SCR Stables Rank High on Trip Advisor

The summer season is upon us, and our riding stables will soon be offering guided trail rides right here in the heart of the Tetons! Read up on what past guests have had to say about this top-ranked Jackson Hole attraction on Trip Advisor, and be sure to check out our recreation pages for more details on this popular summertime activity.

Paddles and Saddles Special

It’s springtime in Jackson! The sun is shining. Life is emerging after the stillness of winter. Grass is growing and animals are everywhere. It’s hard to leave the house without seeing a moose this time of year. Spring also means it’s time for one of our most popular specials. Come celebrate spring and summer in Jackson with Spring Creek Ranch’s Paddles and Saddles Special.

This combination of horse back riding and river rafting spans two days and makes it easy for you to try some of Jackson Hole’s most popular activities. Day one begins with lunch at the Granary restaurant, which is known for both its excellent food and breathtaking view of the Grand Tetons. This is a local favorite for lunch with a view due to the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the mountains.

Following lunch is an hour horseback ride to the top of the East Gros Ventre ridgeline. Get acquainted with your inner cowboy as you ride along the trail. Jackson Hole is known as “the last of the old West.” No better place to saddle up and ride the trails. You will enjoy a spectacular view on horseback, since the ridge gives a 360-degree view of the valley, including the town of Jackson and the Grand Teton mountain range. This is the best photo-op in town.

Is someone nervous about horses? Don’t be. These horses are excellently trained and all very used to first time riders. Also, Spring Creek Ranch’s W.W. Guides are there to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe trip.

The following day, it’s rafting time! There is a great divide here in Jackson. Some people are crazy about white water rafting and others argue that a scenic float is the best way to see the river. It comes down to adrenalin versus information and sightseeing. To be fair, white water rafting will also give you some great information and sightseeing, but it’s adrenalin heavy. A scenic float will also have an element of thrilling adventure, but it’s not going to get your heart pumping. That is unless you decide to jump in the river!

The best news is that we had around 500 inches of snowfall this winter. That means that there is a lot of runoff water feeding the Snake River. This guarantees good rafting conditions.

Both rafting options offer the opportunity to see wildlife. Bald eagles are a common sighting on the Snake River. Your guide is there to answer questions, make cheesy jokes and ensure you have the best time possible.

In my experience, each guide has a special strength. Some know a lot about the environment, some are keen animal spotters, and some will tell you stories that are going to blow your mind (which may or may not be true). Every guide has one thing in common. They absolutely love the river. They are going to be able to let you in on secrets about the river that they have learned over time, taking multiple raft trips a day. And, as luck would have it, most of them are pretty chatty, so feel free to ask questions and have fun.

Now, does that sound like a great way to spend two days or what?

To learn more visit Paddles and Saddles or call 1(800) 443-6139.

Astronomy Night at SCR

Astronomy nights are back! Don’t miss out on the chance to view galaxies, star clusters, and planets with Spring Creek Ranch’s Naturalist Department and Wyoming Stargazing’s Dr. Samuel Singer. You might even see shooting stars, sun spires, and the northern lights through a large collection of telescopes and the latest astronomy software available on your smartphone!

Learn more here.

Jackson, WY: A Destination on the Rise!

Word is catching on! Jackson, WY is now ranked on Tripadvisor as a top 10 destination on the rise. And to be honest, it hardly comes as a surprise to us folks who live here year round. Because whether you’re exploring the bounty of trails in GTNP during the summer months, or the backcountry slopes of JHMR during our snowy winters, you’re bound to experience an adventure unlike any other. And this doesn’t go to say there’s not opportunity to unwind here as well. In fact, this remote locale is the perfect place to detach from life at home and reconnect with your surroundings. However you choose to spend your time in the majestic Tetons, you are sure to leave here with with a calmer mind and rejuvenated soul. It’s all here waiting for you at Spring Creek Ranch, so get out here and experience this wonderland for yourself! And be sure to check out Tripadvisor’s article on Jackson here.

Your Snake River Adventure: Scenic Float or Whitewater?

Scenic Floats on the Snake River - Jackson Hole

There are two options for rafting down the Snake River and I’ve always been struck by how they epitomize the two main sides of Jackson Hole. From one perspective, Jackson is a place of peace and tranquility. This is a great place to get lost in nature. You can take a long walk down a quiet path and listen to the wind as it flutters through the aspen leaves. The striking vistas make it hard not to breathe deeply and clear your mind of everything but the stunning natural beauty of the present moment. I moved to Jackson Hole from Los Angeles and spent the first year marveling daily at how relaxing the environment is compared to city life. The people are nice, happy and friendly and they create an atmosphere that is contagious. A few days in Jackson and it’s hard not to chill out.

