Family-Friendly Lodge Convenient to Ski Resorts and National Parks
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, a group of local businessmen fashioned hundreds of elk antlers into four vaulting sculptures in the center of Jackson, Wyoming. Today, those antler arches mark the corners of the tree-lined Town Square and are a fitting symbol of the town’s status as a gateway to untapped wilderness. The city has an impressive backyard: it’s set on the banks of the Snake River, bordered by Snow King Mountain, and just minutes from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Located downtown, Jackson Hole Lodge makes a convenient base for exploring the region—in the winter, a shuttle to three nearby ski resorts stops right out front, and the inn is only four blocks from the Town Square, a popular spot for shopping and riding stagecoaches.
The lodge’s lounge evokes Jackson’s western atmosphere with its knotty pine paneling and stone fireplace with a log mantle. The spacious accommodations (standard rooms sleep four guests) and many onsite activities make this inn a family-friendly destination.
Offsite activities range from fishing and rafting to skiing on a variety of runs and open bowls, depending on the season. The lodge’s staff is on hand to set up trips, recommend trails, and otherwise facilitate excursions in the Jackson Hole valley.
Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Valley: Wildlife and World-Class Skiing in the Old West
The town of Jackson, the main gateway to the Jackson Hole region, may be the only place on earth where you might see a rodeo cowboy, rock climber, and Hollywood starlet on the same block. The former frontier outpost draws visitors of all stripes for its special blend of Old West flavor and jaw-dropping natural beauty. Old-fashioned saloons and high-end galleries line the town square, but a few miles north in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find nothing but wilderness.
By early December, the ski lifts are in full swing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, famed for its challenging terrain and laissez-faire backcountry policy. Back in town, the much smaller Snow King Resort boasts the only night skiing in the area; unlike the slopes, the lift tickets aren’t too steep—about $40 for a full-day adult ticket.
Ski bums are seduced by Jackson’s epic snowfalls, but a different species objects to the cold. Each winter, about 12,000 elk migrate to the valley floor, where the temperatures are milder. At the National Elk Refuge, which borders downtown Jackson, conservationists lead horse-drawn sleigh rides to view the mammals up close, from mid-December through early April. If the elk prove elusive, head across the street to see them in bronze or watercolor at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.