Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is a valley in the U.S. state of Wyoming. It is located in west-central Wyoming, and gets the name "hole" from early trappers or mountain men, who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend down into the valley along relatively steep slopes, giving the sensation of entering a hole. These low-lying valleys surrounded by mountains contain rivers and streams, good habitat for beaver and other fur-bearing animals. The valley is thought to be named for David (Davey) Edward Jackson, a mountain man who trapped the area for beaver in the early nineteenth century. Though used by Native Americans for hunting and ceremonial purposes, the valley was not known to harbor year round human settlement prior to the 1870's. Descriptions of the valley and its features were recorded in the journals of John Colter, who had been a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After returning to the Rocky Mountains, Colter entered the region in 1806 in the vicinity of Togwotee Pass and became the first caucasian American to see the valley. His reports of the valley, the Teton Range and of the Yellowstone region to the north were viewed by people of the day with skepticism.

The valley is formed by the Teton Range on the western side and the Gros Ventre range on the eastern side. Grand Teton National Park occupies the north-western part of the valley encompassing the much of the Teton Range as well as Jackson Lake. The town of Jackson, Wyoming, is at the southern end. Between them lies the National Elk Refuge, home of the largest elk herd on earth. The Snake River threads through the entire valley from its headwater in Yellowstone in the north to the mouth of the Snake River Canyon at the southern tip of the valley. Blacktail Butte is a prominent landform rising from the valley floor. The average altitude of the valley is over 6,500 feet.

The only incorporated town in the valley is Jackson, sometimes also mistakenly called Jackson Hole itself. On the west side of the valley, Teton Pass crosses the Teton Range providing access to Victor and Driggs in eastern Idaho and Alta, Wyoming on the western side of the Tetons. Numerous elk use the valley as grazing range during the winter and are wonderful to watch from the National Museum of Wildlife across the road. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King and Grand Targhee Resort ski areas, and nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are major tourism attractions throughout all seasons of the year.

Jackson is only 25 miles from the Fox Creek Inn; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village is about 35 minutes away. Besides world-class alpine skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort , there are also great restaurants at the Village and along the road to the resort. Stop in the Mangy Moose for Apres Ski and enjoy one of the many live bluegrass or rock-n-roll bands playing there.

Ride a stagecoach through historic downtown Jackson and watch the nightly staged "Shootout" in the historic Town Square, or get down and dirty at the rodeo calf scramble. Mountain bike or take a sleigh ride (in winter) through the National Elk Refuge, or raft down the gorgeous Snake River south of town.

Looking for culture? Enjoy a performance or take a dance class at Jackson's new Center for the Arts. Browse through one of the many galleries in town and stop for a refreshment at one of the micro breweries.

For information on these activities and others, and to local businesses, please visit www.jacksonholechamber.com or call the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at 307-733-3316.