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Jackson Hole suggestions

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

I'm headed out to Jackson Hole for the first time for 4 days this coming January. We (two of us) are staying within walking distance to the tram at JH. We have skied just about anything that Vail, Alta, Park City, and The Canyons could throw at us the past 2 years. I have read through past posts, and found some helpful info. I am just looking to get a more complete list of to-do's.

Any suggestions as to how to fill those 4 days?? (4 days at JH, or take one day and hit Grand Targhee, or take one day snowmobiling, etc)

We will have a 1/2 day (arriving at airport at 12:30) in addition to those 4 full days. Any suggestions for fun things to do then?

How about night life. Any must hit restaurants? Any with pool tables, foosball, darts, etc? How about live bands?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Eric
post #2 of 25
This is truly one of the most discussed topics here. Given your questions, I suspect you did not trip onto some of the key older threads. You should hit the search function and look for, among other things, Bob Peters' unofficial Beginner's and Expert's intros to Jackson Hole.

While you state "We have skied just about anything that Vail, Alta, Park City, and The Canyons could throw at us the past 2 years", that is not very specific. Are you talking groomers? Named trails/routes? Significant boot hiking? As with others who have made these statements before, if you are being literal about it, that'd make you one of the best skiers on the continent. If this is the case, it'd be worth knowing.

In short though - do 3 days at JH and one at GT (the Targhee express bus is handy and a great value). Superstar or not, you will barely touch either of them. If your focus is on skiing, you can 100% fill those days. Use Bob's guides...
post #3 of 25
Some tips on JH:

Skiing: If you're a groomer fan, look someplace else. Otherwise, head up the tram and hit the hobacks or the crags off of Apres Vous.

Nightlife: If you're staying near the tram, you can hit the Mangy Moose.... good live music on some nights, pick up a few pints of moose drool (Big Sky Brewing Co) and kick back. Other options are back in town.... Snake River Brewery has great beers and good grub. Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is kinda a tourist trap, but has good live country if thats your thing. For pool, you can head to the Rancher, which is again, back in town.

Restaurants: Depends on what you're looking for.... you've got crazy expensive, like Snake River Grill, and you've got lots of cheap and tasty options like Snake River Brewing Co (no relation to the grill), Nonni's Pasta House, Mangy Moose, etc.
post #4 of 25
For powder, must go to Targhee, but just 1 day. Other 3 @ JH, avoid the Tram on busy days, and enjoy the bluest skies I've seen!
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
While you state "We have skied just about anything that Vail, Alta, Park City, and The Canyons could throw at us the past 2 years", that is not very specific. Are you talking groomers? Named trails/routes? Significant boot hiking?
You are correct. I should have worded that better. We use groomers for getting from one place to another if that is the only option. We hit glades, bumps, many steeps (yes, steep is a very relative term) but not all of them, huck a few rocks and small cliffs, jumps, etc.. We search for powder. When at The Canyons, it hadn't snowed for 2 weeks, yet we found an almost untouched steep glade by exploring. We have done a handfull of boot hiking runs.

I had read Bob's guide - very detailed, a great read. But everyone has different viewpoints and experiences, and I like to hear them all, hence my post. Also, sometimes you get a new bear member who may not have contributed to those old threads, but will to a new one.

Thanks for the suggestion to hit GT. We will probably do that. I wasn't sure if it was worth trading it for a day at JH or not. We like a challenge, and don't want to waste a day skiing mediocre terrain.
post #6 of 25
we too are planning 4 days in JH. here is what we are planning to do:
1 day at GT
2 days at JHMR
1 day backcountry either with a JHMR guide or with an Exum guide somewhere in
the Tetons.
post #7 of 25
If you're staying in Teton Village the Mangy Moose may be the best food & drink without a trip to town. If you're in town and want basics (all I can vouch for) Breakfasts at Pearl Street Bagels, Dinner at Billy's Burgers or Mile High Pizza. Drinking...lots of choices, you'll find them. As for skiing, you'll only scratch the surface in the time you've got, but Bob P's guides are as good as you can get.
post #8 of 25
Nora's Fish Creek Inn for breakfast, it's in Wilson, and Wilson is a hop-skip-jump away. The Rancher for nightlife, has pool, the foos, and ok prices. I can't believe no one mentioned to ski the pass. You don't need a guide but better be trained in avy stuff. Do a little research on here, on tetongravity.com, and coulouir magazines website. There are a lot of jackson heads on both sites. Too bad Widespread Panic isn't playing at the Moose these days.

mtnsORbust
post #9 of 25
You can also night ski at Snow King resort in town. It's small, and local, but it's steep but can be downright miserable if the winds blowing in the the N-NW....I think. Haven't made it to Targhee yet though

peace
post #10 of 25
Well, let's see...

If you arrive at the airport at 12:30 and you're staying at Teton Village, it's almost impossible to get on the hill before 2:00pm. That only gives you two hours to ski. An alternative if you like wildlife, would be to spend that first afternoon taking the horse-drawn sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge right outside of Jackson. The sleighs go right through the middle of a herd of between 5,000 and 10,000 elk. I think it's pretty fun, but it's not for everybody. You can combine the elk refuge tour with some time in the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

If you're a really diehard skier, you can ski the town hill, Snow King, under the lights. That would give you some serious turn time the afternoon and evening you get in. If it's really snowing, Snow King can be the biggest powder secret in Wyoming.

If you only have four full days here, I wouldn't do the snowmobile thing unless you're really into 'biling. Everybody who goes tells me it's fun, but I've just never had the inclination.

Of your four days, you should spend at least one day at Targhee. They often get twice the amount of snow that Teton Village gets, and almost no one skis there during January. Check the weather reports...

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ifps/MapClick.php?MapType=3&site=RIW&CiTemplate=1&map.x =35&map.y=117

and the snow reports...

http://www.jhavalanche.org/scripts/a...ast&area=teton

http://www.jacksonhole.com/snowreport.asp

http://www.grandtarghee.com/winter/snowrpt.php

and go to Targhee if they're reporting 10" or more and Teton Village is reporting less than 6".

Resaturant recommendations depend on your budget. My favorites are:

Stiegler's $$
The Blue Lion $$
Rendezvous Bistro $$
Westbank Grill at the Four Seasons (very high end) $$$
Nikai Sushi $$
The Mangy Moose $-$$
Veritcal $$
Thai Me Up $$
Peak Bar (also at the Four Seasons) $$
Cadillac Grill $$
Snake River Brew Pub $
Billy's Burgers $
Old Yellowstone Garage $-$$

Nightlife is fun but fairly limited.

Cowboy Bar is world-famous, touristy in a cool sort of way, has many pool tables, and live entertainment a good share of the time.

The Rancher Bar is not so famous and really pretty authentic (pool, darts, I think, live bands occasionally).

Sunday nights, THE place to be in Jackson Hole is the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. Get there early because the show's over by 10:00pm. You'll get to see Bill Briggs, the first man ever to ski down the Grand Teton, playing in the band.

The Mangy Moose at Teton Village is also world-famous. Crowded and noisy but definitely a place you have to visit. They typically have bands on weekend nights.

If it's been snowing and you're good skiers and the budget allows it, consider hiring one of the ski area's Alpine Guides (http://www.jacksonhole.com/info/ski.school.guides.asp). They can show you the kind of skiing you've dreamed about.

Last but not least, pm me as your visit gets nearer. Maybe we can meet for a beer or make some turns.

Good choice on destinations. :
post #11 of 25
If you find yourself in town there are some cool stores. Gifts of the Earth is my fav, especially the card section. Billy's Burgers is not just another burger place, they have huge juicy delicious burgers. Assume they still have tasty homemade shakes at the Jackson Drugstore.

As Bob mentioned the ride thru 10,000 elk at the National Elk Refuge is a unique experience, not be missed if you have the time.

