Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Simple travel tips for Jackson Hole, WY

 playing disc golf at Teton Village mountainside

If you are ever in Jackson Hole, WY, you'll want some tips to do the 'not usual' activities.  There is SO MUCH to do there.  Most families tour Yellowstone National Park and downtown Jackson Hole*, then call that enough.   Of course that should be sufficient because of the 'aweness' factor of God's creations in this national park. Even the tree hugger in us must admit that it's a lot of nature to behold in a few days or a week.

However, don't scratch hiking off your Jackson list because you've seen "enough" nature. Otherwise, you'll be missing out totally. On your glorious hike, chances are you'll meet people from all over the world, and even some that know your little town (which is what happened to us, someone knew little Arlington, WA and a person that lived here).  So cool! The picture below is of Taggart Lake.  You'll need to drive into Teton National Park (pay park fee) and then less than five minutes later look for signs and a parking lot for Taggart and Bradley lakes.  Less than 5 miles round trip of hiking includes gorgeous wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush, stunning mountain views, and crystal clear water to cool your hot feet in.  Sheer Joy!

Just like any destination, there are pricey activities, but some are closer to free. Go to Teton Village,about 12 minutes drive west of downtown Jackson.  This place has all the pricey events galore.  Sidestep some of the expensive stuff if you want and take a peek in the hotel lobbies. It's like walking into Bavaria, Germany.  Then, head over to the Outdoor Gear place over by the bungee jump.  Inside that store, next to the register, they have discs for disc golf.  A little known fact is that you can play for free on the mountain.  You will need to buy a set (to keep) for $30.  This includes 3 discs that normally would be $18 each.  The course is a good one hour to one and a half hour round trip hike with throwing a disc at  a metal basket which is the 'whole'.  You have a score card and a map to show you where all the baskets are.  We loved the game, not to mention watching all the intense mountain bikers come down the mountain, and the stunning vistas.   I just found out that my town has its own disc golf course- who knew? The first picture in this long post is of Pierce and his cousin Sam playing their round.  Eden and I spent most our time looking for our discs in the forest :)

Next, on your packing list, bring your life jackets and your blow-up floaties.  Tourists spend a chunk of change on floating down the Snake River with a river guide.  You can do it on the cheap.  On your way to Teton Village, west from downtown Jackson, (there is only 1 road) right after the bridge out over the Snake River, hang a quick left and you'll see where the locals park near the side of the bridge.  Walk north along the river about 200-300 yards then float back down to the bridge.  Repeat.  Get cool.  Have loads of fun.

Listen up!  This hike is COMPLETELY free.  No park pass and no special equipment needed.  In town, SnowKing ski hill is a busy hike....meaning lots of people are doing it.  Why?  Because it's an excellent work out you can do fast, the view is amazing, and it's a great place to catch some sun. But beware- you out of towners- this hike is hard. For us, sea level folks, you will be sucking wind and taking stops.  My sister was very kind to put up with my huffing and puffing up the hill.  In fact, it did cross my mind to take the ski lift down after the hike up.  Who does that anyway?  Going down is the best part! 

Wow, if you have made it to the end of this post, you deserve a treat!  Here is my virtual brownie for you!!   Now really what's better than brownies for an almost 12 year old boy?? Shooting guns with his older cousin!  Mucho gracias to Ben for letting Pierce throw clay pigeons and shooting guns at all hours of the day.  He's hooked!

Your trip to Jackson, WY can be spectacular with nature and a few fun inexpensive events to sprinkle into the beauty of the earth! 
In harmony,

* FYI the locals don't call it Jackson Hole, they distinguish themselves by saying just Jackson,WY.

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