Though Elkfest’s main event is most assuredly the auction, other entertainments attract visitors and bidders alike including sales of fest-themed items such as T-shirts and billed caps, casino games and a silent auction, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Big Game Banquet and Fundraising Dinner. Other big draws: the High Noon Chili Cook-Off during which amateur and professional teams compete for top prizes, and the colorful Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders Row during which feats of prowess with bows and arrows, knives and the ancient spear-shaped hunting weapon known as atlatls fascinate all comers.
An insider's guide to Wyoming and Montana from the New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Kelly Lynch writes: “Im in America’s west not to spot Hollywood celebrities, but wildlife. It’s autumn, and the big four — bears, bison, moose, and elk — are on the move, foreign and finding shelter before the long winter ahead.”
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Work through built-up stress by getting out of town and into nature. Get your heart rate up with morning fly-fishing or horseback riding before settling into a relaxing fall afternoon at a spa, like Brush Creek Ranch near Saratoga or Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole.
Dream up your wildest outdoor adventures and Jackson, Wyoming, will come to mind. The downtown streets feature rustic architecture reminiscent of its early days along the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and nearby Grand Teton National Park will inspire your own inner explorer. If a bird’s-eye view of one of the most beautiful places in the world is on your bucket list, paragliding over Jackson will do the trick.
Tourism generated from the National Parks centennial will be missed next summer, but a total solar eclipse during mid-August 2017 is expected to draw huge crowds to Jackson and continue growth in the shoulder seasons. The Chamber of Commerce reported that hotels are already filling up for that time. In fact at least one hotel completely sold out for the eclipse two years ago.
The 11-day-event, taking place Sept. 7 -18, 2016, is expected to draw some 30,000 visitors to this mountain resort town known as “the last of the Old West.” Although small in size, Jackson is grand in culture, home to more than 50 art galleries, a vibrant center for the arts, a national museum and numerous arts organizations.
When starting this feature, I was writing a travel piece on everything that Jackson Hole has to offer. What I found was a culinary experience worth its own showcase. The restaurants in this list are only a sampling of the various dining that Jackson Hole brings to the table.
The motto of Wyoming is “Roam Free.” In a wide-open state such as this, filled with towering mountain ranges, glacial lakes, dense forests and seemingly endless prairies, roaming is practically demanded of the visitor — exploration of the gorgeous natural resources found here calls in the national parks, rustic and laid-back towns, and the deeply rooted Western spirit.
“The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Wort Hotel’s Silver Dollar Bar and the Stagecoach Bar all offer incredible western dancing opportunities," said Kate Foster, communications manager for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. "You see visitors and locals of all ages enjoying the dance floors.”
Last week I flew into Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a long weekend exploring state #42 on my 50 by 50 quest to see all 50 US states by the time I turn 50 this September. My dog Selma and boyfriend Keith were along for the ride! Flights in and out are pretty spectacular, themselves - the small airstrip is right in the midst of Grand Teton National Park, with the towering snow-covered mountain peaks surrounding the airplanes as they take off and land.