Explore | Jackson-Hole Wyoming

Matthew Konsmo over looking Teton mountains in Jackson-Hole, Wyoming.

Overlooking the Teton's in Jackson-Hole Wyoming.

The best of Jackson-Hole | Wyoming

  This summer I went to Jackson, Wyoming, to visit family and relax in nature. I spent a few days there, exercising each day. One of my exercise days was spent focused on running because I want to keep up my body’s routine and resiliency with running. As my body ages, running becomes more difficult because the human body just doesn’t absorb the physical stress that running on street surfaces or trails creates in joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, or muscles. Because I was on vacation, my running routine was simple and enjoyable, two important concepts for making sure I keep up my running regimen. And, because I was in Jackson, Wyoming, I took advantage of the beautiful scenery to run outside in Grand Teton National Park on the paved trail inside the park and on a hillside dirt trail for some steeper hills. Also, I mixed in a couple of stops for food and coffee at Persephone Bakery and Jackson Whole Grocer, two excellent spots for healthy or fun food, depending on your mood. Jackson is unbelievably peaceful. The beauty of the nature encourages you to exercise outside. Everything about the food, scenery, exercise, setting, and people is all positive.

Teton Mountains in the summer

Teton Range, Mountain range in Jackson,Wyoming

Persephone Bakery

Persephone Bakery sign

Persephone Bakery window in Jackson-Hole Wyoming

Persephone Bakery is a perfect bakery, and it’s also a little bistro. Each day they have a new batch of handmade pastries and fresh baked bread. They have a full menu of drinks, including espresso, drip coffee, mineral water, sodas, tea, kombucha, juices, wine, and beer. It’s the best place in Jackson on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy a glass of wine alone or with friends. Persephone also has a menu or kitchen-prepared breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, and cocktails, all of which you can order inside, then find a seat inside their small rustic dining room or outside on the patio among the cottonwoods and view of Snow-King Hill. They serve items like Quiche Lorraine, Croque Madame, Seeded Avocado Bowl, Grown Up Grilled Cheese, and more. They use local ingredients, organic ingredients, and natural ingredients, whenever possible. They work with several local producers, including Reed’s Dairy, Vertical Harvest, Huidekoper Ranch, Bovine & Swine, Red Bird Farms, and Roots Kitchen and Cannery.

Persephone Bakery sign

First, I went to Persephone Bakery for breakfast. It’s on Broadway Avenue, just east of Jackson’s Town Square, so it has good parking or it is easy to walk to from any location in town. When I went early in the morning, there was plenty of parking and there was no line. I grabbed an americano in their signature turquoise mug and I bought a cinnamon brioche from the pastry display, a little caffeine and sugar blast before a day of running in Grand Teton National Park.

City of Jackson Wyoming view.

View of down-town Jackson-Hole Wyoming and the Tetons.

I like to sit outside at Persephone and plan my day while I enjoy my coffee. I’m up early, so the moment is about waking up properly. I sat at the bar that looks out over the sidewalk and street to watch the early risers start their day. After a while, I zoned out the outside world, and I began to think through my day. I’ve been trying to set training goals. I carry a small notebook to record what I eat each day, what I do for exercise each day, what supplements I take each day, and what my health goals are for each day. In the morning, I like to spend about ten minutes planning these things out. I usually do it over breakfast or coffee, like I did today, to set a positive momentum for myself. I believe that if I plan goals then I will meet goals. The reverse is true too. If I don’t set goals and if I don’t keep track of my health, food, and exercise, then I certainly don’t meet goals. I make sure I am doing everything I can do to stay positive with my health.

