Staying Healthy on Your Jackson Hole Vacation

grand teton mountains over jackson hole, wyoming

You’re all ready for your Jackson Hole vacation—your hotel is booked, your itinerary is set, and you’ve packed everything you need for an epic getaway. You might be certain that you’ve thought of everything, until you arrive in Wyoming and feel absolutely miserable. Is it the flu? A stomach bug? It’s likely altitude sickness, but there are some steps you can take to limit its effects so you can still enjoy your trip.

What Causes Altitude Sickness in Jackson Hole

The altitude on the valley floor in the Jackson Hole area is 6,300 feet above sea level, which most people have no trouble adapting to. That said, if you have pre-existing conditions involving your heart or lungs, you may experience altitude sickness. Where most people have trouble is in areas with higher altitudes—visiting mountains for climbing or skiing or even Yellowstone National Park, which is on a plateau that is higher than the elevation in Jackson Hole.

Altitude sickness occurs when you have trouble adjusting to the lower oxygen pressure at higher altitudes. For most people, altitude sickness develops anywhere from 6 to 24 hours after reaching a higher altitude than they’re used to and it typically subsides within 3 days.

Symptoms of Altitude Sickness

When you have altitude sickness, you might feel as if you have a hangover. You’ll experience nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Because of the lower levels of oxygen available at higher altitudes, you may also have some shortness of breath. These symptoms are worse the higher your elevation and the more you exert yourself. 

If you’ve suffered altitude sickness in the past or you’ve never been to a higher altitude area and aren’t sure how your body will react, don’t plan on going to the mountains until at least a day after you’ve landed in Jackson Hole. This will give your body some time to adjust. During this time, plan on some activities in the valley, like a Snake River scenic float trip

How to Prevent and Treat Altitude Sickness

For most visitors, altitude sickness isn’t serious and doesn’t have any negative impact on their Jackson Hole vacation, but it does have the potential to be serious. Here are some precautions to take to protect yourself:

  • Stay hydrated. Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go and sip from it throughout the day.
  • Don’t drink alcohol until you’ve adapted to the altitude. Alcohol can exacerbate your altitude sickness symptoms, making you feel worse. 
  • Allow your body to acclimate to higher elevations. Don’t climb a mountain the day you arrive in Jackson Hole. Let your body slowly adapt; avoid too much physical activity and high elevations for the first day or two of your vacation.

If you follow these steps and your altitude sickness doesn’t go away after a few days or if your symptoms are severe, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. The symptoms of altitude sickness are symptoms you can experience with a number of other health issues, so it’s a good idea to get checked out to make sure nothing more serious is going on.

Learn More About Jackson Hole Vacations

If you’d like to book a whitewater rafting trip or scenic float trip in Jackson Hole, contact us today at 307-733-1000.

What’s the Best Time of Year for Whitewater Rafting in Jackson Hole?

Are you ready to challenge your sense of adventure? Try a whitewater rafting trip on the Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The river twists and turns over and around rocks alongside lush forests with views of the Grand Teton Mountains in the background. Whitewater rafters come from all over the US and Canada to experience the Snake River. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or you’re just looking to float along and enjoy the scenery, there are trips designed for everyone. 

When should you plan your whitewater rafting trip? The best time of year to make the trip depends on what you’re hoping to get from your experience. The river ebbs and flows based on the time of year and the weather. A high river will give you a very different experience than a low river. Here’s what to consider when it comes to choosing a date for your trip.

Seeking a Thrill? Spring and Early Summer is your Season

If you want a challenging, exciting whitewater rafting experience, plan your trip in the spring. As the snow melts off the mountains, the river runs high and fast. This leads to plenty of white water and rapids. On a scale of I to V, the Snake River is classified as a III in terms of the size and severity of the rapids. With extremely high waters the rapids could exceed a III at times. 

After heavy or extended periods of rain the river also runs high, so if you’re planning a summer trip and you still want to experience plenty of rapids, just watch the weather for the best time to go. High waters also move faster, making your trip down the river much shorter, yet action packed. 

Looking to Relax? Summer and Early Fall is your Season

As the summer season progresses, temperatures rise and the weather dries out, making the river low and slow in some places. Scenic float trips are designed for those who prefer to float along the river and enjoy the view. Mid to late summer and early fall is the best time for a more relaxing trip on the Snake River. This trip may allow you to snap some photos of the scenery and wildlife along the way. 

The lower the river, the longer your trip down the river will take. You’ll have more time on the river to enjoy the views and may have an easier time spotting wildlife along the banks as you float, rather than rush, along. 

