Yellowstone Safari

USA Holidays

Expert Opinion Our Expert
James Rivers

"This is the most exciting Ski Safari I have been on recently combining two of the best ski resorts in North America, Big Sky and Jackson Hole, with an easy 4 hour drive through the stunning Yellowstone National Park."

Safari Details

Resorts & Cities

Driving Times

Big Sky Bozeman Airport - Big Sky 1 hr
Grand Targhee Big Sky - Grand Targhee 3 hrs
Jackson Hole Grand Targhee - Jackson Hole 1 hr

The perfect duration for this trip is 14 nights though 10 nights is also possible - if you get up early, the 4 hour drive between the resorts does not mean you have to lose any ski time at all, particularly if you ski Grand Targhee en-route. With the new United Flight into Denver it is now easy to organize 1 stop flights into Bozeman and out of Jackson, with one-way car hire between resorts. An important point to consider is the limited number of flight seats into these small airports and also the relatively few number of SUVs based at these airports, so the earlier you organise a trip the cheaper it will be.

This Ski Safari can be done from Big Sky to Jackson or vice versa.

Big Sky

To locals Big Sky, Montana is one of the most iconic ski mountains in the USA. Yet to date it is little known in the UK mainly because it has been difficult to get to in the past. Since inter-linking with Moonlight Basin, Big Sky now claims to have the largest ski area in the USA with 5,500 skiable acres.

And what terrain it is……. Lone Peak dominates the sky line and, as the ski area is privately owned (rather than leased off the National Parks as with most resorts), they are able to provide open access to the steepest terrain in North America. The top of the peak is accessed by a gondola from where you can ski most aspects of the mountain back down to Big Sky or into Moonlight Basin. For the advanced skier this offers an amazing playground - there are a couple of true couloirs off the top of the peak which you can access with a guide (or on your own if you take your own avalanche safety equipment) or take the rather “hairy hike” along the ridge line to access some very steep chutes. The resort gets an average of 450 inches of snow a year so on a powder day with so much terrain and so few skiers it is not difficult to ride un-tracked powder all day!

For intermediates, there is a wealth of groomers on various aspects of the mountain so you can really travel around the mountain . The runs are well linked so there is very little traversing and with no waiting in lift queues you can really maximize your mileage.

For families Big Sky is also a great option, mainly due to its excellent selection of slope-side accommodation from 4+ star hotels to gorgeous 5 bedroom cabins. The ski school is just superb and has a dedicated beginner ski area at the base of the mountain.

Yellowstone Tours

One of the main attractions of the area is the opportunity of taking a snowmobile or snow-coach tour into the amazing Yellowstone National Park. The reason these are so unique is the abundance of wildlife (Buffalo, Moose and Elk) you will see along the way as well as ¼ of the  world's geo-thermal geysers including the famous Old Faithful. For more information please go to www.twotopsnowmobile.com.

Grand Targhee

One of the powder gems of North America with over 500 inches of snow annually, Grand Targhee is handily located between Big Sky and Jackson Hole. In the foothills of the impressive Grand Teton Mountain Range the skiing here is simply stunning. Though not a huge resort, this is part of it’s attraction. It offers a real back country atmosphere and with so few skiers on the mountain, it feels like you have the place to yourself. It is well worth a 1 or 2 night stay, particularly if you want to try their cat- skiing terrain, though it is easy to ski a day here between the resorts or even do day trips from Jackson Hole.

Jackson Hole

Still one of the most iconic North American ski resorts and somewhere every dedicated skier needs to tick off on their “life ski chart” !. If you have ever watched a ski/snowboard movie, Jackson Hole will feature with some nutter taking a radical line off a cliff, doing some insane steep chute or bombing through the trees.

The resort is a paradise for advanced skiers, offering much steeper terrain than most North American resorts with a single black diamond in JH being closer to a double diamond in Colorado. There are so many “secret spots” the best way to truly discover the mountain is with one of the local guides.

Though renowned as an advanced mountain Jackson Hole offers some of the most beautiful groomed run skiing in North America. The stunning scenery and long runs from  the  top of the Summit Gondola offer great variety, yet I always recommend taking a lesson to challenge yourself and become comfortable on the black diamonds in order to get a true taste of what the resort has to offer.

For families the great facilities on mountain, excellent ski terrain and quiet ski slopes coupled with the cowboy atmosphere in town and local wildlife make this trip a unique North American experience for the children.

The New Tram – since 1966 the Jackson Hole Tram has been the mascot for the resort. Opened in 2009, a new Tram whisks up to 100 skiers over 4000ft to the top of the mountain in 9 minutes. 

Where to stay

The base of the mountain offers a variety of accommodation from the relatively basic Inn at Jackson to the luxurious  Four Season’s hotel.  Condos are scattered around the base and there are some stunning 2 to 5 bedroom luxury ski-in ski-out cabins. More affordable options are around 250ms to the base. The Mangy Moose bar restaurant kicks off with live music a few days a week, but the real atmosphere is in Jackson Town, just 25 minutes shuttle -ride away.

In many ways I prefer to stay in the town - it really offers a more authentic Western experience which is one the main attractions of Jackson as a destination and where most of the best value hotels are. There are also a lot more shops, bars and restaurants than there are at the resort base. Entering the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is like stepping back in time and has been used in countless cowboy movies as well as modern classics like ‘Every Which Way You Can’, staring Clint Eastwood and Clyde!

Price Guide

Prices for this 14 night ski safari start from £1,525pp based on 4 adults (£1,650pp for 2 travelling) and include:

  • Return economy flights from London Heathrow into Bozeman and out of Jackson Hole – 1 stop with United Airlines.
  • 5 nights in the Huntley Lodge (including full American breakfast)
  • 2 nights in Grand Targhee at the Targhee Lodge
  • 7 nights in The Parkway Inn (including Continental Breakfast)
  • 7 days SUV hire – one way (add £75pp for the SUV for the duration)
  • Transfer back to Jackson Airport

Click here to request a quotation tailored to your particular requirements, or please call James on 01273 224 060.

YellowstoneSafariMap

        Click map to enlarge

Big Sky Aerial

View from Big Sky

Powder in Grand Targhee

Deep turn in Jackson Hole

Deep turn in Jackson Hole