Great Outdoor Towns for Families
It ain't what it used to be, longtime locals lament (then again, what is?). The millionaires are moving out to make way for the billionaires. And yes, that ultra chic, ultra expensive, ultra exclusive resort recently opened (we won't mention any names). But cowboy-town Jackson still has what it takes and plenty of people come looking for fun in all its right places.
Who can match this backdrop? Yellowstone National Park is to the north, wild and remote Wind River Range over Togwotee Pass to the east, and the Tetons are smack dab in front of you. If there's anything you want to do in the outdoors, you can do it here. For more information, call (307) 733-3316 or check out www.jacksonholechamber.com.
Don't Leave Town Without:
1. Hiking. How do we begin to count the ways? Grab trail maps for the Tetons, Jackson day hike areas, Yellowstone . . . close your eyes and pick. It's bound to be a winner. Our kids' favorite: Grab the boat across Jenny Lake in Teton National Park and walk about a mile to 200-foot-high Hidden Falls and another mile or so to Inspiration Point. You won't be alone; these are popular sites in the park. But, most people stop here. Keep going another couple of miles through spectacular — and remarkably easy — Cascade Canyon. There's plenty of water to play in along the way, too. If you're looking for an overnighter, continue up to Solitude Lake and head down Paintbrush Canyon the next day.
2. Snapping on a Stetson and saddling up with Wagons West (800-447-4711, www.wagonswest.com). This class act is one of the few that will joyfully take along young children on their overnight horsepack and wagon train adventures. You'll ride old logging roads and narrow, dirt trails through the Bridger-Teton National Forest, camp out in tents or wagons and, learn a little cowboy lore and ropework if you like.
3. Skiing, skiing, skiing . . . sure, Jackson Hole Ski Resort (800-443-6931, www.jacksonholeresort.com) is known for its white-knuckled, Warren Miller crowd and its plunging 4,139 vertical feet, but take a closer look. The resort recently opened its multimillion-dollar children's center and families are turning up everywhere on the slopes. While you're here, don't miss a trip to Grand Targhee Ski Resort (800-TARGHEE, www.grandtarghee.com), on the sunny side of the Tetons, for legendary powder and howdy-ma'am hospitality.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication