One of the most population destinations in the American West and home to seemingly endless outdoor adventures, there are tons of amazing things to do in Jackson, Wyoming. A playground in both the summer and winter, Jackson provides access to world-class skiing, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, countless scenic spots, and top-notch restaurants. In this article, we’ve rounded up 22 of the best things to do in Jackson, Wy!
About Jackson, Wy
A bastion of the American West, Jackson, Wyoming is an enclave of cowboys, outdoor adventurers, artists, ski bums, tourists and rich people playing cowboy. Most people are probably familiar with Jackson’s, let’s just say, swanky, reputation. And while you likely won’t be making any real estate purchases while you’re there, it’s an amazing place to visit with endless things to do.
A home base for all sorts of outdoor adventures, Jackson, Wy remains a true western town and is absolutely worth a visit!
22 Things to do in Jackson, Wy
From hiking in the Tetons to enjoying a cold beer in town, here are 22 of our favorite things to do in Jackson, Wy:
- Go skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Go on a hike in Grand Teton National Park
- Enjoy a night out at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
- Watch the sunrise from Schwabacher’s Landing
- Go kayaking on Jackson Lake
- Grab a beer at Snake River Brewery
- Bike from Moose to Jenny Lake
- Take the boat across Jenny Lake
- Trek the Teton Crest Trail
- Take a day trip to Yellowstone
- Summit one of the Tetons
- Spend an afternoon relaxing on the beach at Colter Bay
- Go on a rafting trip on the Snake River
- Visit the Teton Valley in Eastern Idaho
- Visit Mormon Row
- Hike Teton Pass to the head of Black Canyon
- Spend a night under the stars
- Do a wine tasting at Jackson Hole Winery
- Enjoy a fancy dinner in town
- Go shopping & admire the art galleries
- Visit the Jackson Town Square
- Attend a rodeo
Map of the best things to do in Jackson, Wy
The map below displays the locations of the best hikes and things to do in Jackson.
- To email this map to yourself for future use, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
1. Go skiing at Jackson Hole Ski Resort
If you are looking for things to do in Jackson, Wy in the winter, you’re in luck! Jackson Hole is one the premier skiing destinations in the world.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the most popular ski resort near Jackson located just south of Grand Teton National park, offering over 2,500 acres of ski slopes. Snow King Mountain is also located just a few minutes from the center of Jackson and, although smaller and less iconic than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, offers lift tickets at a lower price point.
Alternatively, Grand Targhee Resort, in Driggs, Idaho, on the western side of the Tetons, also offers world-class skiing and is, located about 1 hour from Jackson, Wyoming.
- Check out more details comparing the three resorts here.
2. Go on a hike in Grand Teton National Park
If you ask us, the best thing to do while visiting Jackson, Wyoming is to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails in Grand Teton National Park! Whether you hike deep into the wild, rugged backcountry, climb up the towering peaks themselves, or appreciate their beauty from the lakes and lowlands below, you really can’t go wrong. There are so many ways to enjoy the Tetons!
Here are a few of our favorite hikes in Grand Teton National Park, ranging in difficulty from easy to very challenging:
- Inspiration Point & Hidden Falls | 1.8 to 5.8 miles, 400 to 800 feet elevation gain (easy to moderate)
- Bradley & Taggart Lakes | 6 miles, 780 feet elevation gain (easy to moderate)
- Cascade Canyon | 9 miles, 1,100 feet elevation gain (moderate)
- Delta Lake | 7 miles, 2200 feet elevation gain (hard)
- Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop | 22 miles, 4,200 feet elevation gain (very hard)
- Static Peak | 16.8 miles, 5,400 feet elevation gain (very hard)
If you’re looking for more information about hiking in Grand Teton, we’ve put together a huge guide with all the details you need about 19 of our favorite hikes in the park here:
3. Enjoy a night out at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
If you’re looking for a fun night out in Jackson, Wyoming the Million Dollar Cowboy bar is the place to be! Located right in Jackson Town Square, this historic bar built in 1937 features live music, often drawing big names in country music while still serving as a proving ground for local musicians.
Complete with saddles serving as barstools and rustic cowboy decor, walking into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into a western film! The bar lives true to its name, drawing the likes of celebrities and presidents over its many years of operation.
That being said, the bar draws an eclectic crowd, and folks of all sorts are sure to have a good time letting loose while enjoying live country music!
4. Watch the sunrise from Schwabacher’s Landing
The Tetons are stunning any time of day, but witnessing the jagged peaks light up in shades of pink and orange at dawn or dusk is a magical sight that everyone visiting Jackson should experience!
Schwabacher’s Landing is one of the best viewpoints in Grand Teton National Park, offering gorgeous sunrise views of the sun slowly warming the cold, icy Tetons. Even better, on a calm morning, the entire scene is perfectly reflected onto the still waters of the Snake River.
