Jackson Hole is the name of a breathtakingly beautiful valley in western Wyoming. At its center is the small but lively town of Jackson. Both are named for a 19th century trapper, Davey Jackson, reportedly one of the first Europeans to winter in the valley. Today, visitors can experience the magic of the valley on the best tours in Jackson Hole.
The area is 275 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, and 90 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jackson Hole includes Jackson, as well as Teton Village, Wilson, Kelly, Moose, Hoback, and Moran.
There are wineries, breweries, and several resorts including Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort for year-round adrenaline-fueled activities and views.
Jackson Hole resorts are best known for their high slopes and gorgeous views. Vertical drops consistently provide some of the most challenging skiing in the United States. And during summer months, the resorts transform into mountain playgrounds with bike trails and the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram and Gondola Ride.
The largest town in the valley is Jackson, Wyoming. It is located south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The two parks are connected to Jackson Hole by the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway and offer some of the best day trips from Jackson Hole.
The valley is not all mountains and rivers. It is also home to the world-renowned National Museum of Wildlife Art which houses works by Turner, Warhol, and O’Keeffe. If you are looking for a bit of nightlife, Jackson has that too. Barstools at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar are saddles, and line dancing is king.
If you are going to Jackson Hole during any season but high summer, you will need to dress appropriately. As a rule, regardless of the season, always dress in layers.
Temperatures can quickly change and some of the best tours in Jackson Hole, Wyoming are at night or sunrise before the high mountain prairie has warmed. Sturdy walking shoes, gloves, and a warm jacket are a must. Whether you visit the beautiful valley in summer or winter, there are some incredible excursions in Jackson Hole, that provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Best Tours in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
1. VIP Yellowstone Private Tour From Jackson, WY
The breathtaking beauty of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park would take several lifetimes to explore. But, if you only have a day or two in the area, then a private group tour of the best features is a perfect choice.
On this 12-hour, five-star rated tour, a private driver and expert guide will provide history and trivia about two of the United State’s treasures – Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
You will have the opportunity for wildlife viewing as you visit Yellowstone Lake – North America’s largest high-altitude lake. There is plenty of time for enviable photographs of these wild places with Mount Sheridan in the background.
This is one of the amazing summer tours. The awe-inspiring overlook, Artist Point, provides a view of both the Grand Canyon and Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River. This thundering waterfall is twice Niagara Falls’ height.
In Yellowstone you’ll see Beryl Spring, one of the park’s hottest springs, and the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring at the Midway Geyser. The colors of the world’s third-largest hot spring are derived from various species of bacteria in the different layers. Along the way you’ll travel through Hayden Valley, home to sprawling herds of grazing bison. And of course, the Yellowstone trip will end with a visit to the famous Old Faithful Geyser.
While in the Grand Tetons, you will have the opportunity to see Oxbow Bend – one of the park’s most photographed spots. Keep an eye out for moose, black bears, and grizzly bears, particularly in the northern part of the park.
This private tour, operated by Globe Trekkers Tours, an authorized permittee of the park, is one of the best Yellowstone day tours from Jackson Hole. It includes more than it excludes and is a one-of-a-kind experience for a small group or a solo traveler.
See Related: Where to Stay in Yellowstone: Best Areas & Places
2. Grand Teton and Yellowstone Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are part of North America’s heritage. These sister parks offer the ultimate outdoor experience, from Yellowstone’s colorful and ancient geysers to Grand Teton’s majestic peaks.
And the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks self-guided tours are a great way to experience these national park tours in a full-day tour or at a leisurely pace.
This five-star rated wildlife tour is downloadable and GPS-enabled. Designed by 17 Mile Day Trips as an app to work on tablets or phones, the audio bundle provides an eight-hour experience.
However, the reusable app also allows users to take the parks at their own pace, marveling at over 50 highlights. If you want to stop for a picnic lunch, or to enjoy any of the park’s restaurants, just hit the pause button.
During the warmer months, this is one of the easiest wildlife tours. America’s first national park is home to wild bison, waterfalls, and thousands of thermal features.
3. Yellowstone Old Faithful, Waterfalls and Wildlife Day Tour
Smaller group tours are a great way to enjoy a region. The fewer numbers allow guides to take more time and answer individual questions without rushing through the itinerary.
The small group tour of Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful, is no different. Start with an early morning hotel pickup to ensure plenty of daylight for this one-of-a-kind tour through both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
This full-day, climate-controlled tour of Old Faithful, Yellowstone Falls, Old Faithful Inn, and the surrounding wildlife is operated by BrushBuck Guide Services.
