Immersed in the National Forest and surrounded by Grand Teton National Park, the Gros Ventre, the National Elk refuge and the Snake River Mountain Ranges, there are always lots of things to do in Jackson Hole. Regardless of the season, Jackson Hole is a destination for singles, couples, families and all outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for the perfect get away.
Travelers often avoid traveling to Jackson Hole during the “off-season”, that time prior to ski season and after summer rush, or the time prior to summer rush and after ski season, because they don’t realize all the wonderful things there are to do during the spring and fall.
National Museum of Wildlife Art
Open year round, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is one of a kind. Take a tour on your own or with a docent, eat lunch at the on-site cafe that looks out over the National Elk Refuge, or take your kids to the Kid’s Corner, full of books, puzzles, and fun activities.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation sponsors both a Spring Bike Tour and a Fall Bike Tour, which take place partly in Yellowstone National Park. Often, if the weather permits, some roads in Yellowstone are open for bicycles before they are opened for regular vehicular traffic.
National Elk Refuge
The Elk Refuge is a great place to enjoy a walk or do a little bike riding in the late spring or early fall. And if the weather is good and your timing is right, you may be able to witness the migration of the elk either to the refuge (in the fall) or back north to their feeding areas (in the spring).
Spring and/or fall is a great time to join a biologist on a wildlife safari through Grand Teton National Park and view wildlife like black bears, bison, elk, deer, moose, antelope, and coyotes. Bring your camera and learn how to photograph wildlife like bald eagles, mountain bluebirds, trumpeter swans, and sandhill cranes.
The Tetons are the most photographed mountains in the world. Part of the reason may be their close proximity to a population base, but the other is that they are simply spectacular. Scenic photography is great in the spring with the first budding of the trees and the blooming of the early wildflowers. Later in the fall, a new canvas of color is filled with red, oranges and yellows.
The scenic flat-water section of the Snake from Jackson Lake to the Snake River Canyon offers some of the most spectacular fly-fishing in the country. The Snake is bursting with cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout. The season begins in April, where there are a few weeks of prime fishing before the river is affected by the snow runoff. Prime season is June - October. However, September - October are the least crowded and best months to experience Jackson Hole's fishing opportunities.
Fall is the time for hunting season in Jackson Hole. Wild game like elk, deer, and moose, as well as waterfowl lures hunters to the area from all over the region.
Spring or fall is the perfect time to enjoy a horseback ride. Experience the great outdoors at its best by exploring national forest trails via horseback and enjoying views of wildflower filled meadows, raging rivers, the Teton Mountain Range, and much more. Horseback riding starts in the spring as soon as the ground is dry enough for the horse to have sound footing and continues until the first dusting of snow.
Natural Hot Springs
Any time of year is the right time of year to take a scenic drive and then soak your weary bones in a natural hot springs.
- The Granite Hot Springs is open year round, from 10:00am to 6:00 pm in the winter and 10:00 am to 8:00 pm in the summer. During the winter months, it is accessible by snowmobile, skies or snowshoes only.
- Kelly Hot Springs is a large warm pool located in Jackson Hole in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. It is a bit primitive, but it does have an adjacent parking lot.
- Huckleberry Hot Springs is an undeveloped, totally natural hot springs located just south of Yellowstone National Park. Buffalo may join you as they relax near the pools. It is a bit of a hike to get here, but it is well worth it if you truly want to get close to nature. Remember there are no facilities here!
It is hard to keep up with all that is going on in Jackson. There area has a multitude of opportunities to enjoy theatre presentations, attend movies, enjoy fine dining, pamper yourself at a spa, go shopping or enjoy an art walk.
And perhaps one of the best reasons to travel to Jackson Hole during “off season” is that you will find reduced rates and special deals for lodging and other amenities!
What to plan next?