Persephone Bakery

145 East Broadway Avenue
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
persephonebakery.com
307-200-6708

Grand Teton National Park Run

Pulling hoodie overhead before run by the Tetons Mountains Jackson hole

From Jackson, I drove north on Highway 89 toward Grand Teton National Park. Right away, I saw the paved trail leading north, just to the right of the road. In recent years, there’s been a new trail built along some of the established roads. A person can walk, run, bike, or ski from town all the way to the best hiking spots inside Grand Teton National Park. It’s a very scenic trail too. At first, you pass close to the ponds and creek on the National Elk Refuge before rising up a hill to a big view of the Teton Mountain Range as it rises up off the valley and charges north toward Yellowstone National Park. The trail continues through sage country, crossing over the Gros Ventre River toward the entrance to Grand Teton National Park, where you need to pay an entry fee, so take your money. Also, you can stop at the visitor’s center or Dornan’s for coffee or water or a restroom. Just before you enter the park, you’d cross over the Snake River. Inside the park, the trail will bring you closer and closer to the base of the Tetons. From there, you can hike anywhere.

I parked in one of the turnouts near Lupine Meadows Junction. I wanted to do a basic run on the paved trail. One thing I am trying to do as I get older is to keep up with a running regimen. I don’t over do it. I’ve been reading a lot about how men over 35 shouldn’t run too much, and I am exploring what this means for me. One of my big beliefs is that each person needs to figure out the best training for their personal life. Each person is different. There’s no single solution for everyone. You have to know your own body. For me, running has never been fun, but I do it because I want to stay active in every way possible. I do notice how my body is becoming less resilient to running due to recovery in joints and muscles. My purpose for running is to avoid losing the strength in those muscles, the resiliency in those joints, and the ability to recover, so I keep active, running two times per week.  

I’ve been reading a lot of different articles to learn more about how my body is changing as I age, and one of my favorites was this article in Runner’s World.

Matthew Konsmo running by the Teton Mountain range.
Jackson-hole tetons view
Scenic view of the Teton Mountains.
Moose and her calf in Jackson-hole

Grand Teton

Matthew Konsmo running by the Teton Mountain range.

Today I wanted start my running with a run on a flat surface. It’s low-key, simple, and fun. Also, I have to run outside. I am not a big fan of running on a treadmill. I like to be outside so that I can get sun and vitamin-D. I also want to be outside so that the time will pass quickly. When I run outdoors on a trail or in a park or in the mountains, time goes by so quickly. I also make my runs somewhat short, about fifteen minutes out and fifteen minutes back. That’s plenty to stay active. Today, the time went by in a instant because I found myself mesmerized by the views of the mountains. I was daydreaming about hiking some of the trails up into the snow, perhaps one of the trails that the mountain climbers use as to get to the starting point for ascending the Grand Teton. Someday, I’d like to climb the Grand. That’s something I had never specifically thought about, and I was excited about the possibility, so I knew I was in a good mindset. The run was positive! This is becoming a mantra I believe in: Exercise should create positive feelings. When exercise feels positive, then you know your approach is correct. When exercise feels negative, you know you need to change your approach.

Walking the trail by the Teton.
Grand Teton National Park

General Park Information >
307-739-339

Historic church by the Teton Mountains.

runNing hills in Jackson-hole wyoming

Matthew Konsmo walking a trail in Jackson Wyoming

Next up, I wanted to run hills. I like to switch between two different kinds of running. It’s a new training technique I have been trying out with success. For example, I will run on flat surface for 30 minutes or so. Then, I will run hills for 30 minutes or so. I think the balance between two different styles helps to exercise all parts of my legs. When I run hills, I like to run sprints because it builds muscle and burns calories. After running 30 minutes on the paved trail system in Grand Teton National Park, I drove ten minutes to an off-road trail I know to run steep hills. I don’t run hills for the entire thirty minutes. I just keep running as many hills as I can during a thirty-minute period, counting the time it takes to walk back down the hill. Today, I ran eight hills in thirty minutes, running it as fast as I could each time. I never run downhill, by the way, because I do not want to stress my ankles and knees and hips. I use the downhill portion for rest. Then I sprint back up the hill. Also, I think it’s important to run on dirt trails too. Spending too much time on paved roads is not good for my body. In those eight hills I was pretty exhausted. Again, it felt positive, so I know I’m on the right track. When you try to find your routine, listen to your body to understand what you need to alter.

