2014/15 HEADLINES include Barron's #1 ranking as the most tax friendly state in the country, Bloomberg's #1 ranking as the best state for business climate, and Forbes #1 winner for the best overall ski resort in North America. There are few places that have all that Jackson Hole has to offer. Spectacular scenery, creative restaurants, fly-fishing and outdoor recreation, a lively arts scene, and a convenient airport are the most apparent reasons. Within its boundaries, Teton County is home to Grand Teton National Park, three ski resorts, multiple museums, an entire range of art galleries, and five incredible golf courses. The Grand Teton Music Festival, Center for the Arts and other venues offer live musical, dance, and theater events year round. The restaurant scene boasts the most talented chefs in every genre of food preparation. Unique boutiques, cowboy chic, and outdoor gear shops are as diversified as the community. Contact Carol or Betsy today to explore your options for real estate opportunities in Jackson Hole and the surrounding areas.
Many useful links to connect you to the Jackson Hole Community
Please click on the links below to visit these local web sites:
Preserving and Protecting Open Spaces
The Jackson Hole Land Trust is a private nonprofit that was established in 1980. They work to preserve open space and the scenic, ranching and wildlife values of Jackson Hole by assisting landowners who wish to protect their land in perpetuity.
Private lands in Jackson are critical to the survival of many species. Many of the developable parcels in the area are located within important habitat for large ungulates like moose, elk and mule deer. Similarly, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, without the protection of key nesting sites on private lands in Jackson Hole, the region's bald eagle population could not sustain itself. Open private lands also facilitate animal migration. For instance, the pronghorn antelope that winter in Wyoming’s Green River basin and summer in Grand Teton National Park make the longest known terrestrial animal migration in the 48 contiguous states—round trip distances range from 175 to 330 miles.
Since its foundation in 1980, the Land Trust has protected more than 20,500 acres of land on almost 140 properties. The land they have protected accounts for some of the most important spawning habitat for trout, winter range for elk, deer and moose, character-defining scenic views and remaining agricultural vestiges in the valley.
They work with landowners to find ways to preserve forever the scenic and natural values of their land. The conservation easement is their primary tool. It is a contract between the Land Trust and the landowner that ensures perpetual restrictions on development while allowing for private ownership of the land. Typically, landowners donate conservation easements to the Land Trust, but in some cases they will purchase easements on properties with high conservation value when an easement donation is not plausible. Additionally, through their Conservation Buyer Program, they work to match conservation-minded buyers with properties for sale that are worthy of protection.
Outdoor Activities in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, comprising 18 million acres of the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states. The combination of parks, forests, rivers, lakes, and undeveloped spaces allow for nearly every type of activity. Much more than just another ski-town, Jackson Hole is a beautiful, large valley surrounded by spectacular mountains including the Teton, the Gros Ventre, and the Wyoming Ranges. Jackson Hole is also the gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, both of which offer year round recreational opportunities. Rock climbing, hiking, fly-fishing, camping, boating, ice-fishing, skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling and backpacking are just some of those. Mountain biking is permitted in the National Forests and there are miles of trails in all skill levels.
The Jackson Hole area has some of the best and most challenging fishing waters in the Rockies. Numerous fisheries include: the Snake, Gros Ventre, and Hoback Rivers; Yellowstone, Slide, and Jackson Lakes; and Fish and Flat Creeks. All support a healthy habitat of large cutthroat and rainbow trout.
Teton County encompasses three ski resorts. Located above the town of Jackson is Snow King Resort, which also offers night skiing. Intermediate powder skiing is found at Grand Targhee Ski Resort, and more challenging terrain can be accessed by snow cat. Last but not least, is the world renowned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort at Teton Village, ranked one of the top ten ski resorts in the country. Having just completed the installation of a 100 person capacity aerial tram, it has miles of skiing terrain, both in and outside of the ski area boundary. For the more dynamic skiers, Teton Pass and the surrounding mountain ranges offer backcountry opportunities.
Jackson Hole has five championship golf courses designed by such golf course architects as Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent-Jones Jr., Tom Weiskopf and Rees Jones. Semi-private courses with tennis, pool, and restaurant facilities are the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club, and Teton Pines. A stunning member’s only course is 3 Creek Ranch. Newly constructed Shooting Star at the base of Teton Village has limited public tee times, but offers spa and restaurant options to visitors. The newest development is Snake River Sporting Club, a private golf, fishing, equestrian, and water sports community. Each of these Clubs has a variety of options for real estate ownership, including but not limited to cabins, estate homes, and building sites.
