We flew from SF to Salt Lake City and drove four hours to Jackson. We were interested in checking out the roads between Jackson and SLC and to enjoy the summer scenery in the mid west. We headed north from SLC through Utah on a interstate highway and into Idaho. We drove through endless miles of wheat fields lining the huge valleys boarded by mountains off in the distance. We soon turned off the highway onto a two line road. Here the valleys got narrower and the mountains got bigger as we passed through small towns surrounded by large farms and ranches. As the hours ticked by the road became more windy as we navigated around the property lines of the large farms and ranches. The scenery was spectacular.
Beside wanting to visit with Meredith, who has been living in Jackson for the past year, we were also interested to see the area in the summer. We’ve skied in Jackson for many years but never took the opportunity to visit in the summer.
Jackson has a population of 9700+ and bills itself as “The Last of the Old West”. Basically, it has one traffic light in the center of town with wood sidewalks lined with stores and restaurants and plenty of wood rails to tie up your horse. In the center of town is a large town square which plays an active part for events throughout the year. On each corner of the square are arches made of elk antlers.
Jackson also known as Jackson Hole which refers to the entire valley, is the gateway for millions of tourist each year visiting Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the National Elk Refuge and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, one the biggest ski mountains in the west. Surrounded by mountains Jackson Hole (valley) is an outdoor sportsman paradise. Each season offers plenty of activities to be outside in this beautiful area.
On our first full day in JH we traveled 12 miles out of town to Teton Village the home of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It seemed like another world. Our only experience has been to see it with several feet of snow on the ground. The little village was very green and lush with lots of flowers and walking paths connecting the different areas.
We took a ride up the famous aerial tram, traveling 4100 feet off the valley floor, to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, 10, 449 ft. elevation. It seemed liked the top of the world. Later in the afternoon we took the gondola to Bridger Restaurant, part way up the mountain, where we had drinks on the large patio, relaxing and taking in the valley view. That evening we went to the very popular Figure 8 Races at the Teton County Fair. What a hoot! Cars race around two circles, crossing paths twice each lap, either nearly missing or sometimes colliding. After many elimination races, the winners of each race go all out in the final race to win the bragging rights for the next year and a trophy.