Jackson Hole’s Top Ten Unique Places to Duck Into on a Rainy Day
Jackson Hole is an iconic destination that draws the traveler in to enjoy the outdoors with its spectacular mountains rising dramatically above a river valley. With endless year-round activities ranging from whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and hiking in summer to snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, and skiing in winter, it is the ultimate outdoor lover’s playground. A rainy day, however, can abruptly put a halt to the best of plans for excursions into the great outdoors. Don’t let a downpour put a damper on your day. With these top ten appealing suggestions for rainy-day activities you won’t have to postpone your vacation because of unexpected precipitation.
Certainly, be sure to visit Jackson’s many art galleries to enjoy the creativity that reflects the beauty of the area. Or don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in a book at one of Jackson’s local coffee shops, bookstores, or bakeries. You might even want to schedule a spa treatment to simply relax. These are all great rainy-day options, but here are some sure-fire ideas that are unique enough to sweep you away into the magic of exploration. They are so attractive, you might want to schedule one of these for a sunny day!
Here is our menu of the top ten best rainy day activities in Jackson Hole:
Teton Raptor Center
Encounter raptors up close and personal.
Enthralling as it is to witness a bald eagle gliding gracefully in a thermal high above one of the forested buttes that surround Jackson, it is equally mesmerizing to learn about and observe raptors up close at the Teton Raptor Center, a haven that cares for injured birds. On a rainy day, consider an experiential tour of the Teton Raptor Center at the historic Hardeman Barns in Wilson, Wyoming.
While serving as a refuge for ill, injured, and orphaned owls, falcons, eagles, hawks, and more, the center is also home to raptor conservation and education through their public programs. Raptors are rehabilitated at the facility and when strong enough, they are released back into their wild habitat. Those that do not fully recover become permanent residents and serve as avian ambassadors.
The center’s Hardeman Barns campus is a place to learn about the wonder of birds and the role they serve in the environment. The center offers onsite Raptor Encounter Experiences where visitors can meet the resident raptors and learn about birds of prey in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. These experiences need to be booked in advance, so if you see rain on the radar give them a call. They also offer private group tours by appointment which must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.
Take a tour of a farm — an indoor farm that is, right in the heart of Jackson Hole!
Growing fresh produce in a vertical farm attached to a public parking structure, Vertical Harvest is the first hydroponic vertical greenhouse in North America. And it is right in the heart of Jackson. The “farm” uses underutilized urban space to provide green leafy vegetables, spicy microgreens, and luscious tomatoes year-round to the local community while also supplying area restaurants and grocery stores with fresh, locally grown crops.
Beautifully lit by its pink growing lights, this three-story vertical garden of life provides an engaging indoor outing. Visitors will learn all about the growing and harvesting at the “farm” as well as learn about its employment model which provides meaningful work for underserved populations in a 45-minute tour that takes you on a walk through the entire greenhouse.
National Museum of Wildlife Art
A wild attraction rain or shine!
Ranking fifth out of the 10 best art museums in the United States in USA Today’s 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards, the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s thoughtfully curated art exhibits showcase wild animals from around the world. Its inspiring collection of more than 5,000 wildlife art pieces and sweeping views from its roost high above the valley make it a perfect place to spend any day, especially a rainy one when the mist rises from Flat Creek in the valley below shrouding the landscape in mystery.
The richness of the museum’s permanent collection is reflected by the inclusion of distinguished artists such as Andy Warhol, John James Audubon, and Georgia O’Keeffe, while an appointment-only library houses archival materials including books, journals, and audio recordings allowing the curious to delve deeper into wildlife art and artists. To welcome the entire family, the museum includes a Children’s Discovery Gallery with hands-on activities, animal costumes, and a puppet theatre.
Be sure to enjoy lunch at the Palate restaurant, offering delicious selections of soups, salads, and sandwiches, and stop into the gift shop which has beautifully designed jewelry, toys, books, and more.
Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum
Explore the legacy of Jackson Hole and connect to the history of the valley.
Jackson Hole is chock full of Native American, pioneer, and archeological history, and a visit to the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum introduces the visitor to the storied past of the region which makes for a perfect rainy day excursion.
Permanent exhibits touch on a wide variety of topics so you can be sure to discover something that appeals to each member of your vacationing party. Interesting artifacts, artworks, and displays highlight: American Indians of the Tetons; homesteading in the valley; cattle ranching and the early economy of Jackson Hole; colorful dude ranches; and tourism in Jackson Hole.