There are many companies that cater to private and small group tours encompassing a myriad of activities. Wildlife viewing, snowmobiling, white water and scenic rafting, and bicycling are just a few.
The ecosystem of which Jackson Hole is a part has abundant wildlife and birdlife. Commonly seen are elk, deer, bison, fox, moose, coyote, antelope, eagle, osprey, hawk, and trumpeter swans. Also present but more inconspicuous are wolves, cougar, grizzly and black bears. Enjoying and appreciating all that Jackson Hole has to offer are just some of the reasons to own real estate here.
Getting Around in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Area Maps
Jackson Hole is home to the only airport located within a National Park, the Jackson Hole Airport. Located 12 miles north of town, it has daily direct flights serviced by Delta, American, and United Airlines to Salt Lake, Dallas, and Denver, and during busier months, L.A. and Atlanta. Additional air service in the summer months is provided by Northwest and Frontier airlines. There is a private, full service FBO at the JH Airport, Jackson Hole Aviation.
In town, the START bus serves Teton County with frequent routes around the valley. It is free to ride with a JH Resort ski pass, otherwise it is a nominal fee and there is a bike rack on most buses.
The Pathways system is ever expanding its reaches throughout the valley. Two lane bike paths link town to areas south, west and in the planning stages, north. Bike paths also recently opened in Grand Teton National Park allowing access to Jenny Lake from Dornan's in Moose.
Several taxi companies provide their services. There is a transit company that provides daily service to the Salt Lake City airport. In addition, one may hire a private driver for their stay.
Rental car companies are located at the airport and in locations within the town of Jackson. Some companies rent motorcycles, snowmobiles, and four wheel drive vehicles.
Links and Information to area schools
Teton County School District has six Elementary, one Middle, and two High Schools.
Their Mission is to ensure that all students have the foundation for success and are challenged to reach their full potential. Explore their website and learn more about the schools located in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This site enables everything from accessing your child's grades to viewing a yearlong calendar with activities from every school in the district. School board minutes and agendas are easily accessed through the Board of Education link.
In addition, there are the private entities of the Journey’s School, and the Jackson Hole Community School.
Journeys School is an innovative Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade independent school in Jackson Hole, Wyoming engaging college-bound students with a creative and challenging curriculum that cultivates lifelong learning. Their philosophy combines three fundamental areas: a strong core academic program; intentional combining of leadership, communication, collaboration and creativity skills; and a place-based approach where the community, whether local or global, is integrated into the curriculum. Journeys School objectives include:
The Jackson Hole Community School is a small independent, ninth to twelfth grade school that prepares students of diverse backgrounds for college and life beyond. They offer challenging academics, excellence in teaching, an array of extracurricular activities, and a supportive school culture. Their students are invested in their learning, value personal initiative, and make thoughtful contributions to their community.
They are a school that is committed to the highest standards of education, which will lead to a life of intellectual exploration and learning. They believe in the importance of diversity within their school. They encourage students to be independent thinkers who embody a sense of personal integrity and an understanding of fairness and justice. They believe in a commitment to service that requires every person to be a responsible and contributing member of society.
Past and Present in Jackson Hole
Courtesy of the Jackson Hole Historical Society
The story of Jackson Hole began over ten million years ago, as the valley floor uplifted west of a major fault line and dropped to its east, creating the majestic Teton Range. The Teton fault remains dynamic even today.
Prehistoric people began to use the valley around 11,000 years ago during the last ice age. Up until about 200 years ago American Indians lived continually within the valley. Archeological evidence of the presence of these native peoples abounds in vision quest sites, obsidian tools, steatite cook pots, as well as lodging and hunting sites.
Prior to 1800 there were no written records about Jackson Hole. Reports from the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (1803-1806) began to place the west into the imaginations of the general populace. After that time, non-indigenous people, mostly American, began to move into Jackson Hole as the Oregon Territory was explored further.
Mountain men left the first accounts of the region, from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone, as they moved through the area trapping beaver and other animals. Theirs was mostly a solitary life until they gathered in other regions for the Rendezvous where the season's pelts were traded for goods that would sustain them for the upcoming year. News was exchanged here and one could sign on with a trapping expedition for the next season. Jackson Hole is named for David E. Jackson, an early partner in what became the famous Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
The fur trade declined around 1840 as beaver hats fell out of fashion. There is virtually nothing about the valley in the historical record again until 1860. Between this time and 1900 the region was explored, pioneers began to homestead the valley, and American Indians continued to use the valley. Because of their extensive knowledge of the geography of the west, many trappers, including Jim Bridger and Richard "Beaver Dick" Leigh, led U. S. government expeditions charged with exploring the west. Others rode with wagon trains bringing emigrant settlers westward to Oregon and California.
