Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872 as America’s first National Park, and it truly is like no other place on earth. It is massive in size (2,221,766 acres or 899,116 hectares) and sits atop an active volcano. This supervolcano is what creates over 10,000 hydrothermal features in the park. Yellowstone is also home to more than half the world’s geysers, including the famous “Old Faithful” geyser, named because of its regularity of eruptions. Although a long day, Yellowstone is a must-see when visiting the area.
Wildlife abounds in Yellowstone, as well, which is why the park is often referred to as the “Serengeti of the Americas.” Bison, bear, elk and wolves are some of the 67 species of mammals that live in Yellowstone and roam freely within the park’s borders. It’s not unusual when driving to be caught in a “bison jam” when a herd is crossing the road.
Grand Teton National Park is home to much of the same wildlife as in Yellowstone, and is popular for early morning or late evening wildlife safaris. The mountains’ rugged appearance and varied terrain help to make it a hiker’s paradise. Over 200 miles of hiking trails exist in the park. Novice hikers will enjoy relatively little elevation gain around some of Grand Teton’s alpine lakes. Phelps, Taggart and Jenny lakes are some of the more popular hikes for families visiting the area. Experienced hikers and climbers can spend multiple days in the backcountry—hiking, camping or summiting many of the peaks in the Teton Range. At the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Via Ferratta is an assisted climbing activity that takes adventure seekers along granite walls and across bridges suspended over the valley below.
The Snake River cuts through Grand Teton National Park and is the waterway for scenic floating, kayaking, paddleboarding and fly fishing. Views of the majestic Teton Range are in full view on this section of the river. Further south on the Snake River, the waters are conducive to whitewater rafting, one of the most popular family activities. Experienced surfers bring out their boards to surf the Lunch Counter wave as rafters float by in awe. This is an unusual sight, as Wyoming is a land-locked state and 900 miles from the nearest ocean.
National Forest trails are a playground for many types of adventure. A scenic horseback ride in the forest can really connect the rider with nature. Mountain bikers enjoy many miles of single- track trails throughout the Jackson Hole valley. If more speed is what’s in order, ATVs are the best way to maximize mileage to get to locations you wouldn’t be able to get to via car.
For those guests looking to take in the beauty of the Jackson Hole valley from the sky, there are several options. Early morning hot air balloons rise up and float above the Snake River Ranch.
For the more adventurous, a tandem paragliding flight off the top of Rendezvous Mountain is sure to get the heart racing. Scenic airplane tours take you high above the lakes and rivers, giving a birds-eye view of Jackson Hole.
No matter the adventure you’re seeking, you’re sure to find it in Jackson Hole.
I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from New York City in the spring of 1999. Talk about a change of scenery! I traded a skyline of high-rises to one of snowcapped mountains. My background was in finance, but I changed to hospitality once moving to Jackson Hole, as tourism is the largest business in the area. I started working as a server at the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole when it opened in December of 2003 and transitioned to concierge that next summer. A few years later, I was promoted to Chef Concierge, my current position at the resort. I love sharing my knowledge of Jackson Hole with our guests, who come to the area from all over the world. Becoming a member of Les Clefs d’Or USA in 2010 was a proud moment for me: I was the first Les Clefs d’Or member in the state of Wyoming. It was exciting to know I had a global network of professionals to rely on for advice. When not at my concierge desk, you can find me out and about enjoying the views. Hiking and biking with my family are my favorite summertime activities.
The unparalleled beauty of Jackson Hole’s Teton mountain range provides a stunning backdrop for our five-star, five-diamond resort. Our property, regarded as a retreat set at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, is surrounded by unspoiled wilderness. Our prime, slope-side location and services are customized to meet the needs of any outdoor enthusiast. Mountain peaks, untouched forests, sparkling rivers and abundant wildlife define Jackson Hole. Once the terrain of cowboys and rugged adventurers, the scene today draws outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy blending in with the laid-back, casual ambiance. Year-round shopping and cultural diversions are plentiful with art galleries, museums, theater, and art and music festivals. Jackson Hole is referred to as “The Last of the Old West.”
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