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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Jackson Hole & Grand Teton Travel Updates

How will Jackson Hole and Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks “look” this spring and summer in the age of Covid-19? Well, the incredible scenery never changes, yet some Coronavirus precautions may affect your experience a tiny bit. Yes, the world can still be a bit unpredictable even now, but a vacation to Jackson Hole is always predictably unforgettable. Our community has been doing its level best to flatten the curve and we hope things are more normal-ish this summer. We’ll keep you updated on what to do, where to stay, play and eat, any travel restrictions, and more.
Snake River Overlook - Grand Teton National Park

Quick Facts

  • Grand Teton National Park is closed to vehicular traffic past the Taggart Lake trailhead but will re-open on May 1st.
  • The park's Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose opens May 1st. The park is implementing preventive measures and mitigation actions to reduce the spread of infectious disease. Park visitor centers will be open with limited capacity and limited visitor services, and staff will be stationed in the vicinity of most visitor centers to engage with visitors and provide information.
  • The Colter Bay Visitor Center opens May 7th; Jenny Lake's center on May 16th; and Laurance Rockefeller's center on May 30th.
  • Yellowstone National Park is closed from its east, south and west entrances although all will re-open on or around May 1st.
  • Operations at Grand Teton Lodge Company properties (lodges and campgrounds) will be modified for the 2021 summer season. At this time, there are no anticipated impacts to existing guest camping reservations. However, please note that some ancillary facilities and services—including restaurants, activities, and retail operations—may have revised operating dates and/or times, may be subject to capacity constraints, may not be open/operating, or may have other modifications or limitations in available service.  These plans are subject to change at any time as necessary.  In support of the President’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing , all individuals are required to wear a mask or other acceptable face covering when inside, in line, gathered for services at the park's public facilities, interacting with employees, or outdoors on NPS-administered lands when social distancing is not possible.
  • If you are planning on camping in Grand Teton National Park this summer, please note a BIG change: campgrounds are available by reservation only, six months in advance at recreation.gov. Also, Yellowstone National Park has also announced that advanced reservations for Mammoth, Slough Creek and a portion of Pebble Creek campgrounds are open for dates six months in advance at recreation.gov. Advanced reservations for Bridge Bay, Madison, Canyon and Grant Village campgrounds as well as Fishing Bridge RV Park are currently available at yellowstonenationalparklodges.com.
  • Restaurants in Jackson Hole are open for both inside and outside seating, albeit some are still at reduced capacity.
  • Astoria Hot Springs, located just 15-20 minutes south of Jackson, opened in September 2020. It boasts five soaking/swimming pools. Reservations are required in advance for one of three daily soaking times of two-hour-fifteen-minute sessions beginning at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.  In addition to reduced capacity for the facility, strict capacity limits will be in place for individual pools, with social distancing outside of individual family groups necessary.
    Masks are required when not soaking. Visit astoriahotspringspark.org.
Eco Tour Adventures - Jackson Hole Wildlife Tours

There Are Plenty Of Things To Do Even In The Covid-19 Era

Hiking and biking in this great outdoor playground we call home in the Tetons are two obvious activities that are safe for you and/or your family. However, there are also other fun things to do—albeit with a slight twist—in this Covid-19 era.

GUIDED WILDLIFE TOURS

Doesn't every visitor to the Jackson Hole area want to see wildlife?  Bears, elk, moose, bison and bald eagles are but a few of the wild things people want to spot. One of the best ways to assure such a sighting is with a guided wildlife tour operator. And this year, wildlife tour companies will be taking some extra precautions to keep guests safe.

EcoTour Adventures, for example, has instituted the following policies (check its website for tour times and reservations):

  • Private-only tours through the end of August
  • Temperature checks for guides
  • Staff showing signs and symptoms of Covid-19 will not work without being tested beforehand.
  • All touchable surfaces, including optics and iPads, will be disinfected before and after every tour. 
  • Staff will use masks and gloves whenever possible.
  • Guests will be supplied with personal hand sanitizer and encouraged to wear masks, which will be available from ETA.

Scenic Safaris is also practicing heightened cleaning and sanitizing. The company offers guided tours into both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Visit scenic-safaris.com for more information.

Teton Science Schools’ Wildlife Expeditions is offering private tours only but at a special price so more groups can enjoy the experience. Visit tetonscience.org.

Related story: "Jackson Hole Wildlife Tours: The Essentials"

 

SCENIC FLOATS and WHITEWATER TRIPS


No trip to Jackson Hole is really complete without a "voyage" on the famous Snake River. The mighty river runs through Grand Teton National Park, the town of Jackson and down the Snake River canyon. To accomplish this bucket list trip item you have your choice of embarking on a quiet scenic float or an exhilarating whitewater adventure. Doing both is also quite special!

