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This summer, campgrounds across the country are seeing spikes in visitation because of the pandemic. RV sales and rentals are skyrocketing as families seek to venture out of their homes while staying safe. Camping has been named a lower-risk activity and more and more people are seeking out outdoor recreation experiences for their summer vacations. Since Jackson Hole is prime camping location, we are here to share our Top 5 Jackson Hole Campgrounds with you.
Atherton Creek Campground, Bridger-Teton National Forest
A 21-site campground located on the bank of Lower Slide Lake, approximately 30 minutes from the Town of Jackson. This handicap accessible campground features a boat ramp, sites for tent and RV camping, picnic tables, vault toilets, and drinking water. Given its proximity to Jackson, some locals will make a daytrip to Slide Lake to paddleboard, canoe, or go fishing. For more information, click here.
Lizard Creek Campground, Grand Teton National Park
The Lizard Creek campground is 11 miles south of Yellowstone and eight miles north of Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton National Park providing easy access to both parks. The campsites are in a spruce and fir forest on the shores of Jackson Lake. All sites at Lizard Creek are “first-come, first-served.” For more information, click here.
East Table Campground, Snake River Canyon
East Table Campground features 19 single-family sites overlooking the Snake River Canyon only 30 minutes south of Jackson. This is a great basecamp, if you plan to go rafting on the river. Arrive early to snag a spot, as all the Bridger-Teton campgrounds are on a “first come, first served basis.” For more information, click here.
Turpin Meadow Campground, Bridger-Teton National Forest
The picturesque Turpin Meadow Campground is located 17 miles East of the Moran, WY Junction on the Buffalo Valley Road. Its prime location between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park make for a great spot for multi-day excursions. Turpin Meadow Campground is outfitted with 14 standard campsites, 4 pull through sites, 2 double-unit vault restrooms, and 1 single-unit vault restroom. For more information, click here.
Granite Creek Campground, Bridger-Teton National Forest
Nestled along the scenic Granite Creek, this campground boasts 51 sites. Granite Falls is a short walk north of the campground, and about 0.7 miles north of the campground is the Granite Hot Springs Pool. Multiple hiking trails are nearby. No reservations necessary, as all of the Bridger-Teton campgrounds are on a “first-come, first served basis.” Granite Creek Campground is located 33 miles, 48 minutes south from the town of Jackson, Wyoming. For more information, click here.
Remember to stay safe by wearing a mask when you can’t maintain 6 feet distance between others, and check with local entities ahead of your trip to get the latest information on the area’s public health status and regulations.
During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that we as locals do our part in supporting the many small businesses that make Jackson Hole such a special place to call home. With tourism declining in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our local businesses need our patronage in order to keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll. The Prugh Real Estate team is 100% on board with this effort, even as we work from home and practice physical distancing. You too can make an impact from the convenience of your home!
Restaurants are making it as easy as possible to order takeout with online ordering, contact-free curbside pickup, and some even offering free (or low cost) local delivery.
Here’s How You Can Help
- Buy gift certificates online from your favorite local stores and restaurants. You can spend them later, or gift them to a friend or loved one as a way of saying “thanks!”
- Order takeout from local restaurants. Here’s an up-to-date list of restaurants that are open for business. Don’t forget to tip!
- Send a Quarantine Box to a friend or colleague like these from MADE and Mountain Dandy. Local and out of town delivery available.
- Sign-up for a weekly box of Local Love subscription featuring fresh produce from Vertical Harvest, meats from Bovine & Swine, baked goods from Persephone Bakery.
- Give a donation to a local nonprofit organization. They need our support, too.
Jackson’s business community is going above and beyond to meet the evolving needs of the local population by offering online alternatives to their regular services – from online yoga and workout regimens to free programming to entertain our children during spring break. We’re in this together. Let’s rally hard to keep Jackson Hole’s small businesses viable.
