This past weekend we took a mini road trip to Jackson Hole to experience our first winter getaway of 2019! Although Steve does ski a little and I have had a few opportunities to snowboard, I wouldn’t consider ourselves “skiers”. With that said, we wanted to explore what other activities Jackson Hole had besides their famous resorts. And if you started this article thinking that skiing was their only outdoor activity…read on! You’ll be quite surprised.
1.Visit Grand Teton National Park
During the summer, this National Park is swarmed with visitors making it hard to get that “alone in the mountains” solitude that you may be craving. However, during the winter the numbers are drastically fewer. Although there are a few roads that are closed during this season, the trade-off of less traffic may just be worth it. If you would prefer to stay warm, simply take a drive along the major roads and marvel at the sheer beauty that the Tetons have to offer. There are quite a few lookout spots along the route but our favorite was hands down the Snake River Overlook. I got that same awe-struck feeling here as I did sitting at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona! Bring a mug of your favorite warm beverage and enjoy the view!
2. Stay at the Anvil Hotel
Location, location, location. I can’t say enough about what an ideal spot the Anvil hotel has. Right next to town square, you’ll be close to all the action. At meal times, we simply left our room and walked to amazing restaurants and bakeries that were all minutes away. What I also loved about our stay, was the fact that it was made a memorable experience rather than just a bed to sleep in. From the minute we checked, we felt welcomed and entertained. We enjoyed the board games in the lobby, complimentary hot chocolate each night, and sitting next to the fireplace. The Anvil Hotel is also the home of the Glorietta Trattoria. We stopped by during dinner and feasted on their handmade pastas. We recommend either the fettuccine or ricotta cavatelli!
3. Snowshoe to Cunningham Cabin!
Although I’ve always had snowy winters growing up, I had yet to try snowshoeing. That all changed this past weekend. We got two snowshoe rentals from our friends over at Teton Backcountry Rentals and had such a memorable first time! We decided to opt for a very beginner trail and head over to Cunningham Cabin. During the summer, you can easily drive to this historic cabin and park right alongside it. However, with all the snow they close that road during the winter. It is only about a mile each way with little to no elevation gain. If you are looking for a slightly more intense trail, check out the trail to Taggart Lake!
4. Warm up in local hot springs!
Just south of Jackson Hole, in Hoback Wyoming is where you’ll find Astoria Hot Springs. Situated right alongside the snake river, you can unwind in these blue hot pools. You’ll know that you are getting close when you see the Astoria Red Bridge. Park in the boat ramp parking lot and walk upstream. The trail runs right alongside the river so you’ll see the hot springs to your right-hand side when you get close. There are a couple of different pools to choose from with varying water temperatures so you can get the one that is perfect for you! If you are an avid hot springs seeker like I am, then check out this full guide to all of the hot springs in Utah for your next trip!
5. Take a drive to see wildlife!
We woke up to see a sunrise in Grand Teton National Park and were surprised with how much wildlife there was just along side of the road. We ended up seeing tons of elk, a few moose, and a handful of buffalo! If you live in a city, this is a real treat to see such beautiful animals right alongside the road. Please be careful while you are driving and don’t try and get close. Although they may look tame, they still are wild and deserve their space.
6. Walk around Town Square
I’m sure you have seen the iconic antler arches in photos before and they are just as cool in person! There are several arches that mark the center of the town. The square is surrounded by incredible eateries, antique shops, and unique stores like the old-time photo studios where you can put on old western garb and pose for the camera. Steve and I did this while visiting West Yellowstone and the photos turned out great!
Here are some other great suggestions for winter activities that we did not get to:
- Go ice skating in the center of Town Square
- Take a sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge
- Buy a sightseeing pass to the “Big Red” Tram up to the very top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Go for the views but stay for the waffles!
- Sign up for a dog sledding tour up to Granite Hot Springs
- Rent snowmobiles and hit the trails
As you can see there are so many outdoor activities to be enjoyed by skiers and non-skiers alike! So pack your bags and head to Jackson Hole!
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Our stay was hosted by the Anvil Hotel and rentals were provided by Teton Backcountry Rentals but all opinions remain our own.