Photograph by Justin Bailie, Aurora Photos
GPS: 43°28'N 110°45'W
Home to the National Elk Refuge just south of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is your gateway into Yellowstone. Hike legendary trails to backcountry geysers, ride a snowcoach to view packs of moose, and catch the new aerial tram for some breathtaking mountain views. To reach the best sites, launch a canoe at Lewis Lake and paddle three days up the Lewis Channel into Shoshone Lake, the largest backcountry lake in the Lower 48, or hike the ten miles (16 kilometers) there via the Shoshone Trail. The Shoshone Geyser Basin lacks a geyser with the major hydraulics of Old Faithful, but it also lacks the guardrails and crowds. Once there, you can explore at will among seven different groups of geysers, boiling springs, and steaming cones.
Paddle Jackson Lake at the foot of Signal Mountain in Grand Teton. O.A.R.S. runs an overnight trip and offers side excursions such as hiking to Moran Cave, swimming in waterfalls, and fishing for trout (two days, $412; www.oars.com). Take a sled dog tour with an Iditarod-trained mush-guide. Daylong trips include a swim in the Granite Hot Springs and a dinner of steak or trout (www.jhsleddog.com).
Refuel after a long bike ride at Snake River Brewpub. Their OB-1 brew is the only organic ale in Wyoming, and their daily food specials have included chorizo peach pizza (fire-roasted peaches, chorizo sausage, chipotle BBQ sauce, and goat cheese) and a blueberry bread pudding (www.snakeriverbrewing.com).
You can walk to the Teton Village ski runs from the luxurious Snake River Lodge & Spa (doubles from $255; www.snakeriverlodge.rockresorts.com).