By Darian Armer
Assistant Editor, RV Daily Report
When thinking of vacation destinations, Wyoming may not be at the top of the list. And while some of the state fits the vision many hold of tumbleweeds rolling across a windy highway, but there are several cities that offer beautiful escapes. One such little town is Jackson, Wyo., a beautiful town nestled in the Jackson Hole valley and surrounded by the towering Teton Mountains.
A beautiful natural landscape, majestic mountains and opportunities for wildlife sightings and excursions such as white water rafting, fishing and more makes Jackson Hole an ideal adventurer’s escape. At the same time, Jackson Hole offers four-star accommodations and fabulous dining experiences for a luxurious stay while in a natural landscape.
Jackson Hole Valley is largely occupied by Grand Teton National Park. Native wildlife includes moose, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, grizzly bears, black bears, bison, and trumpeter swans. Yellowstone Park is a few miles to the North of the park, making Jackson a gateway to both national parks.
The Snake River winds through the valley, and glacial lakes such as Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake offer fishing. Natural features such as buttes, streams and trails offer sightseeing and opportunities for fishers and hunters. The valley is 48 miles long and eight to 15 miles wide. Altitude levels of the valley vary between 6,779 feet in the north and 6,069 feet above sea level in the southern end.
Wildlife Expeditions and Safaris
For those hoping to see animals in their natural habitat, a wildlife expedition through the Teton Science Schools may be just the answer. The expeditions have earned a reputation for exceptional safari tours and sightings of wild animals in the wilderness in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Nature guides know where to look for elk, moose, bison/buffalo, bighorn sheep, wolves, grizzlies, black bears and other wild animals. For more information, call 877.404.6626, or click here.
Another option for witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat is through Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. These safaris explore the greater Yellowstone ecosystem including Jackson Hole, the National Elk Refuge and the national parks. All safaris include a local guide and transportation to and from the hotel is included. Drinks and snacks are provided and different meal options accompany different safari options. Safaris are offered year round with varying options. For more information, call 307.690.6402 or click here.
Mad River Boat Trips offer whitewater rafting excursions and scenic floats down the Snake River. A trip in early spring offers rafters the chance to experience the peak flows of the river. A trip in midsummer offers cool waters on a hot summer day and a visit during the fall offers scenic floats to view the colors of the season. Experienced river trip guides lead excursions while educating rafters on flora, fauna geology and the history of the Snake River. For more information, call 1.800.458.7238, or click here.
Barker-Ewing Whitewater offers Jackson Hole River trips with options for overnight trips and trips where breakfast is served. They also offer rafting trips with a Dutch oven dinner cookout at their private dinner site along the river. Barker-Ewing Whitewater offers a best price guarantee. For more information, call 800.448.4202., or click here.
The Wort Hotel is a boutique hotel that opened in 1941. For those looking to indulge themselves for a night should consider booking a stay at the Wort Hotel. The hotel features 55 guest rooms, including five Western Theme Suites. All the rooms give a western-lodge and heritage feel while offering the service of a grand hotel. Located in downtown, the hotel is near many shopping and dining attractions. Galleries, bakeries and shopping are all within walking distance of the hotel. However, guests should be prepared to pay the price of luxury, with room rates around $411 a night. For more information, call 800.322.2727, or click here.
Camping and RV Sites
The Jackson Hole/Snake River KOA is open April 15 – Oct. 15 and offers deluxe cabins overlooking Horse Creek, camping cabins overlooking the Snake River and RV and tent sites shaded by aspens, cottonwoods and spruce trees. Brand new deluxe cabins include full bathrooms, kitchen/kitchenettes, flat screen TV, gas BBQs, and patios with campfire rings. The bathrooms are newly remodeled and feature private, individual changing and showering rooms. A brand new pet area and playground will be coming soon. The campground has limited Internet usage. It also offers tube rentals for campers to float down the KOA beach. To make a reservation, call 800.562.1878, or click here.
Jackson Hole Campground Fireside Resort completed campground improvements several years ago including a renovated washroom facility, a road upgrade and the addition of 19 new luxury cabins. The campground offers large sites with old growth shade trees, campfire rings, picnic tables and full hook ups at each site. There are laundry facilities, a camp store, 30- and 50-amp hook up, dump state and pull-through and back-in sites. They also offer jeep rentals to make the most of your vacation. To make a reservation, call 307.732.2267, or click here.