Best Family Hikes in Jackson Hole

Best Family Hikes in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the gateway town to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, both which offer some of the best hiking in the country. But there is also some great family hiking right in the town of Jackson Hole. Several of us Mountain Mama Team Members live in the area and we have curated this list of our favorite family hikes in Jackson Hole.

Children playing in the water on one of the best family hikes in Jackson Hole.
Rendezvous Park

These trails are way less crowded, and some are just minutes from the heart of the Jackson Town Square. They aren’t too steep. They offer plenty of places to stop for snack breaks. And we have included trails that even toddlers who are new at walking can manage.

These trails are not in Grand Teton National Park (although we love hiking there, too!) or Yellowstone. But if you want our suggestions on family hikes there, be sure to check out this post!

Preparing For Your Jackson Hole Hiking

Photo of a girl hiking near Jackson Hole in the fall.

Before you head out, make sure you have all the necessary knowledge and gear to hike safely as a family.  Enough food and drinks, appropriate footwear, sunscreen, rain shell (as rain comes in unexpectedly sometimes!) and bear spray. I also recommend a small first aid kit, just in case. Wondering what to pack in a first aid kit? We have some suggestions in this blog post.

Age & Ability:

There are some very easy accessible trails listed in the post (Nelson Knoll) and some that are a little more challenging (Teton Village Tree Swing). But I am sure that Jackson hiking trails offer something for everyone in your family.

Dogs on trails:

Jackson Hole is a dog-friendly place. On most trails you will encounter off-leash dogs. Be prepared for this so you aren’t surprised if one comes running up to you on the trail.

Trail App:

There is cell service on all the trails listed below in the Jackson area, so you should be able to use your favorite trail-map app. I like to use alltrails, but regular google maps works great, too!

Water and Snacks:

Pack more water and more snacks than you think you will need – just in case!


Weather in Jackson can change quickly. Mornings are often calm and storms come through in the afternoons. I always keep a fleece layer and a rain coat in my backpack and I rely on for my Jackson weather updates.


You could encounter wildlife such as moose and bears on any trails around Jackson. It is a very good idea to carry bear spray and know how to use it.

If you encounter a moose, give it plenty of space (at least 50 feet). Mama moose with calves can be very aggressive, so be aware, give space, and turn around if you can’t safely go around.

Hiking in Jackson Hole: The Best Trails for Families

A&W to Wilson Canyon

Round trip length: 2 miles

Location: 5 miles south of Jackson, off Highway 89 on Elk Avenue

This is a great out and back trail for hikers of all skill levels. There is very little elevation gain. The trail is mostly smooth singletrack with few obstacles. My kids have been hiking independently in this area since they were about 2 or 3 years old.

The trickiest part will be finding the actual trailhead. If you put “West Elk Avenue, Jackson, WY” into your maps app, that will take you to the right street, and when it dead ends, you park on the side of the road there. You will see the trail start right where the road ends.

Once it merges with A&W Trail, turn right. The trail is well marked and there is a sign letting you know you’ve arrived at the Wilson Canyon Trail (turn left there). There are lots of fun boulders for the kids to climb on once you get into the canyon, and always lots of animal bones to check out, too.

This is mountain lion territory, but they are timid creatures and if your kids are loud like mine, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Black Canyon Overlook

Round trip length: 4 miles

Location: Top of Teton Pass, 20 miles from the town of Jackson.

This is a moderately-steep hike with stunning views of the valley, and one of the only Teton Pass hikes that doesn’t have massive uphills.

The hike starts on the double track road (west end of the parking lot) and turns to single track near the big cell towers. The next mile is a super pretty trail through wildflowers and tall grasses with plenty os spots for snack breaks – especially the last 3/4 mile where the trail becomes more treed.

Black Canyon is for serious downhill bikers only – hikers (especially families) should turn around once you get to the summit.

Cache Creek Trails

A general word of caution about Cache Creek trails. There are lots of bikers, dogs on and off leash, and moose in this area. Mind your trail etiquette and give wildlife lots of space so that everyone stays safe and has a good time!

