Nobody ever said that choosing to visit Jackson Hole in the winter was going to be particularly easy on one’s wallet, but there is a way to do a ski trip here on the less expensive side. Let us arm you with the knowledge and the numbers of which lodging, restaurants, tours and attractions can cost you less during your vacation. But remember, after all is said and done, you will find the experience of being here in this amazing winter wonderland is actually really pretty priceless.
Don’t Rent a Car
Is a car convenient to have in Jackson during your winter visit? Yes and no, although mostly “no.” We encourage you to think outside the box. In winter, many people decide to forgo renting and here’s why: A lot of hotels and resorts offer free shuttle service between the Jackson Hole Airport and the hotel. Once you’re settled in, you can take full advantage of Jackson Hole’s START (Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit) bus to get back and forth between town and Teton Village and vise versa. It only costs $3 a ride (cash only) for adults and children under age 8 ride free. If you’re wanting to go anywhere in downtown Jackson, bus rides are also free. What’s more is that most, if not all, tour companies will pick you up gratis at your hotel or rental property for a day of snowmobiling or a winter wildlife scenic tour, so again—no rental vehicle is necessary.
Sleep On the Cheap(ish)
Hotels in the town of Jackson are generally less expensive than those out in Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. At the lower end of the spectrum, a double room in town can start around $130. A room for two at more up-market lodges average $250 and higher. Conversely, accommodations in most hotels out in the Village are well upwards of $350 a night in winter.
Savings Tip: A lot of hotels and inns offer special reduced rate packages, so don’t forget to ask about those before you book. Also keep in mind that you can find even cheaper lodging in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall—and Jackson Hole is just as amazing during those months as it is in the winter.
Skiing For Less
The cost of a full-day lift ticket at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort can be as high as $159—it’s $59 at Snow King, and Grand Targhee’s full-day ticket is $103. With Snow King’s lift tickets more than $100 cheaper than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, you might want to save a bit by skiing there for a day. You will be impressed and pleasantly surprised with the vertical rise at the “Town Hill,” as well as by the variety of beginner and intermediate trails.
Ski rentals vs. BYO: American, Delta and United charge $25-$50 per ski bag. The average cost of renting skis/boots/poles at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s JH Sports is $80, but you can receive a 20% discount by renting/reserving your equipment online.
Savings Tip: Buying lift tickets online can save you as much as $10 per ticket per day and weekly tickets are also a bit less than daily ones.
Minimal Money for Mountain Munching
There are many restaurants throughout the Jackson area—in and around Town Square, on the outskirts of town, in Teton Village—and while we recommend you check them out, your wallet may grow weary, so we'd also like to let you know that your lunch or dinner options need not always equal the cost of your hotel room.
The first recommendation is simply two words: Happy Hour. At any given eatery or bar, the Happy Hour is going to feature eats on the cheaps. That's a given, so keep this option in your back pocket, especially when you’re out in Teton Village after a day of skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Think après-ski food and appetizer specials at places like the Mangy Moose, the Handle Bar at the Four Seasons and Spur Bar in Teton Mountain Lodge.
At any given eatery or bar, the Happy Hour is going to feature eats on the cheaps.
Our second recommendation is encapsulated in three words: $10 lunch specials. A sampling of these glorious, money-saving menus include the $10 lunch at Hole Bowl, three tacos for $10 at Streetfood in the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson (between the town of Jackson and Teton Village), $10 White Buffalo Club burger, fries and a beer during Happy Hour (pictured), two slices of pizza and a drink for $10 at Pinky G’s and Snake River Brewery's $10 lunch menu.
Think shoulder seasons
One of the perks of visiting Jackson Hole in the off-season is what we locals really look forward to in both fall and spring: The arrival of two-fer's (two-for-one meals) at many of the restaurants around town. These dining deals—two-fer's and/or discounted meals—usually begin mid-to-late October and last into the early part of November and again from mid-to-late April into mid-May. Some of the eateries that offer the BOGO meals are Sidewinders, Moe's BBQ, The Kitchen, Roadhouse Pub & Eatery, Il Villaggio Osteria, Bin 22, Hatch, Gather, The Blue Lion and Thai Me Up.