Trail-running in jackson hole wyoming

After the two runs, I wanted a quick recovery meal. When I am on the road traveling, I usually just go to a grocery store to get reliable, cheap, basic food. I know I can count on it. When in Jackson, I go to Jackson Whole Grocer, a great market just south of downtown on the highway that sells everything I would need. You can drive there easily, or you can walk, or take Uber, or take the START bus, which is one option for public transportation in Jackson. I bought a chicken breast from the deli, some brown rice from the hot bar, some blueberries from the produce section, a PowerPak mineral packet from the Nutrition section, and bottle of water from the refrigerator. It was simple, but it was exactly what I wanted and what my body needed.

START Bus link>
307-733-4521

If you’re in Jackson and you want groceries, prepared food, or a great picnic, Jackson Whole Grocer is a great option. In addition to healthy, local, organic, natural groceries, they also have prepared food in the Chef’s Case, International Hot Bar, Sushi, Taqueria, Pizzeria, Artisan Cheese Case, Bakery, Coffee Shop, Wine Bar, and Salad Bar. You can help yourself to lots of items, like soups, salads, rotisserie chicken, rice bowls, a glass or wine, or many other choices for fun, healthy things to eat in the café or to take to go. Also, I have to say that the fresh produce section, nutrition section, and fresh meat section of the store are the very best in the town of Jackson.

Jackson Whole Grocer

1155 US-89
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
www.jacksonwholegrocer.com
307-733-0450

Running in Elevation

Running in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Whenever I run, I make sure to eat properly and hydrate properly. These things don’t go without saying. During the afternoon and evening after my two runs, for example, I made sure to drink three liters of water, especially because Jackson’s elevation is at 6500 feet. The air is dry and thin, so there’s more possibility for feeling dehydrated. Also, I knew I was going to get outside for some hiking trips later on my vacation, so I needed to stay up to date with my water consumption to stay fresh for those hikes. I also mix in tart cherry juice, turmeric, fish oil, mineral packs, quercetin, and ginseng, into my recovery routine. These are some supplements that I’ve been exploring to see how they affect me. If anyone has any thoughts on running or recovery, I’d love to hear them. It’s also good to get feedback from others about what works and doesn’t work. For me, the joy of exercise and nutrition is about improving. I want to stay fit. I don’t want to fall back into any of the bad routines that affected my health in negative ways a few years ago. So, as I share some of things that I am exploring, my hope is that people who read these posts will share what they are exploring. All in all, Jackson is one of my favorite places to rest, relax, think, exercise, and restore my mind and body.

Running in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Running in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Biking in front of the Teton mountains in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Biking in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Stretching in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Stretching in front of the Teton's in Jackson-hole Wyoming.

Second day - Grand Teton National park

On my second day in Jackson, I decided to go back into Grand Teton National Park to go on a longer hike into the Tetons. I chose to return to my favorite hike to Garnet Canyon from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. I started my day at Pearl Street Bagels, went on the hike up to Garnet Canyon, then spent some time looking at art at the Jackson Hole National Museum of Wildlife Art and in some of my favorite art galleries in town. In the afternoon, I also explored some new places I had never been to, like Vertical Harvest and the Jackson Center for the Arts. Then, in the evening, I went for a short walk up the Snow King Hill and enjoyed dinner at King Sushi. Jackson is a special place. When I’m in the valley or in town or hiking in the mountains, I feel like I am physically and mentally secluded from everything negative in the world.

Best Breakfast in Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Pearl Street Bagels has been baking and selling bagels in Jackson since 1990. I really like the downtown location, which is located on their namesake street in Jackson. It’s just around the corner from the main square, so it’s always convenient. I have to say that I also love their second location in Wilson because you can sit outside on a picnic table next to Fish Creek and get some sun, especially in summer. It’s a beautiful spot!

