Of all the places I have been to in the states (and remember, I’ve been to all 50), Jackson Hole is definitely one of the most gorgeous places I have seen. With breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons and a variety of outdoor activities, there is so much to see and do in Jackson Hole.
This trip was actually my third time visiting. I visited twice when I was a little girl and have amazing memories of horseback riding in the mountains and looking out for moose. We had a family trip to Red Rock Ranch in ’95 and I vividly remember an adventurous trek up into the mountains on a horse named Lester and off roading in a red jeep. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to many neat places and my memories gave me a desire to return to this place with so much adventure awaiting.
You may have heard of the term ‘babymoon’ and depending on your generation, it either excites you or baffles you. Yep, us millenials sure do like to pamper ourselves and Eric and I are no different. With our constant thirst for adventure, we decided to make a trip to this wonderful place before Baby Dunigan arrives. A little mountain getaway from the Texas heat sounded absolutely perfect for the 4th of July.
We stayed at a hotel in town right on Broadway but it wasn’t anything special and if we were to return, we’d love to stay at Jackson Lake Lodge. The prices were a little high for us over the holiday weekend, but we still made our way over there for a few meals and views of the Tetons.
Here is my guide for making the most of your trip to Jackson Hole!
There are many hikes in Jackson Hole and hiking is a must-do activity on your trip! Jenny Lake happens to be one of the prettier views. You can take a boat across the lake over to a lookout or simply walk around the lake. This hike can be tough depending on which route you take. I highly recommend asking a park guide about which route is best for you :) Take lots of pictures! There’s a beautiful waterfall and great views of the mountains.
Toggart Lake was an easier hike than Jenny Lake. What I loved about this hike was seeing all the wildflowers. It was less crowded so Eric and I felt less pressure to pass people and had no problem stopping whenever we pleased to snap pictures. I highly recommend this leisurely walk into the mountains!
Get up at Sunrise to catch golden hour at Oxbow Bend
We discovered quickly that the summer days are long in Jackson Hole. With the sun rising at 5:45 and setting at 9pm, there was ample daylight but the golden hours were very early or late. And you know me, I love my pictures. We decided to wake up at dawn to catch the sunrise and early morning light in the mountains. Multiple people recommended we drive to Oxbow Bend. It may be my favorite picture we visited on our trip! It was absolutely beautiful. Both Eric and I agree that our 5am wake up call was well worth it, and honestly, our favorite part of the trip. CARPE DIEM! #amirite
Drive to Snake River
Eric’s favorite picture he snapped is from the famous Snake River lookout point. It’s a wonderful view of the Tetons and right at the beginning of the national park.
Mormon Row is a really neat spot in Teton National Park. In the late 1800s, many Mormons traveled west to establish new homesteads and a few barns are still left standing. Moulton Barn is the most famous one with its picturesque views of the mountains behind it. It’s a great spot to stop and snap a picture. If you’re lucky, you might catch some wildlife grazing the property.
Catch bison grazing just before Moran Junction
The wildlife viewing in Jackson Hole is incredible. Because we got up so early to see the sunrise, we also got to experience a variety of animals beginning the day as well. Our favorite to see were bison! If you head up 191, just before Moran Junction is the perfect spot to catch a view of bison grazing the fields. We saw hundreds of them, accompanied by pronghorn antelope (which look a lot like deer).
Because we started our day at sunrise to view Oxbow Bend, we had ample time to continue our drive north into Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is about 2 hours away from Jackson Hole and for us, totally worth the drive. It cost an additional $20 to our park pass (originally $30) and it was worth seeing both Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. The 4th of July is one of the busiest weekends to be in the park, so we only had time to see these two spots. It was so neat and and totally wild. The hot spring is about 160 degrees and will burn right through your shoes, according to wikipedia. Stay on the path! ;)
Now I couldn’t ride a horse due to the baby, but I did last time I was visiting and it was one of my favorite activities. It’s such a neat way to see the mountains and horses really just are the most beautiful animal, if you ask me…
White water raft
The same goes for white water rafting…I could not participate this time around but growing up and traveling with my family, rafting was one of my favorite things to do. It’s such a rush and great way to see different views of the park.
The first place we ate when we arrived in Jackson was Bin22. With an unassuming storefront of wines & cheeses, and a low key patio out back, Eric and I enjoyed the delicious apps Bin22 had to offer. It was the perfect start to an array of great food we had in Jackson. Try sampling the Spanish Salad, the Meatball, and their cheeses.
Our waitress at Bin22 suggested we check out The Granary for a beautiful view of the mountains. The Granary exceeded our expectations and we were wildly impressed with the foods and views. Eric enjoyed elk and I ordered the scallops and tomato bisque which was exquisite! We of course had to split cobbler afterward ;)
One of my favorite activities every day is my morning coffee and breakfast. Persephone Bakery is the cutest spot in town that serves artisan breads and pastries and makes the most delicious croissant egg sandwiches. It’s chilly in the morning but they provide warm blankets and a fire pit outside where you can sit and enjoy your breakfast while staying cozy and warm. AUTUMN GIRL HEAVEN Y’ALL. We ate there twice. I wish I could eat there now…
I did not capture any pictures at Orsetto, but on our last night, Eric and I were craving Italian so we stopped into the adorable restaurant just outside the town square. Their bruschetta selection is awesome and we split a steak and pasta dish. With the warm air, they had the doors wide open to the patio and it was so relaxing sitting there, sipping wine ( I did enjoy a glass), and chatting about our trip.
I didn’t capture a picture of the diner at Jackson Lake Lodge either but imagine sitting up at stools at a counter, eating pancakes and eggs, with an open view of the kitchen. It felt very 50s and was such a fun way to start the day. What we did capture was a view from the patio out back and some of the gorgeous wild flowers. Check out those mountains! We ate at Jackson Lake Lodge twice as well because we loved it so much. The second time we sat outside at the Pioneer Grill which had the most delicious watermelon salad and burgers!
Our trip to Jackson was nothing short of amazing and I’m looking forward to returning one day (and to white water rafting + horseback riding). We can’t wait to bring our kids out here for the adventures.
Thank you for reading!