Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 4: Jackson Hole, WY

Hi everyone! How’s September treating you? For me, I am loving it! I love running in cooler weather!

I’m excited for this next recap. This is my most favorite part of our trip!

Our next stop…

Orlando, FL  {recap here}
Los Angeles, CA {recap here}
Boulder & Las Vegas, NV (& a little bit of Arizona :P ) {recap here
> Jackson Hole, WY —> BREATHTAKING!!!
Seattle, WA
Spokane, WA
Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Jackson Hole, WY

WARNING: Words like …AMAZING, …BREATHTAKING, …BEAUTIFUL, …GORGEOUS will be used a lot in this post! :) I can’t even begin to put into words how BEAUTIFUL this place was.

We included Jackson Hole to our Coast-to-Coast trip ’cause my mom was going to be there with her friends for a vacation. When she told me about that, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Jackson Hole too and meet my mom there.🙂

So, after LA, we flew in to Jackson Hole!🙂 Unfortunately, our flight was delayed. Our supposedly brief layover in Salt Lake City became an overnight stay. Our flight the next day to Jackson Hole was at noon so, there went our day for the supposed Yellowstone National Park tour. Delayed flight sucks!😦 What could we do?😦

Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole is about a 45-minute flight. I recommend a seat by the window so you can look out and see those fabulous Tetons when you land <– AMAZING! We flew in on just a small airplane (puddle jumper). When we exited the plane, there was no jet bridge. Instead we took the stairs to the airport entrance. The moment we stepped out of the airplane, we immediately smelled  the crisp mountain air of Jackson Hole along with the beautiful scenery of the Tetons around you. I loved it!!!)

IMG_3502

IMG_3491

After getting our luggage, we took one of the shuttle buses to the rental car place (we rented a car from Alamo) which was in the city proper, about 15 minutes away from the airport.

After picking up our rental car, we headed to our hotel and checked-in. We stayed at Wyoming Inn and it was a GORGEOUS hotel. Aside from the Keurig coffee maker in our room (ah, perfect for a coffee lover like me), we also had the most BEAUTIFUL view of the mountains from our window. Can’t complain!🙂

IMG_3756

The day we arrived was actually the day we were supposed to do the Yellowstone tour. Since our flight was delayed we already missed half day of the tour. After we settled in, we still went ahead and drove to Yellowstone and just met my mom and her friends to the place where they were already at from the tour.

On our way to Yellowstone, we had to drive through parts of the Grand Teton National Park.
The scenery didn’t disappoint.🙂 Absolutely BREATHTAKING! I was speechless!🙂

IMG_1150

As we drove along, we were on the lookout for wild animals. I was hopeful that I’d see a bear crossing the road. The only animals we saw were horses from the horseback riders and an elk that was running like a Kenyan that my Iphone camera wasn’t able to catch up for a picture.🙂

IMG_3525

The drive to Yellowstone from downtown Jackson was approximately 3 hours. We met up with my mom and her friends at one of the parks in Yellow Stone called Mud Volcano and Sulphur Cauldron – which were exactly what they sound like – muddy, sulfury and smelly geysers and mud pits.

Ja on the RUN

This place was pretty cool! There were bubbling mudpots, splashing hot springs, and the large, steaming Dragon’s Mouth Spring which is a cave that has boiling water coming out of it

Ja on the RUN

I read somewhere there that it was called Dragon’s Mouth because when the original settlers of the area came upon this cave, they had thought that there was a dragon that lived inside because of the steam coming out of it and the roaring noise that the boiling water was making as it was coming out. Pretty cool. It’s amazing that boiling water can actually come out of the Earth, naturally.🙂

This place has a short trail (1/2 mile) that loops around and passes through more mud geysers and mud volcano.

IMG_3535

_MG_7859

IMG_3548

IMG_3549

Ja on the RUN

_MG_7875

Unfortunately for us, this was already the last leg of my mom and her friends’ Yellowstone tour (ugh flight delays!). But it’s ok. At least we got to see a little bit of Yellow Stone. I was looking forward on seeing more like the Old Faithful but they say, it’s another hour to get there and it’s already getting late. Oh well, next time! And please no more delayed flights!

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at several spots to admire the views and take photos.

_MG_7899

_MG_7900

_MG_7904

You can see the mountains pretty much the whole time you’re driving through the main highway.

_MG_7931

_MG_7923

_MG_7972

We were surrounded by beauty everywhere we looked!