They make many different bagels, so everyone can find their favorite: Cinnamon Raisin, Honey Sunflower, 7 Grain, Tomato Herb, Sesame, Salt, Everything, Plain, Spinach Feta, Onion, Poppy, and Pumpernickel. I always go for Honey Sunflower with butter! Other toppings include honey or peanut butter, and they have various cream cheese flavors, including vegetable, fresh herb, honey walnut, among others. Pearl Street has a lot more than just bagels. You can order custom sandwiches and salads as well as cookies, muffins, and brownies.
The downtown location is always packed, and there is often a line, but it’s worth it. I would even suggest that you go early to ensure they don’t sell out of your favorite bagel before you get there. It’s that good!

The baristas at Pearl Street are awesome. They can make any drink and they move fast. They often use Zoka Coffee from Seattle for their espresso, one of my favorite roasters ever, so I always go for a double Americano to pair with my go-to bagel. They have a full espresso bar, so you can order a latte or London Fog or mocha or hot chocolate, just to name a few possibilities. In summer, they serve blended smoothies. In winter, they serve homemade soup. Of course there is a whole-range of specialty drinks they can make for your adventures in Jackson. And, it’s easy to grab drinks on the go in the morning because there is a good amount of quick street parking.

Today, I chose to grab an American and bagel in the morning before my drive north toward Grand Teton National Park. The morning sun was just coming over the mountains east of town, so I sat outside on the bench to enjoy my breakfast before I started driving. It was interesting to see the morning hustle of people grabbing a coffee before work and it was interesting to see the commute of cars heading to work. I was feeling very happy to be free from having to work, and I was looking forward to my hike into the Tetons.  

Pearl Street Bagels

145 West Pearl Avenue
Jackson, Wyoming
pearlstreetbagels.com
307-739-1218

BEST HIKE IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

I drove from the town of Jackson into Grand Teton National Park to go on my favorite hike into the Tetons. I think the best hike into the Tetons is the trail to Garnet Canyon from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. This trail is the path that most of the mountain climbers take when they are hiking to basecamps or ascending peaks. It was a beautiful summer morning, so the parking lot was filled with climbers and dayhikers. I was there early enough to see some groups of climbers preparing packs by organizing meals and ropes and helmets and other gear into piles by their weight and size. Everyone was talking loudly because they were excited to be there at the brink of a journey. Anything was possible at the trailhead. That place has that feeling every time I start a hike there. I like that feeling. It’s one of the reasons the Lupine Meadows Trailhead is the best place to start a hike into the Tetons. 

trail to Garnet Canyon from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead

I drove from the town of Jackson into Grand Teton National Park to go on my favorite hike into the Tetons. I think the best hike into the Tetons is the trail to Garnet Canyon from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. This trail is the path that most of the mountain climbers take when they are hiking to basecamps or ascending peaks. It was a beautiful summer morning, so the parking lot was filled with climbers and dayhikers. I was there early enough to see some groups of climbers preparing packs by organizing meals and ropes and helmets and other gear into piles by their weight and size. Everyone was talking loudly because they were excited to be there at the brink of a journey. Anything was possible at the trailhead. That place has that feeling every time I start a hike there. I like that feeling. It’s one of the reasons the Lupine Meadows Trailhead is the best place to start a hike into the Tetons. 

The other important reason to start a hike into the Tetons from Lupine Meadows Trailhead is the view of the mountains. You can see them clearly from your parking spot. There is a clean view of the Grand Teton, which is worth a quick picture or selfie before you even start your hike. In spring, there is snow on the mountains. In summer, there is a lot of greenery. In fall, the aspen trees are changing to yellow. In winter, the world is white with snow. It’s dynamic whenever you go. The Tetons are beautiful in any season, in any weather, in any circumstances. 

