Jackson Hole is a valley located in northwestern Wyoming. Originally called Jackson's Hole, after David "Davey" Jackson - a beaver trapper employed by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, the valley is bordered on the west by the Teton Mountain Range and on the east by the Gros Ventre Mountain Range. The valley is 55 miles long and averages 6 to 13 miles wide.
Grand Teton National Park, including Jackson Lake and much of the Teton Range, encompasses the northwestern area of this valley. Located in the southern end of the valley is the Town of Jackson. The average altitude of Jackson Hole is approx. 6500 feet.
The first humans to settle in the valley were the Native Americans, then the fur trappers and then the homesteaders. Year-round settlement did not take place until around the 1870's. Cattle Ranching took hold due to the fact that the valley soils and the short growing season were not conducive to farming.
The only commercial airport located in a national park is in this valley and is the largest airport in the state of Wyoming. The National Elk Refuge is adjacent to the Town of Jackson and is home to the largest Elk herd on the planet. The Elk begin to arrive in numbers after the first winter snowfall (November) and return to their summer grazing locations sometime in late April, when the snow melts enough to allow for this migration.
Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are the major tourist attractions, but the area is also renowned for its trout fishing, skiing and extreme sports recreation.