Plan Your Whitewater Rafting Trip Today

No matter when you go, a whitewater rafting trip and scenic float on the Snake River is a wonderful experience. There are parts of the river that always have rapids and parts of the river that are calm. Barker-Ewing Whitewater offers a variety of excursions to help you get the most out of your rafting trip. The season runs from May 3 to October 10 with 2 types of trips to choose from:

  • 8 Mile Whitewater Rafting. Tackle class III rapids along this 3.5 to 4 hour excursion that includes the famous Lunch Counter and Big Kahuna rapids. 
  • Snake River Ranch Scenic Float and Whitewater Combo. Get two trips in one with this combo package that includes a scenic river float and then a whitewater excursion. 

Spend a half day or a whole day on the river with either of these trip packages. Whenever you decide to go, the river, woods, and mountains are a beautiful sight. 

Book your trip now or call (307) 733-1000. Take a break from the summer heat and get out on the cool waters of the Snake River in Jackson Hole, WY.

What to Pack for Your Jackson Hole Stay

Jackson Hole has many fun activities to offer travelers, including camping, whitewater rafting, scenic float trips, and hiking. However, preparing for your time in the great outdoors can be a daunting process. The gear and clothing you bring along on your trip are key to making sure your experience is an enjoyable one. Here are some tips on the best things to pack before starting your Jackson Hole adventure.


  • Shirts: Do not bring cotton clothing during your trip as it takes in moisture, leaving you cold and wet. Take water-resistant clothing made of nylon or neoprene.
  • Pants and Shorts: Water resistance matters just as much with your pants and shorts. Having a light pair of shorts for the day and warm, comfortable pants at night will keep you prepared for any kind of weather. Bring along a swimsuit for swimming and rafting!
  • Jackets: You may encounter rainstorms during your stay, so bring a wind-proof and waterproof jacket with a hood. Temperatures can drop quickly so take a fleece jacket to make sure you stay warm.
  • Socks: High-quality socks will keep your feet dry and snug when hiking and prevent injury.
  • Shoes: There are two kinds of shoes you need to take on your journey. Water shoes will prevent slipping during rafting and watersports. And a good pair of hiking boots will make any trail comfortable to traverse.
  • Sunwear: Polarized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat can keep you safe from the heat and sunburns.


  • Bag: A light backpack will help you store all of your gear while being portable and easy on your shoulders. 
  • Lights: Flashlights and headlamps are essential when hiking or exploring landmarks, while lanterns will keep your campsite bright.
  • Water Bottle: It is important to stay hydrated when in warm weather or while you are exercising outdoors. A quality water bottle will keep your drinks cold for long periods.
  • Binoculars: With many mountain peaks, scenic views, and wildlife, a good pair of binoculars will make sure you don’t miss a special moment.
  • First aid kit: A well-stocked first aid kit is great for handling any scrapes you receive while hiking or out in the water.
  • Insect Repellent: Keep bugs away with DEET or oil-based repellents.

Personal Items

  • Snacks: Portable, non-perishable treats like trail mix or protein bars will help keep your energy up in between meals.
  • Bear mace: Jackson Hole is in bear country, so it is prudent to bring mace along for safety. If you cannot bring any mace with you, purchase a canister from a trusted retailer in Jackson Hole when you arrive.
  • Sunscreen: Sunburn can be a real issue in a dry, sunny climate. High SPF, waterproof sunblock will protect you and your loved ones no matter what activity you are doing. Be sure to reapply a new layer according to the instructions on the bottle.

Make Your Time in Jackson Hole Special

With several white water rafting and scenic float trip packages available, Barker Ewing will help make your stay a memorable one. We have the experience, safety measures, and enthusiasm that establish us as the premier rafting company in Jackson Hole. Contact us at 307-733-1000 to schedule your next Wyoming adventure!

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Jackson Hole?

No matter what time of year you visit Jackson Hole, you’ll find no shortage of fun activities to keep you busy. In fact, there’s so much to do here, you could probably visit during every season and have a completely different experience each time! Here are some common questions we get from visitors planning their trips to Jackson Hole.

What Is the Best Month to Visit Wyoming?

The answer to this question depends on what you want to do. Do you and your family love winter sports like downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding? If that’s the case, then you’ll want to visit Jackson Hole during the winter months. Your best chances of visiting when there’s snow on the ground are in December, January, and February; November and March are iffier and sometimes if you’re very lucky, you might encounter snow during the last half of October and the first half of April.