Tips for hiking lupine meadows trailhead

I have some tips for hiking from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. I think it is important to go early. At the trailhead, there is a big parking lot and there are often spots there at first light until about 700AM. After that time, there is no guarantee for a parking spot, and the overflow of vehicles goes beyond the parking lot. People park on both shoulders of the road in the grass and sage. It’s not too far to walk, but the later you are, the farther away you have to park. 

Another good thing to remember is that there is no water at the trailhead, so you’ll have to prepare to bring your own water. If you have a pump or purifier, you will cross a creek running from Glacier Gulch about 30 minutes up the trail, which is the very best place to fill up a water bottle. Sometimes there is a seep about two miles up the trail, which is a spring with enough water to get a drink. Or you can hike about four miles to Garnet Creek. There is also the option to pump some water from the Cottonwood Creek, which you will cross in your vehicle on your drive into the parking lot. It’s about one mile away from the actual start of the hike. In any case, you’ll need water for the four-mile hike to the mouth of Garnet Canyon. Or you’ll need water if you’re hiking four-mile hike up to either Amphitheater Lake or Surprise Lake if you choose to go in that direction. 

In all, this trail is a convenient trail because a lot of people use it. Fortunately, the other good news is that there is a single outhouse restroom at the trailhead. Make sure you take water, take food, take a rain jacket, stretch a little, use the restroom, and prepare to have fun. There are often black bears on the trail, so take bear spray if you want it. If you’re scared of bears, walk in a group of people. There is a map at the beginning of the trail or you can ask anyone for pointers or directions. Everyone at this trailhead is in a positive mood because they know they are on an adventure. For some, it’s a manageable hike to experience some closer, beautiful views of the Tetons. For others, it’s the beginning of a quest to conquer specific peaks. For you, it can be whatever you want. 

When I start my hike at Lupine Meadows Trailhead, I am seeking peace in nature. I usually go alone because I want to hike at my own pace, I want to think deeply, and I want to experience nature. Even though there are other people on the trail, sometimes many other people, I can find my own space between groups. I never really see a lot of people who are going up the mountain, though you do run into a lot of people who are coming down the mountain. The ones who are descending are always happy because the hike or climb brought them true happiness, so their presence will not distract from your journey, no matter how much solitude you seek.

The hike from Lupine Meadows Trailhead is truly beautiful. For the first half-mile, you walk through sun and shadow on some flat ground on the valley floor. You walk through tall thin pine trees on either side of the trail. To your left you can see a large grass meadow just beyond the trees. Ten to twenty minutes into the walk, you start to climb a ridge that takes you west toward the steeper slope of the mountains. As you walk through timber, you will find moments of open views to see the peaks. If this will be your first time hiking this trail, you will undoubtedly stop to take pictures of each Teton peak framed by evergreen trees. There are a lot of picturesque views up into the mountains. And, there are also some interesting views easterly into the valley as you begin to gain some elevation above the river, buttes, and sage.

About 1.7 miles up the trail, there is a junction where the main trail begins to climb switchbacks up the steep slope to rise toward alpine terrain. At that point of the trail, you will generally be out in the open, so you can consider the view up into the mountains and out into the valley without obstruction. You might also feel the affects of weather, especially if it is really hot or if it decides to rain. Take what you need for sunscreen and layers to keep yourself comfortable. For another two miles you will climb a few switchbacks to gain a couple thousand feet of elevation to the next trail junction. Here, you have decision to go left toward Garnet Canyon or go right to Amphitheater Lake and Surprise Lake. Both directions are beautiful. Most tourists go right toward the lakes. Mountain climbers tend to go to the left to the canyon. I always go left because I like the view from that section of the trail. You go along the trail for about a mile or so before you angle around the corner of a ridge to go through some trees and emerge into the beginning of Garnet Canyon, which is a big arrangement of rock and peaks. It is a stunning view of nature that cannot be understood unless you actually make the climb to that physical spot. I admire the view for a few minutes, and then I descend. 