Whitewater Rafting on the Snake River

Not everyone comes to Jackson for relaxation though. Jackson is just as much a get away for adrenaline junkies and action addicts as those in search of peace and quiet. In the winter, there is snowmobiling, dogsledding and some of the most extreme skiing terrain in North America. In the summer, there is everything from mountain biking to paragliding. Even a trip to the rodeo will get your heart pumping. There is always a new opportunity for an epic adventure just around the corner. It’s what makes living here, in the mountains, incredibly exciting and fun, although, at times, exhausting.

The balance between these two sides of Jackson is what makes it such a magical place. You can easily experience either the leisure or thrill by taking a rafting trip down the Snake River. Visitors to Jackson frequently ask, should we do the scenic trip or whitewater rafting? To be honest, even locals contemplate the question.

Questions to Ask When Choosing Your River Experience:

Snake River Rafting

Are you looking for relaxation and time to learn about local terrain, history and plants? Would you like to focus on animal sightings? Would you love an opportunity to ask your river guide some questions about the Snake River and Jackson Hole? Do you have children under the age of six? Does the thought of possibly being ejected from the raft and into the water make you shake with fear? If you are answering yes to the previous questions, you should be taking a scenic rafting trip. Click here to learn more about Float Trips on the Snake River

Whitewater Rafting - Jackson Hole

On the other hand, are you ready for some heart-pumping adventure with your family and friends? Are you ready to dig your paddle into the water and ride the rapids? Are you excited by the thought of getting a bit wet and maybe even getting in the river? Is it time for more action and less sight seeing? If you are nodding an enthusiastic yes, then you are ready to go whitewater rafting. Click here to learn more about Whitewater Rafting on the Snake River

Both are a great experience for totally different reasons. If you have the time, a lot of people enjoy taking both trips down the river. Each will expose you to a side of Jackson Hole that is not to be missed. And, hey, if you only have time for one you can always come back next year.

Interested in getting on the Snake River? Check out our Saddles and Paddles Package and experience a horseback ride with Teton views!

Time for the Jackson Hole Rodeo

The Jackson Hole Rodeo has been one of my favorite Jackson events for the past twenty years. I’ve only lived in Jackson for 6 years, but I visited with my family since I was seven. We always made time to go to the rodeo, and now that I’m all grown, I still make it to the event every few years. What can I say? I love cowboys.

jackson hole rodeo

Twenty-years-ago you would always see a few rodeo men wandering around the clapboard boarder of the Town Square. My sister, mother and I would pass them as we perused the T-shirt shops looking for souvenirs or jewelry stores as my mom contemplated a turquoise necklace. My mom’s eyes would narrow and her mouth would scrunch. Would this piece be too much for our life back in Little Rock, Arkansas? Meanwhile, I would have spotted a cowboy and nothing else in the world mattered to me. Time slowed as the cowboys passed. Typically, it was one classic cowboy paired with a pretty woman in her own Wranglers and calico print shirt. As I got older, they all were Shania Twain to me. Even as a child, I pegged them as the American classics. They were like spotting a Bald Eagle; a precious part of American heritage in danger of going extinct. I’d poke at my mother, distracting her from her soon-to-be purchase. She’d follow my gaze as I whispered, “Mom, cowboys…” My mom would try to be discreet with her glances and I stared open-mouthed in awe.

I feared for my hero’s lives the first time I went to the rodeo. Classic cowboys in Wranglers, chaps and cowboy hats seemed to be risking their lives for a chance to ride a bucking bronco. I watched with large, nervous eyes as the Broncos huffed and clowns jumped in and out of barrels. From our seats in the bleachers, the cowboys always looked calm and collected. The broncos would be clanging in their pins. All of a sudden, one of the nimble cowboys would hop on the wild-beast’s back and they would hurdle into the arena.

Some of the cowboys would only stay on a few moments before they were tossed off. Each would scramble to avoid the flailing, pounding bronco’s hoofs, but inevitably, one cowboy always got stomped on. The entire audience would let out a groan and watch in stunned silence as the rodeo clowns did their best to move the bronco away from the wild animal. I’d be clinging to my mother, petrified that my hero was about to die. To this day, I don’t understand how the cowboys do it. They always manage to get up and hobble out of the arena. I’ve never seen an ambulance called. Cowboys have a reputation for being tough and the rodeo is where the general public get’s to see the proof.