_MG_7947

_MG_7954

The Tetons were so majestic and this was our view the whole time we were here.🙂

_MG_7965


DAY 2:

My husband and I woke up early the next day and started our day with a morning run. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to go for a run in this BEAUTIFUL place. Had to be done!🙂

Ja on the RUN

We ran at the National Elk Refuge, located just at the edge of downtown Jackson. It’s a nice paved pathway that runs several miles long. It is wide open and next to the main road where a lot of cars pass by so, I didn’t have to worry much about startling wildlife. Yes, it would be awesome to see some wild animals (far away from me),  but I don’t fancy elks and grizzly bears joining me on my run! LOL!.🙂

IMG_3577

IMG_3581

IMG_3598

Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 5.42.40 PM

It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL run. We got in a nice little 4-mile out-and-back and took in a lot of BEAUTIFUL sights. This pathway goes a long stretch, so you can easily go for more if you want to. We just had to go back right away to our hotel and get ready for the day’s planned activities.

That day, we rode the Jackson Hole Tram up to the Rendezvous Mountain.

_MG_8013

This place is actually a ski resort in the winter. We are definitely putting this place on our list to go for our snowboarding trip! Jackson Hole ski area boasts the largest vertical drop, double black diamond trail in the US. The trail is called “The Peak” of Rendezvous Mountain. You canNOT make me go snowboard down that trail even if you pay me millions of dollars. No way! That thing is very high and very steep. I’ll leave that to Travis Rice! LOL! Definitely not for the faint of heart like me. It’s worth the trip up there though if you are for nothing else than the views.🙂

Ja on the RUN

The tram was about 9-minute ride from the base of the ski resort and glides 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. To really appreciate just how big the Jackson Hole Valley is, you need to ride this tram.

IMG_3744

The views were AMAZING on the way to the top!

_MG_8029

And views got even better as we made it to the top!

_MG_8025

GORGEOUS view!

1115929_10152124976214552_667515131_o

Once you are on top, it will give you a bird’s eye view of the region and trails that offer some great day hiking opportunities. Don’t forget your bear spray!🙂

Ja on the RUN

We spent the whole morning exploring the mountain

Ja on the RUN

1003469_10152064863519552_650708932_n

Words are inadequate to describe how AMAZING this place was!

IMG_3610

IMG_3621

IMG_3613

Also, on top of this mountain, you’ll find a casual dining restaurant called, The Deck and a fine dining, Couloir. I read good reviews about these restaurants. We will have to try them next time. Just imagine dining-in with awesome views on top of the mountain – MUST DO!

Ones we were down, we took a mandatory picture in front of the Jackson Hole cabin._MG_8098

For our next adventure, we went horseback riding.🙂
_MG_8101

In the pic below, our guide was just telling me (casually, like it was no biggie) that we’re going to climb to an elevation of 8,000ft up the mountain. Say wah?! Uhhhhm, I, who have never been on a horse, and here you are telling me we are climbing those steep mountains – that kinda freaked me out! LOL! Then, I asked him if I can back-out.😛

_MG_8106

Well, as you can see in the pic below, I’m still there …looking so helpless. LOL!🙂

_MG_8129

I am glad our guide didn’t let me back-out or I would miss this AMAZING experience. He probably knew I would regret it had I chosen to be left behind. It was definitely a wonderful two-hour ride with everyone  (my husband, my mom, and her friends). My nervousness went away and got the hang of it as we went on. The steep up and down was manageable and enjoyable for all of us.

Ja on the RUN

The part where we were literally climbing up by the cliffside was a little scary for me but I learned to calm myself down. Deep breaths! I had to woooooosah a few times. Haha.🙂

1074682_10151724832793416_1433076231_o

Once we reached the top, the view again was of course LOVELY!🙂

_MG_8146

I love the experience. It kinda made me feel a little like real cowgirl! :) I already miss my horse, Clinton. He was very good and so gentle to me. I barely needed to guide him because he was trained and knew the trail so well.

46365_10152070719649552_1953561479_n

After that, we had dinner at the barn included in the package for the horseback riding. Then, everyone called it a day, back to our hotels, and end of DAY 2.🙂

Onto our Day 3!:🙂

We went to the visitor center to ask for an easy, short, and nice scenic trail to go for hiking. They highly recommended the Jenny Lake Trail.

Ja on the RUN

There’s so much to do in Jackson Hole! Can’t decide which one to do first!

Jenny Lake is not far from the city proper and is located just inside the Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the most popular trails that it was crowded when we went. So much so that we couldn’t even find a parking spot after multiple orbits of the main lots down near the campground.

IMG_3767

Once parked, we paid for a shuttle boat to take us across the lake to the trail.

_MG_8182
From there, we started hiking up to Inspiration Point

The hike followed this river/stream.

