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  • Writer's pictureMegan Winslett

The “Last Real Mountain Town”: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, at the base of the Teton Mountain range and the southern end of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole is a picturesque mountain town that offers as much adventure in the summer as it does in the winter. Easily accessible by most major U.S. airports, with typically just one connection, the airport is an easy 20 minute drive from both downtown Jackson and Teton Village.

Locals refer to Jackson Hole as the “last real mountain town,” and from the land’s natural beauty to the classic outdoor activities and Western style buildings and decor, it's easy to feel the truth in that statement. A variety of hotels, villas and home rental options, paired with the endless array of activities, make it an ideal spot to gather as a family or large group in search of an adventure.

Where to stay

Seclusion and views

A place to spread out

Located on a 1,000 acre wildlife sanctuary, Spring Creek Ranch is halfway between Jackson and Teton Village in the town of Gros Ventre. Hands down the most spectacular part of this resort is the jaw-dropping views of Grand Teton. At 13,700 feet, it’s hard to articulate the magnitude of its beauty.

The resort community is one of only a few public places in the quiet and peaceful mountain town of Gros Ventre. It offers a mix of privately owned condos and villas, decorated according to owners’ preferences. Spring Creek is ideal for travelers looking to be able to spread out and enjoy the comforts of home, as well as, for the independent traveler looking to plan activities ‘a la carte’ and use the location as a home base. Although each property is individually owned, daily housekeeping services are available.

In addition to spacious, individual homes, Spring Creek Ranch offers a large swimming pool, tennis courts and horseback riding on property. One and two-hour public or private trail rides across the Gros Ventre mountainside give sweeping views of Jackson, the Elk Reserve, the Tetons and the entire valley. An on-site concierge staff is available to help with activity planning.

Luxury all the way

One of only two properties sharing the Gros Ventre side of the mountain, along with Spring Creek Ranch, Amangani is tucked away from the road and designed to blend into its surroundings.

Guests looking for five-star accommodations and loads of privacy, will be wowed by the endless views and luxury accommodations. Utilizing clean lines, large windows and natural light, views of Grand Teton surround you at every turn.

The property features a main lodge that offers generously-sized suites or individual homes spread throughout the property for larger groups or families. A dedicated spa, heated outdoor pool with painting-like views of the mountains, and onsite dining provide a serene place to call home. From guided wildlife tours to horseback riding and nearby skiing there is no shortage of activities.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Daily continental breakfast for two, upgrade upon arrival based on availability, early check-in or late check-out based on availability, $100 food & beverage credit

Ski in/ski out properties in the Teton Valley

Activities outside your door, great for groups

A part of Noble House Hotels, Hotel Terra is located right in the heart of Teton Village. The hotel was rated #1 in Jackson Hole by Conde Naste Traveller and offers every convenience you can imagine. An onsite ski valet and ski rental facility make it as simple as possible to step outside the doors and hit the slopes. In the summer, enjoy a variety of easy-to-access activities in the bustling Teton Village.

Hotel Terra is moderately sized and features a current urban decor. Its setup is great for families because of the variety of rooming options it provides, including pulldown Murphy beds. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor pool (heated in the winter) that overlooks the village.

Book with me for the following Noble House VIP amenities: $25 resort credit for a one night stay, or a $50 resort credit for stays of two nights or longer, next room level upgrade, early check-in and late check-out based on availability.

Just next door to the Hotel Terra, Teton Mountain Lodge is also part of the Noble House Hotels. The lodge and spa came in at #2 on Conde Naste Traveller’s list--maybe the 22-person rooftop hot tub had something to do with it. Larger and offering even more rooming configurations, it is perfect for groups or families. The decor leans more toward alpine with cozier furnishings and lots of stone and wood adorning the interior.

Book with me for the following Noble House VIP amenities: $25 resort credit for a one night stay, or a $50 resort credit for stays of two nights or longer, next room level upgrade, early check-in and late check-out based on availability.

Personalized attention

For the ultimate in privacy and personalized attention, Caldera House sits right at the base of the tram and only accommodates eight rooms on property--four two-bedroom suites and four four-bedroom suites. This means uber personalized attention and staff catering to guests every need.

Rooms offer a rustic contemporary design and are spacious. The suites can be fully utilized for extended stays with ample wifi connections and multiple workspaces. In addition, a ski valet with personal ski lockers is located in the lower lobby and the slopes are just outside the door.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability; Daily Continental Breakfast for four guests per 2-Bedroom Suites, for six guests per 4-Bedroom Suites; $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay; Welcome Basket & Complimentary Snacks and Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Dedicated Concierge Services; Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability

Classic luxury

Anchoring Teton Village, the Four Seasons is a quintessential mountain property perched a stone’s throw away from the gondola and tram, but nestled back slightly out of view. Always the definition of luxury, the Four Seasons offers a highly personalized experience.

