Updated: May 13
We had very high expectations for Jackson Hole and the resort came through on virtually all of them. We didn’t have the legendary snow conditions typical for this area, but we did have an amazing week and can’t wait to go back. Ikon Base Pass holders: go now, while you still can — Jackson is going to be an add-on for an extra $150 for 5 days for the 2020-21 season. As for us, we will be JH Dreaming for a long, long time!
1. Air travel to Jackson is really easy, though it can be pricey.
There are direct flights from NYC as well as 11 other airports, including Newark, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta. JAC is located in a wide valley, allowing for more reliable flights than other mountain airports. Added bonus: the mountain is only 30 minutes away.
2. Convenience — everything you need is in Teton Village.
There’s little reason to leave the Village during your stay. This lively, compact village has everything you need or want for après, shopping and dining. Convenient shuttles and buses run throughout the Village into the town of Jackson, so you can leave the $200/day SUV at the airport.
3. Start your day at SouthCable.
The coffee and pastries here are the best around. We tried them all and found this spot, conveniently located next to the tram, to have the freshest, tastiest and least expensive options. Pair your coffee with an egg sandwich or freshly baked muffin and you’re good for the day.
4. Inversions are real, dress accordingly.
When it's cold, but sunny at the base, be ready for warmer conditions at the top. Fact: It can be less than zero at the base and nearly 20⁰F at the top. Embrace easy-to-maneuver layers and shells with breathability.
5. Have a plan for getting up the mountain.
The tram is a great way to get all the way to the top, but know that the wait can be 30-60 minutes (maybe more after a storm). Alternatively, take the Bridger Gondola and ski down to
the Thunder Lift. From there, have a run in the Laramie Bowl to the Base of the Sublette
Quad to get most of the way to the top while exploring the mountain along the way. See our expert itinerary for suggested routes. Pro Tip: save the tram for the end of the day. We found there was no wait for the last tram (~3:30pm) allowing us to earn our après by skiing Rendezvous through the Hobacks to the Base.
For faster access to Intermediate runs, take the Sweetwater Gondola (new as of 2016) directly to the base of the Casper Lift, which services the greatest percentage of Blue terrain on the mountain.
6. Lunch at Piste in the Rendezvous Lodge is well worth it.
We’re generally not into longer, sit-down lunches while skiing, but the scene was so chill we had to give it a try. So glad we did! Pro Tip: It’s at the top of the Bridger Gondola so make a reservation in advance and cruise right to your fireside table.
7. The two best places for après ski are Handle Bar and the Mangy Moose.
When you want a refined atmosphere and elevated food, head to Handle Bar at the Four Seasons. On a bluebird day, grab a seat outside by the fire. When you want the best place to drain beers and gorge on a huge plate of nachos with live music, head to the Mangy Moose. You can’t go wrong either way.
8. Varied and amazing dining scene.
For pizza and pasta, Old Yellowstone Garage in the Caldera House has a gorgeous dining room, relaxing scene and great wine list. Spur is highly satisfying with refined bar food and one of the best burgers we've had in awhile. TVs line the walls and there's a kids play area to keep the little ones entertained while you indulge. We also love Teton Thai for its authentic flavors. They do not take reservations and it's a small space, so go early and take advantage of the great cocktail list while waiting.
9. The Kids Ranch is ideal for learning.
Jackson is home to one of the best ski schools anywhere. Proof: our 6-year-old was authentically enthusiastic all week. Plus there’s a special kids map and young skiers receive cool stickers for each area they conquer, learning to explore bumps, trees and look for fresh stuff. Kids love stickers and they love Jackson's Kids Ranch, meaning moms and dads love it too.
10. Embrace your inner cowboy.
Jackson Hole manages to combine a luxurious skiing experience with Old West rustic charm. You get all the benefits of a world-class destination resort without the fuss and muss of say, an Aspen. Jackson somehow strikes an awesome balance, part old school West, part traveling powder junkie and part local. This creates an unforgettable hybrid where you’re sure to make friends on the lift and be booking your trip back before you’ve made it back home.
If you haven't been, find a way to get to Jackson Hole; if you have, we bet you can’t stop dreaming about it. For more, see our full review.
Experts: Ready for awesome? See our Expert Itinerary.
Intermediates: While Jackson is renowned for its steeps and deeps, there's plenty for you to explore and fall in love with. See our full-day Intermediate Itinerary.
Check out our Après Guide for all of our top spots for dinner and drinks.
Love Jackson Hole for its steeps & deeps? Consider Whistler Blackcomb for your next trip, another of our favorites for this type of terrain.
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