The most popular viewpoint from this trail (which you’ve almost surely seen in photos, like the one below) is located just a few minutes from the trailhead, so expect heavy crowds.
5. Go Kayaking on Jackson Lake
Jackson Lake is the largest lake in Grand Teton National Park and one of the largest high altitude lakes in the United States, spanning 15 miles in length and 7 miles miles in width. One of the best things to do in Jackson, Wyoming is to spend an afternoon kayaking, canoeing, or paddling boarding on Jackson Lake!
There are two places to rent kayaks directly on Jackson Lake. These providers have kayaks already at the lakeshore and will help you get setup in the water – quick and easy!
- Signal Mountain Lodge | $29 per hour for single kayak, $39 per hour for double kayak
- Grand Teton Lodge Company at Colter Bay | $30 per hour for single kayak, $40 per hour for double kayak (2 hour minimum)
We have kayaked at both locations, and personally prefer Signal Mountain because it tends to be quieter and the views of the mountains are better, but you really can’t go wrong with either.
6. Grab a beer at Snake River Brewery
Is there a better way to end a long day of hiking than with a cold beer and hot pizza?! We certainly can’t think of one. Snake River Brewery in Jackson offers tasty bites and award-winning brews, with names often inspired by your favorite Jackson Hole spots, like the Jenny Lake Lager. Our personal favorite is the Earned It Hazy IPA, and when it comes to hiking in the Tetons, we think the name is appropriate!
The laid-back atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to wind down after a busy day of adventuring – come as you are, sweaty hiking clothes and all!
7. Bike from Moose to Jenny Lake
- Cost | $50 per bike for the full day
- Time | Depends on the route, roundtrip from Moose to Jenny Lake takes about 3 hours
Grand Teton National Park has an extensive paved pedestrian and bike path that stretches nearly 20 miles from the town of Jackson to Jenny Lake. With pullouts and parking lots at many points along the path, you have the option to customize your bike route depending on your desired distance and starting point.
Our favorite route is to bike the 8 miles from the little village of Moose to Jenny Lake for a 16-mile round trip ride that typically takes around 3 hours. If you don’t have your own bikes, this route is super easy because you can rent bikes from Dornan’s, located right in Moose.
Bike rentals are reasonably priced at $50 per day. Reservations aren’t required, but you can call ahead just to be safe.
With views of the Tetons the entire way, this may just be the most scenic bike ride you’ll ever take!
8. Take the boat across Jenny Lake
- Cost | Round trip: $18 per adult, $10 per child, one-way: $10 per adult, $8 per child
- Time | About 20 minutes one way, plus extra time for hiking
One of the most popular things to do in Jackson, Wyoming is to take the boat shuttle across Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. This scenic shuttle ride features Teton views surrounded by stunning blue water and provides easier access to several hiking trails across the lake, most notably Inspiration Point, Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon.
- The shuttle is operated by Jenny Lake Boating, not Grand Teton NPS. Read more about ticket prices and departure times here.
9. Trek the Teton Crest Trail
The Teton Crest Trail stretches 45 miles along the backside of the Teton Range from Teton Pass to String Lake in Grand Teton National Park, showing off many different angles of the jagged peaks that you just can’t get from down below. Backpacking the Teton Crest Trail is one of the best things to do in Jackson for those who are up for a real backcountry adventure!
The full Teton Crest trail is typically completed over the course of 4 or 5 days. Permits for campsites in the park are highly competitive, so you’ll need to plan well in advance if you wish to secure your ideal itinerary.
Luckily, the trail meanders in and out of the national park boundaries, crossing over into Caribou Targhee National Forest, where reservations are not required for backcountry camping. This means you can typically put together a decent itinerary even if you aren’t able to snag those coveted spots inside Grand Teton National Park.
10. Take a day trip to Yellowstone
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was the first area of land to be officially protected as a national park in the United States, and remains one of the most popular parks to this day.
Home to colorful geothermal pools, hot springs, impressive geysers, the largest herd of wild free-roaming bison in the U.S., a diverse wildlife population, numerous waterfalls, and so much more, Yellowstone is full of unique treasures sure to delight everyone from young children to the seasoned traveler.
Yellowstone’s most popular geological formation is Old Faithful, a massive geyser that dependably erupts every 35 or 120 minutes. Other can’t-miss landmarks include the Upper Geyser Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring, Fairy Falls, Lamar Valley, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (just to name a few!).
Without a doubt, taking a day trip to Yellowstone is one of the best things to do in Jackson, Wyoming. From downtown Jackson, it’s about 2 hours to the southern entrance of Yellowstone. However, keep in mind that the park spans over 2.2 million acres, so you can easily find yourself up to 4 hours from your home base.
