Everything You Need to Know to
Plan a Trip to Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole is a skier’s town—a place where the ski-obsessed will find fierce steeps, chutes, and plenty of tree skiing across the mountain’s 2,500 acres. But it’s also a place where you can choose your own adventure—on or off the slopes. We love the mix of excellent restaurants, world-class hotels, and amazing vintage shops. And it’s only gotten easier to visit—during the season, there are nonstop flights from almost every major city in the US.
A typical day starts at 7:30 a.m., when skiers line up for the iconic aerial tram—lovingly dubbed Big Red—to be among the first on the twelve-minute ride up to 10,000 feet. This is where you’ll find Corbet’s Cabin—home to the best breakfast for miles (waffles slathered in peanut butter and topped with bacon are the specialty).
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to tackle the mountain is by hiring one of the resort’s ace guides. Sure, they’ll give you pointers on how to ski powder, but they also know the mountain like the back of their skis, so you’re guaranteed to drop into lightly treaded runs. A bonus: Private lessons come with the perk of cutting lift lines, which may be reason enough to fork over the pricey $885 for the day, especially on a powder day when the mountain is likely to be packed. (You can bring up to four people along with you.)
There are plenty of nonterrifying options for the less advanced among us as well. Jackson Hole Mountain has continually expanded its intermediate terrain (particularly off the Après Vous and Teton Quad chairs) and has invested money in ski education. The recently opened Solitude Station is just 200 yards from the base of the mountain and serves as an all-in-one learning center for adults and kids, where you can sign up for beginner lessons, meet up for lunch, warm up by the outdoor firepits, and get set up for the day with lift tickets and rentals.
If skiing isn’t your thing, the town of Jackson (about twelve miles from the mountain resort) is better than ever. Skiers will probably want to stay in Teton Village at the base of the mountain, but if you’re traveling with a more varied crew of skiers and nonskiers, Jackson Town Square is a solid basecamp. There are plenty of farm-to-table dining spots thanks to entrepreneurial locals. And given Jackson’s proximity to two National Parks, it’s worth looking into Jackson Hole Wilderness Safaris, a year-around outfit that leads unforgettable half-day trips into Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. You’ll see elk, bison, and bighorn sheep roam the snow-covered expanses. The beauty of Jackson Hole is that no matter what you’re into—food, skiing, landscapes, wildlife, or more food—it’s here. And it will all be some of the best you’ll find anywhere.
WHERE TO STAY
Four Seasons Resort &
Residences Jackson Hole
Where you stay in Jackson Hole should depend on the time of year you’re visiting. In the colder months, particularly if you’re there to be the first one up the tram in the morning, the Four Seasons is the smartest place to camp. For starters, it’s the only ski-in, ski-out property in Teton Village, which means easy access to ski school if you’re traveling with kids, and it’s a straight shot to Bridger Gondola and Sweetwater lift. Essentially, staying here means you can roll out of bed and onto the mountain.
And the hotel has all the luxury trappings you’d expect (a ski concierge who will stash your gear and warm your boots, an on-site rental outfit, three bars/restaurants, a year-round heated pool, and killer views of Rendezvous Mountain). The spa is heaven after a day on the mountain. One of the most popular treatments, the Après Ski Ritual, uses arnica flowers handpicked in Wyoming. Speaking of après, come 2:30 p.m., crowds at the hotel’s Handle Bar spill out onto the resort’s patio—it’s one of the liveliest spots to unwind with a beer and pub fare after a day on the slopes.
With a clutch location adjacent to Jackson’s tram, the newly opened Caldera House has just eight suites, each with two or four bedrooms. LA-based Commune (the folks behind the Ace DTLA and Tartine in SF) designed the lobby and public spaces, as well as one of the four-bedroom suites. And it’s spot-on without hitting you over the head with alpine charm. There’s blonde wood throughout, marble and brass details, worn-in leather chairs, and Moroccan rugs. The team can set up anything (like a day of backcountry skiing or a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge). It’s worth noting that nothing comes cheap here—during peak season, four-bedroom suites go for upwards of $20,000 per night. But if you’re traveling with a couple of families and would have rented a house in the area, the location alone makes it a compelling option. For locals or those with homes in the area, Caldera House also offers an Alpine Club membership that includes coveted valet parking (otherwise nonexistent here), a ski valet, and a luxurious locker room equipped with everything you need, like spacious storage for your gear, plus things you may have forgotten, like sunscreen, hand and boot warmers, ChapStick, and homemade trail mix.
