In August, I visited Jackson Hole with Toyota and had the absolute best time! Jackson, Wyoming has quickly become one of my favorite places to visit. It’s such a zen and beautiful place, not to mention there is so much to do and explore! If you’re looking to spend 3-days in Jackson Hole this summer, here are some of the things I recommend adding to your itinerary.
** Update: I recently visited Jackson again this September with my husband for a hiking trip so I’m adding in additional recommendations based on what we did this time!
3-Day Summer Itinerary in Jackson Hole
A roundup of where to stay, eat, and what to do when visiting Jackson Hole this summer. This is how our 3-day summer trip went in Jackson Hole. Keep in mind this was a work trip, so there was a little more time scheduled in our day focused on content creation instead of hiking and exploring.
Where to Stay in Jackson Hole
We stayed at the Cloudveil, Autograph Collection right in the middle of downtown Jackson. You can’t beat this location, especially for a shorter stay in town. When we visited the area last year we stayed in a gorgeous cabin in Teton Village, and while it had its pros I definitely preferred staying at the Cloudveil because of the location. The rooms were spacious, they had a free pantry with snacks and waters on each floor, and you can step out of the hotel right in the middle of town! You can see where we stayed and what we did for a longer family trip in Jackson, here!
Day 1 in Jackson Hole
I took an early flight out of Atlanta and landed in Jackson Hole around lunch. After checking into The Cloudveil, I grabbed lunch at The Bistro, conveniently located at the hotel. After a quick change, we headed to Kemo Sabe to make a custom hat.
This was such a fun experience and I definitely recommend it if you want a nice souvenir from your trip. You can customize your hat with so many options to really make it yours, and I’ve also heard they have the best spicy margaritas in town. You can see how my hat turned out on Instagram! I ended up wearing mine every day on the trip.
Day 2 in Jackson Hole
For day 2 we took the Toyota 4Runner to Grand Teton National Park. We were going to venture up to Yellowstone and it’s definitely doable for a day trip from Jackson, but I recommend leaving really early and planning for a long day in the car if you do so! It’s just over a 2 drive to Old Faithful from downtown Jackson, plus driving and stopping throughout Yellowstone. We needed to shoot content for Toyota and get back for dinner by 6, so we opted to just explore the nearby Grand Teton National park instead.
Update: On my most recent trip we did drive up to Yellowstone for the day and honestly both of us wish we just stayed and hiked in Jackson Hole. This is obviously personal preference, but we didn’t really enjoy riding in the car all day.. we’d rather be out hiking! Of course it was pretty in spots and I’m glad I saw it.. but towards the end of the day we wer ejust ready to get back.
Lunch options are pretty limited in the area, so it doesn’t hurt to pack a lunch if you’ll be on the go. We stopped at Leeks Marina and Pizzeria and it was surprisingly good for what looked like a hole in the wall lol. They had gluten-free crust and plenty of custom topping options if you have any dietary restrictions. The marina was also a beautiful spot to have lunch if you packed something and wanted to stop in. Here’s a view of the marina below.
For dinner, we headed to Teton Village and ate at Piste Mountain Bistro. This was my favorite meal on the trip because the views were gorgeous! You take the gondola to the top and it’s a great place to catch the sunset and grab a drink. They are only open for dinner during the summer season, so if you’re visiting during the summer I definitely recommend it.
Day 3 in Jackson Hole
For day 3 in Jackson we all picked an activity to do in the morning. There are so many activities and things to do depending on your preferences! Examples include: fly fishing, hiking, e-biking, horseback riding, white water rafting, or a wildlife safari tour. I’ll list out some options at the end of this post!
My friend and I decided to do horseback riding for our activity, and it was such a nice experience! We even saw a big moose on the path and had a 360 view around the mountain. We did Spring Creek Ranch and it was a short 20-minute drive from our hotel.
