Travel Guide: Experience the Rugged Beauty of Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Grab your hat and gloves and get ready for snow, sloshies, and scenery like no other: The mountains are calling.
The American West has no shortage of stunning panoramas, perhaps none as iconic as the Tetons, which lie partly in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole. The fact that the region also boasts some of the best skiing in the world is simply the cherry on top of the snow-capped mountain. From the bunny slope to heli-skiing, you’ll find inexhaustible terrain for all skill levels at the valley’s three area resorts—Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort—not to mention the ski-luxe amenities you’d expect in places like Aspen, without all the pretense. For all of its polish, Jackson still retains the funky charm of a frontier town.
Beyond the slopes, opportunities abound for winter pastimes such as snowmobiling, sleigh riding, and snowshoeing, including on Amangani’s half-day wildlife tour, where you’ll spot wonders like North America’s largest herd of wild elk. Alternatively, you can take a dip in the region’s thermal springs—a.k.a. nature’s own hot tubs—including at the newly reopened Astoria Hot Springs Park. Plan ahead, though: Occupancy is limited, and the springs are only accessible by snowmobile, dogsled, skis, or fat bike.
Whatever your outdoor pursuit, the rugged beauty of the landscape will leave you feeling like you’re inside a souvenir snow globe—and also, undoubtedly, hungry. Luckily, Jackson Hole excels in the culinary department as well, from hearty game at Mangy Moose to Japanese cuisine at Suda Izakaya. But the most quintessential Jackson Hole specialty is the aptly named “sloshie,” a cross between a shot and a slushy. Served everywhere from supermarkets to gas stations, they’re ubiquitous, but for top-shelf booze, you’ll want to head to the craft distillery Jackson Hole Still Works.
Of course, given that the valley’s lowest elevation is 6,311 feet, you’ll likely already be feeling high from altitude. A sure-fire remedy is a stroll around downtown Jackson, with its myriad shops and galleries. Art buffs, meanwhile, should check out the National Museum of Wildlife Art: Overlooking the National Elk Refuge, it’s treasured as much for the views as for its collections. Gazing out on the scenery, you’re less likely to feel homesick than you are to find yourself wishing your own place was somewhere out there on the range.
Delta flies nonstop from Boston to Salt Lake City, where you can catch a connecting flight to Jackson Hole, the only commercial airport in the United States located within the boundaries of a national park.
Perched atop a butte with sweeping views of the Snake River valley and Grand Teton, Amangani is a redwood-and-sandstone fantasy that pays homage to the surrounding landscape without skimping on luxury. The resort’s ski lodge is 20 minutes away in Teton Village, with concierge service, refreshments, and ski-in/ski-out access.