All posts by gliffen

Snow King Winter Activities

While skiing is quite the thrill and one of the biggest reasons for tourism in Jackson Hole in the winter, sometimes it can be nice to switch it up, and what better way to do so than snow tubing! Snow King Mountain is the place to do it, with three smooth groomed lanes and a “magic carpet” to get back to the top of the lanes, you will be hard pressed not to smile.  A perfect activity for the whole family to take part in, so long as the kiddos are at least 42” tall.  The only things you need are yourself, warm clothes and a ticket to ride. 

The Tube Park

The park is located right at the base of the mountain, in the parking lot across the street from Still West, looker’s right. Tickets can either be purchased on location or online on the Snow King Mountain website. Prices are the same for all ages, with a 1 hour pass for $20, and a 2 hour pass for $30. There are also options for bundle passes, one for the Cowboy Coaster and 2 hours of tubing for $45, and the other is the Big King Pass, which includes both of those plus unlimited skiing for the day at a price of $90. 

Cowboy Coaster & Skiing

The Cowboy Coaster is located on the other side of the mountain nearest to the Snow King Hotel, and is a thrilling ride through nearly a mile of loops, curves and tight turns. Skiing at “The King”, is also an incredible experience with steep slopes, 32 different runs, and a bunny hill slope equipped with magic carpet for beginner skiers and boarders, not to mention the views from the top overlooking town and across to the Teton Range (on clear days). 

So if you are staying in the Town of Jackson just know that you don’t have to go very far to have some unforgettable fun in the winter!

Fine Dining in Jackson Hole

While Jackson Hole is a relatively remote destination, situated about 5 hours from the nearest major city, you would never know based on the restaurant selection. Fine dining in Jackson Hole can provide the feeling that you are not in a remote mountain town, with exquisite local dishes and even seafood that normally most would stray away from in a landlocked state. Below are some of our favorite high end restaurants serving up some of the finest cuisine in the Rocky Mountains.

Snake River Grill

Widely considered one of the nicest places to have a meal in the area, Snake River Grill touts elegantly plated “new american” dishes in a refined log-cabin-like setting. This restaurant has been on the Jackson town square for over 25 years, and offers a menu that changes seasonally to reflect market availability. The menu features an extensive wine list and many locally inspired dishes, that include elk, bison, and beef from Mead Ranch, along with the professional touch of managing partner and culinary expert Jeff Drew. Some of their featured dishes include the SRG Steak Tartare Pizza to start, New Zealand Elk Chop, Bison Ribeye and Fresh Fettuccine Bolognese. 

Glorietta Trattoria

For those looking for a nice Italian style dinner in Jackson, Glorietta Trattoria offers just that with a quaint atmosphere that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into an old school Italian American eatery. Their menu features traditional handmade Italian pasta dishes, as well as a selection of wood-fired meat based dishes including a dry-aged ribeye, Bison Osso Buco and their Skuna Bay Salmon. Glorietta also prides themselves on having an intricate and delicious cocktail and wine selection.

Amangani Grill

Situated atop the East Gros Ventre Butte at the Amangani Resort, a part of the world famous Aman resorts, the Amangani Grill offers exquisite meals with an unmatched view overlooking the Snake River Valley. Their offerings specialize in American Regional cuisine consisting of local, sustainable ranch meats, fresh fish and seasonal produce. Some of their featured menu items include Snake River Farms Wagyu Tartare, Bison Short Ribs, Poached White Hake, and Elk Medallion.

Cross Country Skiing in Jackson Hole

While downhill skiing is certainly a blast, sometimes you need a little vacation within your ski vacation, away from the crowds in a more relaxing setting. Cross country skiing can provide exactly that type of experience, while it is still a good workout that will get your blood flowing some. The greatest part of cross-country skiing, also known as nordic skiing, might just be the serenity and beautiful scenery that you can travel to on the various trails throughout the area. Getting out on nordic skis in Jackson Hole is fairly easy and affordable and there are several places to rent them. We will break down some of the details and information needed to get out on the trails.

Rentals

There are many different options for renting in the area. Skinny Skis, Teton Mountaineering, Hoback Sports, are the main ones within town. Aside from those there are a few other options just outside of town such as Dornan’s just outside of the entrance to Grand Teton National Park, as well as Teton Pines Nordic Center in Wilson and Turpin Meadows up in Moran which both have groomed trails for nordic skiing as well.  Skinny Skis is the only rental option that is a shop dedicated to nordic skiing so they have a wealth of knowledge about the sport and the various trails and conditions in the area.

