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What Makes Jackson Hole Unique?

Jackson, Wyoming is a special place. We are a community that is made up of passionate, creative, and active individuals, who truly appreciate the extraordinary outdoor environment that is our backyard. The people who live here are dedicated to bettering our community through environmental stewardship, philanthropic leadership, and community development.

The Snake River, originating in the high country of Yellowstone, makes its way through the valley, fed by streams and rivers. Along the western side of the valley, the famous Teton Mountains rise into the sky, a sharp soaring of rock without the preamble of foothills to separate the massive mountains from the valley floor. Several lakes lie along the base of the range; among them is large Jackson Lake. Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the range, is 13,772 feet above sea level, towering over Jenny Lake at its base. In the valley to the east, the Gros Ventre Mountains roll up a little more gently from the valley floor.

Grand Teton National Park occupies most of the valley of Jackson Hole, preserving the towering peaks of the Teton Mountains and the beautiful glacial lakes. The native wildlife includes moose, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, grizzly and black bear, and bison. To the delight of the park’s visitors, many of the large animals roam undisturbed across the valley floor. Today the park includes 485 square miles or 310,000 acres.

The Jackson Hole Airport is the only airport in the United States that is located completely within a National Park. A strong working relationship with the National Park Service allows the Airport to be a valuable partner in supporting Grand Teton National Parks dedication to protecting the extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes and rivers, and alpine environment that is our backyard.

The town of Jackson is located near the southern end of the valley, nestled between the Hoback Range, which contributes Snow King Mountain to the southern boundary of the valley, and East Gros Ventre Butte. The butte is one of several that punctuate the valley, varying the flatness of the Snake River plain with the rocky humps of ancient landforms.

Jackson is the seat of Teton County. As of 2000, Teton County had a year-round population of about 18,251, and Jackson had a population of 8,647. A number of temporary residents swell the population totals during the tourist seasons – in the summer months by 52,000 and by 5,000 in the winter months. The county has a large land area – 2,697,000 acres or 4,214 square miles. Nearly 97% of the county is public land.

The Jackson Hole Airport is operated by the Jackson Hole Airport Board, which is a joint powers board appointed by the Town of Jackson and Teton County. The Airport Board provides direction to the staff, with input from Teton County, Town of Jackson, the National Park Service, and other stakeholders in the community. These community relationships are extremely important to the Airport.

With a great expanse of public land, including two national parks, tourism is the most important industry in the area. Grand Teton National Park lies in the heart of Jackson Hole, and Yellowstone National Park is only a few miles to the north. The town of Jackson serves as a gateway to both parks.  A few ranches remain in operation in the valley, reminding the residents of the area’s original economic base. Many of the ranch operations, however, supplement their income with tourism, as guest ranches and headquarters for outfitting hunters and fishermen.

 

The only airport within a national park

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