A dedicated naturalist and guide will provide an overview of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and history, while searching for all the animals including black bear, wolves, and bison, for your enjoyment.
See Related: Best Geysers & Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
4. Jackson Hole Whitewater Rafting: Small Boat Excitement
Whitewater rafting on the Snake River is a unique Jackson Hole experience. Grab family, and friends and enjoy a small group, five-star-rated whitewater adventure on the Snake River.
The Snake River starts high in the Rocky Mountains and traverses five states on its 1,078 miles journey to the Pacific Ocean. Known for its cold water, and fast flow, the river of no return, as it was named in the late 1800s, is a vital part of the Jackson Hole Valley’s eco-system.
Your expert guides will take you down the Snake River’s most famous rapids, Big Kahuna and Lunch Counter, in an eight-person raft. Smaller rafts add to the excitement of these Jackson Hole trips and require hard work to navigate Class II and Class III rapids.
But, the rafting route is not all rapids, some lazy spots afford scenic views of landscape and wildlife. If you are lucky you may even spot some river otters, a moose, or a bear.
If you are looking for a memorable adventure, this is one of the best tours in Jackson and the perfect way to appreciate the beauty of the Teton Valley.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
5. Scenic Brewery Tour of Jackson Hole
After the treacherous adventure of whitewater rafting, it may be time for one of the more leisurely tours Jackson Hole has to offer. The Scenic Brewery Tour is a five-and-a-half-hour tour operated by Double Black Transportation and is one of the best Jackson Hole trips.
With stunning natural views of the Snake River Canyon and the Teton Pass as a backdrop, this 4.5-star rated tour will stop at three of the best local breweries in the area.
First, you will learn the history and beer-making process at Melvin Brewing Company. Then travel on to the Roadhouse and Grand Teton Brewing Companies. Each stop includes a tour and a signature flight.
Melvin Brewing Company was a 2017 Great American Beer Festival winner and a Jackson Hole mainstay. Their 30-barrel house, the Mothership Taproom in Alpine, is a bucket list brewery for any beer drinker.
Grand Teton Brewing Company, home of the original growler, was the first microbrewery in the area, opening in the 1980s. The final stop on the tour, the award-winner RoadHouse Brewing Pub & Eatery, has rotating taps, and a warm and welcoming restaurant with upscale pub grub.
6. Guided Fishing Trip in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is true angler country. If you want to make the most of your fly fishing time, try this private guided fishing trip.
Operated by Jackson Hole Anglers ensuring local knowledge of the streams and rivers. Depending on the season, you will be taken to one of several locations including Snake River Canyon, Green and Salt Rivers, or even in Yellowstone National Park in search of local trout.
If you are a beginner, this is the perfect way to learn proper fly-fishing techniques from your experienced guide, for a lifetime of fly-fishing fun. Climb aboard your boat, packed with necessary gear and supplies for a four to ten-hour, five-star-rated Guided Fishing Trip in the Jackson Hole area.
See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November
7. Grand Teton and Native American Petroglyph Tour
Small group tours of the natural wonder of Jackson Hole ensure a personalized experience. This is especially true of the Grand Teton and Native American Petroglyph Tour by BrushBuck Guide Services.
This full–day five-star-rated tour starts with a convenient morning hotel pick-up. Along the way, you will search for bison and elk as your naturalist guide provides a historical perspective of the Grand Teton ecosystem.
Since Rocky Mountain big horn sheep are elusive, your extremely knowledgeable guide will also stop at the National Big Horn Sheep Center in Dubois, Wyoming. These impressive sheep are easily identified by their massive curled horns and thick wool coats.
After lunch in the iconic western town of Dubois, it is on to view area petroglyphs. These pre-Columbian Shoshone Indian rock carvings date back 1,500 years. Learn the significance of the pictures – animals and objects sacred to the Eastern Shoshone of the Wind River. Round out your small group tour back at your hotel.
8. Horseback Riding in the Bridger-Teton National Forest
If you want to truly experience the Jackson Hole Valley, this horseback riding tour of the Bridger-Teton National Forest north of Jackson will start in the small town of Moran, Wyoming.
This two-hour, 4.5-star Wyoming experience is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Teton Mountain Range and Grand Teton National Park at a leisurely pace.
Your expert guides from Heart 6 Ranch, will lead you through dense trees and mountain trails. Even if you have never been atop a horse, this is an enjoyable tour that gets you out of an automobile and back into nature.
