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Jackson Hole: The ski resort with a 3,185-metre peak

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is undoubtedly one of the world’s best ski resorts, with its Western vibe a perfect match for its luxurious offerings, writes Helen Hayes.

Jackson Hole is nirvana for the skiers and snowboarders who flock to this venerated resort in Wyoming to ride its steeps or swoop down its groomed, creamy slopes.

The Wyoming ski resort should be on every skier or snowboarder’s wish list, and for good reason. It has two mountains, Rendezvous and Après Vous with 1,011 hectares of terrain across them. Rendezvous caters for the advanced riders who ride up to its 3,185-metre peak on the iconic red Jackson Tram. The terrain up here is best for experts, so I opt to have a waffle and a hot chocolate in the icicle-covered Corbet’s Cabin, and then ride back down in the tram. Fortunately, there is a lot of terrain for intermediate skiers and riders on Après Vous and excellent beginner areas for kids and adults alike. And there’s plenty for non-skiers too.

Corbets Cabin at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Corbets Cabin at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Runs at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Jackson Hole has two mountains – Rendezvous and Après Vous -offering 1011 hectares of terrain for skiers and snowboarders. There are 130 named trails serviced by 13 lifts. , 10% are beginner, 40% intermediate and 50% advanced.

Rendezvous is the larger mountain and provides the bulk of the extreme terrain and has a summit of 3,185 metres, while Après Vous mostly caters to intermediates. Après Vous has a good spread of very long blue runs such as Werner, St. Johns and Wide Open.
Intermediate skiers should take the Sweetwater Gondola to Casper or Teton lifts. There is a huge amount of amazing intermediate terrain off these chairs. Try out Wide Open or the Crags first thing in the morning.

More advanced? The upper mountain is the place to be. Start with runs off Thunder and Sublette chairs. Then when you are ready for a real thigh burner, make your way back down to the base via the Hobacks. You’ll cover over 762 metres vertical of ungroomed wide-open ridge and bowl skiing. Ride the Rendezvous Bowl from the top of the Aerial Tram or to get super extreme, drop into Corbet’s Couloir, one of the mountain’s most famous spots.

Private lessons at Jackson Hole

Not only are private lessons fantastic for improving your skiing or snowboarding but a fantastic way to see the mountain. Lessons are available for all levels and you’ll gain a lot of experience whether you are a novice or advanced skier. A private lesson could be the difference between you tackling the advanced terrain at the top of Rendezvous.

Skiier riding down Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Skiing at Jackson Hole
Skiing at Jackson Hole

What to do off the slopes and activities for non-skiers

Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art, marvel at the photography at the Thomas Mangelsen Gallery, sit in a saddle at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, or do a wildlife tour with Jackson Hole Eco Tours Wildlife Adventures. To rest weary muscles, and get some much-needed time out, choose Amangani Spa where you can have a massage using stones from the Snake River, or the rooftop Chill Spa at Hotel Terra in Teton Village, which only uses organic products. Talk to the locals and they’ll also point you to the highly acclaimed Body Sage Spa in the Rusty Parrot Lodge (reopening later this year), it seems no one can get enough of the treatments here – and who’s blaming them?

Jackson Hole Eco Tours Wildlife Adventures in Grand Teton National Park

Jackson Hole Eco Tours Wildlife Adventures offers guided tours and experiences in the Grand Teton National Park and surrounding areas. We choose the sunrise half-day tour, in a startling world of white in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Our wildlife guide has set up a spotting scope to show us a herd of bighorn sheep on the ridge. We also see bald eagles, coyotes and elk, before coming upon a couple of moose sheltering under trees – one, a bull moose, just metres from the car. The eco-friendly tour was fantastic to explore Grand Teton National Park while minimising our impact on the environment.

Yellowstone National Park

Stay at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole and you can join a full-day tour to Yellowstone National Park. Trips will travel north through Grand Teton National Park, entering Yellowstone through the South Entrance to sightsee at the west winter locations. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting made possible through exceptional wildlife guides.

Jackson Hole vs Teton Village

A ski trip to Jackson Hole gives you the choice of staying in Jackson or Teton Village. Jackson has wooden boardwalks, elk-antlered archways on the town square and famous bars, such as the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and Silver Dollar Bar, a throwback to its Western past. White Teton Village is at the base of the mountain. Teton Village is around 20 minutes from Jackson Hole and I recommend doing both.

Where to stay in Jackson

In Jackson, stay at The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection Hotel, with its exquisite mountain touches from the hand-stitched leather on railings and lamps, to the wagon-wheel inspired taps, the warm timbers and stone paired with natural textiles, and the curated art showcasing the beauty of the area. The Cloudveil’s free shuttle runs between the town and the mountain.

Suite at The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection Hotel
Suite at The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection Hotel

Where to stay in Teton Village

For ski-in, ski-out convenience choose Teton Village. The Forbes five-star rated Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is slope-side, with the chairlifts just metres out the door. When you ski back, head straight into the Handle Bar, the ideal location for après drinks or some light bites. You might want to organise a massage at the spa, then relax in your beautiful room before the fine-dining experience that awaits at Westbank Grill.

Fine dining in Jackson Hole

Hands down, the best restaurant for fine dining is The Snake River Grill in Jackson. Start at the bar with a signature cocktail, or choose from one of 300 wines, and then dine in the rustic dining room on Wagyu flank steak or Montana dry-aged New York steak and finish with old-fashioned vanilla ice cream with a shot of Averna Amaro Italian liqueur. Twenty minutes north, in Teton Village, the place to be seen is Corsa at Caldera House. Here you’ll find the rustic, laid-back vibe of Jackson with a nod to the Italian Alps. Don’t go past the thin, bubble-crusted pizzas with fresh mozzarella.

To go where the locals do, head to Blue Lion in a historic house in Jackson, where you can dine on grilled elk and housemade ricotta pillows with parmiagiano reggiano, sage and balsamic and finish on specialty cocktails like the ‘Elk Hunter’, a combination of El Jimador tequila, grapefruit and lemon juice and organic agave nectar. Cheers to that.

Skier submerged in deep powder at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Deep powder at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Getting to Jackson Hole

Fly to Dallas or Los Angeles, before connecting to Jackson. Delta, American and United all fly into Jackson Airport. It’s 30 minutes by taxi to Teton Village and 15 minutes to Jackson.

This article was produced with in partnership with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and is a Signature Luxury Travel & Style digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter.