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Jackson See And Do

Fly-fishing
High Country Flies
185 N. Center Street
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 7210 or 866 733 7210 (toll free)
www.highcountryflies.com

The staffers at High Country Flies have been the fishing go-to guys since the mid-'70s. Their brick-and-mortar store has everything from float tubes to tie-flying kits to top-notch fly-fishing equipment. They also share their accrued knowledge on guided trips (April through October) on the Snake, Green, and Yellowstone rivers.

Golf
Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club
5000 Spring Gulch Road
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 3111
www.jhgtc.com

This Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed course is consistently rated the best course in Wyoming—and, thanks to new construction, it keeps getting better. The grounds are currently in the midst of a $12-million improvement project that, when completed in summer of 2007, will include a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse and a reconstruction of holes 1 and 15.

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park , Wyoming
Tel: 307 739 3300
www.nps.gov/grte

The Teton Range is a 40-mile mountain chain that defines the sturdy beauty of the state. The jagged peaks—which are still growing about an inch every hundred years—rise dramatically into the vast panorama of Wyoming sky. The tallest is 13,770-foot Grand Teton. Binocular hounds get dizzy picking out wildlife: The park teems with elk, moose, bison, black bear, and grizzlies. There are also some 300 species of birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons. During the warm months, activities include hiking, walking, fishing, climbing, boating, and biking; winter pursuits range from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The closest entrance to the park is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Jackson. The park's website has more information and detailed maps.

Heli-Skiing
High Mountain Heli-Skiing
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 3274
www.heliskijackson.com

If you're an advanced skier—in other words, if you can handle black diamonds mined with big moguls—it's well worth the splurge for a day in the bird: Around $775 gets you six runs, or approximately 12,000 to 15,000 total vertical feet. Be warned: A full day of unadulterated, first-rate powder-plowing in the Snake River Mountains may forever spoil you for regular hills.

Hot-Air Ballooning
Wyoming Balloon Company
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 739 0900
www.wyomingballoon.com

Catching the sun's first light on the Tetons is one of those life-affirming thrills. It does, however, require you to lug yourself out of the sack before dawn. Wyoming Balloon Company will pick you up in Teton Village before sunrise and have you 4,000 feet above the Teton foothills as the mountains blush with first light. Prices are around $235 per person.

Mountaineering
Exum Mountain Guides
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 2297
www.exumguides.com

Think of Exum's four-day mountaineering class as Mountain Climbing 101; graduation takes place on the 13,770-foot summit of Grand Teton. The country's foremost guide service takes novices with no climbing experience and gets them to the top of the Tetons. The only prerequisite is to be in good aerobic shape and "demonstrate proficiency" (read: don't throw up or whine) after the first two days of training. Even the tamest way to the summit entails getting roped up and being exposed to cold winds for several hours. But don't fret—you'll be in the capable hands of tough guys like Jack Tackle and Mark Newcomb, and tough gals like Evelyn Lees. They might not smother you with warm fuzzies, but they will get you back down safely.

No mountain climbing late September—early December.

National Elk Refuge
532 N. Cache Drive
National Elk Refuge , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 9212
www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge

If you'd prefer to see elk in the wild rather than just on your plate, they can't be missed here. Every winter, the 25,000-acre refuge—which is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—is home to some 7,500 elk, the largest herd in the world. Although drivers can spy them right off Highway 89 (a mere three miles north of downtown), it's more entertaining to go by horse-drawn sleigh. Forty-five-minute joyrides leave from the Jackson Hole/Greater Yellowstone Visitors Center (at the N. Cache Drive address above) on a first-come, first-serve basis from mid-December to the end of March.

National Museum of Wildlife Art
2820 Rungius Road
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 5771 or 800 313 9553 (toll free)
www.wildlifeart.org

Overlooking the Elk Refuge, this medieval-looking stone-and-stucco building blends seamlessly into the brown hills. (Look for it as you drive down Highway 89.) It contains more than 2,300 wildlife photos, paintings, and life-size bronze sculptures from around the world—some dating as far back as 2000 BC.

Skiing
Jackson , Wyoming

Jackson's season runs from early December to early April, but January typically gets the most snow, leaving the ski areas with at least 60-inch bases. There are three downhill options in the area: the immense and challenging Jackson Hole Resort; the gentler Grand Targhee Resort; and scrappy Snow King, a tiny mom-and-pop resort right outside of town.

Jackson Hole Resort is 13 miles from town. Thanks to multiyear, big-money improvements, this formerly rough-and-tumble resort now has an upscale feel. Even so, the off-the-beaten-path location and sheer scale—111 runs and 12 lifts, including a gondola and six high-speed quads—mean lengthy lift lines are happily rare. Beginning and intermediate skiers should head to the groomed runs on Après Vous Mountain, which feature 1,800-foot cruisers like Moran; advanced skiers catch the East Ridge Lift to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. Experts tend to leave the resort altogether: A short traverse or hike beyond the top of the lifts accesses more than 3,000 acres of steep, powder-laden slopes—some of the world's best and most accessible backcountry skiing. Hire a guide for the day—and learn all the other on- and off-mountain activities—at www.jacksonhole.com or 307-733-2292.

Grand Targhee Resort has a lot less verticality (it isn't as steep), which ramps down both the adrenaline and the number of gung-ho locals looking to jump off cliffs. This means it's a lot less intimidating for beginners. Because Targhee's slopes are on the west side of the mountains (42 miles from Jackson), the area also tends to gets more—and lighter—snow (307-353-2300; www.grandtarghee.com).

You won't find any tourists at Snow King: It's tiny and wicked steep, with few intermediate runs (about 60 percent of the terrain is for experts only). It just happens to be about one minute from downtown, though (307-733-5200; www.snowking.com).

Whitewater Rafting
Jackson Hole Whitewater
650 W. Broadway
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 1007
www.jhwhitewater.com

Jackson Hole Whitewater runs trips on the Snake River aimed at beginners. Excursions range from somnolent floats in the shadow of the snowcapped Tetons to madcap, rapid-hurtling assaults down the frothy sections. Sign up in advance for the combo trip (two departures daily, May through October), a bipolar ride of 13 miles of gentle riffles followed by 8 miles of rollicking Class III and IV white water.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park , Wyoming
Tel: 307 344 7381
www.nps.gov/yell

Sitting on top of what geologists call a "super volcano," the park—the nation's first, which was preserved by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872—is one of only a few "hot spots" globally where superheated molten rock rises to the surface. Within the 2.2-million-acre park, you'll find more geysers than anywhere else, at least 300 of which are active, including the still-resolute Old Faithful. As in its sister park, Grand Teton, the wildlife seems to be everywhere, including standing in the road and compounding traffic woes. (Note: "Playing" with the bison and other large mammals is decidedly ill-advised.) Although Yellowstone's more-famous quadrants are crowded with gawkers, only ten percent of the almost three million annual visitors get off the road and into the pristine backcountry. The South entrance, the closest to Jackson, is 60 miles from town but can take as long as two hours to reach during summer season due to congestion (it's where all the geysers are accessible from); it's open from mid-May to early November.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.