Directions from Jackson to Lupine Meadows Trailhead:

From Jackson, drive north about 13 miles until you get to Moose Junction. From Moose Junction, continue into Grand Teton National Park for 7 miles until you reach Lupine Meadows Junction. Turn west and follow the gravel road for about 1 mile until you reach the gravel parking lot at Lupine Meadows Trailhead, where there is a public outhouse.

And here’s a good link with a good map of the Lupine Meadows area and trail:

https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/upload/Lupine_Meadows_topo.pdf

Best New Light-Weight Water Container

Here’s a quick review of a new water bottle I have been trying out with great success. First of all, I should say that I hate carrying big, heavy plastic water bottles, like Nalgene bottles, on a day hike. They are great products for longer multi-day hikes, but they are too much of a burden for a day-hike. Likewise, I don’t like carrying a backpack or a hydration bladder. I don’t need that much water, nor do I want to carry a backpack just for water. Eventually, I tried out the Platypus PlusBottle, which can hold 1 liter of water, and is very light at just 1.3 ounces. It’s the perfect container companion for light, quick, fast hiking in the Tetons.

I hate carrying gear, and I don’t want to take any weight with me. When I carry the PlusBottle, I just fill it about three-quarters full so I can carry it in one hand while I hike. Now, I’m used to carrying it, I don’t even notice it. Then I just drink it all over the course of the ascent, then finish off what’s left at the top. The only two drawbacks for this new style of water container is that it is not durable for abusive use. Also, it is not a good water container for freezing temperatures. Other than that, it’s excellent. When I drink the last drops at the top of my climb, I simply roll it up and place it in my pocket. It’s so light, I don’t even notice it’s there, which is exactly what I want from light-weight gear. 

Here’s a review of some new water container technology:

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/expert-advice/the-best-water-storage-solution-for-backpacking 

Best Art Museum in Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson is known for its art scene, specifically its paintings and sculpture of western themes, like nature, wildlife, ranching, and so on. There are a lot of wonderful galleries in town, but my favorite stop for art is the Jackson Hole National Museum of Wildlife Art, which is up on the slope of East Gros Ventre Butte, where it looks out over the National Elk Refuge. After my hike, I had a little extra time, so I stopped at the museum to see my favorite artwork.

The architecture of the Jackson Hole National Museum of Wildlife Art helps the building blend into the natural landscape. The exterior is made of stone. It’s surrounded by sage and aspen and grass. Inside the structure, the windows look out at light on the refuge, and you can see Miller Butte, and you can see even further across to the mountains, namely Sheep Mountain, which is a beautiful view in any season.

I love the sense of nature within the building because it adds to the sense of nature in the artwork. There is a direct connection between art and nature, which I am sure is a conscious choice of design, which is accomplished perfectly. I think it is important for art to create a feeling, and this museum creates a distinct feeling. I’m sure the feeling is different for everyone, but I always feel very connected to nature. I think that the connection is amplified by the season.

When I am there in summer, for example, the feeling is amplified by sunlight, by being outside in sun, by being in light, and those sorts of connections. My favorite painting in the Jackson Hole National Museum of Wildlife Art is a painting of an antelope skull by Georgia O’Keefe. The antelope’s white skull and black horns are set against a colorful horizon of sunset colors. For me, this painting creates the feeling of summer. I think it’s really difficult to find correct words to describe a sunset, so I will spare you from my words about this sunset. However, sunset does create a feeling, especially in the summer. And, O’Keefe’s painting of sunset creates a similar feeling, which is simple, beautiful, and cool. When I look at art, I always hope to find paintings that create strong feelings. 