Jackson Hole’s “off-season” comes with perks for locals and visitors alike. As tourism wanes from the summer months, many restaurants in the valley offer shoulder season discounts while showing their support for the community’s nonprofit organizations (think: dining out for a cause).
Here’s a roundup of our favorite off-season dining deals:
Pizzeria Caldera: 2-fer Everyday: Buy one 12-inch pizza and get your second for $2. That $2 will go to the three local non-profits Pizzeria Caldera is supporting with your help. Special is available for dine-in or carry out.
Orsetto Italian Bar and Eatery: Starting October 1, buy one entrée, get the second for $2. The $2 will support a local nonprofit.
Blue Lion: Two-for-one entrees start Wednesday, October 23. Closed on Tuesdays through December 3.
Trio: Two-for-one dinner entrees will be available nightly, October 21-November 16. Mention the deal to your server. Closing November 17-December 4.
Rendezvous Bistro: Buy one entrée during dinner and get the second for $2, now through November 24. The $2 will be donating to a rotating local nonprofit. Closed Sundays and Mondays in November.
Gather: Two-for-one entrees start October 21. Must mention the deal to your server.
Since a number of restaurants will close for a period of time during the fall, we highly recommend calling in advance to avoid disappointment.
An interview with Grand Teton National Park Foundation President, Leslie Mattson
In 1997, a small group of advocates gathered together with this intention: “Grand Teton National Park should have a visitor center that rivals its magnificence.”
Ten years and and $25 million later, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center was built —a state-of-the-art facility funded through a combination of congressional appropriation and private-sector gifts. The project garnered national attention and laid the groundwork for the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.
Over the years, the Foundation has championed numerous initiatives for park improvements, protection, research, and education. Today, through an array of innovative fundraising efforts, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation has raised more than $50 million for park projects.
On August 25 of 2016, the National Park Service celebrates its centennial birthday, which means it’s a perfect time to honor the impact of the National Park Service. It is also a time to lay the groundwork for continued conservation efforts and park enjoyment in the next 100 years.
To share in the celebration, we bring you the voice of Grand Teton National Park Foundation President Leslie Mattson who not only champions conservation and improvement efforts, but is also a dedicated educator and advocate for the organization.
Happy Birthday to the National Park Service from one of the 307.2 million who delved into your wonders last year.
Leslie Mattson, President Grand Teton National Park Foundation
PRE: Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be involved with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.
Leslie Mattson: I’m passionate about protecting this area’s beautiful open spaces. I spent 13 years overseeing the Jackson Hole Land Trust and joined the Foundation in 2004. Educating people about National Park support has been a great way to give back to a place that has played a huge role in my life. I want people to care about these special landscapes and be inspired by them.
PRE: Describe some of the primary efforts funded by your organization.
LM: GTNPF funds projects that enhance the Park’s cultural, historic, and natural resources as well as initiatives that improve visitor experiences and engage young people.
On an annual basis, we support wildlife research and protection, youth programs, and historic preservation. We are also approaching the end of a major capital campaign—Inspiring Journeys: A Campaign for Jenny Lake—to improve Grand Teton’s most iconic destination in celebration of the National Park Service centennial on August 25th. This $18 million public-private effort is restoring backcountry trails and front country visitor services for the next 100 years at Jenny Lake.
PRE: What initiatives are you most excited about/working towards in 2016?
LM: Our newest initiative is an effort to raise $23 million by the end of 2016 to help purchase state-owned land that lies in the heart of Grand Teton National Park. The parcel, known as Antelope Flats, is 640 acres and valued at $46 million.
We are working with the Washington DC-based National Park Foundation to raise half of the purchase price by the end of the year. The other half, $23 million, will come from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. If we do not meet our goal, the land could go to auction and has the potential to be developed.
Elk are just one of many species of wildlife that utilize the Antelope Flats Parcel.
PRE: The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. Can you tell us about your new programming, and how these efforts support the goals set forth in the NPS 2016 Call to Action Plan?