Trails

As was just mentioned, Teton Pines Nordic Center and Turpin Meadows have both rentals and trails to ski on all in one place, and they are both respectively beautiful locations to XC ski. The nice thing about these designated areas is that the trails are neatly groomed which is perfect for those just learning to nordic ski. Outside of those there are many trails elsewhere that are also groomed and others that are ungroomed. Some of the popular ones are the Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park, and Cache Creek which is right on the east edge of town in Jackson. For more information on all of the different trails in the area visit JH Nordic where you can browse all of the known trails and get plenty of information about them.

JH Nordic


If you are looking for information in general about nordic skiing in Jackson Hole, JH Nordic is the one stop shop. They also have info about fat biking, which, for the uninformed, is bikes with extra large tires meant for riding across snow. JH Nordic not only provides information about the trails in the area, they also report on trail and weather conditions throughout the winter. Check them out at JHNordic.com.

Where to Buy Souvenirs in Jackson Hole

As with any good mountain town destination Jackson Hole is chock full of unique souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family. And with the gift giving season upon us, we at Jackson Hole Reservations thought it would be of the utmost importance for those of you planning to visit our valley to know the best spots in town to claim your JH souvenirs. Our iconic valley and Teton Mountain Range offers so many different things to commemorate throughout your visit to Jackson Hole. The town itself, the ski resort, the national parks, the local charm, and most of all the wildlife – you won’t want to forget.  From t-shirts to knick knacks for your home to local outerwear gear companies this is our comprehensive list of the best places to shop in Jackson Hole. 

Jackson Mercantile – Gift shop for amazing taxidermy and locally handcrafted antler art

Made – Handmade unique gifts with a western flare

Sing Hat Company – Locally made and operated custom hats using the finest quality beaver furs in the USA

Stio – Locally based ski outerwear and clothing company

Roam – Neighborhood shop for handpicked gifts, goods, and apparel

Mountain Dandy – American made gifts and home goods geared towards the men in your life

Teton Mountaineering – The local source for high quality outdoor goods

courtesy of Leestees.com

Lee’s Tees – T-shirts and souvenirs

New West Knife Works & Mtn Man Toy Shop – American made chef knives

Teton Toys – Locally owned and operated toy store

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar Gift Shop – A gift shop unique to the iconic Jackson Hole bar and restaurant

Belle Cose – Luxury lifestyle boutique

Fighting Bear Antiques – Antique furniture and gifts

Jackson Hole Resort Store – Souvenirs and clothing related to all things Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Jackson Hole Jewelry CO – Local jeweler 

Beaver Creek Hats & Leather – Premium hats, leather, apparel, and accessories for the mountain west

Women Folk – Vintage and designer consignment clothing curated and sourced in Jackson Hole

JD High Country Outfitters – Jackson Hole’s one stop shop for the outdoors

Vertical Harvest – An urban hydroponic farm that produces fresh, local food year-round, and provides jobs to underserved populations – visit their gift shop and take a tour of the greenhouse

Wyoming Outfitters – A boutique store for the western and outdoor lifestyle

Two Grey Hills – Shop the finest Native American art, including Navajo Indian jewelry, Navajo rugs, Pueblo Indian pottery

Guided Backcountry Ski Tours in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is consistently ranked at or near the top of nearly every annual list of top ski resorts in the United States, but it is what lies outside of the confines of the resort boundaries that draw many to the region. The untouched powder of the Jackson Hole backcountry and side country is the stuff of ski lore. Now backcountry skiing is not for the faint of heart, and is recommended for well equipped, knowledgeable and experienced skiers and snowboarders only. With that being said, it is not advisable to go into the backcountry in Jackson Hole without someone who knows the terrain and is taking all necessary precautions, with regards to weather and snowpack conditions. So for visitors of Jackson Hole with eyes on the precious powder outside of the resort, it is a wise choice to go with a backcountry guide if you are not lucky enough to have your own friend with expertise to chauffeur you. Below are some of the best backcountry guide services in the area that can safely lead you to deep, steep terrain and face shots you will not soon forget.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

One of the best options for guided backcountry tours is actually run by the resort, and enables you to ride up on the aerial tram early, which is pretty cool on its own. The day starts with the early tram ride at 8:30am to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, after which you will learn the basics of performing an avalanche transceiver search before exiting the resort boundaries to start the real adventure. The rest of the guided tour is essentially up to what you prefer, with options for either skiing faster, more accessible runs or touring farther out for one or two epic runs, or even taking your time to learn more about snow science. These expert guides are able to cater to your desires. They also offer tours on Teton pass which is south of the resort, as well as a 4 day backcountry camp. Backcountry ski gear and equipment are necessary for the trips and cheaper rates are available when you book with a group. Learn More.

