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TR - Snowbird, Snowbasin, DeerValley, SnowKing, Jackson Hole

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just got back from Snowbird, Snowbasin, DeerValley, SnowKing, Jackson Hole.  The bad news is I got sick (sick throat and major cold) on the flight while going there.  It took 7 days to fully recover (today).  On top of that I went there with my 4 and 6 year old, so I did not get to ski much. 

 

The good news is I was blown away by the beauty and snow at Wyoming.   I liked it so much that I booked a trip back to Jackson this Tuesday :)  

 

Will keep this short, and point few things out. 

 

The good:

 

1.  Snowbasin - what a resort, what a view.  I used to like Lake Louise the most in terms of views, but Snowbasin, DeerValley, and Jackson made me change that opinion.  Now I have no favorite.  If I lived in Utah, Snowbasin would be my home mountain. 

If I lived in Wyoming, Jackson Hole would do it. 

 

2.  DeerValley - what a resort, if you have kids this is the resort for you.  Dining was half the price of what I pay for pizza/beer/chick wings in Mountain Creek, New Jersey.

 

3.  SnowKing - I go there for 2 hours only as that's how much time I have.  Top half of the mountain is already closed, so I get up to mid base and what I see?  I see an amazing view of Jackson with elks grouped together for the night.  Amazing.  A must see if in Jackson (bad pic below as it was dark for GoPro).

 

4.  Jackson Hole - what a snow, best snow I have ever seen in a resort.   Advanced mountain.  Not too crowded at the top. 

 

5.  Drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson a must do if you're from an urban area like me and want to see how wild it gets at night (wild animals [I almost ran a wolf], no lights, just you driving at night, scary).

 

6.  Seeing all the farms in Utah while driving from Ogden to Park City.

 

7.   Backcountry skiers in Wyoming popping onto highway all over while driving from Jackson to Idaho Falls.

 

8.  Seeing 6000 elks is a must.

 

9.  The Lodge at Jackson

 

10.  My 6 year old learn how to ski steep terrain with more snow vs East Cost.

 

11.  Cheap car rental by Thrifty.

 

12.  Family friendly tram at Snowbird.

 

The bad:

 

1.  Wind blown snow in Utah. 

2.  Snowbrid snow was the worst with Mineral Basin being hard as a rock. 

3.  Lack of snow in Utah comparing to Wyoming.

4.  Getting sick.

5.  Super scary lifts at SnowKing.

6.  Family Unfriendly Jackson Hole.

 

Leaving on Tuesday to Jackson for 3 days.  I'm thinking of hitting Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, and SnowKing for an hour just to take good pics from the top.  The airplane tickets are cheaper next week ($327 from New York City), so it works out perfect.  I have never gone back to a ski resort like that.  I would not be surprised if I move to Wyoming one day.  Will try to produce a nice video from this trip.

 

post #2 of 11

Sounds like a great trip.  That was a good idea hitting both SLC and J-hole.  Give Snowbird another chance for better snow someday, they are getting back up to speed right now.  Utah has more resorts to explore, always a great excuse to go back.  I bet your kids liked Snowbasin, and they will like it even more when they get a bit older.  Nothing better than taking your kids out West for a ski trip, and it's a great excuse to get an extra trip in every year.  But now they will be spoiled and at the bottom of Mtn Creek they'll be saying, "is that all there is"?

P.S. - Are you sure that was maybe "just" a coyote and not a wolf?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

^ Good question about the wolf/coyote.  When it ran across my car I thought it's a wolf, but later on at the Visitor Center at Jackson I saw a coyote and it did look like a wolf.  What do I know, I'm from a city.

 

Snowbird is nice, it's just the snow that sucked that day.  I was there in December and it was nicer.

If I lived in Utah I would have a problem selecting my favorite resort.
 

post #4 of 11

Hi, awegrzyn.

 

I'm glad you had a good time here.  If the weather forecast pans out, you might get some more good snow by Tuesday and Tuesday night.

 

As to the wolf/coyote sighting, the odds are much higher that you saw a coyote, but it's not impossible that it would have been a wolf.  We have a few dozen wolves in the immediate area, so it certainly could have been one.  I will say that it's very rare to see one.  I've seen nine wolves in Jackson Hole in the last ten years of living here, while I've seen hundreds of coyotes.  Either way, they're very cool critters.

