Weekly Peek: Jackson Hole Trip Report

Jackson Hole, Wyoming has been a dream destination for me for a long time.  The ski resort is famed for its steep, challenging slopes and consistently discussed among skiers I know as one of the best mountains in North America.  Because I'm a volunteer patroller at Alpine Meadows, I ski a lot and for free, so I don't tend to take many ski trips.  But my sister knew about my desire to ski Jackson Hole, and so for Christmas last year she gave me an Air BnB stay there (as well as the cute faux fur lined vest you'll see me wearing in all the pics)!  It was the perfect excuse to gather some friends together for a fun long weekend ski trip.

Not. Too. Shabby.

Not. Too. Shabby.

So, um, I have some Denver recommendations for you.  You see, there's one daily nonstop flight from SFO to JAC on United, so of course we booked it.  But it's a small plane going to a small airport and SFO suffers frequent weather delays, so you can guess what happened next: a couple of hours before departure, it was cancelled.  We re-booked through Denver only to have the first leg delayed so long that we missed the second and found ourselves stuck overnight.

We were delayed an entire day, but at least there were puppies in the airport!

We were delayed an entire day, but at least there were puppies in the airport!

All thanks for the following go to my husband, by the way.  He is a frequent traveler, loves trip planning, and researches flights and hotels particularly well.  By the time we made it to the arrivals area in Denver, he had us booked at the Four Seasons, a giant SUV to fit all six of us waiting for us at Avis, and a table reserved for dinner at The Kitchen.  Major thumbs up to all of the above - dinner was delicious (and huge!), and the Four Seasons bar is apparently The Place to Be on a Friday night (we did feel a little out of place in our slopeside attire).

We stayed in this Air BnB condo in Teton Village at the base of the ski resort.  It would have slept 8 people luxuriously and 10 quite comfortably, the bed/sheet/towel situation was a lot more high end than I have experienced in other Air BnB's, and the common areas were comfy and well-appointed.  For a long weekend, I would definitely stay in Teton Village again, as opposed to in the actual town of Jackson Hole.  We could walk to a lift (and also into the village within about 15 minutes), whereas it takes about half an hour to drive out from town!  

On our way from the condo to dinner on a gorgeous spring evening

On our way from the condo to dinner on a gorgeous spring evening

Teton Village is small, but packed with high quality amenities.  I always bring my own ski boots, but there were several rental shops with good demo options - I tried out and rather enjoyed a pair of Atomic Vantage 100's.  The restaurants were also pretty impressive given the small size of the village.  We had a late lunch after our late arrival on Saturday at Il Villagio Osteria, which had delicious upscale pizzas and salads.  Dinner that night was at the Alpenhof Lodge.  You go for the super authentic Swiss atmosphere and fondue, not necessarily for the other food on the menu, but it's a totally fun experience.  We may or may not have returned for several apres-ski beers the following day!

For lunch in the middle of our ski day, we were enraptured by the concept of an on-mountain sit-down restaurant (something I have experienced in Europe but never in North America!) and were lucky enough to snag a table at Piste Mountain Bistro before the lunch rush.  If you go, definitely make a reservation so you don't get shut out!  Our final dinner was at Handle Bar inside the Four Seasons (which is just about as ski-in, ski-out a resort as I've ever seen), and my bison burger was absolutely INCREDIBLE - one of the best burgers I've ever had, period.  I snarfed the entire thing.

Happy campers!

Happy campers!

And the mountain itself?  It's even better than I thought it would be!  The mountain has huge vertical - it just seems to keep going on forever, with amazing valley views everywhere you look.  Overall, the entire resort is much steeper than most - a Jackson Hole blue run would probably be rated a black diamond at your home resort.  On a sunny spring morning when conditions are firm, there's not much that's more fun than ripping giant fast turns on some steep corduroy, and we did just that!  There's also a ton of really interesting off piste terrain, and we caught some excellent spring corn on some of the lower slopes in the afternoon.  We did NOT try to kill ourselves in the famed Corbet's Couloir - it was closed, and after peering down the sheer cliff entrance, I saw why!

The weekend was short (thanks, United...) but full of good times with good friends in a truly special location.  We will for sure go back.  In my perfect world, I'd return for 5+ days earlier in the season to try to get some powder, stay at the Four Seasons, and explore the town of Jackson Hole a bit... a girl can dream!

LMW