For those looking to escape into the rugged wilderness and experience the best wildlife and mountain landscapes that North America has to offer, look no further than the Cowboy State.
The Northwest Corner of Wyoming, home to Jackson Hole and the Teton and Wind River Ranges, is as wild as they come. The 22 million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the largest intact temperate ecosystem on Earth. There is an abundance of wildlife and solitude awaiting you in this far north corner of the Rocky Mountain chain.
With so many ways and subregions to explore, your first visit to Northwest Wyoming can be intimidating. Start by picking a locale that speaks to you and go from there – we guarantee your first visit to the Jackson Hole area will not be your last!
Where to Explore
The Wind River Range
The Wind River Range, or Winds, is one of this country’s best-kept mountain secrets. Slightly out of the way and impressively rugged, the Winds see far fewer visitors than the neighboring mountains around Jackson Hole.
This range runs for about 100 miles southeast to northwest and sits atop the Continental Divide. It is home to the highest peak in Wyoming, Gannett Peak at 13,802 feet, and 19 of the next 20 tallest mountains in the state.
The region is protected as a national forest and wilderness area, and makes up the southern bound of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. If you are looking for massive granite peaks and cirques, colorful wildflowers, countless alpine lakes and streams, and, above all, solitude, head to the Winds.
The backyard Teton Range of Jackson, WY, is another sight to behold. While these mountains only run for 40 miles north to south, they sit on their fault line, making their relief incredibly impressive.
The Grand Teton is the highest peak in this range, summiting out at an impressive 13,775 feet above sea level and rising over 6,500 feet from the valley floor. The Tetons are an alpinist dreamscape, with miles of trail systems and countless routes up some of the country’s most distinguished peaks.
Pair that with the wildflowers and wildlife that call these mountains home, and you will quickly discover that one visit simply isn’t enough.
The valley nestled between the Teton Range to the west and Gros Ventre Mountains to the east is known as Jackson Hole. It has quickly become this country’s premier mountain destination. With the bustling little town of Jackson, WY serving as its hub, Jackson Hole provides everything that any nature lover could want.
Jackson Hole is smack dab in the middle of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and is thus the top wildlife viewing destination on our list. With easy access to the Tetons, Wyoming Range, and Gros Ventre Mountains, Jackson Hole is the perfect catchall destination for those looking to experience a little bit of everything.
Of the two trip styles offered, our backpacking trips in the Winds, Tetons, and Jackson Hole are the more physically demanding. Backpacking trips vary in terms of distance covered, days out, and physical demand. For every trip, we carry all we need for the entire adventure in our packs. Your guide will lead you through awe-inspiring alpine terrain by foot, setting up camp at the end of each day spent hiking through wildflower meadows or over mountain passes. Some of these adventures include summit pushes on nearby peaks.
If carrying a heavy backpack doesn’t sound desirable, but exploring the deep wilderness landscapes of the Jackson Hole area does, consider a llama trek. This style of trip is designed to get groups out into the mountains of Wyoming with the help of llama porters. Our four-legged friends will pack in all overnight gear (drinks, top of the line backcountry food, camping equipment, etc.), and you will only be responsible for a small pack with daily essentials (water, snacks, cameras, layers, etc.). Llama treks enable groups to explore even more of the Winds, Tetons, or Jackson Hole, travel lighter and quicker through the backcountry, and arrive at camp with a bit more energy than if porting their gear.
Need to Know
It's our pleasure to cover all the trip logistics during your trip. However, you must arrange transport to and from your trip starting point along with lodging for before and after your adventure. Therefore, let's discuss some planning advice.
Primary Starting City
Whether backpacking or llama trekking, all of our trips in the Jackson Hole area will depart from Jackson, WY.
This quaint mountain town boasts itself as “The Last of the Old West” and is certainly worth spending some extra time on the front or back end of your Wildland Trekking adventure. You will meet the rest of the group and your guide at a predetermined hotel in Jackson for a pre-trip orientation meeting the evening before departure.
Wildland Trekking will pick you up at your lodging of choice and transport you and the rest of the group to the trailhead – whether that be in the Winds, Tetons, Gros Ventres, or Wyoming Ranges.
For all of our Jackson Hole area llama treks and backpacking trips, your lodging will be in the most scenic and beautiful locations imaginable while on the trail. Wildland Trekking will provide industry best tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, technical packs, and trekking poles. The organization covers park entrance fees and permits, and meals are provided while on an expedition.
You are responsible for lodging before and after your trek, and, as noted above, Jackson, WY, will serve as our jumping-off point. If you are looking for a hotel recommendation, we suggest the Mountain Modern Motel – call and mention that you're hiking with Wildland Trekking for the chance to receive a discount.
Jackson is a fun quintessential mountain town with many fun bars and restaurants, incredible trails that are easily accessible from town, and a variety of outfitters ready to take you on any number of adventures. If you have the time, Wildland Trekking encourages you to spend a little extra time in and around Jackson, WY, to bookend your experience with us.
You are responsible for getting yourself to Jackson, WY, in time for the pre-trip meeting the evening before departure. There is a commercial airport in Jackson – the only one operating within the bounds of a national park – and the drive to Jackson is beautiful no matter which direction you are traveling from.
Salt Lake City has the nearest international airport, typically with cheaper airfare. If you fly into SLC, you will need to drive approximately 5 hours north to Jackson.
Once in Jackson, Wildland Trekking will take care of the rest. We will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the trailhead at the start of our expedition and deliver you back to Jackson upon completion.
For more information, visit our travel resources page.
Have more questions? Send us an email or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453). We're here 7 days a week from 9:00 to 4:30 Mountain Time to make sure your trip planning goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information about all your options, check out our Wyoming page on the website with the button below! Individual trip pages have detailed itineraries, trip specifics, travel information, and more.