SD › Best Places to Stay in Jackson
Updated: February 20, 2022
Where to Stay in Jackson
The small town of Jackson, Wyoming, lies just 12 miles south of Grand Teton National Park (which borders the popular tourism magnet Yellowstone), making it the state’s major tourist hub – in winter, it also services three large ski resorts. It makes for a pleasant base any time of year, with a smattering of sights and a busy center of shops and restaurants, though the town itself is tiny (with a metro population of around 30,000), and the main draw is the stunning scenery around it. The town anchors the wide valley of the Snake River known as Jackson Hole, between the Gros Ventre and Teton mountain ranges. The valley was sparsely inhabited until the 1880s and the town was only incorporated in 1914; today, tourism is the biggest money earner.
Beyond Downtown Jackson, visitors are tempted to stay at the ski resort areas of Snow King or Teton Village (for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort) – even in the summer, there are plenty of activities to enjoy here. Otherwise, there are quieter places to stay along Moose-Wilson Road or within Grand Teton National Park itself, though the park can get crazy busy in the peak summer months.
• Jackson Hole Airport lies 9 miles north of Downtown on US-191. Alamo, Avis/Budget, Enterprise, and National have car rental desks here.
• While it’s easy to explore the tiny center of Jackson on foot, a car is needed to explore the area more fully. The free Town Shuttle operates daily within the town.
• Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START) offers a limited bus service in the town (and Snow King), and to Driggs and Victor in Idaho, with regular shuttles up to Teton Village in the winter.
• The START Bike share program is a great way to see the area (the main valley roads are surprisingly level), with 12 stations around Jackson. Single rides cost $2 plus 10 cents per minute; a day pass is $8.
The Best Places to Stay in Jackson and around
- Best Luxury Hotels
Caldera House • Cloudveil • Four Seasons • Huff House Inn and Cabins • Lost Creek Ranch & Spa • Triangle X Ranch • The Wort • Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole
- Best Boutique Hotel
- Best Midrange Hotels
49’er Inn & Suites • Cowboy Village Resort • Dornan’s Resort • Elk Country Inn • Jenny Lake Lodge • Signal Mountain Lodge
- Best Cheap Hotels
Antler Inn • Cache House • The Hostel • Mountain Modern Motel • Grand Teton National Park campgrounds
- Best Bed & Breakfast
Inn On the Creek
Best Neighborhoods in Jackson for…
- Best Neighborhood to Stay for First Timers: Downtown Jackson
Visitors who are primarily focused on having an outdoorsy experience in Grand Teton National Park should aim to book accommodation in the park itself, though this can be expensive (and jam-packed in the summer). Otherwise, having a base in Downtown Jackson is the way to go – there’s a huge range of accommodations here. A car offers access to a variety of local attractions, from the National Elk Refuge to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, while the natural wonders of Grand Teton, the ski resorts, and the surrounding national forests are short drives away. Plus, in the evenings, the best spread of restaurants and bars in the region can be found here. Again, if camping out under the stars is the goal, then make for one of the park campgrounds.
- Most Romantic Spot: Grand Teton National Park
There’s little competition when it comes to hauntingly beautiful locations here. Grand Teton National Park serves up some of the most spectacular scenery in the US, with accommodation options to match. If crashing in a tent under a moonlit sky doesn’t appeal, Jackson Lake Lodge offers some of the most stunning views in the park, while Jenny Lake Lodge is a more intimate hotel close to its most beautiful stretch of water. If aiming to visit in summer, book many months in advance.
- Best Neighborhood for Bars, Food and Restaurants: Downtown Jackson
There’s little choice when it comes to eating and drinking in Grand Teton National Park, and though there are decent places in Teton Village, Jackson itself offers the best range of options in the whole region. Most of the action takes place in and around central Jackson Town Square. Open since the early 1930s, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a touristy but essential pit stop, with saddles for bar stools and a steakhouse downstairs. Silver Dollar Bar & Grill offers a similar theme, with silver dollar coins from 1921 inlaid into the bar. Snake River Brewing is a more contemporary spot for craft beer and pub food, while Snake River Grill serves up elegant Western food. There’s Polish, Italian, pizza joints, BBQ, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food in Jackson.
- Best Neighborhood for Shopping: Downtown Jackson
There’s no real rival to Downtown Jackson when it comes to shopping in the region. Jackson Town Square is surrounded by stores: New West KnifeWorks, Hide Out Leathers, Wyoming Outfitters, Beaver Creek Hats & Leather, Mangy Moose Emporium, the Astoria Fine Art gallery, and more. On the northwest side of the square, pedestrian-only Gaslight Alley is home to locally owned and operated jewelry stores, Mursell’s Sweet Shop, Valley Bookstore, and the David Brookover Gallery.
- Best Place for Winter Sports: Teton Village
Teton Village serves the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which offers by far the best array of winter sports and ski runs in the region. The infamous Corbet’s Couloir is here, known as “America’s scariest ski slope”, as well as an overall vertical of 4,139 feet. There are plenty for novice and moderately proficient skiers, though, and Teton Village has some excellent places to stay, eat, and drink.