This equestrian tour through Bridger-Teton National Forest ranges from a short experience to longer day trips with safari-style meals in the wild. You’ll find something suitable for your group, no matter who you are!
9. Private Sunset 4-Hour Grand Teton Wildlife Adventure
One of the best private tours of Grand Teton, this four-hour wildlife adventure is operated by EcoTour Adventures, a nonprofit tour provider. Their Naturalist Wildlife Guides drive an open-air safari vehicle, and explain the valley’s expansive ecosystem in this half-day trip.
Sunrise and sunset are magic times in the valley. These are the times that wildlife emerges to eat and drink providing you with some of the best chances to catch glimpses of bison and elk.
It is also the perfect light for photographs and filming your adventure. Known as the golden hour before sunset, the light emphasizes textures and elongates shadows.
If you are looking for stunning scenery and an amazing experience or even non-stop photographic opportunities on a 5-star, award-winning private tour, this is an excellent option.
See Related: Best Places to Travel in Your 20s in the US
10. Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge Winter Day Trip
Jackson Hole changes with the season. But even in the chill of winter, area wildlife such as bison, elk, moose, mule deer, bald eagles, and pronghorn antelope can be spotted in the park.
So why not take a five-star rated full-day trip? You will be inside and out throughout the day so dress warmly and in layers. Comfortable shoes are always suggested and you will definitely need a camera.
Starting with an early morning hotel pickup your expert guide will navigate snow-covered passes to Grand Teton National Park. Experience firsthand the untamed beauty of the national parks and learn about ancient geologic forces that formed the craggy landscape.
For lunch, you will stop at an iconic western diner in Jackson. Afterward, a horse-drawn sleigh ride on the National Elk Refuge – a winter sanctuary for migrating elk.
The Refuge is also home to roughly 175 bird species including the protected bald eagle. At the end of your private tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel to warm up and relax for the evening.
11. Yellowstone Snowmobile Tour to Old Faithful
There are many ways to explore Yellowstone National Park, but one of the most thrilling is on a snowmobile.
This is a full-day, 12-hour trip. A grab-and-go breakfast and an early hotel pick-up start the trip. After outfitting with snowmobile gear, you’ll head to the South Entrance of Yellowstone.
Professional guides with ensure the best trails to view the Teton Range. And the beautiful landscapes on your way to the National Park, are awe-inspiring. Historical trivia is provided throughout the trip.
Your five-star, 45-mile Yellowstone tour along groomed trails includes Old Faithful, Lewis, and Moose Falls. You will also pass through Lewis Canyon.
And after whetting your appetite at West Thumb Geyser Basin, head to the hot springs, famous geysers, and a few hidden gems. Lunch breaks the day before closing the lower loop back toward the hotel.
This is one of the best Jackson Hole tours, but it comes with a few caveats. Warm winter clothing and dressing in layers are suggested. Snowmobile drivers must be 16+, with a valid driver’s license and Guests must bring their gloves and buffs. All other gear is provided and cancellations are free up to 24 hours in advance.
When is the best time to visit Jackson Hole?
Jackson Hole is beautiful year-round, but every season offers completely difference experiences. In the winter – November through April, really, it’s a snowy, chilly wonderland. In the spring – late April through May – the valley is full of bison calves, moose calves, kits, pups, and cubs… and a whole lot of mud. Summertime brings the best weather and the biggest crowds – plus afternoon thunderstorms which make for careful planning of long hikes. From late summer through the first snow flurries, breeding animals take center stage, the crowds thin out, and the weather is absolutley beautiful – if a bit unpredictable. Most amenities are open May through October, with seasonal drop-offs in the early spring and late fall, between the winter season and summer season.
What is the best thing to do in Jackson Hole?
The Aerial Tram and Gondola Ride at Jackson Hole Mountain resort in Teton Valley is one of the best things to do in Jackson Hole. This nine-minute ride, winter or summer, travels 4,139 vertical feet to offer stunning panoramic views of the Tetons, Jackson Hole Valley, and Grand Teton Mountain Ranges. If we had to narrow it down to one ideal tour, the sunrise wildlife tour with EcoTour Adventures is one you’ll never forget.
What is Jackson Hole famous for?
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is famous for its awe-inspiring views. The region is home to National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.
The area has some of the best outdoor adventure options for skiing, whitewater rafting, and fly fishing. No matter the age or interests, there is something for everyone in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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