 

Have fun while you're here.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

^ Good question about the wolf/coyote.  When it ran across my car I thought it's a wolf, but later on at the Visitor Center at Jackson I saw a coyote and it did look like a wolf.  What do I know, I'm from a city.
 

I was going to call you a "city-slicker"., but since you admitted it, I guess I can call you that.  You can see a coyote running around the Poconos, but it's quite rare, 1-2/yr for me, you are much more likely to hear them howling off in the distance, I occasionally hear them at my house.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

It's interesting you say there are dozens of wolfs there only, the tour guide on the elk sleigh ride told us there are way many wolfs now, and they push the elks out of Yellow Stone.  Well, both still could be true.

 

Can't wait to get there again (leaving in 7 hours).  I read the JH description by Bob Peters and it helped me find few cliff areas that are not on the map.  Looking forward to it. 

post #7 of 11

a number of sources say about 100 wolves in Yellowstone.

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=9534

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

a number of sources say about 100 wolves in Yellowstone.

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=9534

But Yellowstone is approximately 60 miles from Jackson Hole.  There are plenty of wolves around the ecosystem, but if you're driving on the main roads in Jackson Hole, it would be rare - though, as I said, not unheard of - to see wolves.

 

Also, 2012/13 was the first year in which a hunting season was instituted on wolves in Wyoming.  Without getting too specific on locale, wolves outside the protected Yellowstone/Grand Teton area are fair game for any hunter or landowner at any time.  That's making them much more difficult to spot in areas outside either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks.

 

I posted a thread here a year ago about a small, transient pack of displaced wolves that killed eleven elk in one day literally in my back yard.  I live here, go cross country skiing in that exact area at least five times a week, and I never saw a wolf last year.  I saw fresh tracks many, many times, but never saw a live wolf.  While the Game & Fish guys were studying the elk carcasses, they told me that they get dozens of reports every day about public wolf sightings in the Jackson Hole area.  They dutifully drive out to the reported area to check it out and find a multitude of cars stopped gazing at what everyone thinks is a wolf but the G&F guys invariably identify as coyotes.

 

It's a lot like the fact that every bear ever spotted out here is a grizzly. rolleyes.gif

 

It goes with the territory out here.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

But Yellowstone is approximately 60 miles from Jackson Hole.  There are plenty of wolves around the ecosystem, but if you're driving on the main roads in Jackson Hole, it would be rare - though, as I said, not unheard of - to see wolves.

 

Also, 2012/13 was the first year in which a hunting season was instituted on wolves in Wyoming.  Without getting too specific on locale, wolves outside the protected Yellowstone/Grand Teton area are fair game for any hunter or landowner at any time.  That's making them much more difficult to spot in areas outside either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks.

 

I posted a thread here a year ago about a small, transient pack of displaced wolves that killed eleven elk in one day literally in my back yard.  I live here, go cross country skiing in that exact area at least five times a week, and I never saw a wolf last year.  I saw fresh tracks many, many times, but never saw a live wolf.  While the Game & Fish guys were studying the elk carcasses, they told me that they get dozens of reports every day about public wolf sightings in the Jackson Hole area.  They dutifully drive out to the reported area to check it out and find a multitude of cars stopped gazing at what everyone thinks is a wolf but the G&F guys invariably identify as coyotes.

 

It's a lot like the fact that every bear ever spotted out here is a grizzly. rolleyes.gif

 

It goes with the territory out here.

 

And how exactly do the Game&Fish guys break it to the tourists that the pictures they're dutifully snapping are of coyotes and not wolves?

 

Ma'am, what we have over there is a wolfote?

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

You will make fun of me, but I went to Jackson again lol.  I liked it so much that I repacked and flew there again.  Here is a video of the "wolf" I managed to record this time. 

 

 

He was right next to the city street at the beginning of the refuge. 

 

* the video is shaky, because I had to zoom a lot. 

post #11 of 11

The snow must have been bad when you went to Snowbird.  I wouldn't call the tram "family friendly" on a powder day.

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