or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sun Valley or Jackson Hole

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My wife and I are looking at a December trip to to either or both of Sun Valley and Jackson Hole. I haven't heard much on this board about Sun Valley, but Jackson Hole definitely seems to be a winner. Is the skiing at Sun Valley decent? I know the resort is supposed to be among the best, but I don't want to go there for the restaurants and hotels. The definite upside is that Sun Valley makes a lot of snow so I'd be guaranteed some skiing even if it was marginal.

And on Jackson Hole, we're both solid intermediates, but still a little timid about tackling the advanced stuff. Grand Targhee looks like a lot of fun for our level. Should we even bother with Jackson Hole? It looks like half the ski area could be off-limits. Do they groom any of the advanced half of the mountain?

post #2 of 11
My wife and I went to Sun Valley last February. What a wonderful place. Stayed at the Sun Valley Inn. Pure class without the stuffiness. Everybody should go there at least once. One of the better bargins that I've run across. Ketchem is a great ski town without the crowds or glitz. The lodges on the mountain are like four star hotels. High speed quads everywhere you look. They take very good care of the mountain. Had a low snow year last season, approx. 70% of what they usually get, but there was still plenty of snow, even in the bowls. Can't figure out how they stay in business with all those new lodges, lifts, and snowmaking they have. We went in their high season, and the place was just about deserted compared to other resorts. Can't comment on Jackson Hole or G.T., have never been to either. Hear that G.T. has fairly reliable snow before Xmas, but Sun Vally's snowmaking advantage would seem like money in the bank.
post #3 of 11
Sun Valley is one of my favorite places, even though I've only spent a few days skiing there.

It's been years since I visited Jackson Hole, but in my memory, it has a significantly higher percentage of challenging terrain than SV.

In your position, I'd pick SV.
post #4 of 11
Hi, Roger.

If you look at my tagline, you'll see that I live in Jackson Hole, so I'm not totally objective about ski area comparisons.

Despite that, I think you and your wife would have a fabulous time in Sun Valley. It's a modern (in every sense of the word) resort that still retains a touch of that old "romance" that used to be so closely associated with skiing. Their snowmaking is outstanding and their grooming is second to none. If what you like in a ski area is endless choices of immaculately groomed green-through-black cruisers, you would love it there. Add in the variety of accomodations, dining, and nightlife, and I think it would make an excellent destination for the two of you.

Grand Targhee probably would be more reliable as far as natural snow is concerned, and it also is a mountain that won't intimidate a strong intermediate skier. It's definitely worth a visit.

Jackson Hole's reputation as an "expert" mountain is a bit misleading. Sure, there's plenty of terrain at Jackson that will challenge any level skier below rock star, but there are also a *lot* of groomed intermediate-to-advanced runs. This is where my bias will show, but I truly believe there is at least as much (and probably more) groomed cruiser terrain at Jackson as there is at Targhee, plus all the expert stuff. Plus, Jackson Hole in the winter (summer, fall, and spring too, for that matter [img]smile.gif[/img] ) is one of the prettiest places anywhere.

So, if you have enough time to visit all three, by all means do so. Don't miss Sun Valley, though. Everybody should ski there. I love the place.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight everyone. Looks like Sun Valley is a winner. We did Snowbasin (same owner) for a day last year and that was also a very classy resort. I think we'll also do GT and at least try Jackson for a day. Hopefully, they'll all get snow in early December. For anyone interested, Sun Valley listed an early-season special of $62 per person per night on their website. Seems almost too good to be true.
post #6 of 11
I have been to Sun Valley twice-as a solid intermediate you would love it. Great runs for your level, lots of snow making if mother nature is not producing the goods, fast lifts, low crowds, mountain lodges other places could only dream of, a lovely town with good restaurants/bars. Dont know about the other two but if you choose Sun Valley I doubt you will be unhappy
post #7 of 11
I've never been to Jackson (I hear it's nice), but I've been to Sun Valley, and I've got to admit I wasted my money. There's too little variety. You've got some nice snowfield's, not very steep, but nice. But, all the trails are the same width, don't have much pitch change, stay the same for most of their length, etc... It'd be nice as a day area, maybe two days. But it was not worth flying from Bangor to Boston to Idaho, not by any stretch of the imagination. And I come to find out that while I was gone, the Northeast was having a record breaking snow month in a record breaking snow year, and I missed the three biggest storms of my lifetime.

Jackson sounds nice though. Sort of a big version of Mad River Glen without all the lovely tight trees. I'll make it out there someday, but for now I'm happy with the 50° snowfields on the backside of Saddleback, and I don't mind skating back around the mountain on a groomed cross-country trail. It only takes 20 minutes, 5 if I can flag down a snowmobiler (usually can).
post #8 of 11
I can't comment on SV as I've never been, but it is in the top 3 on my list of mtns to ski soon.

Targhee, you will LOVE. It's mostly blue and blue/black terrain but the snow is great there. I've been there in bottomless pow the first week of December. Hopefully you'll see the same conditions. One word of advice though, they only groom something like 300 acres of GT's 2,000-ish acres. FAT skis rule at GT, rent them if you don't own them.

*If* Jackson has snow that early, make the 45 minute or so drive from Targhee to ski it at least once. It's a very cool mountain as is the town.

[ September 18, 2003, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Taylormatt ]
post #9 of 11
Hey guys,
I skied Jackson Hole for the first time last winter. I must admit going up the Tram or Gondola for the first time is pretty scary. It might just have been because I ski the 'mountains' here in MD and am not used to the terrain. Although I feel that the previous poster is correct in saying that there are alot of groomers. I know that the Apres Vous side is dedicated to Intermediate/Beginner skiers. For someone who is an advanced Intermediate, this mountain will cause you to push yourself, and in my case, improve your skiing. I am heading out there this year for Christmas, December 20-27 and if you take a look at the previous 2 years they have gotten some good dumps during late December-Early January. I have never been out to Sun Valley, but In comparison to total snowfall, Jackson Hole blows it away. Those are my thoughts [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 11
Sun Valley sounds like more your speed, frankly. Jackson has enough to challenge anyone. Nothing advanced is groomed, but what is groomed is generally steeper than most mtns. I disagree with someone who said there is lots of intermediate and beginner groomed - there is not when you compare the difficulty to other mtns. JH is in a class by itself. Go to Sun Valley where you're sure to have a good time and if you find you have that mtn mastered, then go to Jackson next time - also you are right about the snowmaking. I say all this and Jackson is my favorite mtn all time. No question. But the comments at the end of your post indicated to me that SV is a better fit for you.
post #11 of 11
Originally posted by saddlebackattack:
Jackson sounds nice though. Sort of a big version of Mad River Glen without all the lovely tight trees.
LOL! Spoken like a true East Coaster.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel