Family-Friendly Lodge with Convenient Access 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. Located downtown, Jackson Hole Lodge makes a convenient base for exploring the region—it’s just minutes from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and only four blocks from Town Square, a popular spot for shopping and riding stagecoaches.
The lodge’s lobby evokes Jackson’s Western atmosphere with its knotty-pine paneling and stone fireplace with a log mantle. Rooms sleep up to four guests, and many activities make this inn a family-friendly destination. After a day spent exploring the national parks, you can come back to the hotel and watch a complimentary movie from the hotel’s film library, connect to the high-speed WiFi, or relax in the outdoor hot tub.
Offsite activities range from fishing and rafting to skiing on a variety of runs and open bowls, depending on the season. Snow King, Jackson’s original ski hill, is just a mile from the lodge; the popular and challenging Jackson Hole Mountain is about a 12 mile’s drive away. The lodge’s staff can help set up trips, recommend trails, and otherwise facilitate excursions in the Jackson Hole valley.
Jackson, Wyoming: Wildlife and World-Class Skiing in the Old West
Jackson 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.
Though summer and winter are Jackson’s high seasons, you’ll encounter lighter crowds in spring and spectacular foliage in the fall. As the snows begin to melt in May, the rivers swell and fill with rapids. There are about a dozen rafting outfitters in Jackson that run whitewater trips on the Snake River and scenic floats on a calmer stretch upstream, where you’ll have a chance to see eagles, moose, and pelicans.
From early December to April, the ski lifts are up and running 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, 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.