With the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, people could acquire land at the cost of improving it. While the Jackson Hole area was settled later than many parts of the west, its initial development occurred under the Homestead Act. John Holland and John and Millie Carns first settled the valley. Soon many bachelors and several families also proved up homesteads, descendants who still call the valley home today. A sizable influx of Mormon settlers came to Jackson in the late 19th century.
The inhospitable climate with its very limited growing season soon caused some homesteaders to sell out. Others purchased these available lands to consolidate them into sizeable ranches. They grew hay and 90-day oats and raised beef cattle as cash crops. They fed their families off of wild game and produce gardens on their ranches.
Often life was marginal and settlers barely subsisted. Attempts to mine precious metals in the valley were not successful. The remoteness of Jackson Hole gave cover to fringe elements including poachers, elk tuskers (who killed elk for their two ivory teeth leaving the meat to waste), and horse thieves. Outfitting and guiding became a means of supplementing family income in the valley. Big game hunting and sport fishing became important attractions for the valley, ones that survive until this day. The latter brought the first presidential visitor, Chester A. Arthur, to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park.
Life was not easy in the area. As wealthy eastern visitors traveled to the valley, some ranchers determined that wrangling dudes was easier and more profitable than wrangling cows. In the early 20th century, economic downturns further encouraged the development of dude ranches. The Bar BC, the White Grass, and the Triangle X dude ranches became nationally known. Tourism began to become a significant business in the valley. Who would not want to spend their summers hiking, riding, and fishing beneath the Grand Teton?
At the time that cattle and dude ranching were evolving, the town of Jackson grew as well. Typical of frontier towns, it had mercantile stores, a post office, a school, cafes, saloons, the rodeo, churches, hotels, a playhouse, and a jail. Jackson, in 1920, elected one of the first all-woman town councils in the United States, dubbed the "petticoat government" by the New York Times.
The event that had, and continues to have, the most profound influence on the unique history of the region was the formation of Grand Teton National Park and the designation of other federal lands, including Yellowstone National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the National Elk Refuge. The expansion of Grand Teton National Park created incredible controversy that was played out on a national stage. It expanded into where communities existed, threatening to close land needed for the economic livelihood of residents. It forever changed the character and landscape of the valley. The creation of public lands impacted the economic and social future of the valley; fostered in part the decline of dude ranching; spawned a different type of tourism; encroached significantly on the grazing lands of cattle ranchers; and challenged the National Park Service to negotiate for one of the most unusual and spectacular parks in the system.
The current history of the valley continues to change rapidly. As a resort community in a world-class setting in the intermountain west, the pressures for growth, development, and change are tremendous. Teton County at the recent turn of the century had the highest construction expenditure per capita than any of the other 3,800 counties in the United States and the third highest number of construction jobs per capita. Yet 97% of the land in the county is public land. Tourists from all over the world, numbering as many as 3 million annually, visit the area for the scenery, the wildlife, the recreational opportunities, the geographic features, and the romance of the American West.
The impacts of these trends on the fragile landscape and the small community are incredible. The relationship between people, water, the landscape, and the environment continues to define the region today.
Jackson Hole is home to museums, art galleries, performing arts venues, an orchestra, theater groups, and dance companies. Every week of the year offers opportunities to enjoy cultural activities. Some of the larger annual events include: The Mountain Artists Rendezvous, a juried arts fair; the Grand Teton Music Festival performances in July and August, highlighted by the Fourth of July free community event “Fire in the Hole”; Old West Days; A Taste of the Tetons culinary event; Black Tie and Blue Jeans Ball, to benefit the JH Ski Club; Western Design Conference, featuring the leading designers in Western furnishings, fashion, and home décor; Fall Arts Festival, including artist installations, workshops, and gallery walks; Winter Carnival and Wildlife Film Festival; Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities; and the Teton Wellness Festival just to name a few! In addition, The Center for the Arts hosts diverse music, dance, and stage performances on a global scale throughout the year. The impressive National Museum of Wildlife Art has educational programs for children of all ages, visiting artists in residence, a weekly film series, guest speakers, and a dynamic collection of significant wildlife art--it is open year round and is well worth the visit.
Living and Working in Jackson Hole
Tourism, real estate, and domestic services are the three key factors that drive Jackson Hole’s economy. Growth within all three industries continues to keep Jackson Hole a thriving region attracting more residents and tourists every year. In fact, Jackson Hole’s major employers all fall within these categories including:
Weather and What to Expect in Jackson Hole
If there is one thing experts can say with certainty about the weather in Jackson Hole, it's that nothing is certain!
