For the Love of Mountains
If one day of skiing melts your leg muscles into putty, or if the notion of steep slopes seems downright crazy, Jackson (both the town and the resort) has a host of other options, including snowmobile, snowcoach, and dog-sledding tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. There, wildlife enthusiasts will witness a quiet world where the animals are unencumbered by the spring-to-fall RV hordes. The National Elk Refuge (532 North Cache Street; http://nationalelkrefuge.fws.gov/) lies northwest of Jackson, and has as many as 9,000 animals during the winter, should you want to stay closer to home base.
For those tempted by skiing, but intimidated by the skis, Snow King Resort (307.733.5200 or 1.800.522.5464; www.snowking.com) in Jackson has a snow-tubing parkan ideal introduction to the intoxicating combination of snow and gravity.
The more culturally inclined, meanwhile, can warm themselves by visiting the National Museum of Wildlife Art (2820 Rungius Road; 1.800.313.9553; www.wildlifeart.org/), three miles from Jackson's Town Square. Considered America's finest display of animal and bird art, it includes work by such renowned artists as John J. Audubon, George Catlin, Robert Bateman, and Earnest Thompson Seton.
And if you long to exercise your credit-card swiping muscles, there's an impressive array of high-quality galleries throughout the Town Square. Most of the work derives its inspiration from the local surroundings, but range from traditional Western-style offerings to modernist interpretations of Jackson's opulent outdoor arena. Not to mention the plethora of Wyoming-specific gift shops with high-quality leather and sheepskin items alongside the expected tack (ice cream scooper with an elk-antler handle, anyone?).
For info on where to eat, hang, and master the Wyoming square dance, see Access and Resources.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication