A little Slice of the Old West

Jackson Cowboy Neon SignJackson Hole, a Little Valley with a Big Old West Feel

The Wild West comes alive in Jackson. Jackson is the biggest little town in Jackson Hole and the county seat of Teton County.  Jackson is the town, Jackson Hole is the Valley. My visit was in the fall, a shoulder season so many of the rootin’ tootin’ cowboy activities were done for the year. To embrace the Old West Days you need to plan a visit on Memorial Day weekend. Jackson kicks off the tourist season with a celebration of western heritage. Enjoy the Jackson Hole Rodeo and the Town Square Shoot Out.

First Stop the Visitor CenterFlat Creek in the Elk Sanctuary

I was nearing the end of my visit to Wyoming and other than driving through Jackson I had spent very little time there. I thought I should take a few hours and explore. My first stop was the Visitor Center. You’ll find the Visitor Center as you drive into Jackson from the Airport. It will be on your left. It’s a large building right next to Flat Creek. In fact, there’s a large observation deck out the back of the building that looks out over the marsh. A great place for bird watching. Outside by the entrance is a statue of an elk.

Elk Statue

Inside the Visitor Center

Elk Herd Diorama

Maybe Welcome Center is  more appropriate because the inside was warm and welcoming. To your left is a diorama of an elk herd. Follow their lead to the 2nd floor to view beautiful paintings and prints of the Jackson Hole area. Back down on the first floor is a large  gift shop with the usual T shirts, sweat shirts and key chains but the registers are manned by rangers and very knowledgeable locals. They have all the most recent information on animal sightings and maps. Needless to say, I did not leave empty handed!

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