“Jackson sucks, tell your friends.”

Said no one really, ever.

Overview

On the contrary, Jackson, and the greater Jackson Hole area top US News 2019 Best Small Towns To Visit at #2. And for good reason. It is a haven for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers with some of the best skiing and nature the world has to offer (yes, the world). This mountain town has developed rapidly over the last few years. Nevertheless, it has maintained its rugged western charm all the same. This only means more amenities and jobs for you while being completely surrounded by the best of what nature and wilderness has to offer.

What to Know Before You Go

  1. Jackson Hole > Jackson. Non-locals often interchange these 2, but in fact, Jackson Hole refers to the valley that covers 80 x 20 square miles. Jackson the town, however, is just a small slice on the east side of the valley.
  2. It’s all about nature, wildlife, and the outdoors. Seriously, this is the reason to visit Jackson. Well, that and the skiing (see below). This town is close to the two of the biggest national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. AND you’re close to the three ski resorts, which also offer lots of outdoor activities like paragliding, skiing (of course), rope courses, to name a few. 
  3. Ski, snowboard; then ski, snowboard some more. This little area of Jackson Hole has access to three big ski resorts: Jackson Hole, Snow King, and Grand Targhee. Bonus? Working for these resort employers means free ski passes for the season. Then you can really ski for days.
  4. Living in Jackson Hole in the winter is a given; living in Jackson Hole in the summer is just as fun. Though Jackson Hole may be known for its renowned ski slopes, its idyllic mountain summers are just as worth the stay. In a literal sense, the town just blooms. Snow melts to make way for lush green, which means more adventures and outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and more.
  5. Stargaze away. Being close to the barely touched wilderness certainly has its perks. Stargazing in Jackson is like none other. Just drive a bit out of the town, and you’ll find yourself among the night sky with little to no light pollution.
  6. Road closures are real. Stay on top of the local calendar to know when roads open and close. With heavy winters, local officials will preemptively close roads in time for the winter season to protect drivers.
  7. Budget, budget, budget. Though you may no longer be in the urban city, immediate access to world-class slopes and growing interest in living close to the outdoors have made Jackson a hotbed for the rich. Housing is the number one driver for the higher cost of living. Living in Jackson is twice as costly than the US average. All is not lost however; many employers provide fully or partially subsidized housing to make your time in Jackson all the more worthwhile.
  8. Attend a rodeo show. Believe it or not, the official sport of Wyoming is rodeo. And Jackson is no exception. Staying true to its wild western roots, Jackson Hole rodeo offers one of the most authentic local experiences available out west.
  9. Hit up Jackson Town Square. A quick Google search for Jackson, Wyoming, and you’ll see the iconic white archway made from shed elk antlers. Yes, real elk antlers.
  10. Don’t underestimate the food. This town may be small, but food culture is a force to be reckoned with. The annual Teton Food Tour sold out last year. Foodies take note: even if you aren’t able to secure tickets, you can enjoy the respectable breakfast and brunch scene at spots like Persephone Bakery, Bubba’s BBQ, or the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill (a local institution). Dig a little further, and you’ll also discover restaurants that only use the highest quality locally sourced ingredients from Sweet Cheeks Meats. Or if you’re in the mood to stay at home and cook, visit the local weekly Jackson Hole Farmers Market.
  11. Appreciate the art. As Cicero once said, “Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.” That is most certainly the case in Jackson. Head over to the National Museum of Wildlife Art to see artwork from some of the American greats like Warhol and O’Keefe. But that’s just not all. Jackson is also home to dozens of art galleries and hosts a number of arts and music festivals every year.
A pristine lake reflects Jackson's gorgeous mountaintops like a mirror.
Jackson Hole’s local beauty is second to none.

Jackson Hole At a Glance

Living

Cost of Living Index208.3
Median Gross Rent$1,292
Average Monthly Rent$1,670
Average Studio Monthly Rent$874
Median Household Income$75,406
Average Household Income$39,350
Average Commute Time14.3 minutes
Population10,429
Median Age32.2 years
Liveability Score71
Walk Score81

Climate & Weather

  • Average Sunny Days: 215
  • Summer 
    • Months: June-August
    • Highs: 71-81°F
    • Lows: 38-42°F
  • Winter
    • Months: December-February
    • Highs: 27-31°F
    • Lows: 3-5°F

Employment

Related: Current Open Jobs in Jackson Hole, Comprehensive Guide to Seasonal Jobs

Getting Around

Public Transport Options

  • Rideshare: Uber & Lyft
  • Town Shuttle: FREE (town of Jackson only)
  • Bus: START Bus (Between Teton & Jackson)
  • Bikeshare: START Bike

Closest Airport

  • Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

Activities

Top Ski Resorts

  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
  • Snow King Mountain Resort
  • Grand Targhee Mountain Resort
An elk hides in the grass in Jackson, WY
Wildlife are abundant in Jackson’s nearby national parks.

Top National Parks

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park

Events To Attend

(Full Calendar)

  • May 3: Wyoming Stargazing, Free every Friday night, Year-round
  • May 11: Eco-Fair Sustainability Festival
  • May 18-27: Old West Days
  • May 18-October 8: Aerial Tram Opening Day
  • June 14-September 15: Grand Targhee Summer & Scenic Chairlift Opening Day
  • July 3-August 17: Grand Teton Music Festival
  • July 4-7: Annual Teton Valley Balloon Rally
  • July 12-14: Grand Targhee Resort’s Annual Targhee Fest
  • July 15-16: Jackson Hole PBR Professional Bull Riding
  • July 28: Teton Food Tour
  • August 9-11: Annual Bluegrass Festival
  • August 11: Jackson Hole Land Trust’s 39th Anniversary Picnic
  • September 4-15: Annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival
  • September 7: Annual Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities
  • September 21-27: Jackson Wild Summit
  • October 16-18: SHIFT Festival
  • November 8th: Women in Leadership Summit

Other Popular Attractions

  • Jackson Town Square
  • National Elk Refuge
  • The National Museum of Wildlife Art
  • Jackson Hole Rodeo
  • Granite Hot Springs
  • Aerial Tram “Big Red”

Jackson Hole In a Nutshell

With two of the best US National Parks and 3 ski resorts a short ride away from town, Jackson, Wyoming, truly offers the best of what nature has to offer. It’s the perfect location to live and stay for a season or two so you can disconnect in the outdoors with just enough action so that it has the amenities of a small city but in a cozy, mountain town setting.

More Resources & Links

Jackson Hole Map

Map infographic of the town of Jackson, WY

Thanks to Prugh Real Estate!


Sources & Citations