Ja on the RUN

Half way through the hike, you’ll pass the Hidden Falls. I really love waterfalls, so I loved seeing this gem! So BEAUTIFUL!

Ja on the RUN

The pic below was a spot where people climb up to get the best view of the falls.

Ja on the RUN

After Hidden Falls, we continued our hike up to the Inspiration Point.

Ja on the RUN

We allowed ourselves to rest during the hike and enjoy the scenery.

Ja on the RUN

_MG_8221

It was a bit of a strenuous climb and might be quite a challenge for some, but it was a lot of fun! My husband and I got some good exercise that day.🙂

_MG_8250

Ja on the RUN

And finally, we made it to the Inspiration Point at 7200ft.

Photo Sep 26, 3 44 36 PM

With a BEAUTIFUL view like this, definitely worth the hike.🙂

IMG_3718

_MG_8235

We stayed for a while to enjoy the GORGEOUS GORGEOUS view!

_MG_8239

_MG_8253

Back down to the trail head, we took the shuttle boat again back to the parking lot. The ride across Jenny Lake was definitely lovely and refreshing.🙂 It was hot that day but the hike was a lot of fun!

IMG_3729

After our hike and much needed lunch (whew, that hike made us really hungry), we were then off to our next adventure.

We went White Water Rafting! YEAH!!! THAT ONE WAS SOOO MUCH FUN and probably the highlight of our Jackson Hole trip.🙂

P1020133

For the whitewater rafting, we were 9 on the boat including our guide and each were given a paddle.

P1020134

After being given a short lesson on paddling, we were off down the Snake River.

In case you are wondering, whitewater rapids fall into 6 different classes/categories. 6 is the toughest. This one we did was Category 3.

P1020137

Our guide gave us instructions on what signals he would give us at the appropriate time in the rapids.

P1020143

P1020139

Everyone in the boat, including me, was a first timer. In situation like this, I can’t help but feel anxious. Naturally, I didn’t know what to expect.

P1020141We drifted for a while to become acclimated, but as we got closer to the rapids we were instructed to paddle through it. We went down a total of eight miles of the snake river.

P1020152

Some waves were stronger than others that felt like I was going to fall off the boat. LOL!

P1020151

But our guide had instructed us on how we should position our feet underneath the folds of the raft so that we’d be less likely to fall overboard. And oh, we got really soaked! Our group was laughing and getting drenched happily as we rode wave after wave.

Ja on the RUN

We were also fortunate enough to see bald eagles, ospreys, and their nests along the way. Our entire trip through the snake river was like a picture postcard….BEAUTIFUL!

P1020166

About 3/4 through the ride, our guide took us to a nice spot for a picnic-style-BBQ-dinner-by-the-river which was already included in the price.

P1020184

Dinner included a 9oz. sirloin steak or trout, potato salad, pasta salad, garlic bread, corn on the cob, dutch oven cobbler and hot/cold beverages.  My husband got the steak and I got the trout and both were exceptionally tasty. I love the peach cobbler too! Everything was actually good!🙂 $80 for 3-4 hours and a solid dinner is definitely well worth the price! We also had a chance to get to know our fellow raft mates during the picnic and ruminate about how great the day was. We stayed there for about 30-45 minutes and then off to hit the water again.🙂

Ja on the RUNThe rapids along the Snake River each have different names. I forgot the other ones but what I remember the most was the “Champagne”. It’s the deepest part of the river and the oxygen in the water bubbles up like champagne. Pretty cool!

P1020156

The entire journey lasted about 4 hours. All in all, it was a great and exhilarating experience.

I couldn’t resist buying these photos for $45/each (notice that I’m not really paddling, LOL :P).

Photo Sep 26, 7 06 13 PM

Photo Sep 26, 7 06 17 PM

I can now cross this off of my bucket list! And I will definitely do it again!

Another nice thing, there were bathrooms and changing rooms in the parking area. So, I grabbed my dry clothes from the bus and changed.🙂  It was nice that I didn’t have to be soaking wet and shiver in the cold on the way back to the city proper. So, BRING EXTRA CLOTHES!

Mad River let us rent their waterproof camera which had like a floating device attached to it so it just floats in the water if you accidentally drop it. You can ask for one If you plan to take pictures.🙂

It really was a fantastic experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I challenge anyone who for whatever reason tend to play it safe by sticking with the usual mundane activities on holidays to TRY THIS! Dare to try something different!

