlife excursion with an experienced guide in a luxury, all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari is the way to go. Guests are picked up at their hotel for a private (or small-group) day trip to Grand Teton National Park. On this premium trip, you're likely to encounter moose, bison, elk and bears in the wild. Leave the planning and preparation to the professionals. This comfortable tour includes breakfast, lunch, water, snacks — and binoculars!
Climb the famous Via Ferrata at Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The author of this story, Marla Cimini, climbing the Via Ferrata — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
Historians believe the original Via Ferrata was created in the Alps centuries ago. Later, it was used by Allied troops to navigate the Dolomite Mountains during World War I. Since then, it has become a thrilling recreational activity in select locations around the world.
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On a memorable guided Via Ferrata excursion, our climb began at 10,000 feet. After putting on our helmets and harnesses, we embarked on a private, adrenaline-filled adventure for a few hours and enjoyed the most breathtaking views.
Visit Corbet's Cabin for "top of the world" waffles
Corbet's Cabin serves waffles on top of the mountain — Photo courtesy of Jacksonhole.com
Do waffles taste better at the top of the world? In my opinion, absolutely! Take the Jackson Hole ariel tram to Corbet’s Cabin Top of the World Waffles and order a plate of the world’s only waffles made at 10,450 feet. You can choose from a variety of delectable flavors, but the traditional brown sugar and butter variety is a bestseller. Guests can sit indoors in the rustic cabin or dine al fresco on the wooden deck for waffles with a view.
Rent an electric bike at Teton Village Sports
Jackson Hole offers miles of bike pathways — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
Jackson is home to many miles of flat, paved bike paths that enable riders of all levels to easily explore the area. Cyclists can rent the latest ultra, high-end models of electric bikes at Teton Village Sports and enjoy hours of exploration along well-maintained bike paths.
Explore Jackson Hole, Wyoming's gorgeous hiking trails
Jackson Hole in the summer is a hiker's paradise — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Jeremy Hardin
Hikers of all levels can enjoy the intricate system of trails that span Jackson Hole and the surrounding mountains. Opt for a nature hike with a knowledgeable guide or go it alone. There are a multitude of pristine, uncrowded trails from which to choose. You'll discover waterfalls, canyons, scenic lookouts and all kinds of wildflowers and wildlife along the way. Don’t forget water and bear spray. These essentials are sold at nearly every store on the mountain.
Stroll around the town of Jackson, Wyoming
The town square in Jackson, Wyoming, is a fun place to explore — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
With a Western vibe that's equally sophisticated and fun, the town of Jackson, WY, offers miles of walkable blocks, lined with eclectic boutiques, cafes and restaurants. The iconic town square features arches made of elk antlers. Don’t miss the legendary Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, an expansive historic spot where you can literally saddle up to the bar and sip your favorite beverage.
Enjoy dinner at Piste Mountain Bistro on Rendezvous Mountain
Toast to the spectacular view at Piste Mountain Bistro — Photo courtesy of Jacksonhole.com
For a most memorable meal in Teton Village, make a reservation at the posh Piste Mountain Bistro on Rendezvous Mountain. Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola at 9,000 feet, the restaurant offers panoramic views. A farm-to-table menu features regional specialties with ingredients sourced from local purveyors. A few favorites include bison, locally caught trout, bone-in pork chop and pan-seared salmon.
The Blue Lion, situated in a beautiful historic home with outdoor deck seating, attracts a well-heeled crowd. Try the elk tenderloin or the rack of lamb, and don't miss their famous mud pie dessert. During summer months, the restaurant features live music most every night.
Traverse Jackson Hole's bike park trails
Jackson Hole's bike park is for the brave at heart — Photo courtesy of Jacksonhole.com
If you’re seeking some thrills, Jackson Hole offers challenging and moderate trails for mountain bikers on performance-level bikes. After suiting up with safety gear, cyclists can take a ski lift or gondola and traverse winding trails to the bottom. You can do this on your own or with a seasoned guide leading the way.
This activity is not for the faint of heart, but a great opportunity if you’re up for it! Non-bikers can still get a taste of the action from the tram or lift as they watch cyclists descend the trails below.
Enjoy epic fly fishing in Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Fly fishing outfitters welcome beginners and seasoned anglers — Photo courtesy of Jacksonhole.com
For experts and novices alike, fly fishing at Jackson Hole is a memorable experience. Visitors can enjoy half-day or full-day guided excursions. Learn how to fly fish or elevate your game with new techniques. Most anglers head to Snake River or adjacent waterways. The incredible natural backdrop of the Tetons will certainly enhance your experience. Outfitters usually pick up participants at their hotels, and the trip includes all the gear needed, including rods and reels.