Every few years, I go back to the rodeo to get a good look at some cowboys. I still fear for their lives at times and they still always survive. By now I’ve probably been at least 12 times, but the excitement never wears off. Heck, I still get a thrill every time I see a classic cowboy on the streets of Jackson. What are their lives like? What makes them brave or crazy enough to want to ride a bronco?

Experience the excitement and wonder for yourself this year at the Jackson Hole Rodeo every Wednesday and Saturday night through the summer at 8pm.

Visit www.JacksonHoleRodeo.us for schedule, info or tickets or call 307-733-7927.

Announcing The New Paddles and Saddles Package


Name: Paddles & Saddles
Start Date: weather dependent 5/15
End Date: weather dependent 10/1
Price: Starting at $105 per adult

Description: Our Paddles and Saddles program offers a combined horseback ride, rafting trip and lunch at the Granary for a full day of excitement.

Includes: Guided horseback ride atop the East Gros Ventre Butte
- Your choice of classic whitewater, 8-man adventure whitewater or scenic float trip
- Lunch at the Granary
- View full details and book trips here.

Restrictions: All ages welcomed for the horseback ride, must be 6 and over for the whitewater and 3 and over for the scenic float.

Jackson Hole Museum Brings National Geographic Images

Head Over to the National Museum of Wildlife Art for a Real Treat this Fall

NEVADA COWBOY BRIAN MORRIS, 1970, WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD, National Geographic Stock.

NEVADA COWBOY BRIAN MORRIS, 1970, WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD, National Geographic Stock.


Who doesn’t remember being wide-eyed at outstanding imagery while thumbing through that sacred pile of yellow National Geographic magazines on our parents’ shelves or coffee tables as kids?

To this day, the iconic magazine brings us photos from far-reaching places captured by many of the best photographers in the world, including Jackson-area local, Jimmy Chin.

Starting this weekend, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is bringing the best of the best American West photos from those piles of cherished, yellow magazines to life as an exhibit, National Geographic Greatest Photos of the American West, that will be at the Jackcson Hole ‘museum on the hill’ through the end of April.

If you’re a guest of Spring Creek Ranch, we’ll take you over to the museum that you probably passed on the way from the airport or Grand Teton National Park for a day of wild west culture. You’ll have the Rising Sage Café to look forward to if you’re there during lunchtime and you’re hungry from all the artsy browsing.

About the Exhibit

AMERICAN INDIAN BEAUTY PAGEANT WINNER, Oregon, 1997, WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD, National Geographic Stock.

AMERICAN INDIAN BEAUTY PAGEANT WINNER, Oregon, 1997, WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD, National Geographic Stock.

“National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West, a collection of iconic Western images gathered by National Geographic over a span of some 125 years, will open in 10 museums across the U.S. on October 27, 2012.

National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West represents the first time a photography exhibition of this magnitude has opened at so many U.S. venues simultaneously. The exhibition presents a powerful and nuanced portrait of the West over more than a century, and it’s exciting that the medium of photography allows multiple openings across the country for greater impact in sharing the combined vision of such an important group of photographers.” –National Museum of Wildlife Art

Take in the Beauty in Beautiful Jackson Hole

RODEO, Nebraska, 1998, JOEL SARTORE, National Geographic Stock.

RODEO, Nebraska, 1998, JOEL SARTORE, National Geographic Stock.


You’re in Jackson Hole–This is the American West, at its best! What better a place to see the exhibit than this place, a place that probably inspired a plethora of National Geographic and other famous photographers over the years.

It’s a place where you can see a real-life cowboy washing his rope at the local laundromat and where rodeos really happen on a regular basis (in several locations on several nights). It’s a place that inspires and to be inspired.

Need more of the American West?

Haven’t had your fill and still have energy after perusing photographs and lunching at the museum and café? Head across the street, or highway, for more inspiring visions at the National Elk Refuge to take your own pictures.

November through April are the perfect months for spotting, as you might expect by the name, elk, but other wonderful wildlife, as well. Birds, swans, moose, deer, antelope, big horn sheep, and even wolves have been seen here. Read more about wildlife viewing on the Elk Refuge here.

Cycling in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole, Wyo. is quickly becoming a summertime cycling mecca. Staying at Spring Creek Ranch gives you the perfect location point to access the many cycling opportunities like fun family rides, long road bike tours, exciting downhill mountain biking adventures and more. Here’s a highlight below of some of the Valley’s best places to bike. Spring Creek’s concierge staff can help you find which of the Valley’s roads, pathways or trails suits you best, then, hop on and pedal away.

