All posts by gliffen

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.

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.

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. They offer 20% off of their rates when you book 24 hours in advance online. 

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.

Jackson Hole Bike Rides

Jackson Hole has some amazing bike rides! Not only can you mountain bike throughout the valley, but you can also take some enjoyable road rides with breathtaking views. Here are some of our top favorite Jackson Hole bike rides.

All three of our major mountain resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR), Snow King, and Grand Targhee, have great mountain bike trails. They all do charge you to ride up their chairs if you are a downhill enthusiast, but you are also able to peddle both ways for free. Grand Targhee has the most varied terrain, Snow King is steep and challenging, and JHMR has put in a specific bike park with steep, sharp banks and little trick hills. 

image courtesy of Bike List

If you are looking for less “groomed” trails, you can find some great mountain biking trails off Cache Creek and Old Pass Road at the base of Teton Pass. These vary in difficulty, and are mostly in the shade. Be sure to join the rest of the bikers at the Stagecoach Bar afterwards for some Street Food.

As for road biking, Jackson Hole has bike paths throughout town and on the three major highways for several miles. The easiest ride is perhaps from town to Teton Village, long but mostly flat with great views. Another great ride is from town to Grand Teton National Park. It’s a gradual uphill with opportunities for wildlife viewing and breathtaking views. For a complete view of the Jackson Hole bike paths, check out Friends of the Pathway.

If you are willing to go off the bike path and on the road, try the Spring Gulch loop (heading North on Spring Gulch from town, turning right on Sagebrush, and then coming back on the N. Highway 89 bike path). It’s a relaxing 20 mile loop, with minimal traffic, a gradual incline, and beautiful views of the Tetons, Sleeping Indian, and Jackson Peak.

You can also go “around the block”, a favorite bike ride amongst avid local cyclists. For the most physically fit, ride up Teton Pass (HWY 22/ ID 33) and down into Victor. Take a left on ID 31 and go through Pine Creek Pass. In Swan Valley, take a left on ID 26. In Alpine, take a left on HWY 89 and ride up to Jackson through the Snake River Canyon. It’s about 112 miles, making for a scenic, yet active ride.

There is wondrous variety in our Jackson Hole bike rides. You simply just have to decide where to go and how long you want to be gone.

Farmer’s Markets in Jackson Hole

Who doesn’t love a good community market with fresh local food and goods? As long as you didn’t say “Me”, then Jackson Hole is the right place to be for enjoying some great local markets. There are two main markets that take place each week. First is the Jackson Hole Farmers market, which takes place on Saturdays in the summer at the Town Square from 8am to 12pm, this year it is running through September 26th.  The other is the Summer Peoples Market which is on Wednesday evenings from 4-7pm at the base of Snow King. Both markets boast fantastic vendors from the area, here is a little more about each of them.

Jackson Hole Farmers Market

Saturdays, 8am-12pm @ Town Square

Being the main weekly market in Jackson it tends to be fairly busy with locals and visitors convening to shop. There are a variety of vendors selling baked goods, bitters, meat, fruits and vegetables, berries, fish, CBD products, flowers, coffee, jellies, mushrooms, tamales, doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches and much more! Live music is played on the lawn of the square as well to provide some great tunes while you shop.

Summer Peoples Market

Wednesdays, 4pm-7pm @ Base of Snow King Mountain

The weekday fix for local and regional foods and goods, the Peoples Market has much of the same great produce, cheese, and other farm fresh foods that are offered at the Farmers Market but tends to offer much more locally made goods from jewelry and clothing to potted plant starters and more. Typically the market has vendors providing prepared food and alcohol, but due to the current virus outbreak those will not be available this year. Similar to the farmers market, there is also live music in the middle of all of the different vendors. This year they are asking all shoppers to wear masks, social distance and go cashless.

You can’t go wrong with either market in Jackson, both are great places to purchase some of the freshest foods and more, all while supporting the local economy!

The History of The Jackson Hole Antler Arches

As a local to Jackson Hole Wyoming, it’s funny to think that one of the main draws to visitors in our neck of the woods is not just the outdoor recreational paradise that we get to call home. No, in fact one of the main highlights for people passing through our town is actually a set of arches that claim space in downtown. Not your typical statue or commemorative piece of art the arches that surround George Washington Memorial Park, more commonly referred to as the Town Square, are actually made up of elk antlers and adorn the four corners of the park. These arches help visitors to feel that they are truly getting to experience the west and represent a historical legacy to our Wyoming landscape, while causing traffic jams year-round as people flock for pictures. 

Jackson Hole, Wy Antler Arches, Winter

The first antler arch was constructed in 1953 through the efforts and fundraising of the Jackson Hole Rotary Club. The National Elk Refuge, a protected haven where hundreds of elk come to take shelter during the winter months, sits just outside of the town of Jackson. Each spring the herd of elk naturally shed their antlers allowing locals and visitors alike to harvest the pieces for art and auction. Using a steel frame as a base and thousands of antlers from the annual spring shed, the rotary club methodically stacked the antlers to form the resulting arch. By the late 1960’s the other three antler arches came into existence and completed the project. 

