Valley Ablaze: Autumn Activities in Jackson Hole

Visitors flock to Jackson Hole in the winter due to the sensational skiing, yet year-round residents and savvy tourists know the destination offers a lot of beauty and activity in autumn.  If you’re thinking of heading to Jackson Hole or looking for a place to visit this upcoming autumn, you’ll want to read the following.

Offroading

Do you like speed and don’t mind getting a little bit of mud on your shoes?  Take guided or unguided tours of the countryside atop an ATV.  Depending on vendor, you can rent the all-terrain vehicle from a specific location or rent a trailer to explore ‘secret spots’ in Wyoming on your own.  If you’re familiar with Wyoming National Forests, you won’t need vendor assistance, calling upon their extensive knowledge of trails in the area.

If you and crew are more motorcycle types, Harleys are available to rent.  Do some easy riding around national parks while the smell of autumn is in the air and wind upon your face.

Mountain Climbing

While in the mountains, do as the mountaineers and climbers do.  Men and women have been scaling the Tetons for ages, but in modern times, it’s much safer and structured.  Get ‘hands on’ experience in Wyoming, logging in more hours or beginning a new hobby.  Local vendors take seasoned climbers and novice enthusiasts out and structure lessons around your level of comfort and past experience.

If you’re unsure about tackling an actual mountain, try your skills at local climbing gyms located near Jackson Hole hotels.  An outdoor bouldering park resides at the base of Snow King in Phil Baux Park.

Fishing

Jackson Hole is an extraordinary skiing destination, but it’s also on a lot of fisherman’s must-go lists.  Catch Cutthroat Trout while angling with rented equipment or attended by a seasoned guide who can show you a few pointers while bringing you to local spots. 

If you’re serious about making a day (or half day) of the experience, reserve time to cast out from a boat with experienced fishermen.  Go alone or take friends and family members along for an unforgettable fishing experience.  Trips usually cast off around 8 am, with half-day trips lasting until 12 or 1 pm and full-day trips going until 5 or 6 pm.

Golf and Tennis

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll want to experience the grandeur of the fall season while playing golf or tennis at one of the area’s luxurious sporting destinations.  Teton Pines, designed by none other than Arnold Palmer, opened in 1987 and is located on the western side of Snake River.  If you’re searching for less-prestigious greens, other courses exist around Jackson Hole resorts (and it’s easier to reserve tee times).  Be mindful of fees associated with arriving late or cancellations.

Horseback Riding

It’s hard to find real-life cowboys in these times, yet you can still ride like it was in the Old West.  Ranches and stables in the valley offer the ability to see the majesty of the country atop the saddle of a horse.  Take one or two-hour tours; ride for a full or half day; enjoy a Gros Ventre tour that involves a lunch break; or, head south of Jackson for a tour based out of a mining camp, packed with multiple activities including fly fishing and hiking.

Kevin Webster is a tour conductor in Wyoming. He loves to share his experiences online. His posts can be found on many vacation and travel blogs.

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