If your lucky you might see one of these. A Sundog. I shot this one from a Teton Village condo looking south. It was about -40 degrees.
525x525px-LL-vbattach354.jpg
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eblackwelder
Thanks for the suggestion to hit GT. We will probably do that. I wasn't sure if it was worth trading it for a day at JH or not. We like a challenge, and don't want to waste a day skiing mediocre terrain.
Them's fightin' words.

11 year old HarkinBanks Jr. will be waiting to guide you down some of his favorite runs.



Yes, Targhee is locally known as a "fogged-in bunny hill", but it is far from "mediocre".

HB
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Great stuff here folks. Thanks.
Bob: we may just take you up on your offer for turns and beer. :

Lastly, any decent discounts out there for JH other than the "3 of 4" tickets they offer? For all of my research, all I could find are ski clubs if you live in Idaho.

I'd love to do some snow cat or guided skiing, but can't afford those this year. I wonder what HarkinBanks Jr charges??
post #14 of 25
I have been going to Jackson for years but only recently for skiing. I always stay in the town itself as it is much cheaper. I always stay at a place called the Anvil Inn or the Antler Inn. Its cheap and within walking distance of everything in town and also SnowKing.

Last year when I was there skiing I would ski JHMR during the day and then ski the SnowKing during the evening. I would then get up at 5AM and head out for some photography and be at the resort aroun 10AM.

If you want to spend the day Snowmobiling and want to go into Yellowstone I would reccomend driving to West Yellowstone from the Idaho side and renting a trip there as it is cheaper and you will see more wildlife and neat stuff - the geysers are located more towards the west side of the park. Also a good place to snowmobile is Togwotee Mountain Lodge at Togwotee Pass.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
SkierXMan: We were just about to book the Antler or Anvil when we found a reasonable condo. How long of a drive is Yellowstone from JH area?
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eblackwelder
SkierXMan: We were just about to book the Antler or Anvil when we found a reasonable condo. How long of a drive is Yellowstone from JH area?
It depends on how you want to get in. You need a guide to go in by snowmobile or snowcoach. You can book a trip into the park from Jackson Hole but IMO it isn't as good an outing as from West Yellowstone as going in the South Entrance from Jackson takes too long and you don't see the kind of scenery and wildlife you do from the West Entrance.

To get to West Yellowstone from Jackson in the winter takes about an hour and a half of driving. You need to go over Teton Pass and take the highway near Driggs/Targhee resort that takes you straight to West Yellowstone. It is worth it though IMO if you want to sevote a day to this activity as the scenery really is much better coming in from the West Entrance. You go by all the geyser basins.

If you want to do this I would reccomend skiing at Jackson Hole/Targhee then after closing at 4pm head to West Yellowsatone, get a hotel(I know some real cheap/good ones if you need it) and be up early the next day for the trip. After the trip head back to Jackson for the night and be skiing the next day. Just make sure you book the snowmobile trip in advance. Also a good thing to see in West Yellowstone is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery center. In the winter it is funp watching the bears playing in the snow.

Then again you could always ski Jackson Hole on day one, Grand Targhee on day 2, see Yellowstone on day 3, then ski Big Sky(north of Yellowstone) for day 4. That way you have the best of all worlds.

Bob Peters is the Jackson Hole expert here though.

..also.

If you just want to ride a snowmobile around the snow you can head to Togwotee Mountain lodge over Togwotee Pass outside Grand Teton Park and rent a couple snowmobiles for 2-4 hours i the morning then head back to Jackson for afternoon skiing. You can also rent snowmobiles for half days to take inside Grand Teton Park but it is a little boring after about 1/2 hour because you are limited to a trail that is usually all banged up.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkierXMan
To get to West Yellowstone from Jackson in the winter takes about an hour and a half of driving. You need to go over Teton Pass and take the highway near Driggs/Targhee resort that takes you straight to West Yellowstone.
Just to clarify SkierXMan's estimates, it will take 2.5 hours from either the town of Jackson or Teton Village to get to West Yellowstone. It will take 2 hours from Targhee to get there.

