Jackson Hole has risen to prominence over the years, but it’s the past few in particular that have seen its popularity soar as high as the Grand Tetons behind it. And it’s understandable why. Challenging terrain is what it is best known for, but the area’s spectacular scenery, a happening après scene, an ever-growing selection of great restaurants and wide range of accommodation make it a natural choice. It’s not surprising people come back year after year.
- Spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife, even in winter. The resort’s closeness to Grand Teton National Park adds whole other dimension.
- The tram, aka Big Red. Rise 4139ft (1261m) in just 9 minutes to access some of the most extreme terrain in the United States.
- The Mangy Moose. How can anyone not love this bar and the size of its plate of nachos?
- Endless challenging inbounds terrain and some awesome backcountry terrain accessed through several gates. Bring your avalanche gear.
- Hiking the Headwall on a beautiful powder day.
- Jackson Hole can get very cold. Be prepared.
- The resort is steep – but contrary to popular belief there are some fun areas for beginners and intermediates.
- The mountain resort has its base in Teton Village, about 20 minutes from the town of Jackson.
- Whatever you do, don’t miss The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in town where real cowboys come to drink and dance, and where you can sit on a saddle bar stool.
- Lift lines can sometimes be bad, especially on a powder day when the die-hard locals come out in force. As a result it gets skied out pretty quickly.
Flying in to Jackson Hole airport is one of the most spectacular landings of anywhere in America. The mountains that rise out of the Snake River Valley are truly awe-inspiring, so much so that President Teddy Roosevelt, the grandaddy of National Parks in America, once said: “These are the first mountains I’ve seen that look like mountains should look.” The Grand Teton mountain range is steep, rocky and extends for miles and miles into Yellowstone National Park.
So it’s not surprising that when you walk across the tarmac into one of the nicest airports in America, and are greeted by your cowboy-hatted shuttle driver, the sense of anticipation is almost unbearable.
Regardless of whether you are staying in the town of Jackson or at the resort base in Teton Village, a ski vacation here is one of the best you’ll ever have. That’s because Jackson Hole really has it all.
Despite popular opinion, Jackson has some great skiing for beginners and intermediates. Over the past decade it has expanded its blue runs to cater more to those wanting some gentle cruisers as well as investing in a new ski school base. Though it must be said, the hero of this mountain is the advanced and extreme skiing. Unlike many other resorts with similar terrain, where access to many of those runs requires hikes or at the least a combination of several lifts, at Jackson Hole the tram shifts 100 people at a time, right from the base of the mountain and up 4139ft in just 9 minutes. Once at the top, the extreme terrain is right at the tips of your skis, including the world-famous Corbet’s Couloir. If you’re game enough to drop in you’ll be rewarded with bragging rights for the rest of your life. And powder is something Jackson gets a lot of. About 460in (11.7m) of dry fluffy stuff drops every season, so if you’re there for a week you’ll most likely get a couple of powder days.
Beyond the mountain, there is an abundance of choices for dining (don’t miss Il Villaggio Osteria in the village or Local in town) and it has a vibrant apres and nightlife scene.
No matter how long you stay in Jackson Hole, it’s never long enough. Every time Scout leaves our face is glued to the airplane window and we shed a little tear – a piece of our heart always stays behind and by the time the pilot says “arm doors and cross check” we’re already figuring out when we can come back.
Find a great link to the Jackson Hole area and location of Teton Village, downtown Jackson Hole and the airport here.
Jackson Hole Skiing
Jackson Hole is up there as one of Scout's favourite ski resorts to ski. It's a big call, but once you make your first turns, you'll understand why!
Made up of two mountains, Apres Vous and the Rendezvous, Jackson Hole has a fantastic range of terrain to suit all ability levels (contrary to popular belief). Over 2500 acres of in-bound terrain, and a vertical of almost 4200 feet make Jackson Hole popular among local and international skiers & snowboarders. The bottom of the Apres Vous mountain is perfect for beginners, with nice gentle slopes taping down to the resort base. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will love Jackson Hole, with over 40% of the terrain catering to the mid-level enthusiast. Off the Bridger Gondola and Apres Vous Quad skiers can enjoy nice long (and sometimes challenging) trails, and from the top of the tram, Rendezvous Bowl provides that thigh-burning run from peak to base.
Jackson Hole has plenty of terrain for advanced skiers to explore until their hearts are content. Incredible fall-line sking mid-mountain, and the Cheyenne & Laramie Bowls higher up offer those famous steep and deeps and impeccable tree runs. Best known for Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole is an expert skiers ultimate playground, with fantastic challenging chutes and tree runs spread over much of the resort. It's always a nerve tester peering over the edge of Corbet's Couloir, just below the top of the tram, even if you decide not to take the plunge!
On a powder day (and there are powder days a-plenty at Jackson Hole), there can be a few lift lines as powder fiends fight for the first tracks. However, you can still find stashes in the days after a storm within the trees and chutes. With the right equipment and knowledge (and preferably a guide), take the access gates to the backcountry areas beyond the resort boundaries and you're sure to experience some of the best powder turns of your skiing career. Local guides can be organised as part of your Scout package.
Alongside its wonderous terrain, Jackson Hole also boasts a great lift infrastructure. The main highlight being the world famous Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, providing access to the best terrain the mountain has to offer. The other chairlifts are relatively modern and fast (always appreciated on a powder day). Speaking of powder snow, Jackson Hole receives on average around 12 metres of snowfall annually. In recent years, Jackson Hole has boasted some of the deepest snowpack in all of North America.
