Rockett Getaways recently took a weekend trip to the west, specifically to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A few important facts regarding nomenclature of this region as pointed out by the locals: Jackson Hole is the name of the large valley which lies between the Teton Mountain Range to the west and the Gros Ventre Range to the east. The result of a glacial formation from thousands of years ago, the mountains rise on either side giving the impression of being inside a “hole.” Jackson, est. 1894, is the main town of this region and home to about 10,000 people. Jackson is inside Jackson Hole, but Jackson Hole is NOT Jackson.
Jackson is a quintessential western, mountain town. The gridded streets makes navigation very easy and the wooden sidewalks in give the sound of literally stepping back in time. Jackson doubles in size during the peak tourist seasons in July and August. The several ski resorts in Jackson Hole bring in their own share of visitors, but winter is still quieter than summer. I happened to visit during the off season, but the town was still buzzing with locals going out after work, having Halloween Costume Parties, and biking everywhere (weather still permitting before the snow hits). An interesting tidbit I learned while talking with the local historical society and museum: Jackson has the most art galleries per capita anywhere in America! Jackson also has plenty of lodging available from 3 to 5 star hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts; the town is compact enough where you can walk from these to enjoy all the amenities that the town provides. A bonus, the food scene is exceptional.
Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and expanded to include the current 480 square miles in 1950. This park has a wonderful mix of vast, natural beauty and a large collection of historic properties which date to the early settlers of the region. The landscape is breathtaking, and whatever your level of physical ability is, all can access and be immersed in the natural beauty of the region. There is a paved, wheelchair accessible trail near Jenny Lake, as well as trails and hikes which range from ¾ miles to a 4 day long journey to the peak of the Grand Teton. Over 3 million people visited the park last year, many combining this park with Yellowstone which is connected to the northern border of the park via the scenic John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.
If you’d like to plan a visit to visit a National Park (or two or three) give us a call and we’d love to help you explore some of the jewels of America.