The 5 Best Neighborhoods in and around Jackson for Tourists
As the region’s biggest town, Jackson offers the valley’s best restaurants, shops, and art galleries, as well as the largest choice of accommodations at all price levels. Most of the action takes place in and around Jackson Town Square, famed for its 4 main entrances adorned with arches built from elk antlers. In the summer, horse carriage rides are available around the park and there’s a nightly cowboy “shootout” staged by actors. Other than the small Jackson Hole Historical Society Museum, there’s little in the way of sights downtown, but in the northern outskirts lies the National Elk Refuge, home to the largest elk herd on the planet, some 7,000 strong (the herd is guaranteed to be close to town in winter). Also north of town, the fortress-like National Museum of Wildlife Art houses a huge art and wildlife film collection from all over the world.
- Accommodation in Jackson is fairly expensive in summer; rates drop by around 25 percent in winter.
- Best Hotels: Alpine House • Cloudveil • Huff House Inn and Cabins • SpringHill Suites Jackson Hole • The Wort • Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole
- Best Midrange Hotels:
49’er Inn & Suites • Anvil Hotel • Cowboy Village Resort • Elk Country Inn • Lexington at Jackson Hole
- Best Cheap Hotels: Antler Inn • Cache House • Mountain Modern Motel • Parkway Inn of Jackson Hole
- Best Bed & Breakfast: Inn On the Creek
Jackson’s original ski mountain, the Snow King Resort, was established in 1939 just a mile south of the Town Square. It’s an affordable, family-friendly resort that’s also usually open for night skiing. In the summer, visitors can hike or bike the slopes, or ride the chairlift up to the summit of Snow King Mountain (7808ft) itself for magnificent views.
- All resort accommodations lie at the base of the mountain, a short bus ride or walk from Downtown Jackson. Staying here means slightly more convenient access to the slopes, though most of the eating and drinking options lie back in town near the square.
- Best Hotels: Grand View Lodge • Snow King Resort
3. Jackson Hole (Moose-Wilson Road)
Stretching for some 60 miles north to south, Jackson Hole is the traditional name for the Snake River valley encompassing the town of Jackson and the Tetons. The main route between the national park and the town is US-191, but on the western bank of the Snake River, Hwy-390 also winds 15 miles north to the park entrance via Teton Village. Known as Moose-Wilson Road and lined with dense forest rich in elk, bison, and moose, it’s peppered with interesting places to stay. There’s nothing special to see in terms of sights here, but the road makes for a scenic alternative north and provides access to the beautiful Phillips Canyon and Phelps Lake Loop Trail.
- Accommodations here offer a little more luxury than most of the rustic national park places while avoiding the bustle of Downtown Jackson, especially in the summer.
- Best Hotels: Bentwood Inn • Fireside Resort
- Best Midrange Hotel: Sassy Moose Inn
- Best Bed & Breakfasts: Teton View Bed and Breakfast • Wildflower Lodge at Jackson Hole
4. Teton Village (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)
Tucked away at the base of the Rendezvous Mountain (10,450 ft), 12 miles north of Downtown Jackson, Teton Village services Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the valley’s premier ski resort. Opened in 1966, the resort is known for its steep terrain and one of the highest vertical drops in North America, about 4,139 feet (1,262m). The village itself is fairly self-contained, with plenty of shops (mostly sports), spas, and some excellent restaurants and places to stay. It also hosts a busy summer season of mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, bungee jumping, and rock climbing, plus the Grand Teton Music Festival. The Aerial Tram zips straight up Rendezvous Mountain while the Bridger Gondola glides up to Gondola Summit (9,095ft), where there’s a posh restaurant, Piste Mountain Bistro.
- Staying here will appeal to visitors primarily looking to ski or enjoy resort activities in summer, though it’s not far from Grand Teton National Park.
- In contrast to Downtown Jackson, accommodation at Teton Village is most expensive in winter
- Note that some accommodation options are only open during the winter ski season; apartment rentals may be an easier option in the summer.
- Best Hotels: Alpenhof Lodge • Caldera House • Continuum • Four Seasons • Hotel Terra Jackson Hole
- Best Midrange Hotel: Snake River Lodge & Spa
- Best Cheap Hotel: The Hostel
The real highlight of the entire region, Grand Teton National Park preserves a stunning slice of the Rockies, the saw-tooth pinnacles of the Teton Range rising 7,000ft above the valley floor. The park is enhanced by a string of sapphire-blue lakes at the foot of the mountains, surrounded by trails. The beauty can be truly appreciated only by hiking. Highlights include the cruises around Jackson Lake from Colter Bay and the trails around picture-perfect Jenny Lake. The small settlement of Moose, 13 miles north of Jackson, houses the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center and the Mormon Row Historic District, and offers float trips down the Snake River.
- Accommodation in the park is generally simple, from campsites to rustic cabins, but there are a couple of more comfortable options that can be very expensive in summer.
- Staying in the park can be very atmospheric, with star-filled skies and tranquil nights, but there’s little in the way of food and services.
- Note that at peak periods in July and August, the park can be overwhelmed with visitors, meaning full parking lots and long waits to get boat rides. Arrive early.
- Best Hotels: Budges’ Slide Lake Cabins • Dornan’s Resort • Headwaters Lodge • Jackson Lake Lodge • Lost Creek Ranch & Spa • McReynolds Blacktail Cabins • Triangle X Ranch
- Best Midrange Places to Stay: Colter Bay Village • Jenny Lake Lodge • Signal Mountain Lodge
- Best Cheap Places to Stay: American Alpine Club Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch • Grand Teton National Park campgrounds (Colter Bay, Gros Venture, Headwaters, Jenny Lake, Lizard Creek, Signal Mountain)
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