Flat Creek Inn

Category: Lodging in Jackson

Grand Teton National Park

For as often as we boast (brag? Tout? Toot our own horn?) about being Jackson’s closest motel to Grand Teton National Park, it’s surprising that we’ve never yet dedicated an entire post to the wonders and beauty of this historic park. With over 250 miles of hiking trails, lakes, and plenty of wildlife, Grand Teton National Park is the perfect destination for those who want to see and interact with some of the most majestic scenery in the West.

What is the best time to visit?

Grand Teton National Park
Jenny Lake Cascade Canyon

While the park is open year-round, many seasonal closures may affect the type of experience you’re hoping to have. Peak months are May through September, but many travelers find that going from mid-June to early July provides the best opportunities for seeing wildlife. (More on said wildlife below.)

What is the closest town?

You know where this is going, right? Jackson is the closest town to Grand Teton National Park and the perfect place to grab a meal, do some shopping, or just relax after a day in the park. At around 3 miles from the Grand Teton National Park sign, Flat Creek Inn is the closest motel to the park (you may have heard us mention that once or twice before). Situated across the street from the peaceful and fascinating elk reserve, Flat Creek Inn is the ideal home base for your Grand Teton adventures.

Flat Creek Inn

Where should I stay?

See above. Flat Creek Inn, obviously. All kidding aside (are we kidding?), Jackson boasts amazing lodging, both luxury and budget-friendly options to suit whatever type of vacation you are looking for. Aside from lodging in Jackson, you can get a good night’s sleep in the park and walk out your door in the morning ready for the day’s adventures. Whether you’re looking for a lodge, cabin, cottage, motel-style room, or a night under the stars at one of the eight campgrounds available, there’s literally an option for everyone. Park lodging is seasonal with varying opening and closing months dependent on the location. Be sure to check the seasonal openings for your preferred location. Also note that all campsites do require reservations that must be made online

What is there to see?

Do you mean besides the Grand Teton? Well, thanks to the National Parks Service website, we have this oddly comprehensive list of all the flora and fauna you’re able to see: 

  • 22 species of rodents
  • 17 species of carnivores (black and grizzly bears)
  • 6 species of hoofed mammals
  • 3 species of rabbits/hares
  • 6 species of bats
  • 4 species of reptiles (none venomous—this is very important)
  • 6 species of amphibians
  • 16 species of fish
  • 300+ species of birds
  • Numerous invertebrates (no venomous spiders—this is also very important)
  • 7 species of coniferous trees
  • 900+ species of flowering plants

A little much? Yeah, probably. Besides this very fascinating list of plants and animals, there are over 250 miles of hiking trails ranging from short, family-friendly walks to backcountry excursions and even some of the best mountaineering in the West. The park also boasts six morainal lakes and over 100 alpine backcountry lakes. Looking for something a little more low-key? Attend a ranger-led program! These programs are a great way to learn about what makes the park special. Rangers are the experts and can help you discover things you may not have been able to learn on your own. While the 2023 calendar isn’t available yet (2022 programming started in early-mid June), keep an eye on the event calendar or visit one of the four visitor centers to learn what’s available.

How long should I spend there?

Grand Teton National Park
Near Jackson Lake Lodge

This completely depends on what type of experience you’re hoping to have. For the average traveler, two days would give you enough time to hit the scenic points and do one or two short-ish hikes. That being said, staying for three or more days allows you to fully immerse yourself in the park. 

Ready to go see all that Grand Teton has to offer? Come stay with us! Or even if you’re just passing through, stop by and chat. We’d love to hear about your experiences with the park and tell you more about our favorite things to do. See you soon!

 

Breanne Kunz was raised in the Pacific Northwest but grew up spending summers in Idaho and frequently visiting Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. She is a wife and mom who likes to write. She occasionally travels (not as much as she’d like) and always eats.


Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Chascar, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Holidays from Flat Creek Inn!

Photo credit: Lincoln “Disco” Wagar

The holidays have always been about family. At Flat Creek Inn, that includes our guests and employees, and we’re grateful as always for the many wonderful people who’ve chosen to work and stay with us at our home away from home. 

This Christmas, we hope that everyone who passes through our doors will feel the warmth and joy of the season while they stay with us and take a piece of that joy home with them when they leave. We’re eager to see old friends and meet new ones as we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with you. 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a happy New Year!

 

The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Jackson’s Favorite Family-Owned Motel

The story of Flat Creek Inn is anything but flat. It’s a story full of ups, downs, and more ups. It’s the story of a family, a gas station, a few rough patches, and eventual success. And, with the tenth anniversary of the big comeback of this family-owned motel coming up, it’s a story we’re about to tell you. 

Red Barn firework stand

The Beginning

In the late 1960s, Jerry Bagley, a man with legends as large as Davy Crockett, strolled into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his young wife and daughters and bought a parcel of land on the outskirts of the small, western town. Here, the Red Barn gas station was born. 

For almost two decades, Jerry and his family made a living running the Red Barn and selling the best darned fireworks in town, even earning the title of “Jackson Firework King” (I actually bestowed that title upon him in a nice little song I wrote). In the early 1980s, Jackson County banned the selling of fireworks. This, as you can imagine, made an impact on the livelihood of a firework salesman, so the time was right to close the Red Barn and relocate their family to Idaho for a fresh start. But the land in Jackson Hole still remained. 