Day 4: Last day😦

We spent our last day exploring downtown Jackson.🙂

Our flight that day was not until later in the afternoon. We decided to check-in our luggage first thing in the morning at the airport. We did that so we didn’t have to worry about getting late for our flight while we explore and make the most of our last few remaining hours in Jackson Hole.
IMG_3760

Jackson Hole Airport and the Tetons in the background! GORGEOUS!

IMG_3761

IMG_3764After checking-in our luggage, we were off to check out downtown Jackson.

_MG_8301

There were lots of t-shirt stores, souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants.

_MG_8296

And if you missed your chance to get a photo of the antler arch at the airport, there are 4 antler arches in the town square.

_MG_8307We searched in Yelp for good restaurants in the area for lunch. We decided to try Sweetwater. We went there and got a table at their patio outside. We were in the middle of summer days that time and it was extremely hot. So, I asked if we could be seated in the dining room inside where it’s cooler with a ceiling fan on. Unfortunately, they weren’t opening that inside area for that day. So, all diners had to be seated outside and sweat in the blazing heat! Combine that with a waiter who was lacking in interpersonal skills, not to mention SSSSLOWWW.:/

Ja on the RUN

Anyway, I ordered their Veggie Wrap and Vanilla Pear soup which was yummy! So, that kinda compensated the situation. Ha! Just feed the hungry lady already so she can stop complaining! LOL!😛

IMG_3791

Last meal in Jackson Hole!

IMG_3790

After lunch, we roamed around some more, bought souvenir stuff, returned our rental car, and
took the shuttle bus to the airport.😦
IMG_3793

It was hard saying goodbye to this BEAUTIFUL place. We had a bit of rough start with our flights being delayed but we definitely had a wonderful time! There were no dull moments. We were on the go from morning-to-dark everyday taking in all the Jackson Hole area has to offer and we still didn’t get to do everything! There’s so much to do! Now, that we finally got a taste of it, we are definitely going back!

Ja on the RUN

So long Jackson Hole! It was one helluvah fun adventure!

If you have never been to Jackson Hole before, go there! I highly recommend it. Prepare for your first visit to be mind-blowing. The people are AMAZING and the scenery is out of this world!

There you go! Three more stops to go and I am completely finish with my vacation recaps. Then back to my regular postings!🙂 STAY TUNED!

Have you been to Jackson Hole before? Which one is your favorite activity?

Xoxo, Ja

OTHER PLACES TO LEGALLY STALK ME:
> MY BLOG’S FACEBOOK PAGE: JA-ONTHERUN BLOG
> CHECK OUT MY SILLY PHOTO ADVENTURES ON INSTAGRAM: @JA_ONTHERUN
> FINALLY, I HAVE A TWITTER! I HAVE A TWITTER! : @JA_ONTHERUN

47 thoughts on “Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 4: Jackson Hole, WY

  1. Pingback: Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 5: Sleepless in Seattle | Ja on the RUN

  2. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    I love everything about this post!!! My husband and I honeymooned at Jackson Hole and Yellowstone many years ago. I wrote about out hike up to Lake Solitude in the Tetons on our anniversary on August 1 of this year. Reading about your wonderful adventures makes me want to go back right NOW! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Jodi Stuber

    wow.. looks like a totally amazing trip🙂 thanks for sharing your pics and journeys!! Looks like a really great place to take a vacation too.. pretty sure my husband and I could spend a week there and be happy. the boat trip sounds great too!! Gotta love a good adventure and some good food🙂

    Reply
  4. Darlene

    I loved looking at your pictures. I went to Jackson Hole about 10 years ago and did all the same things. LOVED it there. That was before I was a runner. I would love to go back.

    Reply
  5. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    ❤ MY HOME!!!!! MY HOME!!!! Thank you so much for the pictures. I haven't been home since Christmas and honestly, I cannot even remember the last time I have been home in the SUMMER!! I miss the summer months (okay, July & August – LOL) in Jackson. It's seriously my favorite. It looks like you pretty much did EVERYTHING!!! Although you DID NOT go paragliding at Rendevous Mountain! I am mad that you didn't do that because that's an experience for SURE. But you can save that for next time. Come back in the winter? Are you a skiier? Although, are you a fan of -30 to -40 degree weather? LOL!! Yeah, didn't think so!

    Reply
    1. Ja @Ja on the RUN Post author

      Hi Gigi!
      I snowboard and I definitely love snow! Definitely going back there for a snowboarding trip!!!🙂
      We were supposed to go paragliding but there was a long queue. We didn’t have time to wait ’cause we have to go for horseback riding. I will definitely do that next time!!! I want to go back soon!!!🙂 Thanks!!!

      Reply

Share Your Thoughts ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s