Best of the Tetons, Great Photography Tours In Jackson, WY

Christmas Eve in Jackson Hole

Christmas in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole spruces up for the Holiday Season each year—much like other destination tourist resorts around the country. Of course, we have the Tetons at our north doorstep, three ski resorts, and the National Elk Refuge to add to the appeal of coming here. Visitors are almost always guaranteed of a “white Christmas”. Just over a hundred years ago, the town forefathers (visionaries), set aside a block of valuable land downtown for what is now called “The Town Square”. Each year, the trees on the Square are decorated with thousands of  beautiful LED lights, along with lights on the four corner antler arches. Merchants follow suite with decorations and lights of their own.

The images this page might be considered a cross-section of what people might expect to see in Jackson Hole during the Christmas Season. Most were taken a day or two before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, and a few from Christmas Day of 2015.

Night Time In Jackson Hole

This shot was taken looking south on Cache Street with the NW arch, a few passing cars and the Million Dollar Cowboy bar sign. In the distance, you can see the night lights for Snow King’s night skiing. King Tubes is located at the base of Snow King, along with the new Roller Coaster that runs through the winter months.

Town Square Tavern

The Welcoming Committee at the Town Square Tavern oversees activity on the Square.

Bison Bull

The abundant wildlife around Jackson Hole carries on throughout the Holiday Season. Expect to see bison, elk, moose, deer, and bighorn sheep on many days during December, but it is usually best to be out early or late to find them.

Elk Refuge Sleighs

If you would like to see a LOT of elk, consider taking a sleigh ride on the National Elk Refuge. I took this image from the highway on the day they were bringing all of the sleighs to the center. Bighorn Sheep are usually visible along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge.


Shoppers, tourists, and photographers find their way downtown this time of the year.

Christmas Eve Shoppers

It’s always fun to watch (and photograph) the visitors. Everyone seems to be having a great experience here.

Ice Sculpture

This abstract image was taken on the back side of the ice sculpture in the previous image. The bright yellow is picked up from a Pedestrian Crossing sign.

Town Square

Innocent moments like this one happen all day long in Jackson Hole. Apparently, a youngster couldn’t make the trip, so the photographer takes shots of the cutout. The youngster could be there in spirit. He was standing in front of the Antler Arches as the elderly lady made her way through with her ski poles for support and safety. I took the shot from the opposite corner using a Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Spring Head

The long lens works great for unknowing subjects. At the same time, I’ve found most people more than willing to have their photos taken.

Crossing Tourists

This couple crossed the street at one of the stop lights. The lady went inside the store to shop and I talked to the gentleman for a second. It was easy to know he was from the deep south by his accent. I liked this one because of the black and red elements showing off the light snow at the time.


I use the “auto focus” feature on my camera most of the time. Occasionally, the focus grabs closer flakes and pushes the subject well out of focus for some unexpected results like this alien shaped visitor.


Something about this shot demanded a place on this page. It tells an interesting story.


This giant Nutcracker caught my attention. Bright colors and unique shapes are usually common around the Square.


The Nutcracker stays in the same place all day, but some subjects are much more fleeting.  This guy was walking around the square, bundled up with only a few inches of exposed skin. I asked permission for this one!

Cowboy Bar

The night lights are a big appeal for me. I added a Cross Filter to the front of my lens one night. The effect might be a bit “over the top” on this one, but I still liked it.

Hanukkah Menorah

This Hanukkah Menorah seems to work fine with the cross filter.

Cowboy Bar Sign

Here’s the historic old Cowboy Bar sign captured in the “tween” time after sunset and before it gets dark. Details in the sign still show up, while the neon becomes visible.


With all the outdoor activities like skiing, snowmobiling, and slippery ice, the Orthopaedic surgeons seem to have a steady supply off patients. Knee braces are common here.


Icicles are imitated as seasonal decorations in many areas of the country. Here, icicles form naturally.

Full Moon

The moon will be full on Christmas Day. It hasn’t happened since 1977! On Christmas Eve, I was set up at the observation platform waiting for it to rise over Sleeping Indian. A low bank of clouds obscured it at the perfect time, but it eventually cleared the clouds for this shot taken from Saddle Butte.

Christmas Tree

Closer to Home: It got up early on Christmas morning to make this post. I stopped for a moment to take a few shots around the house while the rest of the family was still sleeping. We’ve used this same old artificial Christmas tree for 25 years.

Christmas Table

Later this evening, we’ll have a nice Christmas dinner. Darla set up the table using my Grandmother’s place settings. I used a small flashlight in a long exposure to light the shot.

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath: We refurbished this wreath frame from last year with all new pine boughs I salvaged from one of the tree sales. It’s on the front of the house again this year.

As I write this post, I can smell waffles and bacon cooking downstairs. We’ll tear through the presents after breakfast, followed by a traditional afternoon of sledding. Hopefully, no one will need to go to the hospital. Later in the evening, the plan is to devour part of a turkey and beef brisket and spend more time with the family.


If you like the page, please share it with your friends. And, if you can’t be here in Jackson Hole for the holidays, maybe you can enjoy it through the images. Cheers! Mike Jackson

Like This Post? Share It

Comments (9)

  1. Craig Knecht & Thunder

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours Mike. I always look forward to your next Best of the Tetons email.

  2. Laura Horton

    This was an absolutely wonderful post & really brightens the day. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas from Albuquerque!

  3. Richard Hanks

    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. Missing the old winters we once had, my envy runs deep. It is a balmy rainy 72 deg F here in SC. Back in the early 80″s we had a Christmas morning of 0 deg F.
    Best wishes to your Family

  4. Donna Dow

    Merry Christmas, Mike and thanks for filling our e-mails with your beautiful photos. It’s like receiving gifts all year long.

  5. Jantina S. Tuthill

    Always fun to see your posts. Good story telling with the pictures. Tx

  6. A belated Merry Christmas to you and your family Mike. I wish you a Happy New Year with an abundance of fantastic clicks! Thank you for sharing. It’s always an inspiration.

  7. Merry christmas, a day late. Love these images.

  8. Lowell Schechter

    Hi Mike
    These are wonderful images of the winter in Jackson Hole. You certainly captured the spirit of the holiday with your personal images . Such a bustling place most the year and especially at this time of the year. I would have a hard time walking around in the snow due to some foot and ankle problems and I would need the poles that the woman had to get around.

  9. Lowell, I can always depend on you making a kind comment after each new Feature Post. I certainly appreciate it! After the Christmas period, things seem to shift some here in JH. Looking forward to making new posts for 2016. Thanks again, Mike Jackson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *