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Old West Days in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is said to be “the last of the Old West” and one of the most special annual events held here celebrates that claim in spades: Old West Days.
Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Jackson Hole's Old West Days

The West lives on in Jackson Hole and the annual event that celebrates that spirit is fittingly called Old West Days. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, it is traditionally hosted over Memorial Day weekend.

Travel + Leisure named Jackson Hole its No. 1 "Best Places to Travel in May" in large part due to the Old West Days celebration of our Western heritage.

The 44th Annual Old West Days will be presented May 17th through May 27th, 2024. The festival features a "Best of the West" parade, the Mountain Man Rendezvous, the beginning of rodeo season, Old West Brew Fest and the launch of stagecoach rides and the infamous Jackson Hole Shootout, among other events. (See the schedule below.)

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Jackson Hole Old West Days Schedule of Events

17th-27th: Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men Celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition.

18: TetonPowWow: A celebration of American Indian culture, presented by Central Wyoming College and Native American Jump Start at Bar J Ranch Event Center at 4200 W Bar J Chuckwagon in Wilson (7 miles from Town Square). Indigenous knowledge keepers will share their rich culture, traditions, dance and history.

21: A new event, the Town Square Seafood Boil, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

22: The Old West Days Ranch Tour will feature two landmark Jackson Hole ranches. It will run from 3 to 8:45 p.m. and starts at the National Elk Refuge and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on Cache.

Jackson Hole Old West Days

25:  Annual Best of the West Parade - 10 a.m. on Town Square. One of the last and best horse-drawn parades of the Old West! Enjoy mountain men, vintage vehicles, covered wagons and the legendary gathering of gunslingers of the West, plus all the community groups that make Jackson Hole so special.

25: Jackson Hole Rodeo opens for the season - jhrodeo.com

25: Old West Family Activities - Teton County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

25: Old West Brew Fest - Teton County Fairgrounds; 11 a.m. -4 p.m. - jacksonholechamber.com

26: Annual Million Dollar Music Fest,  a free, all-ages, big-stage country music concert on the Town Square, presented by the iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. This year's lineup features headliner Trace Adkins and opening act Lauren Alaina. Gates open at 4 p.m. and opening acts begin at 6 p.m. - milliondollarcowboybar.com/musicfest

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

27: Stagecoach Rides - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Stagecoach rides around historic downtown Jackson. Tickets are $6 adult, $4 child.

27: Jackson Hole Shootout - 6 p.m. on Town Square. The longest-running shootout in the country, since 1957. To learn more about the Shootout Gang, click here.

27: American Legion Memorial Service - 10 a.m. on Town Square. Memorial Day ceremonies at the flagpole.

Old West Days Parade - Jackson Hole

Old West Days Parade

The Best of the West Parade steps off in Town Square at 10 a.m. on May 25th. The march was originally a Memorial Day parade before becoming an Old West event more than 40 years ago.

Horses, covered wagons, cowboys of all kinds and mountain men in the garb of the fur trapper era set the tone of the Old West Days theme.

The parade also includes civic groups such as the Jackson Hole Lions Club, Kiwanis, Elks Lodge and Shrine Club, as well as Teton County Fair and Rodeo Royalty, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, the Bar T-5 Chuckwagon and local ranches, plus dozens of other community groups, illustrating what makes Jackson Hole the Best in the West.

Fun Fact

Jackson Hole was originally called Jackson’s Hole, named after fur trapper Davey Jackson who came to the area in 1822, along with fellow trappers Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and William Sublette. Trappers often referred to any valley or depression between mountain ranges as a “hole.” Eventually, the apostrophe “s” was dropped and the valley has been known as Jackson Hole ever since.  

It is said that Jackson attended the first Mountain Man Rendezvous in the Green River area of Wyoming in 1825.

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Mountain Man Rendezvous

If you like history and you like romance, you are going to like the Jackson Hole Mountain Man Rendezvous.

This decades-old event has been a tradition in the valley and a focal point of the annual Old West Days weekend festivities.

Tipis, tomahawks and buckskin-attired mountain men (and women) aren’t the usual inhabitants of Teton County Fairgrounds. But a blast from Jackson Hole’s past will be in residence at the rodeo grounds until Memorial Day (May 27th), allowing a look back into the fur-trade era of the Wild West. The rendezvous traditionally begins during ElkFest and continues through Old West Days. There is no fee to attend this throwback experience to the Old West.