Before their departure to Idaho, however, a stranger arrived in town. We imagine him riding in on his horse, cowboy hat pulled low over his brow, dusty from the long day’s ride. As tumbleweed blows across the road, the stranger jumps down from his steed, spurs jangling, and swaggers through the doors of Jackson’s saloon, where asks, “Where can I find Mr. Bagley?” 

It may have gone this way, who knows? The important part is that he had a proposal for the Bagleys. He suggested leasing their land so he could build a motel. Both parties agreed and Flat Creek Inn came to be. 

The Middle

The partnership flourished for several years. The Bagleys enjoyed their new life in Idaho, all while keeping a distant eye on their property back in Jackson. Eventually, the original owner of the motel passed away and the motel fell into new hands. This proved the beginning of Flat Creek’s tragic decline, including bankruptcy. There, Flat Creek became the butt of every internet troll’s joke (“I think I found Jackson’s hole,” claimed one droll-witted reviewer) and had a sad life dead last on Trip Advisor (#44, if you’re curious).

By this time, Jerry Bagley had also passed away and the land was owned by his wife and children. Tired of seeing their land host this sad, dilapidated motel, the Bagleys agreed it was time to take up the mantle. And so, on October 21, 2012, the Bagleys became the owners of the lowest-ranked motel in Jackson Hole. There was literally nowhere else to go but up.

The End (and Future)

Thanks to the time, talents, and hard work of the Bagley family, Flat Creek Inn has been revived and is now the quaintest and best family-owned motel in all of Jackson Hole (in our humble opinion, of course). In 2022, Flat Creek Inn received a “Travelers’ Choice” award! According to TripAdvisor, the Travelers’ Choice award is given to “accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.” Number 44, who? 

Photo courtesy of Flat Creen Inn employee Rigo Jiménez.

Each summer, at least a few of Jerry’s grandchildren make the pilgrimage to Flat Creek Inn to work for the summer, cleaning rooms and working in the convenience store, each creating lasting memories of their time at the motel. And while the motel has been under Bagley ownership for TEN years (with many more to come!), we are so thankful to our employees, guests, and customers who have been with us for many years and continue to make Flat Creek Inn the best little family-owned motel in Jackson Hole!

To make your own memories at Flat Creek Inn, call (307) 733-5276. 


Breanne Kunz was raised in the Pacific Northwest but grew up spending summers in Idaho frequently visiting Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. She is a wife and mom who likes to write. She occasionally travels (not as much as she’d like) and always eats.

21 Awesome Antler Gifts 2020

Many animals are well known for shedding their antlers including elk, deer, and moose (moosen?). There are some really creative folks out there who have come up with some pretty cool uses for these antlers that have been shed. We’ve scoured the internet and found some of the coolest gifts made out of antlers (or are antler themed). Our personal favorite? The antler toilet paper holder (#9 below). You know you need one of those in your house asap! Feel free to check out all 21 antler gifts below!

elk
The mighty elk.

1. Antler wall hook

2. “Home is where you hang your antlers” sign

3. Dainty antler pendant necklace

4. Woodland faux deer antler ornament

5. Antler desk fan

6. Antler coat rack

7. Antler chandelier

8. Deer antler knife

9. Antler toilet paper holder 

10. Antler toothbrush holder

11. Elk antler earrings

12. Custom deer head sign

13. Elk antler pendant chain necklace

14. Elk antler dog chews 

15. Antler sweatshirt

16. Antler party favors/cake toppers

17. Elk antler ring

18. Antler bed comforter

19. Moose antler fruit bowl

20. Matching antler wedding rings

21. Antler headbands

Elk antler arches in Jackson, Wyoming

 

If you enjoyed this article, we know you will enjoy coming to Jackson Hole and seeing the antler arch at town square! While you’re here, feel free to come stay at the Flat Creek Inn. We would love to have you!

Thinking About Visiting Jackson Hole? Check Out This Vlog!

The Cox Clan YouTube Channel : Best Things To Do in Jackson Hole Wyoming

YouTube is the best for checking out travel destinations before you go somewhere. It gives you a good feel for if you would like to even go there in the first place, plus it gives great ideas of what to do if you do go!

If you’re thinking about going to Jackson, watch this video! It’s recent (January 2019), and it will give you some great tips for what to do in good ol’ Jackson Hole Wyoming!

Here are the Cox Clan’s Favorite Things to Do in Jackson Hole:

  1. The Virginian Restaurant (They have the best cinnamon rolls!)
  2. Café Genevieve
  3. The Wilcox Art Gallery II
  4. Jackson Drug Co. (Best malts in the world can be found here!)
  5. Yippy I-O Candy Co. (They have yummy, yummy fudge!)
  6. Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride (check out this Stay and Sleigh Special!)
  7. The Jackson Mercantile
  8. Merry Piglets Mexican Café
  9. Visit the Teton Mountains
  10. Ice Skating in Town Square
  11. Take a Picture Under the Arches

And where does the Cox Clan recommend you stay? The Flat Creek Inn of course! Why do they love the Flat Creek Inn? Because of the comfy beds, and the FREE COMPLIMENTARY HOT CHOCOLATE!! It is the best! (Try the cookies and cream flavored hot chocolate! Yum!) And they loved the view of the Elk Refuge from their front door:).

The Cox Clan

We hope to see you at the Flat Creek Inn soon!

(Huge thanks to the Cox Clan for letting us share their video!)

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