Shutdown Alternatives: The Next Best Things in Jackson Hole

Trees near the Cache Creek trailhead in the Bridger-Teton National Forest show off their best fall colors near Jackson, Wyo.

Trees near the Cache Creek trailhead in the Bridger-Teton National Forest show off their best fall colors near Jackson, Wyo.

With the political standoff over the government shutdown continuing without any apparent progress toward resolution, travelers planning trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are struggling to decide whether to cancel, or come up with an alternative itinerary outside the parks.

In the interest of providing some options for those who can’t cancel their travel plans without losing deposits, vacation days or other investments, Yellowstone Gate asked travel and tourism experts and industry insiders in gateway towns around the parks to offer their top picks for things to see and do at the fringes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

We’re presenting their ideas this week in an ongoing series, Next Best Things. Nothing quite matches the unique experiences you can have in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, but these ideas represent the Next Best Things in nearby communities.

Kate Foster, communications manager for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, offers a few of her picks for the Next Best Things to see and do in and around Jackson, Wyo.

The Next Best Things in Jackson Hole

By Kate Foster

Because 97 percent of the acreage in Teton County is federal and protected lands, many favorite spots are temporarily inaccessible during the government shutdown. However, there are a variety of wonderful ways to spend a few days enjoying the community of Jackson Hole and the natural beauty of the surrounding lands.

Take a hike

Many of the scenic trails around Jackson Hole are within the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundaries. These areas are open to visitors during the shutdown. Enjoy an afternoon hike up Cache Creek. The main trail features miles of access on wide dirt roads and offers a network of trails less traveled. Consider the challenging hike up Crystal Butte and down Woods Canyon. The fall foliage is stunning in October and wildlife is on the move. Be sure to bring bear spray! Looking for more insight? Hire a professional guide to find the best trails and learn about the history, heritage, and ecology of the area. Did you bring Fido along? Many of the trails around Jackson Hole are pet-friendly. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash.  Respect fellow trail users and the wildlife.

Hole Hike: or 866.733.4453

PAWS: or 307.734.2441


Go for a ride

Gain some perspective on Teton Pass. It’s the place to be for mountain bikers seeking the thrill of downhill trails. You will often see local bikers hitching a ride back up the pass to take another lap down extreme trails like Lithium and Jimmy’s Mom. The Teton Freedom Riders have championed downhill biking in Jackson Hole, and hold regular dig days to make trail improvements. If cross-country biking is more your style, consider the greater Snow King trail system or take the Cache Creek to Game Creek day ride.  Many people love to spend time enjoying leisurely rides on the pathway system in town. Miles of trails, paved pathways, and clearly designated routes wind through the community and offer access to town parks and businesses.

Fitzgerald’s Bicycles: or 208.787.2453

Hoback Sports: or 307.733.5335

Teton Freedom Riders: or 307.699.3000

Teton Mountain Bike Tours: or 307.733.0712


Go to the museum

The National Museum of Wildlife Art should be on everyone’s itinerary. The treasures located in the walls are only surpassed by the views outside. Wander the sculpture trail and enjoy the National Elk Refuge overlook. Consider making a stop early in the morning to see the fog rising from Flat Creek and stay for lunch at the Rising Sage Café. The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum now has two locations. The brand new museum at 532 North Cache includes modern installments and a charming gift shop. The newly reopened Indians of the Greater Yellowstone Museum, on the corner of Deloney and Glenwood, offers a look into the traditional way of life for Native Americans. The convenient locations offer easy access to the self-guided tour of historical Jackson Hole.

National Museum of Wildlife Art: or 307.733.5771

Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum: or 307.733.2414


Go to the movies

Jackson Hole is a small community, but the cinema selection is extraordinary. Frank’s Fall Film Fest offers a look at independent and unique films. The 23rd Annual festival will continue until Thursday, Oct. 10, featuring the quirky comedy “Frances Ha” and the documentary “Black Fish.” SHIFT JH, a new attraction to Jackson Hole, will host its inaugural run from October 11-13. Film and photography will play a key role in the festival. SHIFT celebrates the central role of conservation in Jackson Hole. Shift’s mission is to inspire communities to preserve the natural capital that is vital to their economic success.

Frank’s Film Festival: or 307.733.4939

SHIFT JH: or 307.690.1561


Make Your Own Adventure

These suggestions are just a mall selection of the options available to visitors in Jackson Hole. For those visitors with more indulgent tastes, just relax! Enjoy the fine dining and spa options or participate in a yoga class. Visit with the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. Visitor services agents will work with you to design your personalized adventure.

Contact Kate Foster, communications manager for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, at 307.733.3316.

One thought on “Shutdown Alternatives: The Next Best Things in Jackson Hole

  1. WOW— so many things to do in Jackson and someone wrote THIS article?????

    very sad journalism —- walk, ride a bike, go to a museum and a movie —ANYONE in just about ANY town can do this…

    how about Aerial tram, horseback riding, granite hot springs, fishing — Is anyone in town thinking outside the box to CREATE things for tourists to do…alpine slide?? float trips not in the park?? bring back the shootout – to entice staying in town??? Create a cool Haunted House??? It is October…….

    If I didn’t know how wonderful Jackson was, I wouldn’t VACATION there to walk and ride a bike.