As a native-born and local Jackson resident, I enjoy sharing tips and techniques for people to have a great time while visiting Jackson Hole. As a professional motivational speaker, my job is to inspire and educate. One of my favorites is sharing local’s info on where to go. Make sure you hit these spots – you can’t go wrong with Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info.
Where is the best place to grab a quick bite to eat in Jackson Hole? What are a few of the stores that can’t be missed? When going to Grand Teton National Park, you must see these sights. These are things that Jackson Hole Locals know.
Jackson is where I trained to become the second only American to ski alone to the South Pole in 2013. The tell-all book for this expedition is documented in the book Antarctic Tears. I’ve spent some time around here.
Every summer, people want to know, “where do the locals go?” What’s the best thing to see? The flyer and this page are meant to address just that.
Get the flyer for Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info
Download the flyer here In this flyer, you will find some of the highlighted establishments of Jackson Hole. Each of these locations is unique on their own. You will find local Wyoming and Jackson Hole in each store.
The listing of locations in Grand Teton National Park only highlights the things many visitors miss. Or they don’t even know about. Many people come to the area only to visit Yellowstone and they miss the true gems.
Don’t miss these places!
50 Wildlife Hotspots
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info Places
The Silver Dollar Bar
At the Wort Hotel, step back into the wild west, when people paid for their meals with real silver dollars. The s-curved Silver Dollar Bar is encrusted with 2,032 uncirculated 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars. It’s a sight to behold. Not only is it awesome to photograph, but it’s the best watering hole in town. Kids are welcome into the bar until 6pm.
Here are some questions asked at the Wort all the time:
- What burned down the hotel?
- Do secret tunnels connect the Silver Dollar to the Million Dollar Cowboy?
- Is gambling still legal?
- Where’s the “Snake Pit”?
- What WWII Japanese internment camp survivor ran the hotel’s finances for 30+ years?
- Can you use a .22 rifle to shoot a Native American drawing, without an outline, at 30 paces, in less than 2 minutes? Whew. Maybe not you or me, but there’s an oft-walked by piece of art in the hallway proving it can be done.
- Has the bison or moose in the hotel ever walked out without permission?
The Wort Hotel is located one block west of the town square.
By Nature Gallery
See real dinosaurs, fossils, ancient monsters, & beauties at By Nature Gallery. There are very few stores anywhere in the country with the selection this store offers.
Are you into crystals? The staff is conversant with the different properties of the crystals they have in stock.
The store is completely kid friendly. It’s not a museum, but rather a place to explore and learn. Crack a geode with the family on their geode cracking machine.
Jackson Hole Locals Only tip: Ask what vehicle the wheel on the geode cracker is from.
86 E. Broadway, next to Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream
Pinky G’s Pizza
Where do you go to find a good slice of pizza & a drink on the cheap? Mingle with Jackson. You’ll find both the ski bum crowd and the well off here. The staff is friendly and approachable.
Pick up a copy of the “Daily”, Jackson’s free daily newspaper. It’s published by Jackson Hole News and Guide.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info tip: Order the slice of the day extra crispy.
Under The Rose, one block off the square, hidden behind JH Roasters. Walk into the dark patio area shared with Asymbol and the Pink Garter Theater.
Snow King Mountain
In 15 minutes, you can be 1,571 feet above Jackson. The view is spectacular and all you have to do is pay $17 for a round-trip lift ticket. You can see the Teton range, Gros Ventre Wilderness, Jackson Peak, and Togwotee Pass all from the hut at the top of the mountain.
If you are athletic, there are two popular hiking routes up the mountain. Both start at the base. The first goes to the left and under the main lift. Follow the wide 1.8-mile trail back and forth all the way up. The second route, called the Bootpack, runs up the right side of the main slope along the trees. It’s straight up and is 3/4 mile long. You won’t need your hands for climbing, but barely. It’s STEEP. If you’re athletic, you can make the top in under an hour.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info tip: If you want to save your knees, hike up, then ride the lift down. Downloading, as it’s called, only costs $5.
Go to Cache Creek if you want to hike in Jackson
Cache Creek is where the Jackson locals go for a quick outdoor fix. Want to enjoy nature without the traffic? Hike or bike on the edge of town. The only guidebook to this area is Cache Creek by Susan Marsh. Buy it locally so you can be hiking in literally minutes: Booktrader, Valley Books, Skinny Skis, and Teton Mountaineering.
