Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and looks forward to its 51st season—including the addition of a brand new gondola! Famous for world-class skiing, breathtaking scenery and a truly Western spirit, no other resort in North America offers such a completely authentic ski vacation. It’s no surprise that the resort was ranked the No. 1 Overall Resort in North America in 2013 by Ski Magazine readers and has been named the No. 1 ski resort in North America for four years running by Forbes Magazine.
- Where? Teton Village. About 22 minutes by car or bus from the Jackson Town Square.
- When? 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 1, 2016 to April 2, 2017.
- Getting there: Stay in Teton Village and walk to the lifts, or take the START Bus from the town of Jackson right to the base. Driving? Several parking options surround the base area, with your cheapest bet being the Ranch Lot.
- Ages: Come one, come all!
- Cost: Single day adult lift tickets top out at $135 this year, but there are lots of reduced multi-day, partial day, beginner and junior or senior options. Traveler Tip: Buy online for a discount!
- Duration: The ski lifts are spinning from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. but loads of great apres ski action kicks off after that.
- Intensity: Skiing Jackson Hole can be intense. Famously so. But not everyone needs to even go near Corbet's Couloir. The beginner terrain is ideal to learn on, and spectacular, brand new blue intermediate terrain has been added each of the past three years.
- Highlights: Wow, where do we begin? From riding the famous Aerial Tram, to jumping cliffs, making your first turn, or the hilarious pleasure of a fluffy wipe-out in our legendary cowboy powder, this mountain has thrills for everyone.
- Lowlights: So you followed intriguing tracks heading off into the trees, realized they lead off a cliff and now the only alternative is to hike back up. Be careful exploring off piste out there; this mountain is serious!
Skiing in Jackson Hole
While winning Ski Magazine’s No. 1 Overall Resort ranking in the 2013-14 winter season, the resort also experienced one of the snowiest winters on record with more than 500 inches of snow and consistent powder days through closing day. February in particular was one of the snowiest months ever recorded here, with 140 inches falling in just 28 days!
When factoring in snowfall, 4,139 continuous vertical feet, world class grooming and snow-making, constantly expanding intermediate terrain and abundant off-hill activities, it’s easy to see why Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has built a strong reputation among all types of visitors.
That World Famous Terrain
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is situated in the heart of the Tetons, just a few peaks south of the majestic Grand Teton. Rendezvous and Apres Vous mountains, which comprise the resort itself, can accommodate beginners through experts and every adventurer in between. As one of the youngest mountain ranges in the country, geologically speaking, the Tetons have given JHMR a perfect blend of towering and exciting steeps that mellow out into wide rolling runs for cruising. In ski terms, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's got it all.
Home to perhaps North America’s most iconic lift, the bright red Aerial Tram, JHMR boasts the country’s second longest vertical rise served by a single lift. As a counterpoint to the vast and challenging terrain accessed via the tram, the high-speed Bridger Gondola and brand new Sweetwater Gondola offer access to acres of moderate, groomed slopes for the intermediate skier. Lower down where things are simpler, the Teewinot chairlift provides an excellent, peaceful option for beginners to get the practice they need before exploring further.
Wonderfully, the most underrated aspect of skiing at JHMR are the blue intermediate runs which can be found all over the mountain providing exciting contours and views at every elevation. If you're an intermediate skier, an expert who appreciates the thrill of carving up a groomer, or even a beginner who wants a target to aim for, you will love the endless variety of blue runs at Jackson Hole. From twisting along the gorgeous south boundary of the resort on Rendezvous Trail, to the the wide and meadow-y cruising options under the Apres Vous chairlift, JHMR has the diverse terrain in its blue runs alone to keep any skier fascinated.
Think it's time for the expert terrain? OK, just look around. Most of what you can see in the resort is open to ski. Yes, seriously, that one. Yup, and that too. Pay extreme attention to closed signs and closed areas of course, but yeah, the hard stuff should be fairly obvious—this is Jackson Hole after all.
Mountain Sports School
Does all this make you feel like brushing up on your skiing or riding? Craving that expert tip that's going to bring it all together and have you skiing that? Do you just want someone to safely show you around this huge place? We don't blame you, and we're lucky to be able to recommend the JHMR Mountain Sports School and all the exciting offerings they have to enhance your ski vacation.
Families and individuals will enjoy exploring the mountain with JHMR Mountain Sports School instructors, the unique Backcountry Guide program, or the various ski and snowboard camps run each winter. Kids' groups, adult groups and private lessons for all ages are available for you to take advantage of the joy of precise instruction and intimate mountain knowledge.
Steep & Deep Camps
To be the best, you have to ski the best. Founded by legendary skier Doug Coombs, Steep & Deep Ski Camp is for advanced to expert skiers who won't settle for anything less than the best: the best instruction from the best coaches; the best terrain in the lower 48; the best technique; the best access—the early tram and its guarantee of first tracks; and the best camaraderie among like-minded skiers. During this intensive camp, students learn how to safely and confidently explore the extreme terrain and snow conditions that make Jackson Hole famous. Guided by the instructors' knowledge of the conditions and the mountain, students ski mostly black and double black terrain. Highlights include the Hobacks, the Expert Chutes, and, on the last day, the infamous Corbet's Couloir.
