13 Best Things to Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this Summer

The Wild West meets adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and summer is the perfect time to experience everything this incredible area has to offer.

While Jackson Hole may be a popular winter destination with its stunning ski resorts and snow capped Grand Teton mountains, summer is an equally wonderful time to visit. The summer months bring the perfect opportunity to get outside and explore, and there’s so many ways to see the great outdoors here in Jackson.

Want to know the best things to do in Jackson Hole, WY in summer?

We’ve rounded up 13 of the most popular activities to make your summer vacation in Jackson Hole an unforgettable one!

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A sign reads "Howdy Stranger. Yonder is Jackson Hole. The Last of the Old West" overlooking the Jackson Hole valley, Jackson, WY.
A birds eye view of the Jackson Hole valley outside Jackson, WY.

Jackson vs. Jackson Hole

First things first: Jackson vs. Jackson Hole. You’ve probably heard it go by both, so…what’s the difference?

The town of Jackson is what most people associate with Jackson Hole. With a population of just 10,000 people, Jackson is the heart of the valley and where you’ll find most restaurants, shops and tour operators.

Jackson Hole, however, refers to the entire valley between the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountain Ranges. This covers areas beyond the city of Jackson, like Moose, Wilson and Teton Village to the west.

A farm in the Jackson Hole valley outside Jackson, WY.
An airplane at Jackson Hole Airport with a view of the mountains behind it in Jackson, WY.

Getting to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Airport, although a small regional airport, does have quite a few direct flights in and out of the valley to major US cities. Flying directly into Jackson, Wyoming in the summertime will give you easy access to the entire valley within minutes as the airport is located just 15 minutes north of downtown Jackson.

To get around Jackson Hole, you’ll most definitely need a rental car. We like to book with RentalCars.com for their cheap rates and flexible cancellation policies.

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What to Pack for Jackson Hole in Summer

Summers in Jackson Hole are pleasant, with temperatures typically ranging from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with cooler temps at night.

If you plan to enjoy the many outdoor activities at your disposal in Jackson Hole, be sure to pack comfortable hiking boots, moisture-wicking layers, sunscreen, and a hat. And to truly dress like a local, don’t forget your cowboy boots!

A view of the Grand Teton mountains from Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, WY.

The Best Things to Do in Jackson Hole, WY in Summer

Nestled between the Teton Range and Gros Ventre Range, the picturesque town on Jackson is not just a winter wonderland. In the summer this beautiful valley transforms into a summer playground, with tons of outdoor activities for the whole family.

Whether horseback riding through the mountains or sipping huckleberry milkshakes in the Town Square, there is a little something for everyone to do in Jackson Hole.

Evelyn steps in clear Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, WY.
The Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone National Park, just outside Jackson Hole, WY.
Old Faithful erupting in Yellowstone National Park, just outside Jackson Hole, WY.
Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, WY.

1 | Visit a Nearby National Park (or Two)

Jackson Hole is the gateway to not one, but two, spectacular national parks! Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks both require at least one full day trip, but it’s well worth dedicating time in your itinerary to at least one of these beauties.

Grand Teton National Park

At the foot on the Teton range, Grand Teton National Park is a hidden gem filled with incredible mountain views, all kinds of wildlife (including its famous moose residents) and pristine lakes like the popular Jenny Lake.

Enter the park from the south at the Granite Entrance Station and enjoy a 7.1 mile scenic route along Moose-Wilson Road. Enjoy the fresh mountain air as you head out on some of the parks most popular hikes, like Phelps Lake Trail, Jenny Lake Loop and Inspiration Point, and the Heron Pond-Swan Lake Loop.

Yellowstone National Park 

The greater Yellowstone ecosystem is teeming with wildlife, like bison and grizzly bears. Stop by one of the visitor centers to chat with a park ranger and pick up a junior ranger booklet, then head out to explore the spectacular scenery and colorful hot springs this park is known for.

A few must-haves on your Yellowstone itinerary include:

  • Seeing the iconic Old Faithful geyser
  • Hiking along the rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
  • Witnessing the color Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Wandering along the boardwalks at Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Spotting wildlife in Hayden and Lamar Valley

As you plan your itinerary, be prepared: Yellowstone receives extra high summer visitation. Be sure to pack your patience, and while you can certainly see a lot in a day, at least two days would be ideal.