Road Cycling

The pathway is now complete to ride to Jenny Lake in GTNP. Photo (c) Friends of Pathways Facebook

Road cyclists abound in Jackson Hole in the summertime. Pathways galore, varied terrain with wonderful views, smooth pavement, friendly athletic residents and relatively little traffic make it a must bike for skinny tire lovers.

The League of American Bicyclists recently listed the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and Jackson/Teton County was named a Gold BFC, one of only 16 cities across the country to earn Gold designation.

Don’t miss North 89 Pathway, which is a recently completed pathway that makes it possible for cyclists to ride from the town of Jackson to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park on a 20-mile, auto-free path with fabulous views of the Teton Range, the National Elk Refuge, and Grand Teton National Park. Here’s a map to all the pathways in Jackson Hole (note: this map hasn’t been updated since Northway 89 Pathway was completed, so disregard the “future” part).

Spring Creek Ranch is located at about 7000 ft. elevation atop East Butte, which is a popular road bike climb in the Valley. If you stay here, you’ll get to climb almost 1000 ft. of winding switchbacks after every ride! Or, drive over to the Stilson parking lot and climb the Teton Pass via the Old Pass Road.

If you’re a hardcore athletic type or a racing cyclist or triathlete, try your hand (or legs) at the Tuesday night training ride, which starts from the Jackson High School at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. depending on the season. Ask one of the five, or so, bike shops for the details or for other group rides available in the Valley. It’s a great way to meet locals while getting your workout in.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking in Jackson Hole, WY - Photo credit: Friends of Pathways
Jackson Hole’s mountain biking trails offer everything from fun, cross country course to lung-busting hill climbs.

There’s something for every ability level, but you have to know where to go. Here are a few trails to check out before your stay is over.

Putt-Putt is a fun, single-track trail on open grassland/aspen bench that’s a very popular bike trail, which is suitable for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers. Short loop options with Cache Creek trail and Cache sidewalk via short connector trails.

The 18-mile Cache Creek to Game Creek Loop starts out on a gentle climb up an old, dirt road. Although congested for first 1.5 miles (watch for wagons on trail in evening) it’s a beautiful ride along a windy creek. Take the junction to the Game Creek trail at approximately mile 4. Climb a bit and you’ll be rewarded with a kind of technical, but super fun downhill in to Game Creek canyon. You’ll be dumped out on to Squaw Creek Road at the trailhead, which you can take to the Pathway along Highway 89 to take back to town (or shuttle some cars to cut some miles). The trail often offers animal sightings, as the name “Game Creek” suggests.

Munger Mountain is a spectacular, secluded spot for mountain biking. Although it’s about 14 miles from Spring Creek, the trail and the scenic drive up makes it worth it! Follow Hwy. 22 west to Wilson. Follow Fall Creek road south to the bridge crossing Fall Creek in willow bottom.

Perfect for intermediate to advanced riders, the trail features rocky climbs and beautiful scenery with excellent views of Jackson Hole and surrounding mountains. Although you won’t encounter many other riders, you may run into some grazing cows on the trail. Don’t be afraid, just tell them to, “moo-ve!”

Downhill Mountain Biking

Downhill mountain biking, or freeriding, in the Valley has really taken off (pun intended). This adventure-seekers sport can be accessed at the ski resort via chairlift and on the Teton Pass via car or riding up. Read on for the details.

Lift-Served Downhill Mountain Biking

Downhill Mountain Biking at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR). Photo (c) JHMR
Created two summers ago, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) bike park consists of six trails from beginner to expert, all accessible from the Teewinot chairlift.

Stop in to JH Sports to rent a downhill-specific bike, or sign up for a day with the resort’s mountain bike guides. Click here for a map of the trails. Check out a video of some of the sweet terrain at the bike park.

Teton Pass Downhill Mountain Biking Trails

Image of the Interactive Map of Teton Pass Trails by The Mountain Pulse
Teton Pass is a high mountain pass in the western United States, located at the southern end of the Teton Range of western Wyoming, between the towns of Wilson, Wyoming and Victor, Idaho.

The Pass,” as it’s called by locals, has some of the gnarliest freeride mountain biking trails in the country. Created by a group of riders from the Valley in combination with the US Forest Service, these trails are a popular destination for thrill seekers and those with advanced bike handling skills.

There’s a great movie, called Freedom Riders, by KGB Productions about the evolution and progression of trail building in the US and tells the inside story of this group of riders that built these Teton Pass trails.