Thal Glass Studio
Gain appreciation of a centuries-old art form.
Collaborators Laurie Thal and and Dan Altwies create stunning works in blown glass that reflect the vibrant colors of nature in deep blues, brilliant oranges, and emerald greens. Their gorgeous glass bowls and vases grace global collections and make for unique, special-occasion gifts that are intended to add joy for the collector. Each functional, glass art piece is simple yet elegant by design.
Set up a tour of their private studio through an appointment and go behind-the-scenes to see up close how molten-glass and sandblasting artists work.
As an introduction, take a virtual tour here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp4CH_HC5A0)
Power down and silence your alerts.
For a unique spa-like experience on a rainy day book a sensory deprivation float at Healing Waters to reset and recharge while taking a break from outdoorsy endeavors.
“Float therapy” provides a safe and isolated floating environment that gives your sensory and nervous system a break from the barrage of modern day stimuli and over-booked schedules. The float pods at Healing Waters are filled with gallons of skin-temperature water and almost 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) which provides the buoyancy to float on the surface naturally. As you float weightless in silence, your brain and body enter into a state of deep relaxation.
Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming
Visit Grand Teton National Park through indoor exhibits.
Situated near the banks of the Snake River with an impressive wall of windows opening to the Teton Range the displays here invite discovery, as the center’s moniker implies. Interwoven in the exhibits are themes of place, people, wildlife, nature, preservation, and mountaineering that encourage observations of the present, studies of the past, and thoughtful reflection about the future.
Park rangers stand ready at the information desk to help you plan your visit, answer questions, and issue backcountry or boating permits. Along with the engaging exhibits, there is also a gift shop, ranger programs, and movies.
Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve (open in summer only)
Wait out the weather in a an indoor center at the edge of a nature preserve.
A model for energy and environmental design, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center serves to orient visitors to the Preserve and offers unique sensory-rich experiences that highlight the visual, auditory, and tactile qualities of nature. A poem written by award-winning writer Terry Tempest Williams, recordings of Mr. Rockefeller speaking about conservation, high-definition nature videos, large-scale photography, and a soundscape room with nature recordings from the Preserve complete the experiential exhibits. There is also a welcoming resource room with a fireplace and comfortable chairs that is a relaxing place to explore a variety of books and maps while waiting out the weather.
Take a Drive: Wildlife Watching at Its Best
Take a page from the animals’ playbook.
Another bonus of a rainy day is that the abundant wild animals in the park and around Jackson are much easier to spot in the muted light created by a cloud-covered, shadowless sky than in the harsh light of the afternoon sun. Wild animals pay no attention to the weather, so enjoy the cozy warmth of your personal vehicle or take private tour in a safari-like van to experience the best of what Jackson Hole offers — wildlife viewing.
Top outfitters like Eco Tour Adventures, Backcountry Safaris, and JH Wildlife Safaris can take you on a tour in the warm comfort of one of their luxurious vehicles and show you around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks while offering interesting facts about the geology, wildlife, and history of the area.
Stio Mountain Studio: Gear up and Get Out
Why not gear up and enjoy the outdoors on a rainy day?
Don’t let a soggy day deter you. With the right rain gear, you can stay warm and dry — and enjoy the quiet and near solitude of some precious, popular spaces like Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. On a rainy day, you can have it mostly to yourself, as most everyone else runs for shelter.
First, gear up at Stio Mountain Studio, the flagship store to Jackson’s hometown brand, Stio. The store is located right off the town square in the heart of Jackson Hole and showcases a full collection of Stio apparel, known for its high-quality and functionality inspired by the mountain lifestyle.
Particularly useful on a rainy day are Stio’s waterproof, windproof jackets, and they have a style that is perfect for each member of the family. The women’s Lupine hooded jacket, men’s Lupine hooded jacket and kids’ Rollick hooded jacket are must-have starters. These essential jackets are functional and comfortable — and so stylish that you might want to wear one whenever rain clouds gather — even on a city street.
Let Us Plan Your
There is so much to do in Jackson Hole. Rush downriver in a kayak. Ride horseback through a sea of golden grass. Cast a line into water clear as the sky, while the fish flash by like stars. There’s hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and of course, skiing. The Clear Creek Group affiliates with the best service providers in the area, people as passionate as we are about providing great experiences. We can arrange anything imaginable, from backcountry pack trips and heli-skiing to the selection of a personal chef.