Hagen Trail

Round trip length: 1.9 miles

Location: Town of Jackson, 2 miles from Town Square

Hagen is one of my absolute favorite family hikes. Not only is it right in the heart of downtown Jackson, but the trail is in the forest and offers lots of shade even in the middle of the day.

The trail starts over a little bridge and uphill right away, but don’t worry, the trail is not hilly (170 ft. of total elevation gain). Take Bridge 2 Connecter across the creek or you will find yourself hiking up the Hagen Staircase (it’s VERY steep, you’ll know it if you end up here!).

After crossing Bridge 2 Connecter, we like to walk back on the main Cache Creek Road and the kids love to stop and get their feet wet in the creek (there are spots where the water is moving very fast – keep a close eye and don’t wade into the creek).

Sidewalk Trail

Round trip length: 1.8 miles

Location: Town of Jackson, 2 miles from Town Square

This trail is fairly flat, making it a great choice for young hikers (also an excellent choice for beginner mountain bikers). I like to park before the actual trailhead at a pullout on the right side of the dirt road next to the big historical sign. The trail starts directly across the street and it’s less steep starting here vs. at the parking lot.

We like to turn around once we get to the “Wiggle Connector”. This is a fairly big trail junction and there’s a couple boulders that make a great spot for a snack break. You could turn around and hike back the way you came, or take the Cache Creek Road back down.

There is almost no shade on this hike, so best to do in the early morning or on a cool, cloudy day.

Nelson Drive Trails

Nelson Knoll

Round trip length: 0.6 miles

Location: Town of Jackson, 1.5 miles from Town Square

This is a brand new trail that is just fabulous for kids of all ages. Truly – even a toddler who just started walking could do this hike independently. The trail is wide and buffed out. And you could easily reach the summit in 5 or 10 minutes.

The top of the grassy knoll offers spectacular Teton views as well as views of the National Elk Refuge and entire Jackson Hole valley.

There is a big bench that’s perfect for snack or lunch. From the top there is another loop that you could do (very short, you can see the whole loop from the bench), or walk down the way you came.

Putt-Putt to the Bench

Round trip length: 1 mile

Location: Town of Jackson, 1.5 miles from Town Square

This trail is short but it is a little steep in parts. I like to do this hike when we are short on time but we all need to get a little exercise in or get our sillies out before doing a quiet activity like the library.

Putt-Putt is part of a much larger trail system, but for this hike we like to stop at the bench and have lunch or a snack, and head back the way we came. The trail offers a little shade but it is mostly in the sun.

Rendezvous Park

Round trip length: Varies

Location: Wilson, 7 miles from Jackson

Rendezvous Park, or R-Park, is a 40-acre public park near Wilson, Wyoming. The park features hiking trails, rolling hills, a pond that is open for swimming, fishing, kayaking or SUP’ing, various forts and other structures to explore, tree swings, wooden bridges, and more!

R-Park is also home to a wooden art troll created by Thomas Dambo named Mama Mimi. She really is spectacular – I would say this is a must-see if you’re visiting Jackson Hole.

If you are looking to get in a few miles on a decent hike, this probably isn’t the spot for you. But this is an excellent space for kids to run around freely and explore in nature. There are numerous loops that you can hike on that start and finish right near the main parking area.

Sink Or Swim

Round trip length: 2 miles

Location: Town of Jackson, 1 mile from Town Square

This heavy use trail (bikers, hikers and lots of dogs) is a fun one because it has lots of options. You could do an out and back on this trail. You could go all the way across Snow King and get an ice cream there. Or you could summit Josie’s Ridge (beware – it’s a steep uphill! You and your kids can do it, but it will be hard!).

I like to park at the Rodeo Drive trail access point and take Linda’s Trail to Sink Or Swim. For the shortest hike, take Sink Or Swim then merge on to KC Trail and it loops right back to the trailhead access point. This loop is a little over a mile long.

