We were recently invited to a wedding in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we could not have been more excited and honored for the invitation. As a city slicker however, my anxiety initially spikes when I am called to travel into the wilderness. I immediately can hear the Troop Beverly Hills’ theme song in my head and visualize Shelley Long carrying me out of the mountains on a gurney made with Giorgio backpacks.
I’m happy to say we forged the mountains and rivers of Wyoming and earned our wilderness girl patches! Check out five must-dos for any city slicker looking for adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
1. Roughing it in Style Patch– Ok- so we were definitely not roughing it at the Hotel Terra in Teton Village. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. The outside facade gives you that rustic log cabin feel, and the interior has a chic-contemporary flare with wilderness accents. At night, the trees are all lit up and the whole village looks like the inside of a Christmas snow globe minus the snow. The hotel also does its part to support the environment with its incredible eco features.
We definitely recommend staying in Teton Village, especially for first-timers. It has a wide selection of eateries and shops to explore in addition to the gondola that offers incredible views. The free gondola takes you up to The Deck where you can enjoy live music and cocktails during the summer months. The village also has a shuttle bus that takes you all over Jackson Hole including the downtown area for only $3.
2. Rapid Riding Patch– If you love water activities you have to check out the whitewater rapid tours on the Snake River. There are many companies that provide tours. We used Sands Whitewater River Trip and our guide, Ben, was awesome and totally made the trip. The class 3 rapids are perfect novice- especially if you like to get wet. The three-hour tour provided great views of Jackson and the surrounding environment by way of the Snake River – don’t worry there are no snakes. We did see deer and a bald eagle! I was however super bummed we didn’t see any sea otters. Send me pics if you do!
3. Brew Discovery Patch– The Snake River Brewing is a must-try spot for foodies and beer lovers a like. To get the full flavor of the brewery, try the flight sampler which features eight of their award-winning brews. We seriously loved them all! We always recommend getting a good base while drinking so munch on the pulled pork tacos and salami pizza, which feature their house-smoked ham and pork- it was so delish our mouths still water when we think about it.
4. Horseback Riding Patch– So for anyone who knows me horses are not my favorite animal- sorry I know that is a shock to most people, but I prefer to stay away from animals who can’t cause me great harm. Before this trip, the only time I had ever rode a horse was at a fair where it is tied to a pole and you ride it around a metal circle.
So when my travel group said horse riding was a must my heart sank, but I decide to suck it up and continue with my “try something new and be adventurous” motto for this trip. With a friend’s recommendation we went for a two-hour riding tour at Mill Iron Ranch. Clearly feeling my fear and anxiety, one of the nice men at the ranch put me one the horse that he said was usually given the children. Inner monologue- “If a kid can do this, I can,” I hope…. We you rode from the Ranch into the Bridger Teton National Forest, it was a 2,000 vertical feet climb with incredible views of the Hoback area, Snake River Canyon Area, and the Teton Range.
Our guide, Chancy, was the sweetest man who was straight out of an old western. He was born and raised on the ranch and provided us great insights and history in to all things Wyoming. He also made me feel safe, which is the most important thing. As a bonus, he recommended this awesome liquor store, Liquor Down South (LDS), on the way back to town that sells sloshies- they are slushies with alcohol in them. Amazing and one will get you totally tipsy!
The ironic thing about this outing was I think I had the best time out of my whole group. This riding excursion was rated the #1 two-hour trail ride in the United States- and we totally can see why!
5. Bar Fly Patch– If you want to truly experience Jackson Hole nightlife you have to check out the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. We love a good dive bar, especially with a theme and this bar does not disappoint. With saddles as bar stools, stuffed animals everywhere (we are not talking teddy bears), and a full size dance floor with county music blaring- we were in heaven. The drinks are cheap and the patrons friendly. If you are lucky an old cowboy in red flannel will take you around the dance floor and teach you the two step.