Jackson Hole has an international reputation as a winter destination. As access has become easier and the facilities more developed, many people have discovered the wonders of a Jackson Hole winter, especially one centered on a week of skiing or snowboarding.
Three very different ski resorts attract the crowds: Grand Targhee for down-home, powder-to-the-butt conditions; Snow King for steep, inexpensive, edge-of-town slopes; and Jackson Hole for flashy, world-class skiing. All three places have rental equipment, ski schools, and special programs for kids. Snowboarders and telemarkers are welcome on the slopes.
These resorts combine with an incredible abundance of developed and wild places to ski cross-country to make Jackson Hole one of the premier ski and snowboard destinations in America.
See a travel agent for package trips to any of the Jackson-area resorts. For daily ski reports, including information on both downhill and Nordic areas and the backcountry, listen to KMTN (FM 96.9) in the morning or visit resort websites. Both Jackson Hole Resort and Grand Targhee also post snow updates on Twitter.
Each winter, the town of Wilson floods the town park for skating, hockey, and broomball. A warming hut stands next to the rink. In Jackson, the rodeo arena at the fairgrounds (552 S. Snow King Ave.) becomes a winter ice rink for broomball and open skating. Both rinks are free and lighted most winter evenings. Contact Teton County Parks & Recreation (307/733-5056, www.tetonwyo.org/parks) for details.
For the out-of-the-elements version, skate over to Snow King Resort (400 E. Snow King Ave., 307/733-5200 or 800/522-5464, www.snowking.com), where the indoor ice-skating rink is open in the winter and offers skate rentals and lessons. In addition, Grand Targhee Ski Resort (in Alta, 307/353-2300 or 800/827-4433, www.grandtarghee.com) has a skating pond with rentals.
Two local ski areas have sliding parks with customized inner tubes and rope tows. At Snow King Resort the park is called King Tubes (307/734-8823 or 800/522-5464, www.jacksonholesnowtubing.com) and is available on weekday evenings and weekends after noon. Rates are $16 for one hour or $21 for two hours for adults; $13 for one hour or $18 for two hours for kids. The Grand Targhee tube park (307/353-2300 or 800/827-4433, www.grandtarghee.com) is open for après-ski fun only (after 5 p.m.) and costs $10.
Founded by eight-time Iditarod musher Frank Teasley, Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours (307/733-7388 or 800/554-7388, www.jhsleddog.com) has excellent half-day ($225 per person including lunch) and all-day trips ($295 per person including a big steak or trout dinner). The main destination is wonderful Granite Hot Springs (accessible only on all-day rides), but when snow conditions are right, the teams may run in the Cliff Creek, Grays River, Shadow Mountain, and Gros Ventre areas. All trips include round-trip transportation from Jackson to his base on the Hoback River.
Another Iditarod veteran, Billy Snodgrass, operates Continental Divide Dogsled Adventures (307/739-0165 or 800/531-6874, www.dogsledadventures.com), with dog teams at Togwotee Mountain Lodge (48 miles north of Jackson). Half-day tours in this gorgeous country are $224 per person, including lunch and transportation from Jackso]. All-day tours are $270 and longer trips are also available, including a two-day adventure in which you stay overnight in a backcountry yurt or at luxurious Brooks Lake Lodge.
Snowmobiling is one of Jackson Hole’s most popular wintertime activities. Hundreds of miles of packed and groomed snowmobile trails head into Bridger-Teton National Forest. Some of the most popular places include the Togwotee Pass area 48 miles north of Jackson, Cache Creek Road east of town, and Granite Hot Springs Road 25 miles southeast. Only guided snowmobile groups are allowed into Yellowstone, with all-day tours to Old Faithful ($270 for one rider or $390 for two riders). Tours to other areas are usually less expensive, and some motels offer package deals. The visitor center has brochures and a complete listing of local snowmobile-rental companies, plus maps of snowmobile trails.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton, 5th Edition