If you take your skiing with equal parts après ski glitz and wild-west ruggedness, then Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the town for you.
More laid back then it’s Colorado counterpart, (Aspen), Jackson Hole is only just starting to reveal more high-brow culture than cowboy kitsch. Walking around the town square, you’ll probably see more high flying city-slickers than true country folk. But Jackson’s western roots are still very apparent.
Upon entering the Wyoming town, you’re greeted with historic store-fronts that could double as a movie set for a Hollywood western. Retro neon signs pop outside of timbered buildings. A snow covered town square is bordered by romantic arches made entirely of Moose sheds. An old “Playhouse” dates back to the early twentieth century. It’s original saloon doors give way to a vintage bar and a century old wash room.
When in Jackson, one can’t help but feel transported back to the time of pioneers and horse drawn carriages. But, after a visit to Teton Village, you’ll be reminded that this is also serious ski country. And that the town is located just 20 minutes to some of the steepest vertical in North America.
If you happen to visit during one of Jacksons colder months (December or January), you’re sure to see a die-hard skier, already dressed in their boots and gear, ordering a pain au chocolate at the town’s bustling french bakery before heading to the slopes. Or, if it’s later in the evening, you might catch some locals living it up at the million dollar cowboy bar.
Either way, once you’re here, you can’t help but feel a twinge of longing for the ski-bum (or ranch-hand) way of life. But if you can’t commit to that kind of lifestyle, at least you can embody the laid-back look. Stock up on vintage threads from one of the best second-hand stores our editor’s have ever come across. And live the Jackson Hole dream, even if only for a weekend.
However, if skiing is not your thing, there is still plenty to do on and off the slopes.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of our Jackson Hole favorites that are not to be missed.
- With a Base elevation of 6,311 feet and a summit elevation of 10,450 feet, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has a total of 2,500 in-bound skiable acres.
- The difficulty of the terrain includes 50% expert, 40% intermediate and 10% beginner.
- Eleven Lifts, Two Gondolas, and One Red Tram: The two high-speed gondolas take you to intermediate/beginner terrain and the world-famous tram takes you to expert-only heights.
- Waffles at 10,450 feet: Take the Aerial Tram (a.k.a Big Red) to Corbet’s Cabin at the top of Rendevous Peak. Once there, enjoy hot and toasty waffles.
- Weather: The average winter temperature in the valley of the resort is 21 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it may be warmer higher on the mountain due to inversion.
- Slope Side Apres: The Patio at Handle Bar, Ascent Lounge
- Local Favorite: Mangy Moose.
- WOW Tip: Jackson Hole Resort is very popular (for good reason). We recommend steering clear of the crowded holiday season and going during the off weeks in February or March. Later in the season, they are guaranteed to have good snow, slightly warmer weather, and there will be less people on the hill. Despite it’s vertical height, Jackson Hole is one of the smaller ski resorts (in terms of amount of skiable in-bound terrain) that we’ve visited.
Coffee & Breakfast
- Persephone French Bakery: Persephone is one of those places you’ll be dying to go back to day after day if you’re staying in a town. After indulging in one of the expertly baked classics by Persephone, an average piece of quiche or croissant seems sub-par. What we ordered: Quiche, Ham & Cheese Croissant, Breakfast Skillet, Tumeric Oat-Milk Latte.
- Cowboy Coffee: The name alone will lure you in, but the house-roasted beans will have you coming back for more. If you’re like us, you’ll be tempted to buy a bag of beans to take home with you. Our favorite blend? The Cactus Cowboy.
Lunch & Dinner
- Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: if you visit Jackson Hole, and never step foot in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, did you even go? We think not. Saddle up, literally, as you belly up to the bar in this western original.
- Glorietta: Rustic Italian cuisine is complimented by knowledgable staff and an extensive wine list. The hand made pastas are to die for. Trust us, we tried all of them. The vibe is cozy yet modern.
- Snake River Brewery: a true locals joint. Come for a taste of the local brews and stay for a hearty meal that you definitely earned out on the slopes. We loved: the Elk chili and steak tacos.
- The Kitchen: Asian influences meet modern farm to table in this unexpectedly posh establishment. Order: Perfectly done Bao Buns, hearty Ramen, or a decidedly American (and perfectly cooked) burger.
- Country Woman: one of the oldest vintage stores in the town of Jackson, this woman owned and operated boutique has an affordable selection of everything you need to look the part in Jackson. (We scored a vintage pair of Mother Denim corduroys for a mere $15).
- Womenfolk: Quite possibly the best vintage our editor’s have ever been too. This tiny boutique is a little hard to find, but definitely worth the effort. With a carefully curated selection of designer gems – all which work perfectly in Jackson – you’re sure to fall in love with something. Our finds: a vintage cowboy hat and vintage daisy ski pants.
- High Country Outfitters: If you need to get some warmer clothes once you arrive, then this large boutique has everything you need and more. With a great selection of outerwear, sweaters, jackets, boots, and accessories, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes after a quick stop here.
Boot Fitters/Ski Gear in Town
- Skinny Skis: smack dab in the middle of town, Skinny Ski’s is walkable from any hotel in town and their knowledgable staff can help you achieve a perfect fit. They also have a wide selection of Patagonia gear – just remember to steer clear of their polyester fleece.
- Hoback Sports: The friendly staff at Hoback will have your boots adjusted or custom fitted in no time. The right-outside-of-town location is perfect for picking up your gear on the way to the slopes. They also have a large selection of gear in case you forgot something.
Where to Stay On The Mountain
- The Four Seasons: A slope-side stay, with the hottest apres ski spots just downstairs from your room. The Four Seasons at Jackson Hole is our pick for best resort (if your priority is to ski). Nestled at the base of the resort, the gondolas, tram, and high-speed lifts are just a few steps away. Ski up to the apres of your dreams, with slope side fire pits and five star service. After a day on the slopes, treat yourself to an oxygen infusion facial or sports recovery massage at their top-notch spa facilities.
- Caldera House: The most exclusive hotel on our list, Caldera house is connected to Jackson’s Aerial tram house. It’s light filled building only houses eight suites and each one is fit for a queen. Their four four-bedroom suites and four two-bedroom suites each boast their own fully equipped chef’s kitchen, dining area, living room, and outdoor space with mountain views. Located at the base of Teton Village, this ski-in ski-out abode is a ski-family’s dream.
Where To Stay In The Village
- Hotel Jackson: Architectural Digest named this ‘the most beautiful hotel in Wyoming’ thanks to it’s thoughtful modern meets western design. Located right in the heart of the town of Jackson Hole, this hotel is great base camp for those that want to enjoy the Old West feel of the town before and after skiing. Teton Village is a quick 20 minute drive.
- The Wort Hotel: Also located in the heart of town, The Wort offer’s skiers authentic western charm and is in close proximity to other favorites on our list such as the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Persephone Bakery, Womenfolk, Skinny Skis, and Cowboy Coffee.
- Amangani: If it’s five star pampering your looking for – look no further than the Amangani resort. Located 20 minutes away from Teton Village. With three dining venues, a fitness center, training studios, spa, and 377 ft. heated outdoor infinity pool – Amangani is the stuff luxurious apres dreams are made of. Relax after a day of skiing in one of the resorts spacious suites and take in panoramic views of the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.