Exum Mountain Guides

While there is no privileged lift access for this option (isn’t the point to get away from lifts?), Exum Mountain Guides will lead you to some of the best backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the United States. Their tour options include runs located in Grand Teton National park as well as around Teton Pass. Similar to JHMR trips, their trips are basically a la carte, with options to do shorter, more frequent runs, big time lines, and everything in between so long as you have the chops to handle it. Also similar to JHMR trips are cheaper when you book with a group up to four. Learn More.

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides

As they say themselves “Arguably the best value in the valley”. Catered towards intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers and riders, JHMG will guide you through Grand Teton National Park and areas on Teton Pass. Expect to get around 2500-6000 vertical feet of riding in and the days to last around 6-8 hours in total including check in, gear check and beacon refresher session. Untracked powder awaits you when you take a trip with these AMGA certified guides.  Learn More.

Renting Ski Equipment in Jackson Hole

While many avid skiers flock to Jackson Hole each winter to revel among the majestic terrain and top tier snow conditions, others who may not be so avid like to do so as well, and are in need of ski gear to get the most out of their trip. Whether they are beginners, ex ski bums who gave up the lifestyle and ditched their gear, or even avid skiers who trashed their skis or board on their last trip, Jackson has plenty of options for you to rent great ski equipment. If you fit into one of these categories or even if you are just wanting to try out some new gear to see if you would like to buy it, read on to see our breakdown of some of the different options for ski rentals in Jackson Hole.

Door 2 Door Ski Rental Delivery

With Door 2 Door Ski rentals, there is no need to rush into a rental shop the morning of going skiing, wasting precious time that you could be spending on the slope. D2D will come to you, in the comfort of your lodge, private residence or hotel room and custom fit your ski or snowboard rental equipment to suit your needs when getting out on the JHMR terrain. Our reservations agents can arrange D2D Ski Rentals with your lodging reservation and you get 20% off too!

Jackson Hole Sports

While there are a few rental shop locations right in Teton Village, Jackson Hole sports is located just a literal stone’s throw from the Bridger Gondola and the other base lifts, essentially right in the thick of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. JH sports has a massive rental inventory and also serves as a full service ski and snowboard tuning shop. Their rental options range from beginner to intermediate equipment for both skiers and riders. They also offer top of the line demo skis and snowboards designed for all ability levels and snow conditions. The helpful staff will get you on the right ski or board for you, making sure that boots fit properly and have you on the snow in no time. JH Sports also has a wide range of apparel, gear and more in their retail shop as well.

Teton Village Sports

Another favorite in the village for renting ski equipment, TVS is located at the base of the ski resort right next to the Mangy Moose Saloon and one building over from the aerial tram.  They have been in business for over fifty years helping customers at JHMR get fitted and get pitted. Similarly to JH sports, TVS offers gear and equipment for skiers and riders of all skill levels, as well as a great retail selection.

Hoback Sports

If you happen to be staying in the town of Jackson rather than in Teton Village, Hoback Sports may be the best option for you as you can take care of sorting out your rental gear ahead of time before making the trip to the village, or even if you plan on staying in town to ski Snow King. Hoback Sports provides everything that TVS and JH Sports offer with the addition of touring skis & boards as well as fat bikes. To sweeten the offer even further, you can buy JHMR tickets at Hoback and there is a bus stop right outside of the store that will take you to Teton Village.

Where to Stay in Jackson Hole in the Winter

Choosing where to stay on your vacation to Jackson Hole can be a bit of a confusing process. Depending on the season and the activities you have in mind, proximity to town or to the ski resort will play an important role. You want to make sure to factor in your plans for transportation, where you would like to dine out most, and how often you might want to visit Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone National Park. It is important to note that the town of Jackson and Teton Village are separate areas that require planning to be able to experience both. Here is the basic run down on choosing to stay in either Teton Village where Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located or the town of Jackson itself.