The four arches stood proudly for the sixty years that followed. But as antlers are in fact made up of bone, they eventually began to decompose causing the structures to lose their rigidity and foundational structure. In 2006 the Rotary Club began fundraising efforts to replace the structures altogether with newly formed arches. Using donations and the funds received from auctioning off the original arches, some 14,000 pounds of antlers per arch, the club was able to replace them entirely with new frames and new antlers. 

By 2015 the final arch reconstruction was completed and the new adornments are expected to last at least another 50 years. The antler arches have become something of a Jackson Hole icon and a legacy to be passed onto future generations. I can’t imagine walking past the Town Square without glancing at families posing for pictures underneath the antlers or watching the christmas lights strung over them each winter season twinkle with the falling snow. Just as much as the Teton views comprise our familiarity and love for Jackson Hole, so do the arches.

Summer Kid-Friendly Fun in Jackson Hole

If you are planning a trip to Jackson Hole with some little adventurers and looking for activities to keep them engaged, you have come to the right place! The area is plentiful when it comes to family friendly fun, thanks to it’s amazing mountains, lakes, resorts and community fun. Here are some of our favorite things to do with the whole family that you won’t soon forget.

Snow King Mountain

While it is a beloved local in-town ski resort in the winter, Snow King offers a number of fun summertime activities suitable for all ages including mini golf, the Cowboy mountain coaster, an alpine slide, the Amaze’n maze, a bungee trampoline, chairlift rides, and last but not least the Treetop Adventure ropes course and zipline. You have the option of paying for each activity individually or purchasing a day pass that gives access to all of them unlimited with the exception of the Treetop Adventure, that is only included for one tour. 

Jackson Hole Rodeo

Courtesy of Jackson Hole Rodeo

The perfect night time event to attend for the whole family, the Jackson Hole Rodeo puts some of the best riders from the surrounding areas on display and gets the crowd involved creating fun for all. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the summer to catch a rodeo, with shows every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial day through Labor day, with additional Friday rodeos in July & August.

White Water Rafting

Get out on the river with one of Jackson Hole’s experienced raft guide companies and hit the whitewater for a thrill of a lifetime among the beauty of the Hoback canyon. Dave Hansen Whitewater, Barker Ewing, and Mad River are a couple of the reputable rafting companies in the area, and offer a number of different trips depending on what you and your family are looking for. Don’t fall overboard!

Rock Climbing

Courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

What better way to have fun in the mountains than to climb them! There are a wide variety of places to climb in the area, but for those without much experience or equipment, spending a day with a guide service is advisable. The Via Ferrata at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a great place for beginner climbers to hone their skills, as it has cables that climbers are clipped into and iron rungs in some of the more difficult to climb areas to use for assistance if needed. Another option for guided climbing is to spend a day with Exum Mountain Guides in Grand Teton National Park at Hidden Falls, Exum will customize the day around your family’s abilities and wishes.

Eat at the “Best of Jackson Hole” Top Restaurants

Each year the community of Jackson Hole casts its votes for the best businesses, organizations and individuals, and they award gold, silver, and bronze for a number of different categories. One of the more sought after awards for the “Best of Jackson Hole” each year is the overall restaurant award, winners stake claim to the best food and atmosphere combination in town. So what better places to eat in Jackson Hole than the top three restaurants, as voted by local patrons in 2020. 

Gold: Snake River Grill

Courtesy of Al_HikesAZ

One of Jackson’s more high-end restaurant options, Snake River Grill has won the award five years in a row now, and rightfully so with their ever changing menu made up of modern american cuisine and their western styled dining areas. The menu features seasonal ingredients, with much of the dishes being locally inspired, with a unique professional touch provided by managing partner and culinary expert Jeff Drew. Snake River Grill has also been recognized by Travel + Leisure, Business Insider, Food Network, and more for its prestige as one of the best restaurants in Wyoming. Some of the featured dishes include Wild Mushroom Tortellini, Honey Glazed Moulard Duck Breast, Smoked Buffalo Short Ribs, Smoked Trout Chowder, and the famed SRG Eskimo bars for dessert.

Silver: King Sushi

Now, I know what you are probably thinking, you didn’t travel to the wild west to eat Japanese food, let alone to seek out seafood, but trust us and the local community who voted for the Best of Jackson Hole, King Sushi is delicious. Not only do they provide a great well rounded menu, with items suitable for nearly anyone’s taste but the atmosphere is unique and makes the dining experience that much better. Situated in a small and cozy log cabin there is table seating and the sushi bar to sit at, as well as outdoor seating on their deck when weather permits. Reservations are highly recommended due to the intimate layout.

Bronze: Glorietta Trattoria

This quaint Italian restaurant comes in at third place for the Best of Jackson Hole, but if you are a lover of fine Italian cuisine including handmade pasta and wood-fired cooking then it may as well be number one. The atmosphere of natural finished wood and tile is simple but makes you feel like you have stepped into a portal to an old school Italian American eatery. Traditional Italian pasta dishes are served, in addition to some of the more lavish items such as a wagyu ribeye, rabbit confit, and braised lamb shank. Aside from the food they pride themselves on having an intricate and delicious cocktail and wine selection as well.