The photo above was taken right outside of Teton Village and this was probably the biggest horse I’ve ever seen. They were so friendly so if you want to bring some carrots they would love to be your friend 🙂
After horseback riding, we grabbed lunch at Picnic then drove up to Jenny Lake in our Toyota Sequoia to hike. This is such a beautiful but busy spot in Grand Teton National Park. There are many different hiking trails in this area, so I recommend the app All Trails to decide where you want to explore. Also, keep in mind that there is a lot of wildlife in the area, so I would read up on how to stay safe if you encounter a bear.
We had dinner at Palate which is only open for private events and group dining. It’s at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and overlooks the National Elf Refugee. The dinner was actually really good for a buffet-style meal.
We closed out our trip in Jackson at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I expected this to be overhyped, but it was actually a really fun spot! They have live music most days of the week and plenty of pool tables, I definitely recommend stopping in!
What to Pack for a Summer Trip to Jackson
The mornings in Jackson can still be pretty chilly, so I recommend packing some layers for your trip! What to pack is largely influenced by the activities you plan to do for your trip. I went horseback riding, and for this activity, I wore some comfortable jeans, cowboy boots with low heel, a light long-sleeve layer to protect my skin from the sun, and I wore my Kemo Sabe hat. I was also glad I wore a bandana (originally for the look) because it got really dusty on the trail being in the back of the group. You can see a roundup of everything I wore on this trip to Jackson, here!
What to wear hiking in Jackson Hole
For my recent hiking trip this September, layers were even more key because we would start hiking early morning and it would heat up during the day, but still be chilly at times when in the shade. The weather ranged from 40-mid 70’s each day in September. I would also recommend bringing a light poncho if you plan to hike because you never know when an afternoon rain will form in the mountains. I saved all the outfits I wore for second hiking this trip here! These are some general recommendations if you plan to hike in Jackson Hole:
hiking boots – these were a must for some of the more strenuous hikes we did! You need something with good traction and preferably waterproof, too.
longer socks – just my preference when hiking! I also love a little compression too.
bear spray – this is a must when hiking in the area. You can rent it when you get to the airport.
The town of Jackson is pretty casual, with people stopping in after hiking or camping. But it was really fun to dress the part and pack western-inspired pieces for the trip.
Where to Eat in Jackson Hole
Persephone Bakery for breakfast, lunch, and coffee. They have multiple locations and great treats to take home with you.
Cowboy Coffee Co. for coffee and a quick breakfast and coffee
D.O.G – This was the best breakfast burrito. You have to try the spicy aoili!
Local Restaurant & Bar for dinner
Gather – We tried the Elk bolognese and streak and both were delicious.
Calico Restaurant for a fun Italian spot for the family – they have a great outdoor area
The Bistro at The Cloudveil Hotel – great spot for lunch
Bin22 – Tapas and you can buy a bottle of wine in the store to drink at the table for dinner.
Glorietta – Western-inspired Italian spot that’s good for date night!
Kampai – Really good rolls but pretty expensive since you need to order multiple things. You have to sit on the rooftop for a gorgeous view!
More Things To Do in Jackson Hole
- Jackson Hole Rodeo
- Jackson Hole Winery
- Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
- horseback riding
- Granite hot springs
- Jackson Hole Arial Tram
- Shopping in Jackson
- Make a custom hat at Kemo Sabe
Best Hikes in Jackson
Check out AllTrails for reviews and more recommendations. We love to check this before hikes because people review recent conditions of the trail. We didn’t hike at all during the Toyota trip (we pretty much just took pictures outside of eating and horseback riding :), but Tim and I came back out for a few days and these were the hikes we did or were considering.
- Jenny Lake to Inspiration Point – This is probably the busiest hike in Grand Teton so if you don’t like hiking in crowds I would recommend going early to get a parking spot and avoid the crowds. You can take the boat across the lake if you want to save some miles but we choose to start early and hike so it wouldn’t be a a rush getting off the boat to start hiking with a crowd of people. It’s an easy hike around the lake with a very short narrow climb to Inspiration Point.
- Hidden Falls – This is the same route around the lake towards Inspiration Point. It’s another popular stop so again I recommend going early and then continuing on to Inspiration Point.