Teton Village

Teton Village sits right at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, about twenty minutes away from downtown Jackson, and offers a beautiful and scenic backdrop to your vacation. Views of the resort itself, Sheeps Mountain to the east, and the wide open valley in between create a peaceful and serene environment for you and your family to enjoy. Though there are limited dining options in Teton Village, they do include some of the best restaurants in the valley, including one of the best Thai restaurants. The ease of access to the ski lifts, rental shops, and apres scene make for an easy one stop shop for all of your skiing needs. The Mangy Moose Saloon is also one of the valley’s only live music venues around. If you plan to stay in Teton Village, renting a car will greatly expand the options you have for dining and ease of access to town and the national parks. While the local bus system, known as the ‘Start Bus’, is inexpensive and easy to navigate – it does stop running after a certain hour making your options for a night out in Jackson a bit more limited. Be sure to plan for your own car or a taxi. Grand Teton National Park sits adjacent to the ski resort but due to winter closures, visitors are forced to navigate back through town and out to the park along the outer park road, another reason to plan for your own vehicle.  

Town of Jackson

Planning to stay in the town of Jackson throughout your winter vacation will provide a different experience of the local nightlife and culture. Your options for dining are greatly expanded and you sit about twenty minutes closer to the national park for those scenic winter drives and wildlife viewing. You will be able to depend a little less on the need for your own rental car but a bit more on the local bus system to get to the ski hill during the day. There are also more hotels to choose from at varying price points. You will have access to some of the other scenic areas of the valley that locals love like the Cache Creek trail system or the National Elk Refuge.

Learn to Ski or Snowboard at Snow King Mountain Resort

With the pandemic not going anywhere anytime soon and the winter season fast approaching, people around the world are toying with how to recreate safely outside throughout the colder months. Naturally skiing and snowboarding offers one of the easiest options to maintain that outdoor access and as people start to plan for their winter ski vacations we wanted to highlight one of the best locations to learn how to ski or snowboard in Teton Valley.

Learning to ski and snowboard can be one of the more challenging tasks to take on for a person of any age. The cold, the crowds, and the steep learning curve can make for a long road ahead to reach a place of true relaxation, sport, or enjoyment. Planning a ski vacation where members of the group will also be learning to ski or snowboard can make for a precarious challenge, you want to ensure that everybody has fun and remains comfortable throughout the trip while also catering to different abilities. Luckily for visitors of Jackson Hole, Snow King Mountain Resort offers some extremely friendly beginner terrain and a whole host of options for lessons to meet your various needs. Winter is just around the corner and as you start to consider the needs of your friends or family on the mountain while planning your Jackson Hole vacation, make sure to keep the options below in mind.

Private Lessons

Whether you are just beginning or a seasoned skier with years of experience under your belt, the single or group private lesson option can be truly beneficial to your ski experience. Snow King Mountain’s instructors will customize the day to suit your needs whether getting you to link turns for the first time or teaching you techniques like the falling leaf, pizza, or french fry – the instructors will serve as your guide to get you to that next level of enjoyment on the mountain. Lesson options vary from two to six hours in length and include a full day lift ticket within the price. Visit the link here to get the full run down on pricing and options.

Holiday Camp Programs

Snow King offers eight different ski camps throughout the holiday season to keep your family entertained and out on the mountain. They include all day programs of group skiing, games, a skill based drill series, free skiing hours, and various indoor activities. Visit the link here to view the full details and dates offered.

Winter 2020 and COVID-19

To learn about the precautions and protocols Snow King Mountain Resort will be taking during the time of COVID-19 to keep you safe, visit the link here.

Bar T 5 Covered Wagon Cookout & Show

When you are in Jackson Hole also known as “The last of the old west” there are many different things to do, but nothing gives you that old west feeling quite like a chuck wagon dinner. While you may not have time to travel to or work at a ranch while on vacation, you can certainly get the feel of what that is like with a night at Bar T 5. With a ride in Horse drawn covered wagons into Cache Creek Canyon, a Dutch oven dinner, and an old fashioned western show with music and more you will definitely be in a western Mood afterwards. 

The Ride

What separates Bar T 5 from the other chuck wagon style dinners in Jackson is that you get to ride on a horse drawn covered wagon to your dinner location. When you arrive you will check in with the office staff and can shop the trading post as you are surrounded by historic cabins. Shortly thereafter you will hop into one of the horse drawn cabins and begin the two mile ride into cache creek canyon.