A must-ski when in Jackson Hole is nearby resort, Grand Targhee. Open high alpine bowls and perfectly spaced tree runs are on offer at the resort, as well as 600 acres of cat serviced terrain and backcountry accessibility. It's a wonder that Grand Targhee remains under the radar, as it has fantastic terrain for all ability levels, and receives more snow than many resorts in the US. It's a perfect resort to dip your toes into off-piste powder, or for experts to huck off a cliff or two into waist-deep powder pockets. Kids will also love Grand Targhee, as it has a compact resort base, uncomplicated lift system, and fun rolling terrain with incredible views to match.
Jackson Hole is on the IKON pass, allowing you to explore more of the resorts in both North America and Canada. Contact us for more info.
Jackson Hole For Families
Jackson Hole has superb skiing for families, catering to all ability levels. While a lot of the resort seems gnarly and steep, the lower mountain of Apres Vous and the runs off the Bridger Gondola, Casper and Apres Vous chairs provide some super fun mellow and intermediate trails. There is also a kid's snow play area in the main village. Families also enjoy taking a trip up the Jackson Hole Tram for some incredible views, tasty waffles, and to watch those brave enough to attempt Corbet's Couloir.
The resort has a good variety of eateries, both on and off mountain, but not too diverse, so best for simple quick snacks. The resort recently overhauled its ski school base, relocating it further up the mountain (accessed via the Sweetwater Gondola) at Solitude Station. The Wrangler Daycare facilities offers great childcare, alongside a Kid's Night out programs, providing parents with some much needed kid-free time. The Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard School provides the standard full and half-day group and private lesson options, as well as good clinics for advanced skiers to master the challenging terrain. The resort base offers the standard facilities for a ski holiday - rentals, retail shops, restaurants, bars, etc.
Accommodation for families varies depending on where you want to make your home base. Jackson Hole area has a huge range of lodging, including hotels, motels, lodges, condos, cabins, and larger townhomes. Basically, something to suit every budget and family. Teton Village, located at the base of the resort itself, has accommodations ranging from budget to luxury, many ski-in/ski-out, super close to the slopes, or along the free shuttle route. Here you'll find a fantastic range of condos and self-contained townhomes, each with varying bedding arrangements. Our go-to lodging for families is Hotel Terra or Teton Mountain Lodge, both a short walking distance to the tram, or for better value the resort condos not far from the base area. The Teton Village has some restaurants, dining, and shopping facilities, but can get a bit repetative during a longer stay.
Alternatively, families can choose to stay in the town of Jackson, which is located about 20 minutes' drive away. It has a wide range of accommodation options and few catering to those on a budget. The town is the place to be at nighttime, with a bustling apres scene, great bars and restaurants, shops, and plenty of retail stores for even the most avid shopper. The resort, and some of the hotels, have reliable bus services that run between the town of Jackson and the resort area. Staying in town is a popular choice for those who are self-driving, giving families the opportunity to explore further afield into Teton National Park and Yellowstone, and head to Grand Targhee.
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Most of the accommodation in Jackson Hole is in either Teton Village, where the mountain resort is, or a 15-minute drive away in the town of Jackson. There are benefits to both, with Teton Village options putting you minutes from the lifts, while town accommodation tends to be cheaper and closer to the happening nightlife. There’s a huge variety of accommodation styles, from super luxurious hotels to hostels in the village, and motels to boutique hotels in town.
Find a great map of the Teton Village here.Search Hotels and Deals
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There are so many activities in Jackson Hole other than skiing, that it’s a great choice if you’re the type that doesn’t like to ski every day. Have a relaxing day at a spa or do some retail therapy in town. If nature is more your thing, don’t miss the sleigh rides at the National Elk Refuge or a visit to a backcountry yurt. The more adventurous can try their hand at snow kite boarding or paragliding, or join a fantastic snowmobile tour through the Yellowstone National Park.
But if it’s more skiing you want, you could try heli-skiing or snowcat skiing. There are other mountains in the area too, including Grand Targhee Resort, a fun mountain about 75 minutes from Jackson or burn some laps at the short but steep Snow King resort in town. Snow King also has night skiing and snow tubing.
Getting There and Around
The best way to get to Jackson is by flying. American, United, Delta and Frontier all fly to Jackson with direct flights to 11 major cities. The airport is just 10 minutes from town, or a 30-minute drive to Teton Village. Private shuttles, taxis or Ubers are available from the airport and there are rental cars available.
However due to the efficient town bus, there’s no need to rent a car when you visit Jackson Hole. If you’re staying in town it’s easy to catch it to the resort for skiing and vice versa for those in the village wanting to head to town at night. Taxis from town to the village cost about $40rf.
When To Go
Jackson Hole opens from late November to the start of April. January can be very cold while February is usually the most reliable month for snow. Powder days continue to March.
Weekends or big powder days can be busy as it’s when all the locals get their fix.
Facts & Figures
|Base Elevation||6311ft / 1924m||Tram||1||Beginner||10%|
|Summit Elevation||10,450ft / 3185m||Gondolas||2||Intermediates||40%|
|Vertical Drop||4139ft / 1258m||Express Quads||3||Advanced||50%|
|Skiable Area||2500ac / 1011ha||Quad Chair||4|
|Annual Snowfall||459in / 11.6m||Triple Chairs||1|
|Longest Run||4.4 miles / 7.2km||Double Chairs||2|
|Snowmaking||195ac / 78ha||Surface Lifts||1|
|Operating Hours||9.00am –4.00pm|
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