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 apres 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 a different 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 numbingly cold
- 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. 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 some of the best powder conditions on the mountain. 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.
Most of the accommodation in Jackson Hole is in either Teton Village, where the mountain resort is, or a 20-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.Search Hotels and Deals Get your
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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.
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.
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.
AllTrans has shuttles (and cowboy-hatted drivers) to town ($31pp return) and Teton Village ($50pp return).
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 $35.
Jackson Hole opens from late November to the start of April. January can be bitterly 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.
|Base Elevation||6311ft / 1924m||Tram||1||Beginner||10%|
|Summit Elevation||10,450ft / 3185m||Gondolas||1||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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