During the summer, it is fair and sometimes even hot by local standards, when temperatures rise above 90 degrees. But evenings are often chilly. Killing frosts are possible on any night of the year and thunderstorms travel quickly across the valley emitting sheets of rain, hail and claps of thunder that put Hollywood's special effects wizards to shame. Of course, it is precisely the cool, invigorating summer temperatures and even the weather's unpredictability that appeal to most.
While it is true that the valley's reputation for arctic cold has been a curse for publicists at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, it is also true that on those days when the temperature does not climb above 10 degrees (an average of 15 days each winter), there is usually a strong inversion. That is, the temperatures 2,000 feet above the valley floor are frequently 10 to 20 degrees warmer than they are in the valley. This has the peculiar effect of driving residents outdoors and to higher elevations on the coldest days of the year to enjoy skiing and other winter activities.
Whatever season, the rule in Jackson Hole is that the weather can change quickly. This is even more true if you are planning to spend some time in the mountain heights or visiting the back country.
Spring (mid-April to mid-June)
The weather can be a bit unstable during this time of the year. Snow storms give way to spring showers and brilliant sunny days as winter makes its slow retreat. Snow can hinder travel in the high country, or make for great spring skiing! Rivers swell with runoff rushing off the mountains. Temperatures can make wild swings as storms travel in and out of the valley.
Summer (mid-June to mid-September)
Yes, it can sometimes be hot in Jackson Hole. In the last several years, we've had dozens of days in July and August where the temperature has reached the upper 80s and lower 90s. Other years, 1993 for instance, we might only get one day over 80 degrees all summer!
Evenings can be chilly, dropping down into the 50s or colder, especially in June and September. Afternoon thundershowers can be intense as they travel quickly across the valley. But more true to course are bluebird sunny days sandwiched by cool mornings and evenings.
Fall (mid-September to mid-November)
Fall is sometimes referred to as the Secret Season: the days are shorter, the cottonwoods and aspens change color, and the weather gradually cools. Typically though, it remains warm enough (and sunny enough) to enjoy many summertime activities from fishing to hiking. Crowds are fewer and the parks are almost empty. As the end of fall approaches, the pleasant weather can be interrupted by rain in the valley and snow in the mountains.
Winter (mid-November to mid-April)
Winter starts with snow on the mountain peaks and gradually works its way downhill until, by the beginning of December, the valley is blanketed in snow. Periodic winter storms out of the Pacific fight with Arctic high pressure fronts from the Canadian mainland throughout the winter. Snowy, cloudy days tend to be warmer, anywhere from 10 degrees to 35 degrees F. When the weather clears, the thermometer falls with temperatures of 20 below or more rare, but not unknown.
Norht of Jackson offers the most magnificent views of the entire Teton Mountain Range--unlike anywhere else in the Valley.North of Jackson real estate includes luxury homes, condominiums, horse property, building sites, and Snake River access neighborhoods on larger tracts of land than are available in other parts of Teton County. Several historic ranch lands combined with the National Park offer protected wide open spaces for the abundant wildlife that roam along the Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers. The area maintains its wonderful western character and offers a secluded, private feeling. The stunning Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club is located here, with a recently revamped Robert Trent Jones, Jr. golf course, and new clubhouse, pool and tennis facilities. Dinner at the North Grille offers spectacular vistas, exceptional food and service year round.
North of Jackson communities include Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis, The Bar BC Ranch, Panorama Estates, Bear Island, Teton Cascades, Bar B Bar Subdivision, Fairway Estates, Solitude, The Bar B Bar Ranch, Owl Creek, Teton Cascades, Elk View, Snake River Woods, Moulton Ranches, Grand Teton Meadows, and the new Woodside, as well as the towns of Kelly, Moose, and Moran.
With the Snake River and Flat Creek meandering though, south of Jackson’s beautiful ranch real estate offers wide-open views of the Tetons and surrounding mountains. Real estate opportunities in planned neighborhoods offer condominiums, townhomes, and single family homes. Horse properties, building sites, and commercial real estate are also available. Hiking, biking, fishing and cross-country skiing are easily accessible right from a South of Jackson residence’s front door, just moments from the town of Jackson. South of Jackson is home to the spectacular Rees Jones-designed golf course and fishing community at luxurious 3 Creek Ranch, the only private golf club in Teton County.
South of Jackson communities include: Cottonwood Park, Rafter J Ranch, South Park Ranch, Dairy Ranches, 3 Creek Ranch, Melody Ranch, Shootin’ Iron, Little Horsethief Canyon, Game Creek, and Indian Trails.
