Water activities in Jackson Hole range from lazy floats on alpine lakes to wilderness adventures down turbulent rivers.
Beginners and experts alike can get on the water in a way that suits their desires and level of expertise here in Jackson Hole. For beginners or those seeking a gentle cool-off, spend a hot July or August afternoon on one of Jackson Hole’s many lakes, picnicking, paddling near shore on a rented stand up paddle (SUP) board or kayak, and dipping your toes in the water.
Beginners can find more adventurous options by booking a guided paddling trip across remote alpine lakes or down twisted, turning rivers. Embarking on a self-guided river or cross-lake adventure is recommended for experts only unless you’re going with a guide. It’s up to you to understand the conditions and risks of setting out on a water-based adventure to ensure you stay safe. No matter what water sport you’re doing or how experienced you are, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) can and will save your life, so don’t go on the water without a PFD for each person in your party.
Questions about recreating on Jackson Hole's lakes and rivers
How to have a great experience on the water in Jackson Hole
Follow Rules & Regulations
Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the lake or river you’re headed to. Lakes and river sections fall under the jurisdiction of Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks or the Bridger-Teton National Forest; each has different requirements.
Wear a Life Jacket
Wear a PFD and be appropriately attired for the water. Pack water, sunscreen, snacks, and an extra layer of clothing and make sure everything on your boat or SUP board is lashed down. Properly securing your belongings ensures you don’t inadvertently leave litter in your wake and that you also don’t lose your favorite cooler.
Know Before You Go
Be sure to check maps, current water levels, river conditions, and weather. An afternoon thunderstorm, drop in temperature, or rise in wind can make being on the water significantly more dangerous. On lakes especially, stay close to the shore to avoid getting caught in a wind event.
Live by the wild rules
Go with a Guide
Whether you’re looking for an adventure on a SUP board, kayak, or canoe, Jackson Hole has a guide for any watercraft on almost any lake, river, or creek. A guided duckie tip is a particularly unique and fun opportunity to get on the river. Rubber duckies are inflatable kayaks designed for stability and can be a great introduction to small whitewater when accompanied by a guide. Regardless of what guided adventure you choose, you can be sure your experience will be safe and fun with a guide.
From awe-inspiring encounters with nature to wild and western activities every kind, Jackson Hole offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences, 365 days a year.
Eager to glimpse your first bear, moose, or wolf? Challenge yourself with a run down black diamonds or class III rapids? Hook an 18-inch cutthroat? Meet a real cowboy? Watch a Teton sunset? This place is full of experiences you won't find that at home, or anywhere else for that matter. In Jackson Hole, wild adventures aren't just possible—they're already here waiting for you.