Jackson Hole Mountain Resort owns bragging rights when it comes to the best places to ski and ride in North America. In fact, SKI Magazine and other skiing publications consistently rate it among the top places to ski in the United States. For the seventh year in a row, Forbes has named Jackson Hole the top ski resort in North America.
But what makes this Jackson Hole skiing site superior to other resorts? Perhaps it’s the resort’s open boundaries policy and limitless terrain. Maybe it’s the fact that it boasts the longest vertical drop in North America. Or it could simply be because there is so much snow that powder is measured in feet, not inches.
There are so many reasons why Jackson Hole is one of the best places for snow skiing in Wyoming that we’ve created our top six reasons to ski, snowboard and play here.
1. Rugged Mountain Landscapes
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort lies in a valley that is nestled at the base of the Teton Range to the west and the Gros Ventre Range to the east. The mountain views rival the steep, jagged rock peaks of the Alps. On the doorstep of Wyoming’s national parks, Jackson is mere steps from both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. As you fly into Jackson Hole Airport, be sure to look out the plane’s window and take in the view of a valley that’s engulfed with rugged mountain landscapes and peaks that appear to kiss the sky.
2. The Longest Vertical Drop in North America
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s tram tops the charts in terms of most vertical feet. From the base to the top of the mountain, there is more than 4,100 vertical feet of steep, challenging terrain. Bomb down the continuous 4.5-mile-long run from the top of the tram to the bottom. Advanced skiers and riders flock to Jackson Hole to take in the endless acres of both inbound and out-of-bound ski-able terrain.
If you’re more of a beginner skier or rider — or just prefer to take it easy on the slopes — head to Apres Vous Mountain, Jackson Hole’s more intermediate terrain. Additionally, take advantage of the resort’s world-class, Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) certified ski instructors to make your skiing experience something you’ll remember for years to come.
3. Abundant Wild West Charm
Unlike many modern mountain towns, Jackson Hole offers a more laidback, wild west feel. Extending the state’s loveable cowboy vibe, Jackson Hole is brimming with charming western shops, bars and restaurants. Check out the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where you can take in the cowboy murals, animal mounts and sit on genuine saddle barstools. An added bonus: you’ll never feel underdressed wearing jeans, a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. In fact, you will fit right in with your western garb and easy-going attitude.
4. A Mountain Base Warmer than the Valley Floor
At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the temperatures 2,000 feet above the valley floor are frequently 10 to 20 degrees warmer than they are at the base of the mountain. This inversion keeps skiers and riders relatively warm as the head up to the top of the resort, making Jackson Hole a favorite among skiers and snowboarders who prefer to stay a tad warmer out on the slopes. Come prepared with warm clothes, but be ready to shed a layer or two as you head up the mountain.
5. Multiple World-Class Ski Resorts
The Jackson Hole area features two incredible ski resorts in addition to the well-known Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Located in the heart of the downtown Jackson, Snow King Resort includes four exciting lifts, a bargain morning half-day ticket, night skiing and a fun snow tubing park.
If you’re able to drive one hour north of Jackson, try the runs at Grand Targhee Resort, which is located on the western slope of the Teton Mountains in the town of Alta. Recording an annual snowfall of more than 500 inches and a vertical drop of 2,270 feet, Grand Targhee holds its own when it comes to challenging terrain and an abundance of snow. A great option for mixing up your skiing or snowboarding vacation in Jackson, plan to spend at least one day exploring the wonders of Grand Targhee.
6. Plenty of Fresh Powder
Jackson Hole continuously measures one of the highest snowfalls in the country, receiving an average of 400 inches of powder each year. Because of the relatively cool temperatures, the snow tends to be light and airy, making it ideal for powder hounds. Skis and snowboards sail over fresh snow, leaving you with a grin from ear to ear.
All photos courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.