As with many other vacation destinations in the United States, June through August are the most popular months for visiting Wyoming. The weather is warm, kids are out of school, and it’s the perfect time for partaking in outdoor activities like hiking, exploring national parks, mountain biking, and, of course, rafting. Whether you’re interested in the adventure of white water rafting Jackson Hole or a leisurely Snake River float trip where you can enjoy the scenery and spot local wildlife, our offerings are popular with all visitors to the area, from scouts, family reunions, and even wedding groups.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t visit in fall or spring either, though—although the weather is a bit cooler, there are fewer tourists during these times, so if you’re not fond of crowds, this might be the perfect time to plan your trip. Our whitewater rafting and scenic float trips both run during spring and fall months too.

What Is Jackson Hole Famous For?

Jackson Hole is best known for skiing and snowboarding. In fact, Jackson Hole is considered to have some of the best terrain in North America for these winter sports and the ski resorts in town are a testament to how popular winter activities are in the area.

Winter sports are not the only reason to love Jackson Hole. There’s the scenic Snake River, the mountains, national parks, and even a lively arts scene in the city.

How Many Days Do You Need in Grand Teton?

Most visitors plan for spending two or three days in Grand Teton National Park, but it depends on how much you enjoy outdoor activities, what else you have planned for your trip, and how long your stay in Jackson Hole is.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Grand Teton National Park?

To get the most out of your trip, it’s best to visit between mid-May and late September. During this time, all of the park’s activities, visitor centers, and hiking trails are open and available to the general public.

Learn More About Visiting Jackson Hole

We love helping visitors to Jackson Hole learn about the area and everything it has to offer. Contact us today to learn more or to book a rafting trip or scenic float tour.

October Transforms Jackson Hole

October transforms Jackson Hole

Gone are the crowds and delays around the Town Square. Most of the people you’ll sit next to at restaurants are locals. And wildlife are most often spotted this time of year as they prepare for winter.  The shoulder-, or off-season, seems to grow shorter each year in Jackson as more festivals and events draw people to town year round.

October is one of those rare quiet months left before the snow starts to fly and powder hounds descend on the valley, but temperatures have cooled enough that vacationers know this is no longer the time to go for a summer vacation. Town is quieter, but for those seeking an authentic glimpse of Jackson Hole, this is the perfect time to go. Take a wildlife tour and listen to elk bugle. Cast a line on the Snake River and enjoy the solitude. Hike low-elevation trails shrouded with gold and orange leaves.

October shot of the Tetons
For many people who live in the area, this is their favorite time to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Services are limited, but so are the crowds.  But be beware. The weather in Jackson Hole is often unpredictable, especially this time of year. Roads, in particular in Yellowstone National Park, might close due to snow. Carry extra layers and be prepared for snow if you hike.

This is the best time of year to take Jackson Hole wildlife tours. Experienced guides will take you out looking for moose, elk and bears.
The elk mating season, known as “the rut,” runs through October. In the quiet you can hear the shrill bugle the animals make to attract mates.

Snake River Cutthroat
Bears are active this time of year, scouring for extra calories to pack on the pounds before heading to hibernate.
For those looking to more than watch Wyoming’s iconic wildlife, several hunting seasons begin in the fall, attracting sportsmen and women to the area searching for game. Check with Wyoming Game and Fish for season and license information. No matter your activity choice, if you seek quiet and solitude, October is the best time to find it in Jackson Hole.

Teton Pass

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival

Fall Arts Festival

For generations Jackson Hole has attracted artists and one look around the landscape, it’s easy to see why. Inspiration abounds.

But Jackson has become more than just a place for plein air painters to study. It’s one of the top art markets in the United States and each autumn collectors and artists come together to create, view, buy and celebrate art during the Fall Arts Festival.

In its 32nd year, the event runs Sept. 7-18 this year. Galleries feature new and emerging works, as well as pieces from their premier and most beloved artists. Many of the artists spend time in the gallery offering demonstrations or greeting patrons.

Events include a quick draw competition where artists create work with limited time and then sell it. The Western Design Conference brings in more than 130 artists to showcase original furniture, fashion and jewelry.

Historic ranch tours take you inside and behind the scenes of some of the valley’s working ranches. Architects and designers welcome visitors into some of the town’s most exquisite houses during the Showcase of Homes. Taste of the Tetons create culinary works of art to sample at a tasting fair.

The schedule is packed with artist receptions, a wine tasting and one of the premier art auctions in the country.

One of the festival’s highlights, the Palates & Palette Gallery Walk, held this year on Sept. 9, pairs local restaurants with galleries. It’s the perfect evening to get a taste of the art scene, moving from each festive mini-party to the next.

Fall is also a great time to appreciate nature’s works of art  with one of Barker-Ewing’s Grand Teton float trips. They run through Sept. 10. A relaxing Jackson Hole float trip allows you to take in the changing colors and wildlife preparing for winter. You might just find yourself inspired to create your own work of art.