Zones: Jackson, Wyoming
Photos courtesy of Snowboard Mag and Jackson Hole Resort
If you live and breathe snowboarding, then you know about a little place west of the Mississippi called Jackson. If you've already visited then you know why so many pros choose to base themselves out of this zone. The town of Jackson Hole yields an upscale wild west vibe, while Jackson Hole Resort in the Teton Village provides arguably the best, and gnarliest, lift accessible terrain in the United States. Jackson is also one of the most inspiring ski towns with several artists, photographers, entrepreneurs and pros to back it up. With one of the best seasons in 10 years, get to Jackson if you haven't already and recognize why big dogs like Travis Rice, Mark Carter, Rob Kingwill and Kevin Jones consider JH the ultimate shred paradise.
Located in the northwest sector of Wyoming, Jackson is about a 6 hour drive from Salt Lake City, Utah or a two hour drive from Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Although somewhat secluded, there are many daily flights into Jackson Hole Airport via United, American and Delta. The drive is a scenic one with wild animals running free and gorgeous surrounding peaks, but checking road and weather conditions is a must before planning the trek.
The snow can hit hard across the region, so think and plan ahead. The town of Jackson and the mountain itself are about 15 miles apart, so having a car makes things simple, although the START bus public transportation system is another option at $3 per person each way. There are rental cars available at the airport, but it is easy to get around without, as most of the town and village are small enough to walk around. Depending on where you stay, some hotels do provide airport transportation and shuttle services.
First and foremost hop on the Tram. It's a rite of passage. The Tram has long been a staple in Jackson Hole. It's availability to access some of the most steep and creative terrain right off the top, makes it the true highway to heaven. Waiting for the Tram can take some time, especially on pow days, but once at the top, if you can see through the fog, there are limitless possibilities in the valley below. Hopefully you're not too claustrophobic since you're more than likely to be crammed in the Tram, but trust me, it's well worth it.
The best advice I can give is to meet locals who are willing to lead you around. Pay them in pizza, waffles or beer and they'll be stoked. Having someone to show you the way around Jackson is a must.
The Alta Chutes on a cloudy day
There are several mellow hikes, epic cliff drops, tree lines and cruiser groomers everywhere you look. Everything funnels back down to the Teton Village so it's pretty difficult to get lost. The new Burton Stash park opened this season as well, so be sure to swing through there on your way down. If you're looking to step out of your boundary, make sure you have the necessary backcountry gear and head out the gates. Jackson has an open gate system, but again, be smart, be prepared and know where you're going. There's only 10 percent beginner terrain at Jackson so keep that in mind.
The latest Stash Park is a must hit in Jackson | Video: ESPN
Vertical drop: 4,139 feet
Uphill capacity: 16,733 people per hour
Annual Snow Fall: 459 inches - Snowmaking covers 195 acres
Summit: 10,450 feet/3185 meters
Base: 6,311 feet/1924 meters
Skiable Acres: 2,500 acres of in-bounds terrain with an open backcountry gate system accessing over 3,000+ acres
Average Temp: 21 degrees fahrenheit
Lift Ticket Pricing:
Adults are $69-$73 depending on time of season.
Half day (12:30-4) from $55-$58.
Grand Pass all-access for $1,570.
Pre-season discounts available.
Alpine House Inn and Cottage
There are several lodging options available depending on where you want to stay. There are a number of great village hotels and condos, but if you want to stay in town, there are plenty of spots as well.
Ski in, ski out of this exceptional lodge complete with a number of amenities including a restaurant/bar, Solitude Spa with lap pool and two hot tubs (one of which is on the roof overlooking the mountain). The front desk is exceptionally friendly and helpful. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make yourself at home by the fire in the lobby.
Teton Lodge Lobby
This new eco-friendly boutique hotel is stylish and comfortable without being pretentious. There are a variety of bedroom options from studio to three bedroom suites. Rated number one on TripAdvisor, Hotel Terra is complete with an Infinity Spa, two restaurants and The Jackson Treehouse snowboard shop to cater your shredding needs.
Hotel Terra style
A Rock Resort hotel, Snake River Lodge and Spa takes it back to the American West. Recently renovated, Snake River boasts a 17,000 square foot spa, indoor/outdoor pools, a fireside bar, restaurant and heated walkways to the lifts.
Set back off the main road, the White Buffalo Club provides an escape unlike any other in town. The White Buffalo has been receiving rave reviews since it opened in 2008 due to its unique and captivating property qualities. From the casual and cozy dark lounge restaurant Cellars located downstairs, to the complete fitness club available to guests, the White Buffalo Club gives an exclusive feeling in a laid back environment.
White Buffalo grotto
If affordability and quaint country living is what you're looking for, check out Alpine House and Cottages. Located two blocks from the Town Square, Alpine House will make you feel right at home with a bed and breakfast feel. Cottages are also available for true seclusion.
For a complete lodging list and current deals check here.
Perched at the top of the Tram, Corbet's Cabin is a must-stop before heading down the mountain. The world-famous waffles are the talk of the town and on clear days the view is spectacular.
Nick Wilson's Bar and Grill
At the base of the aerial tram, this local’s hang-out serves classic pub favorites, home-made pizza and a shared-plates après menu. Daily drink specials and a sunny deck, with the best views of the tram and the mountain, make this a great place to end your day.
A great spot to meet locals and not feel like too much of an outsider, Rendevous Bistro won't disappoint. The Bistro's specialities include a full oyster bar, massive burgers, an impressive wine selection and local beers on tap. You won't go home hungry.
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
If the Las Vegas style sign lit up outside doesn't lure you in, the interior sure will. The Million Dollar Cowboy bar has saddles for seats, carved wood chairs and tables for decor and lots and lots of cowboy hats. It's a must see, even if you're not a cowboy. Live music and dancing on most nights.
The Mangy Moose
The Mangy Moose is really more of a one-stop shop with a grocery, restaurant, wine cellar, gift shoppe and saloon. Hailing the best live music in the valley, The Mangy Moose is a town hot spot not to miss. Dance the night away at one of the "One of the hottest apres ski bars in the world" according to Forbes Traveler.
For everything Jackson and a million more reasons to visit, check out www.jacksonhole.com