Dave Hansen Whitewater and Scenic River Trips will begin its scenic floats and whitewater trips on May 1st. Some of the company's policies for summer 2021 include the following:

Guests will be called 48 hours prior to the trip to make sure they are feeling healthy and have not been in contact with a person known to have Covid-19. If they have, the 48-hour cancellation policy will be waived and the customer will be fully refunded.
If guests feel more comfortable driving themselves to the river, the company will arrange a shuttle for the driver back to their car at the end of the trip.
All equipment (life jackets, helmets, paddles, rafts and wetsuits) will be cleaned and disinfected between each use.

Jackson Hole's oldest whitewater rafting/scenic float company, Barker-Ewing, will start its whitewater and rafting trips down the Snake River Canyon and scenic floats through Grand Teton National Park on May 3rd. There will be smaller groups on rafts this season. For reservations and information call 307-733-1000 or visit barker-ewing.com.

Mad River Boat Trips — which has been serving rafters for more than 40 years — also has Covid-19 protocols in place. Call 800-458-7238 or visit mad-river.com for more information.

 

HORSEBACK TRAIL RIDES

You're in the Wild, Wild West, so why not get your cowboy on? A guided horseback ride is just the ticket. Spring Creek Ranch’s Castagno Outfitters is open for trail rides. Take in unique views of the Teton Range, the town of Jackson and the surrounding area from atop your well-trained steed.
The outfitter's Covid-19 operation procedures include:
After each ride, saddles and reins are wiped down with a sanitizer.
All horses will be rotated so the saddles, etc. have some time between use.
Guests will be directed to a waiting area around the stables to wait for their ride, so as to respect the social distancing guidelines.
During your ride, all horses will maintain a single file line with all horses remaining six feet or more apart.

Related Stories: "Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole: The Essentials" "Jackson Hole Whitewater Trips: The Essentials" "Things To Do in Jackson Hole in Summer"

 

PLAY AT THE SKI RESORTS

All three area ski resorts—Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Mountain Resort—offer many summer activities on their mountains and bases, year in and year out. At each mountain resort, frequent sanitization of all high-touch man-made surfaces and safety gear will occur as much as possible throughout the day. Mask-wearing is encouraged in retail shops.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers the Bridger Gondola for sightseeing and the disc golf course will also be open. The Aerial Tram, however, will not be operating this summer (2021). The summer season at the resort begins Saturday, May 22nd with the operation of the Bridger Gondola. New this summer, the Sweetwater Gondola will open on Saturday, June 12th in addition to
Teewinot Chairlift to expand the JH Bike Park with three new trails and more than 1,000 vertical feet of advanced and expert terrain in addition to the classic Bike Park terrain off Teewinot. The Via Ferrata climbing area, bungee trampoline and climbing wall will be available for family adventure. Masks while inside are encouraged. Visit jacksonhole.com for more details.

Snow King Mountain will open its summer season on May 28th. Reservations are recommended for Tree Top Adventure. The Bungee Trampoline will open on June 19th. The Alpine Slide, Amaz'n Maze, Cowboy Coaster and mini-golf are other activities available. The Scenic Chairlift will be closed this summer during the construction of the new Summit Gondola. The new gondola is scheduled to open in December of 2021. For updates visit snowkingmountain.com.

Grand Targhee Mountain Resort will welcome visitors to its bike park in June, as well as hiking and trail running. For more specifics, visit grandtarghee.com.

Jackson Hole Aerial Tram

Jackson Hole Event Cancellations/Changes Due to Covid

The Center for the Arts will is not holding many live events at this point in time but will continue virtual content with regional talent (jhcenterforthearts.org).

• Old West Days and Elkfest are canceled for May 2021, however, Elkfest is being postponed until October 2.

The Aerial Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will not be in operation this summer so that extensive scheduled maintenance can be conducted through early fall in preparation for next winter’s operation.

After having to cancel concerts in summer 2020, the Grand Teton Music Festival's 60th season will kick off July 2nd and run until August 21st. Outdoor performances at the Center for the Arts' Park for larger audiences begin the season for the first two weeks, then return to socially distanced,  indoor performances for six weeks in Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village. Visit gtmf.org for more details.

Both Grand Targhee Resort's Targhee Music and Grand Targhee Bluegrass festivals are canceled for summer 2021 due to uncertainty around Covid-19.

Jackson Hole Community Covid-19 Info & Links

  • "Clean, Careful, Connected" guidelines — Clean: Please remember to wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes. Careful: Please wear a cloth face covering when in confined spaces and shopping indoors. Our community has put forth tremendous effort to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and we would ask that you follow suit to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Connected: To learn more about our most up-to-date health orders and phased safety measures, please go to tetonwyo.org
  • Community website for COVID-19
  • Teton County Dashboard

The Status of Lodging

The photo above is of the Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole.

Hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast lodging options are open in Jackson Hole and Teton Village. All, if not most, are offering flexible cancellation policies and new, rigorous health and safety protocols. Precautions such as contactless check-in/check-out and protective mask-wearing requirements by all hotel staff and guests exist in some form or another. 

Jackson Hole Zoom Virtual Background

Download Zoom Backgrounds

Impress your colleagues and friends with these Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone Zoom backgrounds. Click to view.