There are twenty-five tiny, modern cabins at this eight-acre site, each outfitted with a small kitchenette, free Wi-Fi, a private deck with a grill (clutch in warmer months), and an outdoor firepit. Go for the Wheelhaus Wedge cabin, as it’s a little more spacious and includes a king-size bed and a sleeper sofa. It’s about a five-minute drive from Teton Village.
Managing Hotel Jackson is more personal than business for Jim Darwiche, a passionate spokesperson for the town who has lived here for forty years. He and his wife and sons oversee the modern fifty-five-room LEED-certified property with homey warmth. It’s well-positioned off the town square, a stone’s throw from the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and favorite restaurants, like Snake River Grill and Local. They’ve enlisted the help of local interior designer Kim Deetjen (she also did the nearby Mountain Modern), to bring in the textures of the outdoors with reclaimed wood and worn leather. Some rooms have soaking tubs, while the Miller Suite, on the top floor, has a wraparound deck with killer views of Snow King and Jackson mountains. In the lobby, the hotel’s FIGS restaurant attracts both visitors and locals for its shareable Lebanese and Mediterranean small plates. And the house-made pita is so light and fluffy, you’ll certainly ask for seconds. Ditto for the HJ Boulevardier cocktail, made with Wyoming Whiskey, Campari, and vermouth. During the winter months, shuttles whisk guests over to Teton Village, a twenty-five-minute drive.
There are only a few affordable hotel options in town, but the best of the lot is the Anvil, located in a former hundred-year-old blacksmith’s shop. If design details like two-tone wainscoted walls, custom Woolrich blankets, and wrought-iron bed frames look familiar, it’s because it’s the work of Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, which brought its hipster sensibility to the mountain town for this forty-nine-room project. The hotel’s Italian restaurant, Glorietta, has a strong cocktail program, which includes Cold Smoke (mezcal, clove-infused tequila, Amaro, bitters), designed by New York mixologists Death & Co. Then swing through the hotel’s mercantile, curated by Westerlind and invitingly stocked with shearling-lined slippers, Apolis carryalls, and Pendleton ponchos.
Perched on a butte overlooking the Snake River, the Amangani is in a world all its own. It’s quiet, private, and devastatingly scenic—but it also happens to be only a ten-minute drive from Jackson Town Square. Aman’s trademark Zen touches inform the design here, all with a rustic, Wild West bent. Suites are outfitted with deep soaking tubs, floor-to-ceiling windows (those views, after all), plus each one has its own fireplace. The infinity swimming pool is probably one of the most iconic things about the property, and for good reason: There’s no better view of the Tetons, and it’s always warmed to eighty degrees. Over at Jackson Hole Mountain, Aman guests have access to their own ski lodge at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, where they can stash gear and refuel with snacks and warm drinks midday.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Everything on the menu at Italian restaurant Glorietta is impressive. In fact, come with a big and hungry hard-skiing dinner crew so you can just order it all to share. New Yorkers will recall Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn, which served as the loose inspiration for the design and the menu. Look for oak tables, a checkerboard floor, and white mosaic tile that wraps around the bar. Start with the Mussels Glorietta and mozzarella sticks, and if you feel like going for it, throw in the meatballs, too. (No one will be disappointed, and everyone will eat them.) The salads and grilled veggies are a nice respite from the fried small plates, and ordering at least one of the homemade pastas (campanelle, pappardelle, or classic spaghetti) is a must. The wine list is exhaustive, but the staff is quick to point you in the right direction. Wines are sold at retail on your way out if you find something you really like.
Chef-owner Gavin Fine moved to Jackson in 1996 like so many before him—he wanted to ski. He quickly jump-started the good-food-in-a-mountain-town movement with the opening of Rendezvous Bistro back in 2001, a French bistro where you could cozy up to the raw bar and order oysters and a nice glass of New Zealand Pinot. Over the last two decades in Jackson, Fine has earned himself the nickname “the Danny Meyer of Jackson Hole” and opened up seven restaurants along the way.
Roadhouse Pub & Eatery
One of Fine’s newest is Roadhouse Pub & Eatery, a low-key spot on the town square where you can grab any one of the thirty beers on tap, plus souped-up pub fare like a house-made beer pretzel, a chili dog, or an open-faced pastrami sandwich.
Also in town, the Kitchen is a small but mighty sixty-four-seat spot that has a crudo bar and dishes with Asian flair. The tempura shrimp with sweet and spicy aioli is a serious crowd-pleaser.
Walking into Persephone Bakery’s whitewashed space feels what we’d imagine stepping onto a Nancy Meyers film set feels like: The smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the area; a glass-encased pastry selection is teeming with croissants, scones, and muffins; and beautifully packaged chocolate chip cookies, French linen aprons, and enamelware cups line the shelves. Breakfast and lunch are served daily, and much of the produce is sourced locally from purveyors like Reeds Dairy and Vertical Harvest. Our favorites include the quiche Lorraine, rose water sweet waffles topped with vanilla bean Greek yogurt, and trout Niçoise.
