Upon arrival at the Jackson Airport, I felt it – that moment I was waiting for: Everything I had heard about how cool this place was literally stared me in the face. The Tetons on all sides, the airport the size of a convenience store, and the unforgettable Archway of Antlers that greets you as you get off the plane – it was all happening.
I was stoked! I had three days in this winter paradise.
Go backcountry if you can. This often is easier said than done, and it’s only recommended for those who have training and experience. But if you’re up for the challenge and you have the proper equipment (including a guide), try to make it happen. Nestled in the Teton mountains, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the surrounding area offer some of the country’s most amazing backcountry terrain. Expect to find astounding cliff drops, untouched snow-covered glades, and breathtaking 360-degree views of the Tetons.
Without a doubt, the first thing any Jackson Hole newcomer should do is to take the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. I caught the early morning tram rides on “Big Red” with the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrol. Riding the tram was always on my bucket list, so those early morning rides in search of “white gold” were certainly a treat for the soul.
Riding Big Red to the peak is steady (enough) and exciting. As you climb higher and higher, the views become more and more breathtaking. Be sure to post up near a window so you can absorb it all: Rising 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in 15 minutes, you can see the Snake River valley, Grand Teton National Park, and the Gros Ventre Range.
Near the top, you might catch someone dropping into the famous expert ski run Corbet’s Couloir from your bird’s-eye view!
This iconic bar and restaurant at the base of the mountain is all about good times. After a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing in the sunshine at the Moose. The outdoor deck is sunny and inviting, and you can’t go wrong with the Snake River Lager (a local favorite).
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Executive Chef Wes Hamilton (aka Chef Wes) has developed a delicious, ever-changing seasonal menu at this eco-friendly restaurant. This place is unreal, seriously. Take the Bridger Gondola to the top, get a table by the window, and bask in all the glory that is Couloir.
Couloir is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an organization that raises funds for environmental work. More than 82 percent of Couloir’s food is locally and regionally sourced from farms and ranches within a 250-mile radius. My favorites were the confit duck wings and Jojo’s poutine.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Jackson Hole, I can tell you this: The place has everything you would need to get some R & R in an adventure paradise. Also expect to be able to experience world-class skiing, biking, climbing, kayaking, hiking, and almost every other adventure an outdoor enthusiast can imagine. Add to that an environmentally conscious way of living and doing business plus a town full of folks with a never-ending adventurous spirit, and you have the perfect mixture for countless epic experiences.