Nestled between the Teton Mountains, Grand Teton National Park, and beautiful open ranch lands, the world-renowned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a year-round retreat. Just 12 miles northwest of the town of Jackson, Teton Village/Jackson Hole Mountain Resort real estate offers access to unsurpassed winter recreation, with some of the best alpine and Nordic skiing terrain in the world. Summer activities include the Grand Teton Music Festival with more than forty summer concerts, hiking and mountain biking, parasailing, and golf at the new Shooting Star Golf Course.
Teton Village real estate options include fractional and full ownership condominiums, townhomes, home sites, commercial, building lots, and luxury lodges. Its communities include Ellen Creek, Granite Ridge, Teton Village, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Four Seasons Resort, Lake Creek acres, and the Shooting Star cabins and home sites.
At the center of Jackson Hole, the town of Jackson is a vibrant mountain community surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Jackson Hole real estate is as diverse as the town—one can find an historic log home and a modern LEED certified dwelling on the same block. The historic Jackson Town Square is bustling with activity and is the site of the daily summertime “Shoot Out”, and Saturday Farmer’s Market. Town of Jackson properties offer access to unique shops and wonderful art galleries, and a wide selection of fine hotels and restaurants line the boardwalks in a rustic yet refined western style. The well-established cultural and arts scene in Jackson continues to expand with venues such as the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, with an intimate 500-seat theater, dance studios, and art work spaces. Recreational opportunities are steps away-- whether mountain biking up Cache Creek, skiing, hiking, and skating at Snow King resort, or swimming at the Rec Center. Town of Jackson is divided into North, East, and West Jackson and real estate opportunities include both commercial and residential.
The charming mountain town of Wilson is located west of the Snake River and at the base of Teton Pass. This area is also home to Teton Pines Resort, with the stunning Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. Offering views of the Tetons, West Bank North/Wilson real estate has wonderful proximity to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Snake River. Real estate opportunities here include single family homes, condominiums, fractionals, luxury river access neighborhoods, building sites, horse property and commercial.
West Bank North/Wilson communities include Town of Wilson, Stilson Ranches, Willow Brook, Teton Pines Resort, The Aspens, Jackson Hole Racquet Club, Tucker Ranch, Lake Creek Acres, Wilderness Ranch Estates, John Dodge Homestead, HHR Ranches, Wilson Meadows, and Fish Creek Road.
With a feeling of being far away from the hustle and bustle of town, West Bank South real estate offers proximity to Wilson, and all the varied activities and amenities of the Jackson Hole area in a rural setting. The magnificent Snake River beckons fly fishermen and those who simply enjoy cross country skiing or walking along its banks. Real estate opportunities include large fishing acreages, luxury estates, building sites, single family homes, and horse properties.
West Bank South communities include Heck-of-a-Hill, Indian Paintbrush and McNeely Mountain, Pine Meadows, Teal Trace, Crescent H Ranch, Rivermeadows, Highland Park Estates and Hidden Hills, Red Top Meadows, Schofield Patent, and River Hollow.
Centrally located within Jackson Hole and "ten minutes from everywhere", real estate between Jackson and the Snake River enjoys an elevated section of the valley with stunning Teton Views, abundant wildlife and convenient proximity to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the town of Jackson. What was once open range is today protected in perpetuity as nearly 1,000 acres of open space. Real estate opportunities in this region include luxury gated communities, single family homes, condominiums, townhomes, horse property, and building sites.
The world-renowned Amangani resort, Amanresort’s sole presence in North America, and Spring Creek Resort are located high upon East Gros Ventre Butte with panoramic Teton views. Communities between Jackson and the Snake River include Spring Creek Ranch/Amangani, Skyline Ranch, Indian Springs Ranch, Bar Y Estates and Gros Ventre West/North.
The state of Wyoming has the best tax structure in the United States. Highlights include no state income tax, no corporate tax, no estate tax, no capital gains tax and no trust tax. Excise tax, sales tax and property taxes are among the lowest in the United States. Quality of life is unsurpassed and there are more cows than people!
Wyoming is characterized by its proud citizens who make their living in a variety of ways, including educators, ranchers, farmers, energy and tourism industry professionals, medical workers, retailers, artisans, contractors, and those who are self employed .
Real estate opportunities in Wyoming include large acreage ranches and farms, resort properties, commercial offerings, and single family residences. Carol has strong ties to Park County, Wyoming and has been a Wyoming resident since 1980. If you are looking for ranch properties in other regions outside of Jackson Hole, contact her.