The Ultimate Ski Vacation: Jackson Hole
It’s not every day you get to fill your lungs with the crispest air, bag the highest peaks, or shred some of the most badass terrain in North America. Whether you’re a guy who prefers a high-end, no holds-barred ski vacation, or you’re a skim bum turned corporate dude looking to relive your glory days, your annual ski trip is a sacred, time-honored tradition. In our winter Ski Series, we’re delivering you a go-to guide, so you know where to stay, what to eat, and, in some cases, how to discover things only the locals know.
Revered as a world-class adventure travel destination, Jackson Hole, Wyo., attracts a slew of vacationers every year. As a gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole is not only a sought-after vacation spot, but is also fairly easy to get to, as well, with nonstop air service from 13 cities for the 2016 winter season. Here’s what you need to know so you can make the most out of your Jackson ski trip.
There’s certainly no shortage of authentic Wild West culture in this beloved ski town. Jackson Hole is home to world-class terrain and expert skiers and remains one of the last true ski towns that’s managed to not yet sell out. Although it’s a popular destination, you’ll still find a string of saloons and cowboy-hat clad gents that’ll make you feel you’ve stepped into an old western.
Where to stay
For the best in slopeside digs, the Hotel Terra Jackson Hole delivers premier luxury, with all the bells and whistles. With the Tetons serving as the stunning backdrop, Hotel Terra is complete with a rooftop spa, two upscale restaurants, bar, infinity pool, and shops. Coming in at No. 7 in Best Resorts in Continental U.S. by Travel + Leisure and voted No. 8 in Top 20 Hotels in the West by Conde Nast Traveler readers, the Hotel Terra is your spot for refined luxury and impeccable customer service.
Where to shred
Aside from being home to some of the most advanced terrain on the continent, Jackson has also made strides in becoming known for their intermediate trails, as well. Although ranking highly by Ski Magazine readers for terrain variety, Jackson’s most famous run, undoubtedly, is Corbet’s Couloir. Challenging any would-be expert skier to its mighty plunge, this chute has made legends out of no-names, and cowards out of hopeful pros.
Where to eat
Offering an understated, yet chic atmosphere, The Kitchen provides seasonal fare that’s classic, but with a modern twist. The rotating menu includes natural meats, seasonal vegetables, and sustainable, fresh fish. It’s the perfect ambiance for an intimate gathering with close friends. And while you can go to Jackson without eating at a steak house, we wouldn’t recommend it. In the venue that formerly housed the Wyoming Wildlife Museum & Taxidermy, an authentic Wild West theme and décor are alive and well at the Gun Barrel Steak & Game House. While you can probably guess what kind of cuisine is being served up here, this famous restaurant is also home to full mount game trophies and antique cowboy artifacts, to name a few.
Best après watering hole
The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is probably one of the most famous ski town bars in the country and a definite must-see on your trip to Jackson. Besides having a storied history and paying homage to Wyoming’s authentic American West heritage, the bar has hosted top country music talent since it first opened in 1937 and remains Jackson’s best saloon for western dancing and live entertainment. Although the bar received the first liquor license in the State of Wyoming following the repeal of prohibition, you’ve probably heard of the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar as being home to its famous saddle bar stools, which just goes to show how authentically western this place is.
Talk of the town
Spring break is upon us, and the town is gearing up for its annual Jackson Hole Rendezvous. Taking place March 17 to 20 on two different stages – historic downtown Jackson Town Square and the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – the four-day music festival will feature performances by award-winning artists including the Zac Brown Band, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.