Jackson Hole Travel Guide
Jackson Hole © Enricokamasa
Known locally as 'The Big One', Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a popular holiday destination famous for its steep terrain, deep powder and acres of backcountry that provides ideal conditions and challenges for top skiers and snowboarders from around the world. More than 1,012 hectares (2,500 acres) are spread over Après Vous and Rendezvous Mountains and claim to offer holidaymakers one of the best ski and snowboard experiences on earth, with the highest elevation on Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450ft (3,185m). Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is also the gateway to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. Situated at the base of the mountain is the Swiss-style Teton Village, which is just 15 minutes from the town of Jackson.
With a vertical drop of more than 4,000 feet (1,220m), Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is better known for its challenging terrain best suited to expert skiers and snowboarders. The steep, demanding topography on Rendezvous Mountain is deservedly famous for its chutes, couloirs, bowls and glades, and can only be reached by the Aerial Tram, which holds 100 people and takes about nine minutes to reach the top. Thousands of acres of backcountry skiing are also available. Après Vous Mountain is the intermediate mountain with 2,100 vertical feet (640m) of groomed runs and open bowls offering exciting skiing on more friendly slopes, and also has gentle beginner slopes at its base. The Mountain Sports School has private and group ski or snowboard lessons, children's programmes and alpine and backcountry guides.
The square in Downtown Jackson is where holiday visitors should head for any kind of serious shopping atmosphere. There are no malls, but surrounding the square are a variety of shops from fine art and hat shops to a range of speciality shops. Those looking for recreational equipment and outdoor gear will be in their element among the skiing, snowboarding, climbing and hiking shops both in Jackson and Teton Village. Holidaymakers in Jackson Hole will enjoy browsing through everything from elk antler chandeliers and cowboy boots to Oriental rugs and American Indian craft stores.
On-mountain restaurants offer breakfasts and lunches for hungry skiers and snowboarders; Casper Restaurant offers the largest variety of food and has some of the best fare on the mountain, as well as superb views over the valley. The valley offers many restaurants ranging from fine dining to BBQ cookouts. The Snake River Brewing Company in Jackson Hole has an excellent and affordable menu as well as internationally acclaimed microbrews, while the Mangy Moose Restaurant provides a fun and family friendly, western experience with good food and fine wine.
The number one après ski establishment is the Mangy Moose Saloon in Teton Village, with live entertainment for holidaymakers to enjoy, as well as good food. Another favourite spot to kick off the evening is at the Snake River Brewing Company with excellent microbrews. There are plenty of bars, saloons and cowboy cafes in the valley to provide a place to drink, meet friends, dance or play a game of pool.
In winter Jackson Hole offers holidaymakers a range of activities to compete with the excellent skiing and snowboarding. Dog sledding, snow mobiling, sleigh rides, heli-skiing, paragliding and ballooning are all available and in summer Teton Village becomes the favourite for mountain biking and hiking. The Aerial Tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain also remains in service.
Families are not well catered for as the skiing and snowboarding is best suited to experts and there are limited beginner and intermediate trails.