Are you visiting Jackson Hole in the winter, but not really a skier? You’re in luck. I’m not either and I’ve always struggled to know what to do while we’re visiting Jackson Hole as a family. So last year and this year, we’ve done some extra exploring beyond just the shopping and yummy eating options! We’re sharing our top winter recommendations we love to do, and things on our bucket list to try out! Winter in Jackson Hole is a much different experience than summer time, so come enjoy it while the snow is thick on the ground!
Visiting the National Elk Refuge is such a fun addition to vacations in Jackson Hole. As a family, we’ve experienced all that the National Elk Refuge has to offer. After a short bus ride from the city center, we piled into a horse drawn sleigh.
Being well dressed for the cold weather is definitely a must as you’ll be sitting for about one hour on the open air sleigh. The Elk Refuge Sleighs does provide some lap blankets for warmth. Not only do you get to take a ride around the refuge and see the thousands of elk, but there are also wolves and other wildlife out in the fields! The tour guides are also incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the elf refuge and answered all of our questions. And hey, you can even pose for photos with the horses!
We definitely recommend this as an excursion for families and couples visiting Jackson Hole!
A dog sled tour is on our bucketlist! I think it would be so much fun as a honeymoon experience!
One of our brides this year booked a tour with Jackson Hole Iditarod Dog Sled Tours. They offer both full day and half day tours and provide hot soups and beverages to help keep you warm! Their full day tour stops at Granite Hot Springs for a relaxing soak.
For couples or families desiring a shorter experience, Call of the WYld offers 45 minute trail rides. These rides allow for photo opportunities with the dog team and the incredible views. They also offer meet and greets with their mush teams!
For an indoor educational option, visit the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. This attraction is very reasonably priced for all audiences. The museum offers permanent exhibitions about homesteading Jackson Hole, cattle ranching, dude ranching and tourism, and American Indians in the Tetons. While their special exhibits change periodically, the museum currently has two. The current special exhibits feature women’s writing, and Wyoming women in photographs.
The highlight of any winter trip for my son includes swimming in a pool. For an elevated experience that includes water slides, you must visit the Teton County Recreation Center! While current Covid-19 restrictions have severely altered the open swim times, families can still reserve a time to visit the pool on the weekends. The water slide is by far our favorite part of our pool experience.
Just as Grand Teton National Park offers exceptional hiking and outdoor activities, it is also an incredible venue for snowshoeing and XC skiing. Some of my favorite summer trails make the best snowshoe trails in the winter. Dress in layers, as you’ll work up a sweat, but plan for all kinds of weather. Take a backpack with plenty of water and snacks. With access a plethora of frozen lakes, wooded trails, and great climbs, snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park offers the best scenic views. Several companies offer guided excursions and we rented our snowshoes through Teton Back Country Rentals. For more safety and trail information when snowshoeing on your own, check out the Grand Teton National Park website.
Downhill skiing is a bit risky for me, but the slower pace of XC skiing is more my jam! Teton Pines Nordic Center offers beautifully groomed trails for both classic and skate skis. Rentals are available onsite but are first come, first served. Skis may also be rented for off-site use if you’d like to explore Grand Teton National Park or Grand Targhee National Forest.
If you’re interested in a more adventurous day trip, snowmobiling might be just the thing! Offering several different options to tour the Jackson Hole area, both Scenic Safaris and Teton Tour Company are highly rated guide and rental shops.