Multiple rooming options in addition to residences that are adjacent to the main property give travelers the ultimate in flexibility. A ski concierge and onsite ski shop make hitting the slopes a breeze and a large, beautiful pool--perfect for cooling off in the summer and warming up in luxury in the winter-- are just some of the onsite amenities guests can enjoy.

Book with me for the following Preferred Partner amenities: Daily full breakfast for two people per bedroom; Hotel/Resort Credit* (based on room category booked): Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay, Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay, Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay; Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in

Things to do

Teton Mountain Village

Teton Mountain Village is about a 25 minute drive from the town of Jackson. In the winter this is a hub for skiing and in the summer it bustles with outdoor activity.

People can take either the Jackson Hole tram up to the summit, or the gondola up to nearly the summit and enjoy a casual meal, or go on a hike. My family took the gondola and enjoyed a really fun and beautiful 1.5 hour hike down on the Wildflower Trail.

The mountain also features an extensive mountain biking trail system that offers options for expert bikers and timid moms alike. Bikes and all of the protective equipment are available for rent.

The Village itself boasts a variety of espresso stands, après-ski bars, live music and ski and snowboard shops. Stop into the famous Mangy Moose for eclectic pub food and craft cocktails.


The classic, Western cowboy town of Jackson features attached rows of shops and restaurants centered around town squares. There is a perfect mix of high-end local shops and homeware boutiques catering to an upscale clientele, but also plenty of casual restaurants where a t-shirt and cowboy hat are acceptable. No trip to Jackson is complete without a picture underneath the famed antler arches in the square of Jackson.

The dining options in Jackson are eclectic with a gourmet twist. Look for lots of interesting takes on local fare like bison, elk and huckleberries. Our family favorites included:

Hatch Taqueria and Tequila: Sophisticated Mexican cuisine with casual outdoor and open-air indoor seating and delicious margaritas.

Blue Lion: A residential home until the 1930s, the Blue Lion offers traditional dishes like lamb, elk and fresh trout.

Gather: Ample indoor/outdoor dining with a fresh menu. Order the huckleberry brussel

sprouts--you’ll thank me!

Grand Teton National Park Wildlife Safari

Leaving either at dawn or dusk, a safari is an incredible way to see much of the wildlife found in the national park. Unless raining, guests will be transported in an open-air vehicle and lead by a knowledgeable guide who provides an in-depth education on the wildlife and the history of the area. Spot moose, bison, antelope, elk, foxes, bears, coyotes and more--all in the wild.

ATV/UTV riding

Standard or side-by-side terrain vehicles allow you to explore more of the Gros Ventre and Elk preserve areas not accessible by car. UTVs and ATVs (for more high adventure exploring) are available to navigate the Valley’s vast trail system. A guide is recommended for ATV-ing and riders must be at least 8 years old to ride with an adult.

The Jackson Hole Rodeo

If you only pick one activity to do while in Jackson Hole during the summer, the rodeo is a must! Featuring cowboys and cowgirls on the local rodeo circuit, the rodeo is an authentic glimpse into real Western living and entertainment. Take in the bull-riding cowboys and see how they stay on bucking broncos, watch cowgirls compete in barrel racing and see team calf roping competitions. The emcee keeps things going with light-hearted (family-friendly) humor and activities the crowd can get involved in. During the summer, the rodeo runs two-to-three times a week and advance ticket purchases are highly recommended, as tickets sell out nightly.

Horseback riding

Seeing this area on horseback really immerses you in the cowboy culture of Jackson Hole. There are several horseback riding ranches in the area to choose from, but I recommend a 1-2 hour private group trail ride. In addition to stunning 360 degree mountain views, enjoy trotting through fields of wildflowers and picking wild huckleberry along the way.

Skiing and snowboarding

With three ski resorts in the area-- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort--there are ample places to hit the slopes. The variety of terrain accommodates both new and expert skiers.

Pro tip: The Teton Mountain Valley vacillates between 6,000-7,000 ft in elevation. It can take a little time to adjust to the altitude. I recommend drinking plenty of water, using lots of lotion and lip balm (the mountain air is drying – even in summer), having headache medicine on hand and taking it easy at first activity-wise.

Contact me for more information or book at your own convenience through my Virtuoso online booking hotel tool.

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