New Year's in Jackson Hole: 10 Adventurous Ways to Ring in 2016

Several ski resorts around Jackson Hole have fireworks on New Year's Eve.
Several ski resorts around Jackson Hole have fireworks on New Year's Eve. Jeff Golden
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The Jackson Hole area is in prime shape for winter recreation right around the start of the year, so be sure to get outside and enjoy an adventure or two over the New Year's holiday. Check out these 10 great options to get your first taste of outdoor adventure in 2016 (while burning off some of your holiday indulgences), from skiing to fat biking to fantastic fireworks shows all a guaranteed great way to spend New Year's in Jackson Hole.

1. Celebrate the New Year with torchlight parades and fireworks.

On New Year's Eve, all three local resorts ( Jackson Hole Mountain Resort , Snow King , and Grand Targhee) offer special events and festivities, including torchlight parades and fireworks. Watch skiers maneuver their way down the slopes with torches in hand to light their way followed by a rousing fireworks show. Then, head out to one of the nearby restaurants or nightlife hot spots to celebrate the last hours of 2015.

2. Lap the Teton Lift at JHMR.

Hop on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's brand new Teton Lift to celebrate the New Year (lifts at JHMR are open from 9 am to 4 pm). This new lift, which just opened on Dec. 19, offers runs with spectacular views into Grand Teton National Park, including the ridgeline Crags Run.

3. Snowshoe in Grand Teton National Park.

Strap on your snowshoes and bring the whole family for a hike.
Strap on your snowshoes and bring the whole family for a hike. Glacier NPS

Bring your snowshoes up to Grand Teton National Park to enjoy a wintery trek in the park. Bradley and Taggart Lakes are popular winter destinations for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. The quickest route is a 3.2-mile out-and-back to Taggart Lake, but you'll find other options to extend your journey.

4. Ski at Grand Targhee.

Switch up your skiing routine and head over to Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming. Located just an hour from Jackson, this resort is often a little quieter than JHMR. They're also swimming in the powder: As of December 21, they already had 127 inches of the fluffy white stuff, with more on the way.

5. Take a sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge.

Ride on a horse-drawn sleigh to see thousands of elk at the National Elk Refuge.
Ride on a horse-drawn sleigh to see thousands of elk at the National Elk Refuge. USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Get up close and personal with elk and other wildlife on the National Elk Refuge's winter sleigh rides . Hop on a horse-drawn sleigh to head out among the thousands of elk that spend winter on the refuge. Tours are available from 10 am to 4 pm daily, and reservations are available, but not required. Be sure to bundle up for this hour-long adventure.

6. Strap on some cross country skis.

Strap on your skinny skis and get ready for some excellent cross-country action to ring in the New Year. Head out to Snake River/Emily's Pond Levee or up Cache Creek Canyon for some excellent, cross-country skiing, a workout guaranteed to torch some holiday calories, and great views close to home. Need further inspiration and/or intel? Check out our Quick and Dirty Guide to the Best Cross-Country Skiing Near Jackson Hole .

7. Have fun on a fat bike.

Ride your fat bike off into the sunset to celebrate the New Year.
Ride your fat bike off into the sunset to celebrate the New Year. Dustin Gaffke

Celebrate the New Year by going for an adventure on your snow bike. Take a few laps on Grand Targhee's trails in Alta, Wyoming, or stay closer to Jackson by pedaling up Cache Creek , a locals' favorite. Be sure to follow any trail closures or areas closed to protect wintering wildlife.

 8. Go ice skating.

Lace up your skates and make your way to one of the local ice skating rinks to enjoy some time on the ice. Enjoy some ice time at to Owen Bircher Park in Wilson, the Rodeo Grounds Rink in Jackson, Snow King Sports and Events Center, or the Alta Park Rink in Alta. The Rodeo Grounds Rink also offers Broomball several nights a week.

9. Get your thrills on Snow King's new Cowboy Coaster.

There's a lot of awesome new stuff happening at Snow King this winter, including the addition of the Cowboy Coaster . This thrilling ride features loops, twists, turns, and even hairpin turns as riders plunge down the nearly mile-long track at up to 25 miles per hour. To drive the coaster, you must be at least 54 inches tall and passengers must be at least 38 inches tall.

10. Savor the sun rise.

Savor an earlier sunrise in the winter.
Savor an earlier sunrise in the winter. David S. Ferry III, DDS

Short winter days mean you don't have to get up super early to watch the sun rise for the first time in the new year. On January 1, the sun is due to rise in Jackson at 7:56 am. Climb a mountain or just sit out on your porch with a cup of coffee in hand to celebrate the dawn of 2016 and all the adventures awaiting in the year to come.

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