Photo from bart5.com

On your ride, the wrangler that is driving will serve as your guide answering any questions you may have about the horses, Bar T 5 and the area in general, they may even have a song for you if you’re lucky.  The ride ends with the aroma of a delicious dinner awaiting as the wagons are circled. 

The Chuckwagon Dinner

The dinner bells are rung and guests are invited to start heading through the chow line. The food is served up cowboy style, right out of the Dutch oven where it was cooked in. Generous helpings are served up by the wranglers. Seconds are offered to the brave souls capable of finishing their plate. On the menu is a house salad, Bar T 5 signature baked beans, slow cooked Dutch oven BBQ chicken, tender roast beef with homemade gravy, corn on the cob, rolls and a Blondie brownie. To drink; lemonade, water, coffee and hot chocolate are available. 

The Western Show

Around the time that dinner is wrapping up, the local mountain man, Buckskin, shows up and may protect your precious dessert from pesky outlaws in the area as well as greet everyone. Afterwards, as is tradition, the Bar T 5 Band takes the stage and starts playing fantastic western music, similar to how it would be played surrounding a campfire in the old west. Guests may be invited on stage for some fun and laughs. After the show the evening ends with another ride back down the canyon in the covered wagon.

Photo from bart5.com

The Details

Bar T 5 Chuckwagon dinners are available for reservations from mid-may through the end of September with 2 shows a day Monday through Saturday. The season is split into two with show check in times being at 4:45pm and 6pm through August 24th and then 4:15pm and 5:30pm for the remainder of the season. Price for the shows is $49 for adults and $41 for children age 5-12, toddlers & infants 4 years old and under are free! 

Bar T 5 Chuckwagon dinners are fun for the whole family and sure to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Visit their website for reservations and more information.

Fall in Jackson Hole

The temperatures have begun to cool down, the line of cars leading up to Grand Teton National Park has started to get shorter, and with the most subtle start – the leaves on the trails around the valley are starting to turn a shade darker. It’s fall in Jackson Hole and that faint cool crisp of the winter ahead fills your lungs at the start of each new day. Fall is technically one of Jackson Hole’s shoulder seasons, a time when the crowds of visitors start to lessen considerably and the pace of the valley becomes quite a bit slower. But don’t let those cool temperatures fool you. Fall is the unsung hero of Jackson Hole’s seasons and the laundry list of dreamy activities to fill up your cup remains ripe for the taking. Here are our top four favorite activities for fall in Jackson Hole. 

Mountain Biking

Some of the best riding conditions of the year take place during fall in the Tetons. The foliage surrounds you with a beautiful spectrum of colors. The cooler temperatures allow you to ride longer and skip over that ‘I’m too hot I can’t go any further’ feeling the summer brings. And with random smatterings of rain and snow the dirt is simply perfect. Check out Cache Creek, our local trail system just outside of the town itself for riding conditions that range from cruising through aspens to techy sections full of rock and root features to keep you on your A game. 

Cruising for Wildlife

Fall is one of the best times of the year to observe wildlife in Jackson Hole throughout their annual journey to prepare for the winter. Bears are more active, elk are busy bugling looking for mates, the bison are milling about, and a plethora of birds are migrating to the south. Spend some time driving through Grand Teton National Park to viewpoints like Oxbow Bend or Schwabachers Landing where not only are you likely to see wildlife but the Teton views are absolutely astounding. For a fuller day head up to Yellowstone National Park where you are sure to see moose and bison in their natural habitats as you take in the fall tones and wide open expanse.

Granite Hot Springs

If you are visiting Jackson Hole during the fall season you run the risk of running into some unforeseen rainy weather conditions, not exactly the idyllic scenario for a vacation geared towards spending time in the outdoors. Lucky for you Granite Hot Springs, a hot spring located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and along Granite Creek, offers the perfect way to stay warm and cozy while still getting to spend time outdoors. For a small fee, spend the day soaking in the quaint pool’s warm waters surrounded by views of the Gros Ventre Mountains.

Hiking

While getting into high alpine environments during fall in the Tetons starts to become quite a bit trickier and less desirable you can still nab some of those lower longer hikes inside Grand Teton National Park and throughout the valley without worry of being held up in inclement weather. Places like Table Mountain or Death Canyon in the Tetons are sure to take your breath away while breaking in those hiking boots. Don’t forget to put the Gros Ventre Mountain Range on your hiking list as the condensed amount of aspens in that area make fall one of the best times to visit.