There will be four 3-day camps offered in 2017. For more details and pricing, click here. There are also Steep & Deep Camps for snowboarders and telemark skiers. New for the 2016-17 season is the GoPro Andrew Whiteford Steep & Deep Camp.
Guided Backcountry Skiing
Need fresh tracks? JHMR offers backcountry guides to introduce you safely to the storied Jackson Hole out-of-bounds experience. In 1999—in what was a trailblazing move for an American ski resort—Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opened the gates on its perimeter, allowing skiers and snowboarders to explore the thousands of acres of backcountry skiing that lie just beyond the boundaries.
Backcountry Guides welcome advanced skiers and snowboarders who want to learn to travel in uncontrolled terrain and discover untracked slopes, secret runs and the best snow conditions in Jackson Hole. The guided day may include touring, hiking, snow science, mountaineering and downhill riding.
Got kids? JHMR also offers its Kids Ranch ski and snowboard instruction programs for preschoolers up to freshmen in high school—even the youngest children learn to ski and so much more.
Kids Ranch bonus for parents: Would you like a night out on the town? If so, Kids' Night Out is the solution. There are evening activities and dinner for children ages 4 to 14 in a supervised environment that promotes peer interaction and fun. Activities include indoor games, movies and sledding. Outdoor play is followed by a pizza party, games and entertainment. Kids' Night Out runs from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Kids Ranch at 307-739-2788.
Ski Shops and Rentals
Would an extra fleece layer be good for you? Did you forget your goggles? Need to rent skis? You'll find a wide variety of great options for any piece of gear or equipment you might need in the ski shops at the base. The friendly and professional staff at Jackson Hole Sports, located conveniently near the base of the gondola, is prepared to answer any question and get you set up and on the mountain quickly.
Further down the base area, Teton Village Sports and Pepi Steigler Sports have equally awesome selections of gear and helpful expertise. If you have time after skiing, it's worth stopping by each shop since they carry different brands.
Traveler Tip: Jackson Hole Sports has a little known location at the top of the Gondola where you can demo skis by the hour.
Every year it seems the food options at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort get better and better. From snack spots like the centrally located General Store at the base and The Shack at Bodega food truck, to famous waffle-and-warmth providers Corbet's Cabin at the top, you're never too far away from a snack or place to grab a break.
For lunch, the options really spread out. For more casual cafeteria style eating, we love sitting on the outdoor decks at the Casper Restaurant or Nick Wilson's at the base, while the salad bar and Asian noodle bowls up at the top of the gondola at Rendezvous Restaurant are favorites. The new Off-Piste Market at the top of the gondi has a full espresso bar, pizza slices and gourmet food, beer, wine and small essentials like sunscreen and batteries.
The Piste Mountain Bistro is a new dinner spot up top, offering a comfortable menu of locally sourced dishes that you can savor yourself or share with the table.
For a more restful approach, all the great restaurants at the base look forward to the click clack of ski boots. Il Villagio Osteria has great Italian and an award-winning pizza bar, while it's hard to beat the location of the Handle Bar at the Four Seasons, where you can try Michael Mina's excellent chicken sandwich. And of course no visit to the Village—or Jackson Hole, for that matter—would be complete without a meal or a drink (and listening to music, too) at the iconic Mangy Moose.
Events at the Mountain
There are numerous events offered at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and in Teton Village during the ski season, from free concerts to ski races. Check jacksonhole.com and tetonvillagewy.org for a full schedule of weekly happenings. Here is a sample:
- Music Under the Tram: Annual, free spring concert series during the month of March featuring local bands; 3 p.m. jacksonhole.com/music-under-tram
- Annual Jackson Hole Rendezvous - The Jackson Hole Rendezvous is a three-day lifestyle and music festival at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
- Tram Jam: Local band stationed at the bottom of the Bridger Gondola every Saturday for the last 22 years, jamming out roots rock reggae beats. No matter the weather, they jam on!
- Special Olympics Wyoming Winter Games – Competitions take place at both Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Pines - specialolympicswy.org
- Annual SkiJoring Championships at Snake River Ranch, 2.5 miles from Teton Village - jhshriners.org
- New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade - Dusk parade and fireworks
The Last Word
With reliable snow, great terrain for all abilities, great food and world class instruction, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a memorable vacation for all types of skiers and riders. Come experience Western hospitality at its best while you ski until your legs give out and yet can't stop smiling. There's just nowhere quite like it. See you on the mountain!
Not quite here yet? Trying to figure out what to wear? Be sure to read our article on packing for winter in Jackson Hole.
For the latest information, visit jacksonhole.com or download the free app, JH Tapped, for daily updates and info (available on Android and iPhone).
All photos provided by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.