Jackson Hole's Top 10 Summer Experiences

20 May 2024

Get outside and enjoy all the mountains have to offer

Summer/Fall 2024

Written By: Jenn Rein

Refreshing one’s perspective by trying something new is a great way to feel alive. Here are the top 10 activities in Jackson Hole that will take you into the territory of the unexpected.

Courtesy Wyoming Balloon Company

1. Hot air ballooning in the Tetons
The Wyoming Balloon Company is ready to take you for a ride over gorgeous, peak-filled territory. You will launch into the sky with an experienced pilot, and take in views of our beloved Teton Range, the Snake River and Jackson Hole. Lifting to various altitudes that top off at 1,000 feet, this hour-long flight will elevate your soul. Visit wyomingballoon.com to book your skyward excursion.

2. Spend the night at Granite Hot Springs
This classic Jackson experience will have you celebrating the bliss of nature and feeling new all at the same time. Although the springs are developed and feature a pool, visitors are still surrounded by dense forest. The bumpy dirt road to the springs is accessible in the summer by vehicle, and the experience can be amplified by camping overnight in one of the first-come, first-served sites near the healing waters. Learn more on the USDA Forest Service site: fs.usda.gov.

3. Hurl yourself into Phelps Lake
A hike to Grand Teton National Park’s Phelps Lake is rich in views and wildlife, but many consider Jumping Rock to be the main attraction. This daring leap of almost 30 feet will plunge you into water that can be as cold as 40 degrees. Do not take this goal lightly, as your safety is paramount. Do the research necessary to ensure that your body is ready to take on the shock of the water and prepare to safely visit the park by clicking your way to nps.gov.

Courtesy Jess Bernstein

4. Paddleboard the park
The pristine mountain waters of Leigh and String lakes reflect the soaring peaks of the Teton Range, and part of the charm for these two bodies of water is that only human-powered vessels are permitted. The choice of paddle boarding is just the right thing to take you into a placid experience you won’t soon forget. This outing requires a permit and visiting nps.gov provides the details you need to get it right. As far as renting equipment is concerned, there are multiple vendors in the area who would be happy to aid in your adventure. SUPerior Pad- dlesports is one option — when you book through this outfit, they take care of the park permit that is needed. Go to superiorpaddlesports.com for more.

5. Spread your wings with paragliding
You do not need experience in paragliding if you elect to take a tandem flight with Jackson Hole Paragliding Services. This is a singular way of absorbing Jackson’s views, and the lofty feeling of flight will set you free. Visit jhparagliding.com to plan the ride of a lifetime.

6. Take in a celestial view at the new Snow King Observatory
Star-gazing tourism is growing, and the long-awaited completion of this facility has visitors captivated. The one-meter PlaneWave telescope at the observatory is considered one of the world’s largest. Featuring a planetarium theater that seats 35, it is the only observatory in North America that sits at the peak of a ski resort.

7. Whitewater ride or scenic float
The Snake River is calling, and you must go. There are ample options in whitewater outfits that will take you into these scenic waters. Choices abound as well with regard to the pace you would like to enjoy. Whether you are looking for the thrill of whitewater, or a relaxing scenic float, Jackson’s rafting guides have got you covered.

8. Jump into the saddle, and sleep under the stars
If you are taken by the lore of this region, and crave a cowboy experience, there are options to be had. Taking a day trip in the saddle has its appeal but choosing an overnight stay in the Tetons will bolster your experience. One of the many professional outfitters in our region will guide you safely and greet you in the morning with a strong dose of cowboy coffee.

9. Hike to Lake Solitude via South Jenny Lake Loop Trail

Not for the faint of heart, this hike is considered strenuous. During this out-and-back, you will gain 2,910 feet in elevation. Don’t let the steep switchbacks and narrow sections stop you. The pay-off is splendid grandeur, with views that will live in your memory long after the challenge is over. The full trek is just over 18 miles, and depending on your level of fitness, can take anywhere from nine to 14 hours to accomplish.

10. Roll through the Jackson Hole Bike Park

Located at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the varied terrain appeals to multiple experience levels, from novice to advanced. Choose the path that suits your skills, and take your sweet time rolling to the base. Once you’ve landed, jump on the Teewinot lift or take the Sweetwater Gondola back to the top, and do it again. Visit jacksonhole.com for all the details.

Courtesy Snow King Mountain

IMMERSE YOURSELF AT THE KING

It is possible to experience a bountiful Jackson summer while staying close to town. Snow King Mountain delves into the experiential with many choices. Visit snowkingmountain.com to learn more about the fun options that can be had by the whole family.

  • Strap into a harness and take a ride on the steepest zipline in North America
  • Make your way to the top of the mountain on the new eight-passenger Leitner-Poma gondola
  • The Treetop Adventure is a ropes course that will both challenge and elevate you
  • Take a ride on the alpine slide, with nearly a mile of curves and some mild g-forces
  • King Concerts at the summit stage offer spectacular views while live music drifts through the mountain air
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