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Must-See Destination #6: Jackson Lake Natural Features

Here we’ll just focus on natural features that are on, or directly connect to, Jackson Lake. There’s a great many, drawing in visitors for days of enjoyment. This list is extensive and we could include *a lot* more, which we’ll do in future posts. This is enough to make your head spin and ask, “What to see? What to see?!” Do you have any favorites among these? Read more

Must-See Destination #4: The Jackson Lake Dam

The Jackson Lake Dam is a concrete gravity structure with earthen embankment wings. The structure is 65 feet high. It was originally a log-crib dam when built in 1907.

At that time, the dam rose Jackson Lake’s waters by 22 feet. When it was rebuilt in 1916, that number rose to 30 feet.

In blocking the lake’s outlet into Snake River, the consequent 847,000 acre-feet of storage area provides irrigation water for Idaho farmland diverted into distribution canals when further collected by the Minidoka and American Falls dams 100 miles downriver.

According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, the latest update to the dam, in 1989, can withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake along the Teton fault.

You can see Jackson Lake Dam along Teton Park Road, off of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Parkway. It sits below the immensely popular Signal Mountain and the picturesque Jackson Lake Overlook.

The Jackson Lake Dam Picnic Area, next to the dam, is a sought-after spot for outdoor eating with breath-taking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Must-See Destination #3: Jackson Lake

Just north of Leigh Lake is Jackson Lake, the largest lake in the Tetons, and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the country at 6,700 feet up! In fact, it’s so big that we’ll be posting some off-shoot must-see’s from it. (There’s so much to do there!)

Jackson Lake is 15 miles long, 7 miles wide, and over 400 feet deep. It has several bays and 15 islands, the largest of which is Elk Island. Its size has been enlarged since the construction of the Jackson Lake Dam, which was built in 1911 and rebuilt in 1989.

Its pristine glacial waters are chilled below 60 degrees Fahrenheit even in the summer. It’s fed chiefly by the Snake River flowing in from the north. And the lake is globally known as a prime fishing destination with a wide variety of species inhabiting it, particularly trout and whitefish.

The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Highway runs by it, and there are marinas and lodges along the lake’s eastern shore providing starting- and end-points for a variety of day-long activities in and around the lake. These spots include: Leeks Marina, Signal Mountain Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, and Colter Bay Village.

If you’re looking to hike, picnic, swim, boat, kayak, fish, etc., all in one spot, Jackson Hole’s your best bet.

Check out Jackson Lake Lodge