Sublette County Real Estate Market — AKA ‘Little Jackson Hole’ — Cools Some, But Still Pricey

Having earned the nickname “Little Jackson Hole” for becoming a less expensive alternative to Wyoming’s swanky Jackson Hole area, Sublette County’s real estate market has cooled some.

John Thompson

July 26, 20235 min read

At nearly $7 million, this property in Bondurant in Sublette County is the highest-priced current listing in Sublette County.
At nearly $7 million, this property in Bondurant in Sublette County is the highest-priced current listing in Sublette County. (

PINEDALE — Once called “Jackson’s Little Hole” by 19th century fur traders and trappers, Sublette County has more recently become known as “Little Jackson Hole” for an entirely different reason — for catching the overflow of Teton County’s swanky real estate market.

While not as exclusive as Teton County, the market for real estate in Sublette County has leveled off this summer after a land rush prior to 2022.

Then, people were offering over-list prices, buying homes and ranch properties sight unseen, and real estate speculators were scooping up homes in Pinedale to put in the rental market.

"People were fighting over properties, making stupid decisions, and paying over list prices just to get a home here," said Kristy Jones, an associate broker with Western Winds Property Brokers in Pinedale.

Local realtors presumed last winter, the gnarliest in recent history, would create some inventory. It didn't.


There now are 50 listings for homes in Sublette County ranging in price from $149,500 to $6.9 million. At the low end is a dry, 320-square-foot log cabin on a U.S. Forest Service lease overlooking Fremont Lake. It was built in 1966, has a cistern and an outdoor shower.

On the upper end is a 165-acre property in the Bondurant area. It's a timber-framed, 4,190 square foot home built in 1996, with a horse barn and arena. The kitchen cabinets are made from repurposed wine casks.

Most of the homes listed between those two are in the $500,000 range.

Starter homes, priced at $350,000 or less, are as rare as rocking horse manure in Pinedale. Farther south in the Big Piney and Marbleton area, there are a few homes in this price range.

Jones said the real estate market in Sublette County came on strong after the solar eclipse in August 2017. Thousands of people traveled to Sublette County to view the eclipse.

Following that, the COVID 19 pandemic taught Americans how to work from home, and the county’s popularity skyrocketed.

"We really got discovered here after the COVID lockdown," Jones said. "People felt if they were going to work from home they wanted to get out of cities. The resulting big push caused supply and demand and prices went up. Now, for people trying to find a starter home it's almost impossible."

Sublette County Appeal

For a small Wyoming town, Pinedale offers decent shopping options, but the nearest Walmart is 100 miles away in Rock Springs. That used to be a deterrent for some, but Jones said the multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities and good schools make Sublette County a reasonable compromise.

She added that many of the people who have moved to Sublette County in recent years are retirees and families with at least one parent who can work from home. Retirees make up most her business, she said.

"There are a lot of freedoms here that other places don't have," she said. "It's a small population which is attractive, but it's a big change for people who haven't lived in a rural area before. One of our other draws is the safety and security of a rural area."

U.S. Census Bureau figures show Sublette County's total population at 8,763 in July 2022. That's down slightly from 10,247 in 2010.

Other Challenges

Popularity aside, Sublette County has become a difficult place to relocate to for numerous reasons. Bare land is available, but finding a contractor that can get to work right away on a new home is nearly impossible, Jones said.

Most of the good building contractors in the area need at least two years before they can get started. New construction also presents a need for a water well and septic system. Contractors that do those jobs are also in short supply.

Building costs and interest rates have also gone up over the past two years. Jones said the cost of diesel fuel has caused price increases for lumber and other building products.

Overflow From Jackson

Many of the people shopping for real estate in Sublette County are from Teton County. Jones said they are "mostly folks who just want to get out of Jackson." Much of Jackson's workforce commutes from Alpine, Star Valley or Teton Valley, Idaho.

Although Bondurant is about a 30-mile commute to Jackson, Jones said the available properties there are high-end homes and the town hasn't established itself as a bedroom community.

Second Homes and Abandoned Homes

Green River Ranches is a subdivision established in the 1970s a few miles north of Daniel on Highway 191. Initially, many of the properties were purchased by Sweetwater County residents as second homes and hunting cabins. Now, numerous properties in the subdivision are in disrepair and various stages of neglect.

Many of the people who live in the subdivision and the general area around it commute to Jackson for work.

Jones estimated that about one-third of the available building lots in Sublette County are marginal for reasons related to year-round access roads or topography.

Regarding commercial real estate, Jones said she wouldn't call the market in Sublette County stagnant, but nothing much is moving. A motel in Pinedale recently changed hands and a subdivision north of Daniel is in the planning and zoning stages.

"With commercial properties people are real quiet," she said. "Most times you don't hear about properties changing hands until it happens."

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John Thompson

Features Reporter