Jackson Hole Resort Guide
Insider tips from our team
Jackson Hole is such an iconic destination that you have to go at least once in your skiing/snowboarding lifetime. It's not just about the amazing terrain and 10-plus metres of annual snowfall, it's also about the magnificent backdrop of the Grand Tetons. It really does have an abundance of genuinely challenging terrain, including that infamous and crazy leap into Corbet's Couloir. However, the resort has more recently put huge investment towards changing the perception of being "experts only", with upgrading the lift system to connect and open up its terrain to intermediates and now beginners too.
In the past few years, the resort has opened new blue terrain in the Teton and Casper Lift area and converted what used to be off-piste and mogul terrain into extensive groomer skiing. These areas are accessed by the new Sweetwater Gondola and Apres Vous quad chair respectively, making it easier than ever to get to intermediate terrain, including some lovely well-spaced glade skiing.
Rendezvous Mountain is still the most aggressive area - a few years ago Jackson Hole's iconic tram was reintroduced which can whip 100 riders up over 4,000 ft of vertical here to some of the most challenging terrain in North America in just nine minutes!
- Advanced skiers - “Awesome” may be an over-used word in America, but never in Jackson Hole. This is a mecca for any advanced skier and rider and it’s all just that bit steeper - a Jackson Hole black diamond being the equivalent to a Breckenridge double black. We recommend taking a guide as you will discover areas with a short hike that you’d never find on your own. For the adventurous, Cody Bowl is a must - one of the few areas in North America where you are required to have a transceiver to pass through the gates. Once you've been in with a guide you are free to return without one, provided you have the necessary equipment. Yet there is plenty that is easily accessible from the lifts, if you prefer not to stray too far from a groomer.
- Intermediate skiers - Jackson offers beautiful scenery and some gorgeous groomed runs from the top of the gondola. Perhaps the trail map doesn't show the number of blue runs other resorts may have, however, the quality and diversity more than makes up for it. The ski school here is superb, so we'd recommend taking a lesson to help you tidy your technique and build your confidence to progress onto the black diamonds.
- Mountain hosts - Great for intermediate skiers on your first day. These are really friendly locals that not only help orientate you on the slopes but also give you some of the local history and tips on where to ski and what to do around the area. They normally meet twice a day at 9.30am and 1pm at the base of the mountain.
- Beginner skiers - New for 2018/19 the Solitude Station is a full-service lodge which combines a new base for their Mountain Sports School, along with rental and dining. At the mid-station of the Sweetwater Gondola, just a two-minute ride up from the base, this area has been expanded for beginners and is perfect if you have a mixed ability group or for families with young children. Further easy progression for novices can be made on the big, wide groomers on Apres-Vous Mountain.
- Grand Targhee - Only one hour from Jackson with day trips on offer from $120 (including shuttle ride and lift ticket). This is one of the prettiest resorts in North America and offers intermediates a glorious day out as it's not so steep. A must for advanced skiers too, with over 12 metres of annual snowfall, it's so quiet you can ski untracked powder all day. With a small lift system, it's perfect for mixed abilities as from the top of each lift you can choose a groomer or an open powder face, then meet at the bottom and do it again. Probably one of the best resorts to learn to ski powder in the world.
Facilities & Services
Jackson town - The accommodation in the town is some of the best value in North America and, with its Wild West atmosphere and great choice of bars and restaurants, it's a popular option.
Teton Village - Staying in Teton Village offers more condo accommodation and, whilst relatively more expensive than staying in town, it still has some of the best value luxury accommodation in The Rockies.
Childcare - Jackson Hole offers childcare from 6 months to 3 years at Wrangler Daycare in The Kids Ranch. There is also a Kid’s Night Out programme which offers evening activities and dinner for children ages 3 to 14.
Transportation - Teton Village is nice and small so you don’t need transportation here. The local START bus service runs frequently between Jackson town and Teton (20 minutes) and is about $3 a trip. Many properties also provide their own ski shuttles.
Supermarket - Teton Village has a small selection of shops including a grocery store with a liquor section. However, the biggest range is in Jackson where there is a selection of supermarkets including Albertson’s and Smith’s.
The resort's proximity to Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park offers big opportunity to take days off the slopes and is in fact a great destination for non-skiers, with so many activities and sightseeing options.
One of the highlights of this area is taking a day trip into Yellowstone National Park by snowmobile (for the more adventurous) or by heated snow coach. For more information visit Scenic Safaris.
Aquatic/Recreation Centre - Includes a gymnasium and an aquatic centre featuring a 25 yard lap pool, therapy pool, hot tub, water slide, and child-friendly leisure pool.
Snowmobiling - Many tours are available, including around Yellowstone National Park, to the Granite Hot Springs, Gros Ventre Mountain Range and the Greys River.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides - through the National Elk Refuge.
Ice Hockey - Watch a Jackson Hole Moose Hockey Game at the Snow King Resort. You can check out their entire schedule online to see if they are in town during your stay.
Other activities include:
Bars and Restaurants
On the mountain - The sun deck of Corbet's Cabin is a fantastic place to enjoy lunch. If you are looking for fine dining then the best option is Couloir at the top of the Bridger Gondola. Otherwise, the Rendezvous and Headwall Pizza offer the usual selection of North American fare and there are also a couple of nice places at the base in Teton Village.
In town - There is a reasonable selection of restaurants and places to eat in Teton but Jackson has a much bigger range and offers pretty much everything you could want.
Some of our restaurant recommendations:
- The Gunbarrel Steak and Game House - Offers the finest steak and game dishes all cooked over an open river-rock mesquite grill.
- The Blue Lion - A Jackson Hole favourite with great nightly specials and excellent desserts.
- Nani’s Genuine Pasta House - Good Italian popular with locals.
- Wild Sage - Located in the Rusty Parrot, this is an award-winning restaurant that has received recognition all over North America.
- Snake River Brewing Company and Restaurant - A brewery and brewpub with staff that love their beer. Serves lunch and dinner.
Best Après - The Mangy Moose in Teton Village is an institution and appears frequently in ‘Top 10’ lists. The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson is a fantastic western experience and the Silver Dollar Bar in The Wort is always lively.
Previously, the downside to Jackson Hole was the 2-3 stop flights from the UK. Now, with one-stop flights available from Heathrow, there is no reason to miss out. With only a 15 to 30 minute transfer, the total travel time does work out similar to direct flight resorts such as Vail or Whistler.