Santa Claus has become a cross-cultural staple of Christmas. Known as Papa Noel in Spain, Babbo Natale in Italy, and Father Christmas in the UK, Santa Claus is an icon in his own right, and each country has concocted their own twists on his magical origins. One staple element that stays consistent through each interpretation of St. Nick is his steady and reliable sleigh.
With so many gifts to deliver over such a vast distance, it’s no wonder Santa’s sleigh is such a key aspect of all Christmas tales. Legend has it that Santa’s sleigh was so light it could be pulled by one reindeer. Thus the lyric, “Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open sleigh…” Also, the bright beam of red light that shines from Rudolph’s nose has a scientific explanation behind it. While navigating around the globe might sound challenging enough, adding dense fog to the mix only makes the journey more complicated. It has been shown that red light is the most visible in foggy conditions, so Rudolph’s rosy glow may have been an advantageous characteristic that made him the natural leader of his reindeer pack.
Go Dashing Through The Snow
Ready to step into the shoes of Father Christmas and experience an authentic sleigh ride? In Jackson Hole, you have three amazing spots to explore the Teton-filled landscapes on your horse-drawn sleigh. Sleigh rides are the perfect activity to romance your loved one or have a family outing that everyone can enjoy. Below are some of our top choices for unique sleigh ride experiences, that cover beautiful scenery, delicious meals, and close encounters with local wildlife.
Mill Iron Ranch
On Mill Iron Ranch Dinner Sleigh Rides, you’ll experience the hospitality and warmth of a family-owned ranch that has been in business for over 30 years. Guides will lead you through the ranch, which is flanked by the Bridger Teton National Forest on one side and one of the biggest state-ran elk feeding yards in Wyoming on the other side. Listen to the guide’s tall tales and lore during your scenic jaunt sleighing through the backcountry and snowy trails of Jackson Hole. Afterward, delight in a hearty t-bone steak dinner back at the ranch’s lodge.
National Elk Refuge
At the National Elk Refuge, have a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter with elk! This refuge is home to thousands of elk, and during your sleigh ride, you can get within 20 to 30 feet of them. Local guides will tell you the history behind the elk and their migration patterns that have brought them through the area over centuries. This refuge isn’t only known for its elk, as it’s normal to see other wildlife like eagles, foxes, bison, wolves, and coyotes!
Spring Creek Ranch
Views galore await you on a Spring Creek Ranch Dinner Sleigh Ride. This route leads you along the top of East Gros Ventre Butte, approximately 1,000 feet above the valley floor. From this height, you’ll get panoramic views of the surrounding Grand Tetons and the valley below. With only the sound of hooves stomping through the snow, you’ll have the chance to truly appreciate the impressive landscape that Jackson Hole has to offer. Following the sunset, savor a three-course meal at the award-winning Granary restaurant.
Plan Your Snow-Bound Vacay
Break out your comfy sweater, because now is the time to start planning your winter wonderland escape. Get the most out of Jackson Hole by staying at Snow King Resort, located in the heart of Jackson’s historic downtown in between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Known as the premier luxury resort in the area, you can stay in classic lodges with mountain views and updated modern amenities. The resort’s concierge can arrange various winter activities during your stay, including sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and heli-skiing. Also, as a ski-in, ski-out lodge, you’ll only be minutes away from the slopes.