Jackson Hole, Wyo., is set in a remote mountain valley.
"Jackson Hole is one of those special places on earth that God just blessed," said Steve Duerr of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. "Some say that Jackson is the last and best of the old West. … It's western swing dancing, and cowboy up, and come on in after the rodeo in the summertime or a day skiing and sitting in a saddle and meeting the locals."
The first permanent settlers came to the town in the 1880s.
"What they found here was an incredibly beautifully valley that made them want to stay here in their hearts," said Lokey Lytjen, executive director of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. "It was basically a cow town, a frontier town, but we also had visitors coming out, dude ranchers, people coming out to climb. So we had the Tetons attracting people for recreational purposes early on in the valley's history."
The town square has changed little since the town was founded.
Jackson Hole receives more than 600 inches of snow a year. The town's national elk refuge is just less than 25,000 acres.
"They're coming here to this winter range where they can forage a little bit easier, the temperatures are milder, there's not as much snow as there are in the higher elevations," said Lori Iverson, who works at the refuge. "The highest number we've had this season is just over 5,000, but the elk move on and off the refuge. … This is a significant herd nationally, and it's not often that you can see this many elk in one location, and to get as close as we are here."