Jackson is anything but cheap, especially during the busy summer months. Here are a few penny pinching ideas for a summer vacation in Jackson Wyoming. Discover ways to save money like camping, free or inexpensive attractions, and where to find specials and deals.
Camping is by far your cheapest lodging option. You can camp in Grand Teton National Park, at National Forest Service Campgrounds, or at RV Parks in town.
If you don't feel like “roughing” it in a campground, Jackson is home to many hotels, lodges, and vacation rentals. Be aware that lodging can get expensive in Jackson, especially without reservations. Either do your research and find deals on reservations, book your travel in the spring or fall months, or consider staying just outside of town in more affordable Teton Valley (45 min West) or Alpine, Wyoming (45 min South).
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is easily accessible from the town of Jackson, Wyoming. A Park Pass (which is good for one vehicle for 7 days in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks) costs $25. You can spend a handful of days exploring these parks while spending little to no money. A good cost-cutter option is to stock a small cooler full of snacks, lunch, and plenty of water from a local grocery store before entering the park.
Craig Thomas Visitor Center
Located at the southern entrance of the park, the visitor center has interactive exhibits, a theater, a shop, and a number of rangers at your service. Pick up maps and get hiking trail and camping information here.
There are many hikes to choose from in the Tetons. Ranger led hikes are also available free of charge and offer a great way to get to know the area, its geology, flora, fauna, and historical tidbits.
Ranger Led Hikes can be found in the Park Newspaper
Grand Teton National Park trail descriptions
Canoeing or Kayaking
Jenny, String, and Leigh Lakes are great for an afternoon of canoeing or kayaking.
Cost: Rentals $15-$20/hour
Available at Jenny Lake Signal Mountain Lodge, and Jackson Lake Lodge
What many people enjoy most about the Tetons is viewing wildlife like moose, elk, bison, and bear.
On a warm summer day head to the shores of String Lake, a shallow body of water just north of Jenny Lake. Enjoy a picnic along the beach or splash around at the water's edge. Note that the water is naturally very cold but because of its shallow depth, it warms up quickly.
Junior Ranger Program
This is a great option if you are travelling with kids. It will not only get them excited about exploring the park, but they might also learn a thing or two.
Activities & Attractions
Discover great fishing opportunities in nearby rivers, streams, and lakes. The best place to stop to purchase a license, find a guide book, or ask for some local tips on where to go is one of Jackson's many Fly Fishing Shops.
Wyoming fishing licenses can be purchased for $14/day.
Granite Hot Springs
Good for a rainy day or cloudy afternoon activity, Granite Hot Springs is located south of town and upriver from Hoback Junction.
Scenic Chairlift Ride
A scenic chairlift ride is a fun way to take in the whole valley from a bird's eye view. The Tram in Teton Village climbs over 4,000 feet to the top of Rendezvous Peak. A less expensive alternative is riding the Snow King Chairlift up 1,500 feet to the top of Snow King Mountain. An even cheaper option is to hike a steep but wide and well maintained trail up to Snow King Mountain.
Gros Ventre Slide & Slide Lake
Just northeast of Jackson, Wyoming, the Gros Ventre Slide & Slide Lake were formed in 1925 by an enormous land slide. This free natural attraction is quite a sight to see. Head north from town and turn right at Gros Ventre Road towards Kelly WY. The slide is just over 6 miles east of Kelly.
Jackson Hole History Museum
This quaint museum offers a glimpse into Jackson's past for a small fee. Located on the corner of Glenwood and Deloney, the museum is open from Memorial Day through mid-September.
Hiking & Biking
There is a huge network of trails throughout Jackson Hole. You might also want to pick up a local hiking or biking trail book (available at shops in town). Here are a few maps to get you started:
- Town Pathways – Connecting different sections of town via paved pathways great for walkers, bikers, families, and dogs. Map
- Snow King Trails – Encompassing all trails on the front and backside of Snow King Mountain, as well as up Cache Creek. Hiking trails are primarily on the front (northern) side of the mountain and up Cache Creek Road while mountain bikers will love the Cache Creek network and trails on the backside of the mountain. Map
- Teton Pass Trails – A number of trails great for hiking, biking, and great views. Map
Maps provided by Friends of Pathways.
Art Galleries & Window Shopping
Just because Jackson is filled with art galleries, clothing boutiques, and western garb, doesn't mean you have to buy it all. Stroll through downtown Jackson and find a wide range of art galleries and boutiques, all great for browsing and window shopping.
Entertainment & Dining
Happy Hours & Dining Specials
Many local restaurants and bars offer a happy hour and dining specials. Pick up a local free paper (The Daily or the Stepping Out section of the Weekly) and look for specials and deals in the dining section.
Wildlife Film Series
Every summer the National Museum of Wildlife Art puts on a Summer Film Series. Films are free with museum entrance.
Town Square Shootout
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, head to the town square at 6pm for the nightly Shootout. Kids will love it and it's free.
Jackson Hole Live
In the heart of summer, the ball field at the base of Snow King Mountain turns into a concert venue for a series of free summer concerts.
Music on Main in Victor
From mid-July to mid-August, head over Teton Pass into Teton Valley Idaho for a free evening of music every Thursday. The event is popular among locals, families, and tourists. If you don't want to drive there is a bus service offered.
As you make your lodging reservations, think about finding a unit with a kitchen. Dining in is a great way to cut down on costs while traveling. You'll find plenty of fixins at three grocery stores (Smiths, Albertsons, Luckys, and the Jackson Whole Grocer) or at the Saturday Summer farmers market on town square.
We offer a variety of summer vacation packages. View ALL Packages.