For a slightly longer hike, Stay on Sink Or Swim to the Champa Trail, connect to KC Trail, and stay on that all the way back to the Rodeo Drive trail head. This longer loop is about 2 miles total. The trail is intermittent shade and sun, but it will be hot and dusty in the middle of the summer. Bring lots of water.

Planning to hike in the heat of the day? Be sure to read our Best Tips for Hot Weather Hiking with Kids.

Ski Lake

Round trip length: 5 Miles

Location: Halfway up Teton Pass, 20 miles from Town of Jackson

OK, don’t let this one scare you off! Yes, it’s 2.5 miles to the top, and 1,148 ft. of elevation gain. That’s a steady uphill in parts. But your kiddo can do it, I promise!

My mama friends and I have been hiking this one with our kiddos since they were 4 years old. We take it slow and steady, and we bring treats.

We all have different feelings on treats, but here’s what I do with my kids (age 5 & 7) on this hike: I set my watch and every time we make it another .5 mile, we stop and each get 1 sour gummy worm. It keeps the pace moving, gives them something to look forward to and I don’t mind a little sugar because I know they are going to burn it right off!

I give us about 2.5 hours to do this entire hike, including a nice long lunch break at the top. Sometimes we swim in the lake, but other times it’s too mucky. The walk is much quicker on the way down.

Snow King

Round trip length: 3.6 miles

Location: Town of Jackson

This hike goes straight up the Snow King Ski Area service road, so it’s consistently steep for 1.8 miles, but it’s not loose or rocky. It’s totally doable for families.

If it is in your budget, I highly recommend purchasing a ticket to ride the gondola one-way down the mountain. It is a fun way to reward yourself (and the kids) for making it up the mountain.

South Park Feedground

Round trip length: Varies

Location: 7 Miles South of Jackson on Highway 89

This is one of my kids favorite areas to explore on foot or on bike! There are so many different trails, old cabins to explore, tons of animal bones (my son’s favorite), huge fallen cottonwoods to climb on, and a creek to throw rocks in.

Follow the dirt road to the end and park in the gravel lot. Walk across the bridge, and from there you can go straight, or look for the singletrack that breaks off to the left. This trail crosses the meadow and goes past a cool old cabin. This is our favorite trail.

There are so many options in this area but none of the trails are marked or mapped. If you get turned around, find the creek and follow it upstream back to the parking area.

A note about Flat Creek: Due to elevated levels of E.coli bacteria, you should not swim or float in Flat Creek.

Teton Village Tree Swing Hike

Round trip length: 3 miles

Location: 12 miles from Jackson in Teton Village

This is a great, challenging family hike. I think my kids were 6 years old when they did this for the first time. The Wildflower Trail starts at the base of Teton Village and switchbacks up the mountain at a moderately steep grade.

Approximately 1.5 miles up you come to the most beautiful tree swing that overlooks Teton Village, the Sleeping Indian and the entire Jackson Hole valley. There is a big picnic table, so pack a lunch and hang out for a while before heading down the way you came up.

An alternative, much easier way to the tree swing is to buy a ticket to ride the Sweetwater Gondola (Not Bridger Gondola) to the top.

From there, connect with the Wildflower Trail and hike down trail for approximately 1/4 mile until you come across the tree swing. Then either hike the rest of the way down, or back up to the gondola.

Best Easy Hikes in Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson Hole offers so many great places for families to explore, including hiking trails, swimming holes, biking trails and more! We genuinely hope that if your travel plans take you through this area that you reach out. We would love to say “hi” and maybe even meet up on the trail!

Family Hiking Resources

Best Family Hikes in Jackson Hole

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  • Sarah Toal is a Colorado native who now calls Jackson, Wyoming, home. Sarah, her husband Evan, and two kids August, age 7, and Harper, age 5, spend their (long!) winters snowboarding, and (short!) summers riding bikes, floating on the Snake River, and hiking. Follow our adventures and general family chaos on Instagram: @sartoal

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