Jackson Hole National Museum of Wildlife Art

2820 Rungius Road
Jackson, Wyoming 83002
wildlifeart.org
307-733-5771 

Best Lunch in Jackson, Wyoming

I was very hungry after my hike. By stopping to look at art at the museum, I needed something right away. But, since I was trying to eat healthy, I didn’t want to settle for anything. I wanted something healthy, good, and filling. I decided to go to Picnic, which is the sister restaurant to Persephone Bakery. Picnic is located just a mile or so from the center of town, but it’s close to Broadway, so it just takes a few minutes to drive to or just fifteen minutes to walk to. I walked to Picnic on the bike path that leads through the edge of town over by the library.

Picnic has all the same bakery goods as Persephone. However, they also serve salads and sandwiches and other menu items for breakfast and lunch. The key is that you have to get there before 300PM, which is when they stop serving prepared items from the menu. I knew just what I wanted to order. I wanted the King Salad with spinach, salmon, apples, roasted beets, currants, pistachios, goat cheese, and wildflower honey dijon dressing. It’s a very fresh salad, with greens from Vertical Harvest, which I talk about a little later in this story. It’s the perfect post-hike meal, with plenty of protein and plenty of vegetables.   

Picnic

1110 Maple Way B
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
picnicjh.com
307-264-2956 

Best Art Galleries in Jackson, Wyoming 

After lunch, I wanted to continue the art theme, so I walked back to the center of town to explore some art galleries. My favorite art gallery in Jackson Hole is Turner Fine Art because it represents artwork from Kathryn Mapes Turner, who paints wildlife and landscapes from Jackson Hole. I like how she paints her subjects in a way that makes you feel like you are in Jackson. Her artwork embodies the feeling of Jackson. She often uses oils in bright colors. The colors are ethereal, so the composition is imaginative, and it places the image in your mind as something to think about.

One of my favorite things is to find a great artist that I really like and then making a point of keeping track of that artist, to keep track of their shows, to make a point of seeing their art in person. Her paintings are epic views of landscapes and weather, and she has a style that is her own. The color and the style is something you can only really see in person. For example, she paints landscapes of Sleeping Indian, the Tetons, and she paints portraits of wildlife, including beautiful close-ups of foxes and horses. I like them all.

In her artist statement on her website, Kathryn says, "I strive to create paintings that record my own experience of the subject's essential spirit and energy, not an imitation of a fixed surface reality. This process requires my presence, enthusiasm open-minded appreciation, playfulness, courage and honesty. In this way, creating art is transformative, universal and timeless.” I suggest you check out her work in person and let me know what you think! 

Turner Fine Art 

545 North Cache Street
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
kathrynmapesturner.com
turnerfineart.com
307-734-4444
info@turnerfineart.com 

Vertical Harvest Provides Sustainable Produce

For a long time, I have heard people talk about Vertical Harvest, an organization that grows produce with a sustainable process. I eat at a lot of restaurants in Jackson that use produce from Vertical Harvest, so I thought it would be fun to explore the source. It’s right in downtown Jackson, so I stopped by their building on my walk from the art galleries to the Center for the Arts.

The exterior of the glass building at Vertical Harvest is very cool. Inside, the vertical shelves of greens moving on the conveyer belt was even cooler. I walked around the main floor for a quick glimpse and I talked to one of the employees, who was very helpful.

I learned that Vertical Harvest wants to provide year-long, indoor growing season in Jackson, which has an four-month growing season because of its long winter and elevation. So, local restaurants and grocery stores must transport most greens into the valley, and Vertical Harvest wants to help reduce that need.

I learned that Vertical Harvest grows vegetables 365 days a year and sells them to Jackson’s grocery stores and to consumers who stop by their facility. Overall, they are able to grow about 100,000 pounds of produce each year, produce that otherwise would have to be trucked into Jackson.

And I learned that Vertical Harvest seeks to hire people with different abilities in order to assist them with steady employment, provide them good wages, and empower them to contribute to their community.

Next time I visit, I’m going to book a tour to learn more about their overall growing process and to learn more about their actual production of greens. I’d also like to take time to buy some of their products. It’s easy to see that their sustainable project makes sense for every community.