LM: A main focus of the NPS centennial is engaging the next generation of park stewards who reflect the diverse population of the US. To achieve this goal, we are supporting two additional youth programs. Mountains to Main Street Urban Ambassador Program actively engages urban youth through leadership of young adults who are serving as park ambassadors. We also support a Student Conservation Association trail crew that is currently working to improve over 50 miles of trails in the park.
Incredible views on the Hermitage Point trail.
PRE: How can individuals and organizations can contribute to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation?
LM: Individuals and organizations can contribute to the Foundation by supporting a specific program area—like Prugh Real Estate who generously supported our winter grooming program last season—or by giving to our annual fund that helps cover the Foundation’s operations. In addition, individuals and organizations can give in-kind gifts, such as materials for our Jenny Lake renewal project or outdoor gear for our youth trail crew.
PRE: How else can people get involved with your organization?
LM: Get involved with the park. Throughout the summer and fall, there is a community volunteer day each Thursday where people can help improve trails throughout Grand Teton. We also post other activities and events throughout the year on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—follow along for the Foundation’s most up-to-date news.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gtnpf/?fref=ts
Twitter – https://twitter.com/GrandTetonFdn
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/grandtetonfoundation/
Grand Teton National Park – https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm
Some come to Jackson Hole for the outdoor adventure, others arrive to pursue an entrepreneurial dream, while many are simply seeking a community of like-minded people. The Jackson Hole lifestyle is what makes this valley the place to visit and live..
The backbone of our strong local economy is tourism. With record visitation expected and a controversial housing market, how do we remain welcoming and not become another mass-market tourist attraction?
We spoke to Kate Foster, Communications Manager for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce about the future of tourism in Teton County.
Q: The last recession hit JH hard. What initiatives is the Chamber taking to help avoid this in the future?
This is a resilient community.
Mountain men explored this part of the Oregon Territory after members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition skirted it in the early nineteenth century; they were the first to document the region.
Eventually, settlers came to enjoy the region’s opportunities. However, the designation of the federal public lands changed the valley’s character by fostering, in part, the decline of ranching and spurring interest in the area as a tourist destination.
Today, almost 97 percent of Teton County is public land, making private real estate and housing valuable. Jackson Hole still experiences tremendous pressure to grow and develop. Tourism remains the most important industry as millions of visitors come to experience the scenery, wildlife, recreation, and geographic features.
The Chamber’s engagement in sustainable tourism trends help the Jackson Hole community preserve a respectful connection to the land that makes it famous.
Working with our local and state legislators has become a key focus. We help organize an event during the annual Wyoming Legislative Session that allows Chamber representatives and local business owners to meet and network with legislators from around the state to help educate them about the importance of tourism.
Q: With expected record visitation and controversial housing markets, how can the Chamber help alleviate this stress to the community and local economy?
While increased summer visitation has also increased stress, the community still experiences significant drops between Labor Day and Memorial Day. We want to help the community develop a more sustainable, year-round economy. Special events like Memorial Day Old West Days and Labor Day Fall Arts Festival both draw visitors during shoulder seasons..
Fifteen years ago a lot of businesses closed for the winter, but the expansion of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the upgrade of Jackson Hole Airport with direct connections to national hubs, boosted tourism enough to help local businesses stay open year-round.
JHMR recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and on-mountain improvements continue to draw everyone from hard-core skiers to families with children who are still learning how to make a pizza slice with their little skis.
As we continue to grow, the Chamber is very conscious of maintaining a sustainable level of tourism. Residents can rest assured that we are working every day to ensure a great future for Teton County.
Sometimes it might feel like this town is bursting at the seams, but there is a bright, sustainable future for Jackson. With the help of the Chamber of Commerce and their initiatives, we continue to seek the perfect balance to sustain tourism, local business and that small mountain town community we all love.