- Cascade Canyon Trail – This one starts at Inspiration Point and it was a beautiful hike with views of the river and canyon. We only did half of this hike due to time but the initial views were beautiful. I think this hike overall had my favorite views and just felt very peaceful.
- Taggart Lake
- Death Canyon to Patrol Cabin
- Moose Ponds Trail
- Josies Ridge Trail – This one was pretty strenuous with a steady climb to the top without any flat breaks but gives you views of the town and surrounding area. It’s also very convenient if you’re staying in downtown Jackson. I wouldn’t recommend doing this the same day as Delta Lake like we did – It was a harder hike than we anticipated…honestly harder than Delta. It was straight up the whole time and coming back down was steep so I definitely recommend shoes with good traction. This also seemed to be a more local trail with younger traffic after school hours. To me, this was more of a workout type of hike. It was my least favorite out of the others we did so I would prioritize the others first 🙂
- Ski Lake Trail – This one was recommended by a local friend and I’m so glad we were able to squeeze it in our last afternoon! This hike had the prettiest fall foliage in September. It was an easy-going hike and is dog friendly. You see really wide views of the mountains on the way down.
- Delta Lake – More on this hike specifically below.
Tips if You Plan to Hike Delta Lake
This was the most rewarding hike on the trip! Note this is not a marked and maintained trail, so you want to have a downloaded map of the trail or screenshot it because there are no signs telling you where to go. We signed up for the free trial on AllTrails app to be able to use a map without service, so that’s another option! It’s a pretty popular hike right now so you can find a general path pretty easily. You park at Lupine Meadows Access and start on the Amphitheater Lakes Trail. You’ll count 6 switchbacks then see a stair drop to the right that will begin the hike to Delta Lake. Not going to lie I was very nervous going into it based on the reviews but I think that helped properly prepare me and I didn’t think it was as bad as I worked it up to be in my head. Most of the reviews I saw said it took 5-7 hours, but it only took us 3:45 including 40 minutes of rest at the top at Delta Lake. The very end of the hike is the hardest because you’re crawling straight up the mountain – hiking shoes with good traction are a must for this hike. I recommend staying to the far left when you get to this point. I had to stop to let my heart rate go down a few times, but the view is honestly worth it! I would bring some food to re-energize at the top. We got off trail multiple times coming down the mountain so pay attention going down.
If you’re curious, this is the general Itinerary for our most recent trip. I’m actually writing this on the place as we travel back home! We flew into Jackson later in the day so we just went to dinner and settled in the first night.
Day 1: Yellowstone – We grabbed coffee and breakfast at Cowboy Coffee and packed a lunch and plenty of snacks for the day. We ate dinner at Hatch during happy hour – the spicy margarita was good but pretty spicy.
Day 2: Hiked Delta Lake and Josies Ridge – again I don’t recommend a second hard hike on Delta day unless you’re in great shape and want to get the workout of your life. We got breakfast at Persephone, had snacks for the top of Delta, and then got lunch at The Bistro at the Cloudveil. After lunch, we hiked Josies Ridge, and then had dinner at Gather.
Day 3: Hikes Jenny Lake to Cascade Canyon in the morning and then Ski Lake Trail in the afternoon. We grabbed a breakfast burrito at D.O.G, lunch at Persephone, and dinner at Kampai. We were still hungry after Kampai so we went to Bin 22 for tapas 🙂
Day 4: Shopped around Jackson then traveled home.
When is the Best Time To Visit Jackson?
My personal favorite time is September, but maybe I’m partial because I’ve only been in August and September. I enjoy September because the weather is still nice but the crowds are much slower compared to the busy summer months. It’s easier to find parking and dinner reservations downtown, and the trails aren’t as crowded. I haven’t visited during the Winter season, but that’s another busy season for Jackson if you’re into skiing and snow activities. I’ve heard skiing in Jackson is for a more advanced skill set.
Last year, I visited Jackson Hole last fall with my family, so if you want to see what we did on that trip you can read the post here! If you’re thinking about booking a trip to Jackson Hole, I would absolutely recommend it. There is so much to do and you can’t beat the gorgeous mountain views.