Grand Teton National Park
Jenny Lake One-Way
Few take the one-way road along Jenny Lake. Capture the best lake-canyon-mountain view in The Park. Drive down the short tunnel of trees. You’ll see where to stop. This is definitely a locals-only Jackson Hole item.
Most people turn around at the One Way sign at the Jenny Lake Lodge. This is a great thing for bike riders because it keeps traffic down. But it’s also the best drive-up view showing how steep the Tetons really are.
Remember your camera.
Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point
If you’re adventurous, hike to Hidden Falls and up to Inspiration Point. The trail is fairly easy and fun. If you were to take one short hike in the park, this would be it. You get to walk along iconic Jenny Lake, enjoy the mountain air, and take in the views of Sleeping Indian.
The best part is hidden Falls is really invisible until you’re facing it. The worst part is it’s heavily trafficked. I only give this as a locals thing to do because, well, it’s worth the hike. Sadly, the crush of visitors eliminates the quiet contemplation over the roar of the waterfall.
You’ll have no trouble finding someone to take a picture of you and your company.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info tip: If you’re not feeling up to it, enjoy the boat ride back across Jenny Lake. You can pay at the dock on your return.
This is the most iconic and photographed barn in North America. This barn is featured in virtually every photographic gallery in town. And for good reason. It sits at the perfect angle to catch the sun while allowing for perfect scale views of the Tetons, miles in the distance.
Commercials and photo shoots have been done here over the years. The Jackson Hole Historical Society has worked to keep the barn from completely disintegrating. Please be mindful and take no “samples” of the barn. There’s only one in the world.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info tip: Arrive before sunrise. Join 17 other photographers. Bonus points – bring coffee+cups to make friends.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info bonus tip: After taking 327 shots of an unmoving object (listen to the cameras click), go over to Dornan’s for a sourdough pancake breakfast. It’s the best way to start a park adventure.
Here, you can drink & eat while viewing the Tetons. All from the comfort of a dining room. During good weather, head up to the balcony and enjoy first-class views. My favorite pizza: Static Peak.
If you want some real cowboy cooking, take dinner at the chuckwagon. It has the same view as the pizza house, but it has cast-iron mouth-watering cooking. It’s well worth the money.
In the park early? Stop by Dornan’s for an all-you-can-eat sourdough pancake breakfast. Stuff yourself silly before heading out to do whatever you’re going to do that day. In fact, if you photograph at Moulton barn at sunrise, you’ll be done just in time to catch the first pancakes off the griddle here. This is a locals only Jackson Hole item.
Tour buses hit this location. Ask the rangers when entering Grand Teton for directions. It’s easy to find. If that’s the case, why was it included in the locals only listing? Two reasons:
- There’s a special treat if you have good timing. Arrive early for free, freshly-baked gingersnap cookies. Show your kids what old-school really means.
- If you walk behind the building, photographer Grover Ratliff immortalized this structure with this famous fall photograph in his book, Roaming the Wild. This book features the best Jackson Hole photographs, stories, and even more excellent locations to visit. Didn’t get all the photographs you wanted? Roaming the Wild is the fix. It can be purchased at Valley Bookstore, Lexington Hotel, or on Amazon.com.
Best at sunrise but it can be crowded. Gorgeous at sunset, too. Hike 100 yards to see the beaver lodge and dam. Bring bug repellent.
Schwabacher’s Landing is located 3 miles north of Moose Junction. This road is easy to miss. Sometimes the sign for it isn’t even up. The turn-off will be on your left side while driving north away from town.
Parking is good and there’s a toilet. There are several trails around this area, too. Please clean up trash. Just pick up one piece, even if it’s not yours. Schwabacher’s is too pretty a place to litter.
This road provides the best chance to see animals. You never know what you’ll find on any given day. Sometimes there are grizzly, black bear, moose, elk, and beaver on this backcountry road. Other times, there are too many cars and nothing is to be seen.
The road can be accessed by either driving north from The Village (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort) or south from the Craig Thomas GTNP visitor center.
Please be courteous on this road—it’s narrow and curvy.
The Park River Road (4×4 Road)
Get away from the crowds & drive gently. See the unvisited side of the Snake River. Popular with wildlife guides. It can require 4-wheel drive, depending on weather.
