Jackson, Wyoming is known as the end of the old west, the last part to be tamed and still maintains some of it’s wildness. Now, being at the entry way to the great National Parks and surrounded by a phenomenal ski area has changed it a bit. You are as likely to see art galleries and fancy eating establishments as you are to see leather shops and cowboy boots. But, for tourism sake, there is still a bit of the old Wild West left to explore.
Like most small towns, it was designed and built around a town square. It’s officially named George Washington Memorial Square, it’s famous for it’s elk-antler arches on each corner of the square. Made of elk horns collected from the near-by National Elk Refuge, these arches are the “gateway” to Jackson. In the center is a pleasant green patch with a monument to all the Jackson residents who lost their lives in service to our country in a conflict or war. At the top is the famous bucking cowboy you see everywhere in Wyoming. What struck me was how many of those on the monument shared the same last name. It made me both realize how small the town was and the large sacrifice that these families made in service to our country.
Stand anywhere in the square and you see the red stagecoach making it’s rounds. A replica of a 1800s era stagecoach, for a small fee you can take a 10 minute ride and “feel” what the settlers felt like as they rode those stagecoaches for days and weeks as they rode to an unknown future in the west. After 10 minutes on the ride, I know I would have never lasted an hour, let alone days or weeks!
Jackson is famous for having the longest running shootout show in the US. Running every Monday – Saturday at 6pm, a corner of the square is shut down for a shootout, acted out by volunteers. It’s a fictitious story of outlaws, law enforcement officers, and shooting with each’s own sense of morality. People start gathering at 5:30, and by 5:45, you want to make sure you are in a good location get a front row seat. The show is fun, but I warn you the shots are LOUD!!! It’s a fun time, and the actors love coming into the crowd and playing their characters even after it’s over. We loved it so much, we watched it twice!
Now, old time photos are available at almost any tourist location, but being that we were in the West, we HAD to get some done. The place we went had a backdrop of the Tetons, and the kids were excited to pick out costumes and play dress up. My son could not wait to be a cowboy and my daughter wanted a fancy dress. I really wanted to be a salon girl but it didn’t go with the fancy dress my daughter had, so I guess I had to be a respectable lady for the pictures . But the pictures came out amazing, and we spent a fortune because we couldn’t say no. But looking at these pictures, could you?
If you are looking to get the feel of a small town, of the old west, and the beauty of the moutian air, Jackson is the place to be. It’s fun for the whole family, and the scenery you have is majestic.
- Location: Wooden Shack on Town Square (Corner of Broadway and Cache)
- Times: Memorial Day to Labor Day, 9AM – 9PM
- Price: $10 for each adult, $6 for each child
- Location: Town Square, corner of Center Street and East Delaney Street
- Times: Memorial Day – Labor Day, Monday – Saturday at 6pm
- Price: Free, but donations are requested and appreciated
- Location: 125 North Cache Street, Jackson Hole, WY
- Sitting Fee (includes 1 8×10):
- 1 Person – $30
- 2 People – $37
- 3 People – $44
- 4 People – $51
- Extra Prints:
- 8×10 – $20
- Sheet with 1 5×7 & 4 wallets – $25