11. Summit one of the Tetons
Unfortunately, the main “big 5” Teton peaks (South Teton, Middle Teton, Grand Teton, Mount Owen, and Teewinot) require technical skills (rock-climbing gear, or at least experience with rock scrambling, loose scree, and route finding) to reach the summit.
However, even if you aren’t looking for a technical climb, you can still add standing at the top of a Teton to your Jackson Hole bucket list!
The “easiest” Teton to climb, and one of the only peaks accessible by a well-established hiking trail, is Static Peak, standing at an elevation of 10,800 feet. In this case, “easy” involves a 16.8-mile hike with about 5,400 feet of elevation gain starting from the Death Canyon trailhead.
The climb is grueling, but standing atop Static Peak surrounded by Tetons is well worth the struggle!
If you’re up for a bigger adventure, you can hire a rock-climbing guide to summit one of the more technical Tetons. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers three and four-day guided climbs up to the top of the Grand Teton that look amazing!
12. Spend an afternoon relaxing on the beach at Colter Bay
Colter Bay is the most popular spot along the banks of Jackson Lake and spending an afternoon resting, swimming, and soaking up the sun at the Colter Bay beach is one of the best things to do in Jackson, Wy.
There aren’t many beaches with views this incredible!
13. Float or whitewater raft on the Snake River
- Cost | ~ $80 to $100 per person
- Time | 3 to 4 hours
- Book Snake River float trip online here!
- Book Snake River whitewater rafting trip online here!
For a unique experience in Grand Teton, embark on a float or whitewater rafting trip on the Snake River! The Snake River flows through the heart of Grand Teton National Park, offering beautiful views of the jagged peaks.
Boating trips on the Snake River range from scenic floats to class 2 and 3 whitewater rafting, so there’s something for everyone from families to those seeking a bit more adventure!
14. Visit the Teton Valley in Eastern Idaho
As much as we love Jackson, Wyoming, if you’re looking for a quieter, more authentic Western experience, head on over to the “other side of the mountains” in the Teton Valley of eastern Idaho.
The small towns of Victor, Driggs, and Tetonia provide much of the same access to outdoor adventures as Jackson with fewer crowds and a lower price point. For more affordable accommodations, you may consider booking a cabin or hotel in Teton Valley, rather than Jackson.
15. Visit Mormon Row
Mormon Row is one of the popular viewpoints in all of Grand Teton National Park and for good reason! The old, wooden barns still standing from early Mormon settlers, provide the perfect image of the American west, with the Tetons rising tall in the background.
You can reach Mormon Row with just a short walk, making it a perfect stop before or after a long day of hiking or other outdoor adventure.
16. Hike Teton Pass to the head of Black Canyon
- Hiking distance | 3.7 miles
- Elevation gain | 840 feet
- Total time | 1 – 2 hours
- Epic-ness rating | 5
- Difficulty | Moderate
If you’re looking for a short hike that’s close to Jackson with beautiful views overlooking the entirety of Jackson Hole and the surrounding area, the hike from Teton Pass to the head of Black Canyon is a great way to stretch your legs! This trail is also a popular mountain biking route.
Located at the top of the Teton Pass, about 20 minutes from downtown Jackson, this short but sweet 3.7-mile hike features beautiful mountain views, the chance to see wildlife, and colorful wildflowers during the spring and early summer.
17. Spend a night under the stars
No trip our west is complete without a night sleeping under the stars, just like the good old days. There are tons of great campgrounds throughout the area, many located within Grand Teton National Park.
Our favorite campsite within the park is the Signal Mountain campground, as it provides easy access to Jackson Lake. You can read more about camping in Grand Teton here.
That being said, we’re huge fans of dispersed camping, which is free but usually means you’ll be boondockin’ it without access to water, bathrooms, or electricity. There are a handful of fantastic dispersed camping sites in the area.
And finally, our favorite way to sleep under the stars is backpacking, where we can be deep in the backcountry, far from cars and the hustle and bustle of the world. There are tons of amazing backpacking trips in the Tetons and you really can’t go wrong with any option. You can learn more about backpacking here.
18. Do a wine tasting at Jackson Hole Winery
What’s not to love about sipping while enjoying the creekside ambiance and mountain views? Jackson Hole Winery, an award-winning winery located just outside of Jackson, offers the perfect respite from the bustle of the city. Our personal favorite is their Viognier, but we have to say, every wine we’ve tasted here has been delicious!
Enjoy a wine tasting on a quiet, secluded patio with peaceful views and top-notch service. Reservations are required. Learn more here.
