Summer in the Tetons? Magical. People here say, “locals came for the winter, but stayed for the summer” — so true. I moved out west 16 years ago to ski. I still love it, but as the full-time working mom of 18-month-old Fiona, skiing isn’t at the top of the priority list anymore. There’s still lots of fun to be had and we take advantage of that. With the long days of summer sunshine (the sun sets around 9 pm), there is plenty of time, too, for activities with a young family.
Here are some of Fiona’s favorites:
1. Hiking and biking: Guests at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole can head down to Basecamp to speak to an adventure concierge about the best hikes or rides for their family. There are lots of trails and paths for all levels and ages; including with or without four-legged friends. Basecamp has mountain and cruiser bikes (plus an electric option, if you need a little help on the ride back); Kelty carriers and Chariot strollers that can be attached to a bike.
Fiona loves to smell the wild flowers, point out the mountains and listen for birds. Sometimes she even takes her afternoon nap on the trail. In her Chariot, she hollers, “Faster, Daddy, faster!” and squeals with delight. Biking to the Jackson Hole Farmer’s Market on Saturdays is a family tradition. Fiona loves to taste the samples and dance to the music in the park.
2. Scenic aerial tram or gondola ride: a ride up the tram or gondola is a must for any summer visit to Jackson Hole. You whisk up 4,139 feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain to take in views of the valley, surrounding peaks and Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also has many other summer adventures for little ones: adventure camps (all ages), hiking and biking trails, climbing wall and bungee trampoline, and outdoor concerts.
3. Camping: Fiona’s first camping trip was an overnight to Shadow Mountain. We had a “condo-tent” with two rooms — ample for all of us, including our two beagles Molson and Libby. The views were spectacular. Fi loved her first taste of s’mores toasted on the campfire and the novelty of sleeping in a tent.
4. Wildlife Safari: No visit to Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole is complete without taking a wild-life safari with a Resort Naturalist who will customize a trip through Grand Teton National Park for you about the wildlife, geography, geology and history of the region — all while playing wildlife bingo spotting moose, elk, bears, bison, eagles and wolves. Fiona, lucky to live here, had seen many of these animals already. Her favorite so far is the family of owls who live in our neighborhood. We’ve watched this family grow up and listen to their “whoooing” every night.
5. Live here — even for a weekend: Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole makes it easy, fun and convenient to explore Jackson with a young family. The resort also offers private residence rentals (two to five bedrooms) with fully equipped kitchens and spacious living areas. After a day touring the national parks, take a swim in the pool, then nosh on ice cream and s’mores in the lobby lounge entertained by live music. Living in Jackson Hole is spectacular — but visiting for a summer vacation is pretty great, too.
Laura Cuddie is Regional Director of Residences for Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. Laura and her husband John are the proud parents of Fiona (18 months old) and two beagles, Molson and Libby. They spend their free time outdoors playing golf, skiing, hiking, playing tennis, cooking and traveling to as many Four Seasons properties around the world as possible. They love introducing Fiona to their favorite activities; she is already a seasoned traveler with 30-plus flights under her belt and visits to four Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
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