We’ve obviously just had an insane trip out west to Jackson Hole, and on top of the live updates, I wanted to give everyone a good overview of the trip, mountain, and town that left me/us looking forward to our next trip. So, the first thing that comes to mind is the scene that is front and center upon arrival to the small airport in Jackson. It’s one of total awe. It felt to me like I had boarded a plane in reality (Boston) and walked off of the same plane into some kind of early western/skiing fairy tail. The Teton mountain range surrounds the airport and the entry way is surrounded with elk antlers collected from one of the many national wildlife preserves in the valley. Right away you know your somewhere special.
Taxi service from the airport is very reasonable, especially with a group, to Teton Village. The 25 minute taxi costs about $80 and most taxi’s can hold groups of at least 7, including gear. Taxi drivers out there are no joke, often dawning cowboy hats or at least a mustache, and don’t be surprised if the cab literally has to stop for moose in the road.
For us, arrival to Teton village (The Inn at Jackson Hole) was exciting, but admittedly left us a little surprised at the noticeably spotty snow cover on the mountain. Apparently Jackson only received about 60% of their average annual snow fall, which unfortunately accounted for the lack of cover on the lower mountain, and talks of the end of the season. We quickly forgot about the snow issues however, when we slipped into the 4 (really about 10) person hot tub at the resort, along with a few PBR’s, which is unquestionably the beer of choice around the mountain.
For food, we bounced around, dining at the Cowboy Steak House, below the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Q Roadhouse, The Cadillac Grill, and Osteria in Teton Village. The meats of choice at the Cowboy bar were definitely Elk and Bison, and although that was our most expensive dinner, it was outstanding. As an aside, I would put the french onion soup in my all-time top 5. Who knew blue cheese tastes so good on onion soup? Our evening at Q’s was a large group affair and after the round of celebratory tequila shots were served, the tasty bbq, apps, and fish tacos did not disappoint. Q’s was the perfect choice for so many people (18) and turned out to be very reasonably priced. Osteria had me worried about price at first, but was also very reasonable in that regard. Its decor is kind of fancy, but with pizza’s and pasta as the primary items on the menu I was pleasantly surprised to spend only $36 for such a great meal and plenty of vino. The Cadillac is more of a local spot, featuring “reverse happy hour” from 10-12, offering two for one drink specials, which naturally attracts patrons and tourists alike. The Cadillac is located right next to the Cowboy bar, which is an absolute must hit for live country music and very authentic country western dancing. And what would this write-up be without discussing where we ate and drank for Apres? The Mangy Moose definitely stole the show for Apres. The Moose is right at the base of the mountain and serves very good bar food (read nachos) and the beer is always cold. Also, to be completely honest, the Moose features one of the best looking wait staff’s in the league, including a rumored former Lange girl. (not sure which girl or year because they all looked qualified to me)
The terrain at Jackson is consistently some of the best I’ve experienced, featuring Corbet’s Couloir (shown right), which begins with a 20ft drop into an extremely narrow chute. Although I did not experience Corbet’s first hand as it was closed to the public, there is good stuff all over the mountain. I am not great with all the lift and trail names, but based on the weather, we found that starting on the Apres Vous quad and following the sun across the mountain was the best bet for soft snow, ending the day with a few tram rides up to the top. My highlight, for best snow and overall experience,was the hike and subsequent run down from the head wall, which is a traverse from the tram and about 20 minute hike to the top. (There are multiple pics from the top in the gallery)
Bottom line, the mountain didn’t have enough snow for us to see its best, but there is no question that there is great stuff all over the mountain.
For a planned trip, like ours, it’s always tough to try and plan around schedules and deals so with that comes the risk of spotty conditions, but regardless, Jackson is a great choice!! From the authentic Cowboy feel to the challenging terrain, I would put the whole experience on the top of my list!