Vertical Harvest

155 West Simpson Avenue
Jackson, Wyoming
verticalharvestjackson.com
307-201-4452

Best Things to do in Jackson, Wyoming

The park outside the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts has a mountain rising up above it, just to the south of town. When you’re outside in the park, the mountain seems close. It also seems daunting, but I had heard there is a trail that people use to climb it. In the winter, it’s a ski hill, aptly named Snow King Mountain. But, in the summer, it’s a good hill climb to build muscle in calves and quads. I wanted to scout it out to see what it would be like for some future adventures.

You can easily walk from the center of the Town of Jackson to Snow King. Or, there’s a parking lot at the base of the hill that has many open parking spaces unless there’s a farmer’s market or other special event happening. From the parking lot, the hill rises quickly. There are many routes you can take if you choose to hike. There are also several trails you can take if want to mountain bike the hill. On the day I was there at Snow King, there were dozens of hikers and quite a few bikers.

After my hike in the morning, I knew I wasn’t going to climb to the top, though I did want to enjoy sunset from a good view. I climbed for about ten minutes until I reached the first flat area on a small ridge. I could down over the Town of Jackson and I could see southwest toward the road to Wilson and I could see the Tetons north of town and I could feel the warmth of the setting sun. I found a good spot and simply enjoyed sunset in Jackson on a warm summer day. If you’re looking for something to do in town, or a little extra exercise while you’re being a tourist, this is a great place for an evening hike in the summer. If you’re willing to spend $20, you can take the gondola back down the mountain!

Snow King Mountain

402 East Snow King Avenue
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
snowkingmountain.com
307-201-5464

Best Restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming

There are a lot of great restaurants in Jackson. One of my new favorites is King Sushi on King Street, just around the corner from the main square in town. The head sushi chef was once a chef over at Sudachi in the Aspens near Teton Village on the other side of the valley. He was the chef over at Sudachi when the line of customers at Sudachi was out the door and know he’s the lead sushi chef at King Sushi and the line of customers is out the door here too.

I like King Sushi because I can sit at the bar and order my own thing, which is normally an assortment of fresh sashimi. The fish is likely flown into Jackson very regularly because it is always very good and very fresh. Also, it’s probably the only sushi bar that’s housed in a log cabin, which makes a great combination of Japanese culture and Jackson culture.

I also like King Sushi because it’s a cool place to hang out when the day is done in Jackson. If it’s warm enough, they have an outdoor patio that is a really fun place to sit with a bunch of friends. If you’re looking for a few options from the menu, I have tried several of the house rolls, including the Hoff Roll, Crouching Tiger Roll, or Hidden Dragon Roll, all of which are awesome. As I mentioned, I prefer sashimi, so if you’re feeling bold, simply order a plate of the chef’s choice of fresh sashimi and go with what’s served. No matter what you like to eat, make sure you make reservations, whether it’s a party of one or a party of ten. If you don’t make reservations in the summer, for instance, I don’t think you’ll find an opening all evening.

King Sushi 

75 South King Street
Jackson, Wyoming
kingsushijh.com
307-264-1630

Final thoughts

Jackson is a peaceful place. It’s one of the only places where I can strike a perfect balance of exercise and peace. There are very few negative distractions in Jackson, if any. I can easily find relaxed places to eat, compelling places to hike, open spaces to think, and interesting places to immerse myself in nature. It’s a good place to think. It’s a good place to get in shape. It’s a good place to forget yourself or find yourself, whichever direction you need to go. On this trip, I was looking for some solitude, and Jackson and its surroundings provided what I needed. But, I also love Jackson with my family or with my friends because there are a lot of positive places where a lot of people can get together and be social and enjoy nature. I’m happy I have found a place like Jackson, a place where I can always go to find exactly what I need.   

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Written by: Matthew Konsmo
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