Free food! Best. Vacation. Ever.
Visit jhfinedining.com for more details on discounts at specific restaurants.
Savings Tip: Check out our "Specials" tab for discounts at restaurants and bars.
No- To Low-Cost Entertainment
Given the high prices of all manner of activities, you might not imagine that Jackson Hole nightlife would be easily and happily affordable, yet winter here offers free music as well as other cheap entertainment in the evenings.
Attending the free, Monday night Jackson Hole Hootenanny out at Dornan’s in Moose is sure to be one of the most memorable parts of your visit to Jackson Hole. This real deal, Western acoustic musical event has been around for 60 years. It starts at 6 p.m.
During and after your Saturday ski day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this season, you will be treated to free music slopeside to pump you up for your next set of runs or help you get into the après ski spirit.
• Billing itself as "ski bum music," the Tram Jam is stationed at the bottom of the Bridger Gondola (or the Aerial Tram) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday throughout the winter. For the past 25 years, the band—fronted by Jackson Hole music legend, Peter “Chanman” Chandler—has been jamming out roots and rock-reggae beats no matter what the weather.
• Music Under the Tram is a series of free spring concert series. Great bands entertain the crowds starting at 3 p.m. every Saturday in March in this unforgettable, sunny location under the tram.
The annual Jackson Hole Rendezvous Festival is a thrilling three days of free concerts and one of the highlights of the month of March. Jackson Hole's big music fling is held in mid-March at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and on Jackson's Town Square. Check our website and March calendar in February for details on 2021’s* festival. *ALERT: This event has been cancelled for 2021 due to Covid-19 precautions.
Go To a Hockey Game: Jackson Hole’s own semi-pro hockey team, the Jackson Hole Moose, play games at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at the Snow King Sports and Event Center. Tickets are $10 adults/$5 kids.
See a Ski Flick: Teton Gravity Research has a retail store on Town Square that includes a 30-seat theatre where nightly at 7 p.m. you can see the TGR-produced feature film "Far Out." Also, every hour on the hour you can marvel at their 25-minute ski flick "Wild Jackson." The store location is 50 W Broadway in the Pink Garter Plaza. Visit TGR's website at tetongravity.com.
El Cheap-o Things to Do
Visit the National Fish Hatchery: Jackson Hole is home to the National Fish Hatchery and this little-known local attraction is fascinating. Located four miles north of the town of Jackson and adjacent to the National Elk Refuge, the National Fish Hatchery welcomes visitors for free tours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (except on federal holidays) for a close-up view of Snake River cutthroat trout. Observe fish in several indoor tanks and view photographic displays of spawning and stocking.
Tour the Art Galleries: Jackson Hole is one of the top art towns in the West. Offering everything from Western to contemporary visual art and sculpture, our galleries can keep you enthralled for hours. Mostly located in and around the Town Square, pick up a gallery map at your first stop and craft an itinerary from there.
Visit Raptors Up Close: The National Elk Refuge and Teton Raptor Center team up for a scheduled a series of "Feathered Fridays" visits in winter at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The free programs, offered each Friday from noon to 2 p.m., run weekly from late December through the end of March. The “Feathered Fridays” program features naturalists and educators from the raptor center and the elk refuge, along with a variety of live raptors on the glove. This is an excellent way to learn about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through the eyes of live birds of prey. There is no beginning, middle or end to the program during the two hours; the public can stop by at any time to meet with Friday’s fine-feathered friends.
Take To the Ice: Winter on Town Square features an outdoor skating rink, named "Winter Wonderland." If you have your own skates, you can glide across the ice under the twinkling lights of the square and elk antler arches at anytime day or night. If you don't have skates, the rink is manned from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and noon to 9 p.m. on weekends. During these times, skate rentals ($10) are available in the Stage Stop building. Hot chocolate is free at the Stage Stop, too!
There is also a skating rink in Teton Village in the Village Commons at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It is open daily from 3 to 9 p.m. Skate rentals ($12) are available in the warming hut next to the rink.
Savings Tip: Check out our "Specials" tab for discounts at retail stores and for tour companies, etc.