A horsedrawn carriage rides through downtown Jackson, WY.
Old West style buildings in Jackson Town Square, Jackson, WY.
Re-enactment of a Jackson Hole Shootout at Jackson Town Square, Jackson, WY.

2 | Eat & Shop in Jackson Town Square

In the heart of downtown Jackson you’ll find Jackson Town Square, the central hub for your trip to Jackson Hole. The town square is always bustling with energy, with eateries, shops, and events surrounding the iconic town square.

Head into any of the shops you’ll undoubtedly find loads of huckleberry flavored foods: huckleberry jam, huckleberry jelly beans or maybe even a huckleberry soda. The huckleberry is Jackson Hole’s local delicacy, and you’d be remiss to leave Jackson without a taste. Try our personal favorite huckleberry concoction: the huckleberry milkshake from Jackson Drug.

While you’re in town, be sure to also include a stop at the Jackson Hole Farmers Market, where local vendors like Weidner’s serve up their famous pies and mini tarts every Saturday morning.

Finally, come back in the evening for the Jackson Hole Shootout. This nightly event put on by the Jackson Hole Playhouse takes place on the northeast corner of Jackson Square. Cowboys and outlaws reenact historical shootouts every evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

Laura’s Tip: Stake out a spot at least 30 minutes early on the south side of the Center Street and Deloney Avenue. Here you’ll not only get the best view, but a bit of shade to keep you cool while you wait.

Four covered wagons stand in a circle on a prairie.

3 | Step Back in Time with Bar T 5

Jackson Hole is a town known as “the last of the Old West”, and a covered wagon ride with Bar T 5 is one of the best ways to put you in the spirit.

Wagon dinners are a popular activity in Jackson Hole, with Bar T 5 being a favorite. Here you’ll journey along Cache Creek Canyon in a horse drawn covered wagon until you reach camp for a hearty dutch oven cooked meal.

After filling your belly, end your night with Western music and a show from your cowboy guides in this special experience the whole family will love.

A view of Grand Teton from the top of another mountain in Jackson Hole, WY.
The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram in Jackson Hole, WY.
Evelyn walks the trail along the mountain top in Jackson Hole, WY.

4 | Get Adventurous in Teton Village

While the skis are put away for the season, it doesn’t mean the fun on the mountain ends.

Located at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Teton Village is a popular base for families looking to experience the outdoors in Jackson.

Within the village lies Grand Adventure Park, home to an aerial ropes course, rock climbing wall, and bungee trampoline. Families can also explore the valley with bike rentals from bike shops like Teton Village Sports.

Not to be missed, take the Aerial Tram up 4,139 feet for incredible views of Teton mountain peaks and Jackson Hole valley floor. You can even stop by Corbett’s Cabin and enjoy a fancy waffle paired with fresh mountain air.

After your adventure on the Aerial Tram, take a scenic ride on the Bridger or Sweetwater Gondola, the former of which provides transportation to Piste Mountain Bistro for dinner at the mountain top restaurant.

Kids Camps, yoga, paragliding and disc golf round out the wide array of activities to be found at Teton Village.

Bison roam in a large grassland in Jackson Hole, WY.
A moose cools off in a small lake inside Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, WY.

5 | Go on a Wildlife Safari

Jackson Hole is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, thanks to the 310,000 acres of protected land that fills the valley.

For visitors wanting a closer look at Jackson Hole’s most famous residents, a number of wildlife safaris offer a responsible way to see these wild creatures up close.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and Wild Things of Wyoming are two popular tour operators with knowledgeable guides sharing their firsthand experience searching for moose, elk, bison, grizzly bears and gray wolves. Half day or full day and private or group tours are available, giving families plenty of flexible options.

Evelyn follows a tour guide on horseback through the mountains in Jackson Hole, WY.
A line of horses ouside a cabin in Jackson Hole, WY.
Evelyn turns to smile as she follows a tour guide on horseback through the mountains in Jackson Hole, WY.

6 | Go Horseback Riding at Spring Creek Ranch

For one of the most unforgettable things to do in Jackson Hole, embrace your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) with a horseback riding adventure at Spring Creek Ranch.

