First explored by John Colter in 1807, by the 1820s the Jackson Hole area was a popular place for fur trappers. The most notable of the expeditions of the 1820s were led by William Ashley. In 1826, several of Ashley's crew, including David E. Jackson,
bought out Ashley. Most historians trace the name of the region back to Jackson. By the 1840s, however, the fur trapping industry was dying out, and Jackson Hole saw few white visitors until William C. "Teton" Jackson, "a premier horse thief," began using the remote area as a hideout in the 1880s. The first permanent settlement in the valley was in 1883, and the town of Jackson was incorporated in 1901 (and originally called Marysvale after the settlement's first postmistress). To this day, the permanent population of Jackson is small (about 5000), but several hundred thousand tourists visit the scenic Jackson Hole valley each year, many drawn by Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
Jackson Hole is one of the leading destinations for vacationers in the Rocky Mountains, thanks to the breathtaking views and the variety of recreational activities in the area. Skiing, hiking, wildlife watching, mountain climbing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, photography, backpacking, snowmobiling, bicycling and camping are just some of the activities that await the outdoor enthusiast. In addition, the town of Jackson features an impressive array of specialty shops, art galleries, museums and fine restaurants. The lodging in Jackson is among the finest in the Rocky Mountains.
The surrounding area features the Bridger Teton National Forest, Hoback Canyon, the National Elk Refuge, Snake River and Snake River Canyon, and the Wind River Mountains. Jackson is a wonderful year around destination, which would make an excellent addition to your next Rocky Mountain vacation itinerary.