They use gravel on the roads during the winter, so be sure to check your auto insurance policy, your credit card auto coverage or just get the waiver that protects you against chips and cracks in the windshield. We had issues with this two years in a row. Luckily our credit card policy helped us out.
As you explore the national forests and the nearby national parks, you may enjoy spotting wildlife. Along rivers, and in open grass lands, keep your eye open for elk, moose, and bison. If you are extra lucky, you may even spot a bear. Although most people understand bears are dangerous, be aware that even the moose, elk, bison, and other wildlife are also dangerous. You should stay at least 25 yards away from animals such as bison, moose and elk. These animals are large, and can take you out faster than you would believe. In Yellowstone, elk have even been known to attack cars, especially during mating season. Those sharp points on the end of their antlers are excellent weapons if they become upset with you. Bison, may look slow and docile, but they can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hours, and can outlast a racehorse. Moose are large, and they don’t trust you anymore than any of the other wildlife that you see. Don’t spoil your vacation by ending up in the hospital or worse, just because you ignored wildlife warnings. The most common mistake I see, is folks risking their safety by moving close to wildlife to get a close up photo. You may get away with it, but a large number of folks don’t. It is not worth the risk, so don’t become one of the people that locals read about in the newspaper, who were attacked by some wild animal.
A quick note to point out that you CAN'T book rooms at the only hostel in Jackson in advance.
So it's a bit of a risk just showing up and asking for a room.
Seems odd, the owners were a little 'crazy'.
But yes, my advice would be to book into a cheap motel and then investigate staying at the hostel the following nights.
Wildlife is a BIG part of a Jackson Hole visit, but don't feed any of the animals, except for the Mule deer up near Mammoth hot springs. They seem pretty dependant on people at this point.
Don't follow the grizzly bears, they can eat you.
Bison are the number 2 killer in yellowstone, number 1 is yellowstone lake. So don't mess with the Bison.
Mudholes like this might smell really aweful. Avoid getting to close and stay on the marked paths. That way you won't risk too step on a thin and breakable crust.
Don't follow too close behind the dog team because you never know what's going to go flying in you face or when.