Located just outside the city of Jackson, the guided tours offered by Spring Creek Ranch are highly rated for their knowledgeable guides and scenic trails. Head out on a one or two hour horseback ride that will allow you to witness the true grandeur of the Teton Mountains.

Laura’s Tip: We found the 1 hour tour to be the perfect amount of time, especially with kids. There is a minimum age of 6 years old for the 1 hour ride.

7 | Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art

You don’t have to go on safari for epic wildlife encounters in Jackson Hole

At the National Museum of Wildlife Art, take in life-size sculptures on the outdoor sculpture trail, enjoy expansive views of the National Elk Refuge, and indoors, marvel at one of the most curated collections of wildlife-inspired art in the world.

Set against the backdrop of the Tetons, it’s a captivating experience combining art and the great outdoors.

A barn in Jackson Hole, WY.
A wine glass that reads "Jackson Hole Winery" with view of a mountain and creek in the background, Jackson Hole, WY.

8 | Sip Chardonnay at Jackson Hole Winery

As one of the highest elevation wineries in the world, the winemakers at Jackson Hole Winery knew it would be impossible to grow their own grapes here. So, they got creative, grow their own grapes in famous Sonoma County, and then bringing them back to Jackson Hole to create their award-winning wines.

With cooler temperatures and 18% less oxygen in the Tetons, this family-owned boutique winery produces its unique high altitude wine by hand using traditional methods for everything from harvesting to crushing, fermentation, and press.

Stop by their winery tasting room just outside of Jackson to try their delectable wines on the patio overlooking Spring Creek.

A woman on horseback faces the bandstand at Jackson Hole Rodeo, Jackson Hole, WY.

9 | Hang with Locals at the Jackson Hole Rodeo

For a true local favorite, put on your cowboy boots and head down to the Jackson Hole Rodeo.

Taking place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night, the rodeo is a popular spot for bull riding and barrel racing. If you haven’t been to a rodeo, there’s no better place to experience one than right here in Jackson!

A group travels down the Snake River in a blue raft in Jackson Hole, WY.

10 | Go White Water Rafting on the Snake River

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Jackson Hole valley is with a trip down the Snake River canyon. And the best time to make it happen is in summer!

For adrenaline junkies, try a whitewater rafting expedition with Dave Hansen Whitewater and experience the excitement and beauty as you traverse the  white water rapids.

For a more low-key experience, scenic river trips are another popular option, with this scenic float trip being a fan favorite.

Evelyn walks towards the mini golf course at Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, WY.

11 | Ride the Alpine Slide at Snow King Mountain

In the warmer months, another winter resort turns into a summer playground: Snow King Mountain Resort. Located right inside the town of Jackson, it’s the perfect place for summer fun with thrills for the entire family.

A few of our favorite activities at Snow King included:

  • Flying down the mountain on the Cowboy Coaster
  • Breezing through wildflowers on the winding Alpine Slide
  • Finding your way out of the giant Adventure Maze
  • Testing new heights on the bungee trampoline
  • Trying your hand at a round of mini golf
A woman floats in a blue pool at Granite Hot Springs, Jackson Hole, WY.

12 | Soak in the Granite Hot Springs Pool

An hour southeast of Jackson inside Bridger-Teton National Forest, the natural hot springs of the Granite Hot Springs Pool are a favorite place for locals and visitors alike.

This hot spring soaking pool along Granite Creek, open from late May to end of October, hovers at a balmy 93 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. 

Literally off the beaten path, expect a scenic drive and bumpy road as you navigate your way to this hidden gem.

A building reading "Million Dollar Cowboy Bar" while a neon sign of a cowboy riding a horse stands on top in Jackson Hole, WY.

13 | Saddle Up at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Cap off your trip to Jackson Hole with a visit to the iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. While kids aren’t allowed at this local watering hole, parents might consider booking a sitter to enjoy the live music and dancing at this Jackson Square establishment.

Here, the term “saddle up” take on literal meaning and if you’re lucky you can snag one of the, ehm, unique seats at the bar (visit mid-day for the best chance of getting in a saddle).

There’s no better way to experience the last of the American West with a summer trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With its wild beauty and cowboy spirit, this one American adventure you won’t soon forget.

Have you been to Jackson Hole? Do you prefer the summer or winter?

xo laura

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