Monday, August 13, 2012

So Much to Do in Jackson Hole

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I will be recapping my trip to the Jackson Hole/Yellowstone area this week, but also will probably have a few regular posts as well. Hopefully I am as organized as I think I am going to be! A few people have asked me why we did a family trip to this area of the country so hopefully my next couple of posts will answer that question, since even I myself was not totally sure of the answer until I went on the trip. Last summer my dad did a fishing trip to Jackson Hole and thought the area had a lot to offer. I would say he was right. In addition to our successful hike at Jenny Lake here are some other things we did within 30 minutes of Jackson, Wyoming.

Jackson Hole Ski Resort Tram Ride

I'm sure the Jackson Hole Ski Resort is amazing and packed in the winter, but in the summer it has a lot to offer too. We decided to do the tram ride to the summit of Mount Rendezvous which is located about 15 minutes from downtown Jackson at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort. The tram cost $25 so I highly recommend looking for the discounts online and in the tourist pamphlets if you decide to go. The tram is a cool experience and reminded me a lot of the tram at Grouse Grind in Vancouver. The tram itself can carry 100 people and gains more than 4000 feet in elevation in less than ten minutes, and I thought I was having altitude problems before, ha ha! At the top, you are rewarded with hiking trails (you can even hike back down the mountain), homemade waffles in a small restaurant and of course, beautiful views.

 

We also saw some people paragliding at the top. I don't know what it is but I think other people paragliding and kite surfing etc make the best photos.

Grand Teton Brewing Company

In my family, we enjoy visiting different states and we couldn't let the opportunity to get to Idaho quickly slip away. Seriously, when else will we be in Idaho?! Since Jackson is in the northwest corner of Wyoming, it's only about 25 minutes from the town of Victor, Idaho. It's probably worth mentioning that there is not a ton to do in Victor especially since many of the people who actually live in Victor work in Jackson. But, there are two breweries, so why not visit one and then celebrate crossing another state off the list?

I should also mention that crossing from Wyoming to Idaho is sort of an adventure in itself because it involves a pass through the mountains called Teton Pass, which means yes, you have to drive through the Tetons.

Personally I thought it was pretty safe but according to a guy at the brewery it's the third most dangerous pass in the USA and they typically lose several people on it each winter, so I'd avoid this trip if you are not visiting Jackson in the summer. Yikes. The brewery itself was a small one room tasting room with a bar, tables and some nice outside space. They offer all of their beers, as well as samplers. All the beers have local names, and they distribute to many states including Massachusetts. My favorite was the Old Faithful pale ale.

On the way back to Jackson we got to renter Wyoming which provided more photo opportunities!

Whitewater Rafting the Snake River

Rafting is a very popular thing to do in the Jackson Hole area, and since I haven't been in over five years (since my spring break in Australia) I was very excited to do it again. We used the company Barker-Ewing which has a good reputation locally and positive reviews online. We did a special breakfast tour which involved eight miles of calm rafting ride down the river, followed by delicious pancake breakfast, and then finishes with eight more miles of whitewater rafting. The rapids this time of the year are only Class 2 and 3, but that means that we saw all ages doing this fun trip. It is such a gorgeous area, and obviously also a fun activity that I really think everyone should do. I don't have any photos of the rafting yet, but I do have some pictures of the floating part :)

Hello eagle...

 

Downtown Jackson

We also enjoyed a lot of fun right in the town of Jackson. The downtown area can be walked across in less than five minutes, but it has a lot to offer as far as restaurants and stores go. There a several stores to get a cowboy hat, any kind of outdoor gear or souvenirs. There is also a place to do old time cowboy photographs, and a playhouse that does shows. Since I was training for a triathlon while I was there, I visited the Grand Teton Recreation Center on Gill Street, right next to the elementary school. It is only $7 to go for the day, and they have indoor basketball courts, and an indoor pool with two water slides and a aqua rock climbing wall. Of course I only swam laps in the poll, but it definitely would not be a bad place to bring kids on a raining or cold day.

The town of Jackson itself has a population of only 9,710 which in my mind definitely makes it a small town. I tend to be more of a city girl than a small town girl, but I think Jackson proved me wrong in this case. There were still a ton of delicious restaurants, things to do and beautiful weather. That's about all I need to make it a great town.

What is the population of the town you grew up in? Are you a city person or do you prefer the small town life?

 

3 comments:

  1. Darn - too bad you couldn't take that pink tiara hat from Amber's wedding photo booth with you. Would have been the perfect accessory for this trip!

    It looks like such a beautiful area! I would love to visit that area someday!

    I grew up in teeny tiny town with a population of 500 people. I somehow ended up being the only person in my family that is a city person, though! I can handle a couple of days of small town life but then I start to get stir crazy!

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  2. haha I have so many comments, beginning with mom and dad in the background of our floating picture make the photo. Also, jakes face in the Wyoming picture is awesome. And lastly, this is super informative, everyone who visits this area should read this - you need to write your own travel guide.

    Oh, and the first photo of you and eric: you guys are making the same face it's funny. you know what they say about married people starting to look alike...

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  3. Well I grew up in the country but the nearest town (FSJ) was 40 minutes away and it's population is about 25,000 people. So not tiny, but definitely not a big city either. It was probably closer to 15 - 20k when I was growing up there too.

    I'm so glad that you guys had such a good family trip! There sure is a lot to do there, I now totally get why your dad wanted to take a trip there!

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