19. Enjoy a fancy dinner in town
While Jackson, Wyoming is home to plenty of old fashion, homestyle joints, you can definitely find some swankier options to elevate your taste buds. Our favorite fancy dinner in Jackson is the Kitchen, located just a few blocks from the center of town.
20. Go shopping & admire the art galleries
In addition to being the gateway to the Tetons, Jackson, Wyoming is well-known as a hub for artists and photographers. With world-class galleries and fun boutiques throughout town, you’ll definitely want to spend an afternoon shopping, or better yet, window shopping.
While there are plenty of galleries selling pictures and art the will run you well into the 5 figures, there are also plenty of cute shops selling less expensive souvenirs and apparel.
21. Visit the Jackson Town Square
One of the most iconic features of downtown Jackson is the set of four antler arches at each corner of the Jackson Town Square. While you’re meandering through the shops, be sure to stop by one of the arches to take that iconic photo!
The arches are composed of thousands of pounds of real elk antlers! The majority of the antlers were collected by the Boy Scouts of Jackson from the National Elk Refuge, located just outside of Jackson.
22. Attend a rodeo
No visit to Jackson Hole is complete without spending an evening at the rodeo! From barrel-racing to steer-wrestling to team roping and, my personal favorite, mutton bustin’, the rodeo is sure to be a ton of fun for the entire family. Throw on your cowboy boots and wide-brimmed hat, load up the cooler, and be ready for a night full of classic American entertainment!
You have two options for rodeos nearby, one located right in Jackson and one nearby in the Teton Valley:
- Jackson Rodeo | Held every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. General admission tickets cost $45 per person.
- Teton Valley Rodeo | Takes place every Friday from mid-June through mid-August. Tickets cost $10 for an adult and just $5 for kids.
What to pack for visiting Jackson, Wy
Because Jackson is located at an elevation of over 6,000 feet, you can expect chilly temperatures at night, even during the summer, while the days can still get rather hot.
- Bear Spray (Counter Assault)| Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding mountains are home to grizzly bears, so carrying bear spray when you’re hiking is a must!
- GPS Device (Garmin InReach Mini) | Most of the trails around Jackson have NO cell service, so we’d recommend carrying a GPS device for peace of mind just in case of an emergency.
- Camera | I always carry my Nikon Z6 for hiking in the Tetons, and it’s totally worth the extra weight.
- Bug Spray | Especially if you plan to hang out by any of the lakes for a while, bug spray is a must! The mosquitos here are brutal and they will bite right through your layers.
- Bathing suit | If you’re visiting during the summer taking a plunge into one of the alpine lakes feels amazing after a long hike!
- Microspikes | You can expect snow at the higher elevations (particularly Paintbrush Divide) well into late June and early July. If you are planning to hike up into the Tetons during the summer, you may need microspikes.
- Hiking poles (Hers: Black Diamond Distance Z poles, His: Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles ) | The trails in the Tetons are steep! Poles help take some of the weight off your knees going downhill and make the uphills just a tad easier.
- Backpack with bladder (Hers: CamelBak Helena 20L, His: Camelback Rim Runner 22L) | We both use a similar Camelback backpack for day hiking (Sarah has the women’s version, Matt’s is unisex) – they’re comfortable, lightweight and just big enough to hold the essentials without weighing you down. Plus they both come with a 2L bladder.
- Hiking boots (Hers: Danner Mountain 600s, His: Salomon Ultra 4 Mid GTX) | Many of the trails near Jackson are steep and rocky. If you plan to hike, we highly recommend wearing hiking boots for better traction and foot support.
- Pullovers (Hers: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip, His: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip) | These Smartwool quarter zips are so warm and comfortable – perfect to keep you comfortable on a chilly morning in the Tetons.
- Long sleeve base layers (Hers: Smartwool All Season Baselayer) | When you’re hiking in the Tetons, layers are so important – you’ll work up a sweat while moving, but once you sit down to relax at the lake, it can get pretty chilly especially in the early summer/fall.
- Down Jacket (Hers: Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women’s Down Hoodie, His: Cotopaxi Fuego) | If you hate being cold (like me), the Arc’teryx Down Hoodie is the jacket for you! With 850 fill down, it’s incredibly lightweight, high quality and totally worth the extra warmth. The Cotopaxi Fuego is also a great option – at 800 fill down, it’s not quite as warm but comes in at a lower price point.
More things to do in Jackson, Wy
Looking for more information about the best things to do in Jackson?! We’ve compiled a list of other useful resources here:
- Delta Lake: Best Hike in Grand Teton National Park
- 18 Best Hikes in the Grand Tetons
- Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls: Grand Teton
- Ultimate 2-Day Grand Teton Itinerary
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For all things Wyoming: Wyoming Travel Guide
Questions about the best things to do in Jackson, Wyoming? What would you add to this list? Lets us know in the comments section below!