The park “somewhat” discourages use of this road due to several factors beyond the scope of this page. Suffice to say, they don’t go out of their way to mark it at all.
As you are driving north into the park, just past the huge Taggart Lake Trailhead parking area, there is a little dirt road leading off to the right. There’s a sign that says “4×4 Road”. Usually the gate is open.
This is the biggest driving adventure that’s possible in the west part of the park. As the visitation is so high, people can’t just drive anyway. The landscape wouldn’t survive. There’s plenty of dirt forest roads to the east of the park, toward Slide Lake.
The dirt road is a locals-only Jackson Hole secret.
Chapel of Transfiguration
Sadly, many of the aspen trees that provided the imagery featured in Roaming the Wild perished several years ago. Now, the only way to enjoy that view is through the book.
It’s the “easiest” peak to reach in the park. Expect a 10 hour, 17-mile round trip hike through bear country. If you want to “bag” a peak in the Teton Range, and you’re a strong hiker, this is the peak to get. There is no technical climbing or real route finding required.
That said, it’s a pure uphill hike. The whole way. I have yet to arrive back in daylight. If your knees are questionable, skip it. You’ll need a tub of Advil from the hike back down.
It’s named Static Peak due to the high frequency of lightning strikes up top. If the weather looks questionable, hike down. The mountain will be there tomorrow and you should be, too. I’ve run into female moose with their calves, face to face, on this trail. There are bear markings all over the place.
This hike is the most intense listed in this local’s guide. Please, tell someone where you’re going. Let them know when you plan to be back. Bring bear spray, a headlamp, rain gear, warm jacket, and the ten essentials. I love this hike. Note that the weather is wildly variable. I’ve reached the peak in a snowstorm when it is 70 degrees and sunny in the valley.
Happy Hour on the Couloir Deck
Stagecoach Bar (Wilson, WY)
If you want the real Wyoming bar experience, there’s nothing like the Stagecoach in Wilson, WY. Located right at the base of Teton Pass, Stagecoach on Sunday nights is reputed to be the real deal when it comes to Wyoming bar life.
Yellowstone National Park
With 3 million visitors, are there secret locations in Yellowstone? Locals take people to West Thumb, Old Faithful, and the Canyon in a long day.
Don’t take it wrong. Yellowstone is a must-see. Aaron skied across it three times. It was cold. -45º in fact. Google “Linsdau Yellowstone”.
Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info tip: Bring warm clothes. It can be 80 degrees in Jackson and snowing in Yellowstone. The Park makes a killing off selling unprepared people hoodies, jackets, and hats.
Bring your patience. Please give wildlife space. Have a great time and take photographs.
Locals Logic & Lingo
Why is Jackson & Grand Teton listed before Yellowstone? Locals rarely go to Yellowstone. They go to Grand Teton, affectionately referred to as The Park. When locals say The Park, they mean Grand Teton.
The local improv comedy troupe The Laff Staff joked about Yellowstone as a, “long, boring drive punctuated by 3 minutes of thrills.” If you only have one day in Jackson, spend it in The Park.
If you leave Jackson at 7am, see Old Faithful and the Canyon, you will return to town at 10pm. The 45MPH park speed limit is rigidly enforced.
If you are hiking ANYWHERE around Jackson, Grand Teton, or Yellowstone, buy bear spray. Best prices at the town’s 4 grocery stores or K-Mart. Bears are dangerous. This is not a zoo. They will turn you into hamburger. It’s no joke.
Bison & moose don’t care about bear spray. Stay far away from them. Google “2015 bison gores girl”. Unless you want to become a human pincushion. Or a moose stomping toy. These animals look slow and lumbering. They’re not. Are you twice as fast as Usain Bolt? These animals are.
At least once a year, someone ends up in the emergency room after a moose encounter. Several dogs were killed by moose defending themselves in 2015. Please keep pets leashed.
Mountain climbing is dangerous. Period. Talk to your doctor, park rangers, and consult the weather. People die here every year. This is the real deal. These mountains are serious and should only be attempted by trained people. There are several guide services in town to speak with.
Enjoy your time in Jackson. I hope you’ve enjoyed the listing of Jackson Hole Secrets Locals Info!
Keep safety & courtesy in mind at all times!