I love Jackson Hole, you guys. For the second year in a row, my husband and I made the trek for a ski weekend, and this time we convinced my entire family to come along, as well as a few friends. And I do believe we've made converts of them, too!
Most of my ski days happen at Alpine Meadows for one simple reason: that's where I work as a volunteer patroller, so I have a pass. Pretty hard to pass up unlimited days, especially on a mountain that offers a wide variety of steep, interesting terrain - especially if you're willing to hike for it!
However, Jackson Hole has won my heart and I know we'll be returning again and again. Why?
The terrain: it's unbeatable. Vertical for miles, plenty of steeps, lots of varied aspects, tree skiing, that great dry snow... it's really got everything you could want. Plus, there's a pretty impressive amount of beginner and intermediate terrain so a group with varied skill levels like ours can be happy.
The views: I mean, just look.
The village: lots of hotel options (we absolutely adored the Four Seasons - even the smallest rooms are big and comfy with plenty of places to unpack your ski gear, the service in the boot/ski room is next level, and there's a fully staffed bar at the hot tub/pool after 3pm with tasty warm beverages), good restaurants, and an excellent apres scene (don't miss beers at the Alpenhof or roll the dice for a potentially disastrous shot/back/beer combo at the Handle Bar).
The simplicity: United has direct flights from San Francisco, making Jackson Hole more accessible than pretty much all the great Colorado mountains. And this year, no cancellations!
The bonus: you can do a day heli-skiing trip! My husband gave me heli-skiing for my birthday last year and made good by sending my sister and me for an epic powder day unlike anything to be had inside resort boundaries. It was total hero snow: 6 inches of light high mountain fluff on hard pack, and fresh tracks all day. And we completely geeked out climbing out of a helicopter on the actual top of a mountain!
Usually at this point in the year I'm pretty excited about the end of winter, but if I could I'd go back to Jackson this weekend. It's that good. That said, I'm always willing to try something new! Where else should we look at for next year's ski trip?