The routes may not look like much on the map, but it takes an hour to get from Driggs to the Square or to the Village. It takes 1/2 hour to get from Driggs to Targhee. It takes 1.5 hours from Driggs to West. So do the math, you are either 2 or 2.5 hours away.

Also 4WD is highly recommended.

HB
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
SkierXMan: Wow!! Too much to do and so little time. I should have booked a 10 day trip instead.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks
Them's fightin' words.

11 year old HarkinBanks Jr. will be waiting to guide you down some of his favorite runs.



Yes, Targhee is locally known as a "fogged-in bunny hill", but it is far from "mediocre".

HB
HB

This looks so much like my oldest son from 10 yrs ago it is scary...right down to the jr tecnica racing boots and the bent poles

Yikes!

Got a 12 yr old daughter I am taking all over the mountain now - much to her mothers regret....yours and mine would have some fun rippin it up together for sure. My son used to follow me around the hill while I taught, had more snow time by age 10 than most people have in a lifetime...unfortunately my daughter doesn't have that advantage as I am retired from PSIA.... she is quite a bit more timid...but we'll be working on it! Thanks again for sharing...great photo!!!!!
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks
Just to clarify SkierXMan's estimates, it will take 2.5 hours from either the town of Jackson or Teton Village to get to West Yellowstone. It will take 2 hours from Targhee to get there.

The routes may not look like much on the map, but it takes an hour to get from Driggs to the Square or to the Village. It takes 1/2 hour to get from Driggs to Targhee. It takes 1.5 hours from Driggs to West. So do the math, you are either 2 or 2.5 hours away.

Also 4WD is highly recommended.

HB
Yes sorry about that...2 1/2 hours is what I was going to say.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eblackwelder
SkierXMan: Wow!! Too much to do and so little time. I should have booked a 10 day trip instead.
Yeah I know what you mean. I am as avid about photography as skiing though so I always split a trip between the 2. That being said if skiing is your primary goal then it obviously takes time away from the fun but if you also want to take in Yellowstone the West Yellowstone trip is about as good as it gets for Winter.
post #22 of 25
You have to book the shuttle to targhee in advance, but if it looks to be available (should be) wait till the last minute. Most of the good terrain at jackson is south facing, whereas Targhee has a mix. Different storms hit each mountain differently. You'll want to wait to try to see what's going to hit and where. If a good storm hits Jackson, you'll want to be there.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eblackwelder
I'd love to do some snow cat or guided skiing, but can't afford those this year. I wonder what HarkinBanks Jr charges??
He charges 1 can of Sour Cream Pringles, a Barq's Root Beer, and/or a pint of Old Faithful Ale per hour. Since he is not old enough to imbibe, he gives the pint to his very thirsty father.

But seriously, if schedules allow (and I've made this offer before), PM me before you show up, we can hook up, and I can guide you around. Of course if everyone on this forum shows up at the same time, I will not be able to accomodate y'all.:

HB
post #24 of 25
Listen to what Bob and Harkin have to say. I skied Tarhgee and Jackson over Presidents day weekend last year. My 4 day split turned out just the opposit from the 3 at Jackson and 1 at Tarhgee. The 10" of new snow conviced me to stay and in the Fog. Yes compaired to Jackson Tarhgee is a mole hill. Put Targhee any place else and it would be a gem that would stand on it's own merits.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
Listen to what Bob and Harkin have to say. I skied Tarhgee and Jackson over Presidents day weekend last year. My 4 day split turned out just the opposit from the 3 at Jackson and 1 at Tarhgee. The 10" of new snow conviced me to stay and in the Fog. Yes compaired to Jackson Tarhgee is a mole hill. Put Targhee any place else and it would be a gem that would stand on it's own merits.
So I shouldn't bother with getting the lift tickets in advance then??? Just play it by ear once I am there?
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