The first of its kind, Vertical Harvest set out to prove that the origin of our food not only shapes our health, but our community as well. Providing a sustainable solution for fresh produce in the Town of Jackson, Vertical Harvest caught the eye of filmmaker Jennifer Tennican.
Filming the first year of operation, Tennican takes us behind the scenes of co-founders Penny McBride and Nona Yehia’s work to bring the multi-story greenhouse to life in the Town of Jackson, WY in Hearts of Glass.
Prugh: What do you hope to achieve with this film?
Jennifer Tennican: With “Hearts of Glass” we hope to introduce the world to a highly visible, controversial, expensive, and ingenious project of Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole. In addition to providing a year-round crop of vegetables and fruits to community members, the project was developed to offer consistent, meaningful jobs to Jackson residents with disabilities.
One thing we are excited about is telling the story from various points of view, including some of the employees with disabilities. These are voices we don’t hear from regularly in the media. By giving these folks the chance to speak for themselves, we can deepen the public’s awareness of their capabilities, desires, and needs.
P: What attracted you to do a film on Vertical Harvest?
JT: As a storyteller, I look for engaging characters and untold stories. The common theme running through all my work is community. My films explore how we achieve a sense of belonging and what that gives us.
Vertical Harvest is a project that has engaged and at times polarized the community. The project’s goal is to improve our town by providing literal and figurative nourishment (food and jobs). Whether it will achieve its goal is part of the drama that will unfold over the first year of operation.
Most of all, it’s unique, timely, and in my backyard. The story is chock full of interesting people. It’s THE film for me to make right now with the help of Slow Food in the Tetons.
P: What message do you want viewers to walk away with from the film?
JT: This kind of feels like a spoiler to me.
I would like viewers to walk away from the film feeling a couple of things:
Whether or not viewers agree that Vertical Harvest was a good idea (fiscally, socially, etc.), I hope they can recognize the value of such a visible, expensive and controversial project in bringing a spotlight to members of our community with disabilities. As Eileen Prugh said “it is a gift to a small town.”
If they donated to make the film a reality, I hope they’ll feel proud they helped create a terrific independent documentary.
P: What is your favorite story from filming this?
JT: We filmed the employee orientation several weeks ago and during the presentation Joelle Lazzareschi (Educational Coordinator) and Caroline Croft Estay (Employment Facilitator) played a short video called “Don’t Limit Me.” (Watch the Don’t Limit Me Video)
The YouTube video features Megan Bomgaars, a cast member on the television show “Born This Way.” Megan is a high school student with Down Syndrome and in the video she addresses her school’s faculty. She asks them to teach her life and work skills so she can be independent, to respect her, and to have clear and reasonable expectations for her. Her big message is “everyone matters.”
Many [employees] had a story to share about people having low expectations, saying unkind things or “not getting them.” Watching the video and the reactions of Megan’s audience reminded me of my unconscious biases and the real effect they can have on people.
P: What sort of push-back did you witness from the community concerning Vertical Harvest?
JT: It’s a controversial project in many ways – it’s expensive, it’s untested, it’s a public private partnership – so it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be opposition.
I think that was the time when hard questions were asked about the economic feasibility of the project and whether the use of the land was appropriate. As I understand it, various proposals were in competition, including affordable housing. The selection of Vertical Harvest created some conversation about priorities in the community.
Our goal is to tell a nuanced story about the challenges of the greenhouse’s first year of life through various characters. Those characters will range from enthusiasts to skeptics.
Filming is underway as the Vertical Harvest staff ramps up for the anticipated opening in June. Fundraising and filming will happen concurrently throughout the first year of operation. Post-production will occur during the summer/fall of 2017. Visit www.facebook.com/HeartsOfGlassFilm
Jennifer anticipates a finished film by winter of 2017/spring 2018. Gifts in support of Hearts of Glass should be directed to Slow Food In The Tetons/ attn: Hearts of Glass, Slow Food In The Tetons, PO Box 1087, Jackson, WY 83001.