The Mountain Pulse has a great, interactive map of the Teton Pass trails with color-coded difficulty ratings reminiscent of skiing (green = easiest, blue=intermediate, black = expert only). Take heed of these cautions. If it’s blue or black in Jackson Hole, it’s going to be extremely extreme! Be prepared.

You must have the proper safety gear including a downhill helmet and body armor such as knee and elbow pads. Stop in Wilson Backcountry Sports on the way to learn more, get a map, rent a bike and get some tips from their knowledgeable staff.

Jackson Hole Cycling Resources

Please visit Friends of Pathways for a list of many useful cycling resources including maps and bike shop links.

Strava, Map my Ride and Trails.com are all great online resources for finding road and mountain bike ride maps and details.

Float the Famed Snake River

Floating the Famed Snake River in Jackson Hole Offers a Fresh Perspective

The Snake River winds itself through much of the Pacific Northwest of the United States including the Jackson Hole Valley. Why not follow its path during your stay to see the spectacular sites from its perspective?

Float Trips through Grand Teton National Park are something everyone should have (and knock off) their bucket list. Spring Creek Ranch will set you up with the float trip that’s right for you and your family.

Snake River Whitewater Rafting Float Trips

Barker-Ewing Whitewater Rafting - Drenched but smiling!

Barker-Ewing Whitewater Rafting - Drenched but smiling! Photo: Barker-Ewing


The Snake River is internationally known as one of the best and most consistent white water adventures in North America.

Running through rapids with names like the Big Kahuna, Three Oar Deal, the California Curl, Taco Roll, and Lunch Counter, you know that you are in for a top-notch adventure.

On a scale from I-VI, the rapids on the Snake River are class II-III during normal water flows and are termed, “pool and drop,” which means they are spaced out with calm water sections in between.

You don’t need any experience to whitewater raft and it’s a great activity for most people. Usually the minimum age is six years old, but can change with varying river conditions. Spring Creek Ranch representatives will set you up with the right trip and may even recount some of their own tales from firsthand experience.

Whitewater Rafting Float Trip Essentials

Spring Creek’s qualified whitewater rafting outfitters provide type V personal floatation devices (PFD’s), or “life jackets,” and shuttles to and from the float. You should dress in clothes that can get wet like swimsuits or quick-dry shorts, avoiding cotton and relying on wool or polypro layers if you need warmth. Wear water shoes like Teva or Chaco sandals (but, they shouldn’t be flip flops or the slip-on type) or sneakers that can get wet. If you wear sunglasses, use a retention device like Croakies, so they won’t get lost if they come off. Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring some water.

Since whitewater rafting is a wet activity by nature, you could consider bringing a change of clothes and a towel along to leave in the shuttle car or bus in case you get wet. Don’t bring binoculars or a camera along, unless they are waterproof. Some outfitters sell disposable, waterproof cameras. A local company called Float O Graphs will take your picture while you are going through either Big Kahuna or Lunch Counter rapids. They are located in the town of Jackson and photos of your trip can be viewed after you get back from town or online when you get home.

Snake River Scenic Float Trips

Solitude Scenic Float Trip - What Wildlife Will You See? Photo: Solitude

Solitude Scenic Float Trip - What Wildlife Will You See? Photo: Solitude


A scenic float trip down the Snake River is a perfect way to see wildlife in their natural habitat peacefully going about their daily lives without the intrusive nature of a vehicle. In the summertime, Grand Teton Park teems with wildlife such as elk, moose, deer, bison, eagles, osprey, a large variety of ducks, song birds, and small mammals.

View all this with the awe-inspiring Teton Range as backdrop. Chances are high that you’ll learn a lot about the area and its animal inhabitants, as well. The Valley’s tour guides have countless river trips under their belts and often have educational expertise in wildlife biology, geology or other related fields.

Photo opportunities abound on your tranquil float down the river. Bring a camera and have it ready for special wildlife sightings and unfathomable Teton views. Guides will often alert you to popular photo ops or those with historical significance, so listen up!

Scenic Float Trip Essentials

Spring Creek’s qualified outfitters provide personal floatation devices (PFD’s) and usually rain panchos, and shuttles to and from the float. You should dress in casual clothes (including layers like a sweater/jacket in case of cooler temps) and wear soft-soled shoes, and bring sunglasses, sunscreen, binoculars and a camera. It’s recommended to have a secure strap to hold binoculars or cameras, so that they do not fall into the water, and maybe even a dry bag.

Spring Creek’s Packages and Specials

The Spring Creek Ranch Summer Adventure Package includes whitewater rafting. Find a Spring Creek Ranch summer special that’s perfect for you during this magical time! Call today to learn more about packages and specials (800) 443-6139.