Jackson Hole is an adventurer’s paradise. There are plenty of things to do in Jackson Hole in May when the summer season begins. Hike up Rendezvous Mountain, go whitewater rafting, or paraglide at Snow King Mountain Resort. Head downtown around Jackson Town Square for the best shopping in Jackson Hole and the best places to eat in Jackson Hole.
If you’re looking for things to do in Jackson Hole at night come summer, check out the dinner theater show at Jackson Hole Playhouse or go to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. As for romantic things to do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, why not go for a cozy historic carriage ride around downtown? For more inspiration, here are 16 top things to do in Jackson Hole.
1. Snow King Mountain Resort
Known as the “hometown ski hill” and conveniently located minutes from downtown, Snow King Mountain Resort is, fortunately, a year-round destination. For skiers and snowboarders, here are Snow King Mountain Resort’s key stats: 400 skiable acres, 34 trails, three lifts, and two magic carpets. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fun mountainside activities to enjoy in summer as well. This includes the Treetop Adventure course, the Summer Cowboy Coaster, paragliding, bouldering, and mountain biking.
2. Jackson Town Square
George Washington Memorial Park is located in the center of town, so it’s more commonly known as Jackson Town Square. Its distinguishing feature is the elk-antler arches found at its four corners, which were collected from the National Elk Refuge and act as decorative gateways. Surrounded by shops, restaurants, and art galleries, Jackson Town Square truly comes alive in summer, when it hosts nightly Jackson Hole Playhouse performances, historic carriage rides, and a farmer’s market.
3. Jackson Hole Visitor Center
When you first arrive in town, head directly to the Jackson Hole Visitor Center. Located next to the National Elk Refuge, the inter-agency visitor center is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Inside, you can pick up state and federal permits and licenses, visit the Grand Teton Association bookstore, see the interpretive displays, learn more about upcoming community events, reserve seasonal sleigh rides, and get help with trip planning.
4. Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum
The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the natural and cultural history of the Greater Yellowstone area. Permanent exhibitions include American Indians of the Tetons, Homesteading Jackson Hole, Bet the Ranch, and Becoming Cowboy For a Month. Historical Society staff also organize hour-long walking tours of the historic downtown district. Meet in Town Square from Tuesday to Friday at 10:30 am from Memorial Day weekend to late September.
5. Jackson Hole Rodeo
One of the most iconic things to do in Jackson Hole in summer is to go to the rodeo, as it’s been a part of the local cowboy culture for over 100 years. With weekly nighttime events from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, there’s also an onsite concession stand and bar. The rodeo offers a VIP Behind the Chutes Experience too, where you can get meet cowboys and cowgirls as they prepare for battle.
6. National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge was established in 1912 to protect the winter habitat of one of the world’s largest elk herds. Besides being a seasonal home to the 7000-plus elk that constitutes the Jackson Elk Herd, visitors will also find bison, trumpeter swans, wolves, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles at National Elk Refuge. To see the elk, the refuge organizes horse-drawn sleigh rides from mid-December to early April. Purchase tickets at the aforementioned visitor center.
7. Barker Ewing Whitewater
Barker Ewing is a local family-owned company that has been organizing the town’s best whitewater rafting and scenic floating experiences since 1963. One of their most popular adventures is the eight-mile whitewater rafting trip down Snake River, which is available from mid-May to October. Barker Ewing also do scenic float trips that offer spectacular Grand Teton views. There are breakfast, lunch, and float-only trips available. So for guaranteed summertime fun, choose your Barker Ewing adventure.
8. Center for the Arts
Center for the Arts calls themselves a hub for the town’s “artistic, cultural, and creative activity.” Upcoming events include local and national theater productions, music concerts, comedy shows, lectures, and weekly public stargazing events organized by Wyoming Stargazing. Within its facility, the Center of the Arts has an art gallery, a 500-seat performance theater, and multiple dance studios, classrooms, and office space. Visit their calendar to see what exciting event is on during your visit.
9. National Museum of Wildlife Art
You’ll find the National Museum of Wildlife Art perched above National Elk Refuge in a rock facade inspired by Scotland’s Slains Castle. It’s home to more than 5000 pieces of art that feature wild animals from around the world. Some of the top things to see inside the museum include Chief by Robert Bateman, a large bison painting; Thomas Moran’s paintings of the local Yellowstone area; the John Clymer Studio; and the Carl Rungius Gallery.
10. Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
Located within Grand Teton National Park, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve is situated at the southern end of Phelps Lake. Originally a dude ranch called JY Ranch, its main building is now the Preserve Center. Head here for trail information, ranger-led programs like daily walks to Phelps Lake, junior ranger activities, unusual sensory exhibits, and a comfortable resource room. The preserve’s three main hikes include the Phelps Lake Loop and the Lake Creek-Woodland Trail Loop.
11. Rendezvous Mountain
A large mountain located in the southern Teton Range, Rendezvous Mountain is a part of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which is known for its challenging terrain. However, skiing and snowboarding are just two activities available on Rendezvous Mountain. Year-round, visitors can take a scenic ride on the mountain’s tram, while there is paragliding and many hiking trails open in summer. So if you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Jackson Hole, visit Rendezvous Mountain.
12. Antelope Flats
Sitting pretty in Grand Teton National Park, most people will tell you a visit to Wyoming isn’t complete without visiting Antelope Flats. It’s the definition of picturesque, with old wooden homesteads backdropped by rolling plains and the national park’s spectacular snow-capped mountains. Antelope Flats was created to preserve the habitats and migration routes of animals like elk and bison. Fortunately, Antelope Flats Road winds through the area and is used by both cars and bicycles.
13. Granite Hot Springs
Granite Hot Springs is nestled in the Gros Ventre Mountain range. Surrounded by towering pine trees and rocky mountain facades, the natural hot spring soaking pool is a popular place to visit year-round to soothe tired muscles, which is inevitable after tackling some of the thrilling outdoor adventures mentioned above. In winter, Granite Hot Springs is only accessible via snowmobile, dog sled, or by cross-country skiing. Meanwhile, in summer there are campground facilities available nearby.
14. Grand Teton National Park
Spread over 310,000 acres, Grand Teton National Park is defined by lush valleys, the Teton Range’s towering mountains, and alpine lakes. In summer, go whitewater rafting or fishing on the national park’s Snake River, and take your pick from 230 miles of hiking trails. Alternatively, spring is a great time to visit to see the epic annual wildlife migration. However, if you’re more interested in taking amazing photos, fall is the season for you.
15. Jackson Hole Playhouse
One of the most fun things to do in Jackson Hole at night is to see the show at the Jackson Hole Playhouse. Located in the town’s oldest building – a historic 1915 stable – the local Playhouse hosts a dinner theater extravaganza every summer. One of the town’s top attractions, the show differs from year to year but guests can always expect an entertaining evening that involves music and comedy in a Western setting.
16. Yellowstone National Park
Straddling three states and covering over two million acres, Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park. With millions of annual visitors, there’s plenty of things to do within Yellowstone. Visit its famous geyser, Old Faithful; spot animals like grizzly bears, wild horses, and the world’s largest bison herd; go hiking on its 1300-mile trail system; enjoy a spot of fishing or whitewater rafting, and attend a powwow at a local Native American reservation.