Do you enjoy snow-cations? Rejoice when inches of powdery white snow cover the ground? Relish the thought of that next plunge down a snow covered mountain? Are you searching for a winter destination whole family will rave about? Even if they don’t ski?
Then welcome to Jackson Hole, Wyoming – your gateway to a winter wonderland! Jackson Hole, synonymous with cowboys, The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, is a veritable winter wonderland, a treasure trove of snow-based activities sure to please even the most ardent winter adventurer.
Here are 7 winter activities around Jackson Hole, perfect for your next snowy vacation. After all, Jackson Hole isn’t just for summer vacations. It’s also a snow-lover’s paradise!
1. Snow, Snowballs, Snow Tubes, & Snowshoes
Love playing in snow? Then you’ll love Jackson Hole, where sled, snowball, snow tube and snowshoe adventures await the intrepid winter vacationer. Whether it’s a rousing family snowball battle or a raucous downhill snow tube race, everyone will have loads of snowy fun here! Spend the day playing in the snow. Then spend the evening sipping hot chocolate by the fire, exhausted from an exhilarating day of snowy adventurous.
Just step outside the door, and within minutes, find yourself knee-deep in a plethora of snowy activities in which to partake. Nothing beats an afternoon of slipping and sliding down the slopes on snow tubes, sleds or skis, or tossing snowballs at your siblings!
2. The Incredible Winter Vistas
From snow-capped mountaintops, to ice-coated tree- lined roads, to snow-covered trails winding along frozen waterways, the winter vistas around Jackson Hole are spectacular, especially on a clear, crisp, sunny day.
Wake up to the incredible Grand Tetons as they shimmer in the early morning sun, partially shrouded in a frosty haze. Walk along snow-covered sidewalks that traverse beneath the iconic Jackson Hole archway, all decked out in snowy elegance. Explore a silent, snowy forest trail winding past an icy waterfall and a river with an equally dramatic vista, just perfect for that family photo.
Best of all? Not a crowd to be found! You’ll have most, if not all, these incredible vistas all to yourself. That’s the beauty of a winter vacation to the Jackson Hole area. The peaceful wintery silence will surround and replenish the inner you.
3. Seeing Winter Wildlife In Action
Not everyone in Jackson Hole hibernates during winter! The surrounding area is vibrant and dynamic, full of possible animal and bird sightings around every corner, through each snowy passage, and across freezing cold rivers.
Keep your eyes open for the possibility of that magical moment when a 4-legged local resident runs across your path. It might just be a rare winter sighting of the Pine Marten weasel, darting past as he makes his way through a drift of snow.
Slow down, stop, look and listen, along a river’s bridge. Maybe you’ll witness a flock of ducks preparing to land along a frosty river. Who knows what you might spot when you slow it down a notch. Maybe even a lone wolf off in the distance. We did. For real!
Then there’s the iconic bison of Yellowstone National Park, keeping warm by hunkering down in the snow or hanging out near steamy thermal hot spots. You might even “bump” into a herd blocking a snow-covered road. This is bison land, you know!
4. Snowy Adventures in Yellowstone National Park
A winter vacation to Jackson Hole isn’t complete without exploring Yellowstone National Park. Whether it’s by a funky yellow snow coach, snowmobile, snowshoe, cross country ski or on foot, winter in Yellowstone is something to behold, a place of indescribable beauty. Quite simply, winter in Yellowstone National Park is pure magic!
Just don’t plan to explore with your car. With so much snow, the average 4-wheeled vehicle isn’t going to get you into Yellowstone. But these canary yellow bombardiers will, and they are quite an adventurous ride in their own right!
Cross country skis are the perfect solution for a front-row view of the next Old Faithful eruption. Winter in Yellowstone also means not a single crowd to be found, not here at Old Faithful, nor anywhere else in the park. Unless you consider a herd of bison warming themselves near Old Faithful a crowd!
No crowds, a plethora of snowy activities, and incredible winter vistas equal sheer magic in snowy Yellowstone National Park. Read more about winter adventures in Yellowstone at Top Ten Reasons for a Winter Family Vacation in Yellowstone National Park.
5. The Old-Fashioned Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides
Calling all cowboys, cowgirls, and cowboy wannabees! It’s time for an old-fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride through a working ranch. Bundle up, climb aboard, and settle in for an evening with honest-to-goodness cowboys as they navigate your horse-drawn sleigh through the snow, past four-legged ranch residents and even a wintering herd of elk.
Be extra nice to your cowby host. He might just let the kids “drive” the sleigh. A sleigh ride highlight indeed! And the meal afterwards will fill your stomach with warm and cozy ranch food. Our twilight sleigh ride was courtesy of Mill Iron Ranch.
6. A Once-In-A-Lifetime Dog Sledding Adventure
Spend a day on a dog sled adventure through snowy Wyoming woods, with expert musher guides leading the way. This is an adventure unlike many other, where you can mush your very own dog sled, like the days of a bygone era. Unique, yes. A total blast, absolutely! Oh, and don’t forget the dogs! They are pretty spectacular too.
How cool is dog sledding for a unique winter adventure? Our dog sled experience was hosted by Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours. Read all about it, and why it ranks as one of this family’s more memorable experiences, at A Family Dog Sledding Adventure.
7. The Amazing Downhill Skiing
Jackson Hole is synonymous with incredible down hill skiing. It’s world class slopes are filled with challenges for all levels, and have the makings of an ideal day of downhill skiing. Alas, I don’t have any photos of this adventure. We were too busy skiing!
If you downhill ski, then don’t miss a day on the slopes in Jackson Hole. Even if skiing isn’t your type of snowy adventure, it’s still worthy of an afternoon of gazing upon the slopeside views, sipping hot chocolate next to a warm and toasty lodge fire. It’s the perfect break from a day on the slopes.
What’s Your Favorite Snowy Winter Wonderland?
Most vacationers only visit Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the surrounding areas in the summer months. Those who brave the snowy terrain in winter often come for the superb down hill skiing. Those who venture beyond the ski slopes will find snowy adventures beyond compare. Learn more about Jackson Hole Wyoming, and all it has to offer, at JacksonHole.com.
These are our favorite snowy adventures in the Jackson Hole area. How about you? What’s your favorite snow-bound destination? What’s your favorite snowy activity? Do share!
Most images from C.Biederman. Downhill skier image from JacksonHole.com