Jackson Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming and Jackson Hole are not the same thing. Jackson Hole is a valley (about 50 miles long and six to eight miles wide) located in the west-central part of the state only about 15 miles east of the Idaho border. It is completely surrounded by national parks and forests and the Grand Teton Mountains, which provide many of the attractions and things to do in the region, including some of the best powder skiing in North America. The town of Jackson WY is in this extraordinarily beautiful valley.

Within the valley area are five smaller towns and villages, including Moose, where the headquarters of Grand Teton National Park is located; Moran, located about 20 miles north of the airport; Wilson, located on the west edge of the valley; and Teton Village, a tiny village set right at the foot of Rendezvous Peak with the largest vertical rise (4,139 feet) in North America; and South Park, located in the southern part of the valley. Jackson is the largest and most visited of the six communities; it also has the most lodging options.

The town, the valley, and the lake located near Moran were all named for famed mountain man David Jackson. Jackson is set in the east central part of the valley. One of its attractions is the National Elk Refuge, home to more than 7,000 well-protected animals that are often used to replenish other wild herds. Here, it is just about guaranteed that you will see elk, and you can enjoy sleigh rides through the herd during the winter months from mid-December to mid-April.

Like most deer, elk shed their antlers, and you will see evidence of this in the Jackson Wyoming Town Square where two huge arches fashioned from antlers mark the entrance to the square. Do be aware that collecting antlers yourself on the Elk Refuge grounds is a Federal offense. During the summer months, the Town square is the location of a Wild West shootout staged by actors and including a stagecoach, dance hall girls, bank robbers, and a drunken doc.

Jackson Wyoming is also home to the Jackson Hole Museum that chronicles the history of the region from prehistoric times and displays Native American artifacts and items used by early settlers, mountain men, and fur traders. There are a couple dozen fine art galleries, shops, and boutiques, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art. There are a couple day spas in case your Jackson Wyoming lodging doesn't offer that amenity. For dining, there are many places ranging from cheap eats and western-style steakhouses to fine gourmet cuisine. There are theaters and playhouses, and you will find booking outlets in town for kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, snowcoach tours, and wildlife excursions.

There are numerous Jackson Wyoming lodging choices right in town, offering a wide variety to suit just about every budget and taste. There are motels and budget Jackson hotels as well as mid-range accommodations and luxurious resorts. It is possible to walk just about everywhere staying at one of these. A bit outside of town are dude ranch possibilities. There are also vacation rentals that include apartments in town, rustic cabins, and elegant homes that come complete with butler, maid, and personal chef.

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