Snake River Grill
Snake River Grill doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s a charming local stalwart that put Jackson fine dining on the map. The rustic log cabin setting with white tablecloths doesn’t hurt either. It sounds weird, but the SRG steak tartare pizza is a rite of passage.
Il Villagio Osteria
Over in Teton Village, inside the Hotel Terra, Fine set up Il Villaggio Osteria, which has quickly become a go-to for its wood-fired pizzas, including the ’Nduja, topped with ricotta and orange goat cheese.
Over in West Jackson, Persephone owners Kevin and Ali Cohane opened a second outpost thanks to the original’s popularity. Picnic is a little slower-paced and less hectic but still serves up their adored kouign-ammans, plus to-go breakfast burritos. It’s a good spot to hit up, particularly in warmer months, when you’re looking for something substantive to take with you. They’ve got canned wine for more-lively to-go lunches, too.
Sushi is hardly the first (or second, or third) thing you think of in a ski town, but this hole-in-the-wall cabin is as adored by locals as it is by visitors who’ve caught wind of it. It’s tiny, so make a reservation before you go. You really get a sense of the freshness of the fish, which is flown in daily, in dishes like the Sake Don (grilled miso marinated salmon) or the Haha Hama roll, which is hamachi tartare wrapped in hamachi sashimi.
WHERE TO GO FOR THE APRÈS PART
Bodega Jackson Hole
In warmer months, a food truck hawking fried chicken sandwiches and tacos is parked outside Bodega, but if you’re in need of a roadie, this is the place for Sloshies (alcohol-spiked slushies) and draft beers brewed by Roadhouse. There are also plenty of fancy gourmet condiments, cheeses, and charcuterie, Bovine & Swine sausages, and more to fill up your pantry. Don’t miss the take-and-bake frozen pizza from nearby Il Villagio Osteria. It’s a good pit stop on your way from the mountain back into town, especially if you’re staying in a house or condo with a group.
Back in town, Bin 22 has a little bit of everything: There’s a wine shop slash high-end grocery shop and a tapas bar that serves up house-pulled mozzarella, confit piquillo peppers, and patatas bravas at high communal tables. A tip: Pick up a bottle of wine at the shop, and the bar will waive a corkage fee and open it up for you during your visit.
Over in Teton Village, Mangy Moose is classic après, and as the lifts close, it gets packed, but that’s part of the fun. It’s no-frills and known for its margaritas, local brews, and live music. The après-ski menu includes the requisite chicken wings, nachos, and even truffle fries. Locals know to head upstairs to the second floor.
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, smack in the center of Town Square, is legendary. Everyone from Willie Nelson to Hank Williams Jr. has played there—so it begs the question, if you didn’t go to Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, did you ever go to
Jackson? It’s full of Western kitsch, but that’s the whole point. There are saddles-turned-barstools, Western memorabilia, pool tables, and live music six days a week. Skip the $10 cover charge if you happen to tag along in with someone who has a Wyoming ID. It’s open until 2 a.m.
WHERE TO SHOP
Alpyn Beauty Bar
New York transplant and beauty industry vet Kendra Kolb Butler left her high-profile job working for Dr. Dennis Gross to move her family to Jackson Hole in 2015. Almost immediately, the beauty junkie missed having a place to get her product fix, so she opened Alpyn Beauty Bar, where she stocks the shelves with Tata Harper, Jao, Uma, and her own sustainable line, Alpyn Beauty. The Town Square location was so popular, she quickly opened a second location off Moose Wilson Road on the way to Teton Village. Book an in-shop facial with Jenny Gersack, whose magic hands will repair even the most wind-whipped skin. Trust.
Mountain Dandy & Made
Owners Christian Burch and John Frechette have managed to nail Western style without trying too hard. With more than thirty years as Jackson residents under their belts, Burch and Frenchette often hit the open road in search of new, small-town artists to bring back to their stores while scouring flea markets and estate sales across the country. (There’s Mountain Dandy, a tiny, loaded-to-the-rafters boutique in Gaslight Alley, plus a larger showroom on Pearl Street, just a ten-minute walk away, that’s worth checking out if you’ve got time to spare.) Their Gaslight Alley boutique is one of those spots where you’ll walk in thinking you don’t need to buy anything, then walk out with a set of hand-blown whiskey tumblers and a blanket with a bucking bronco. Over at the showroom, there’s more space to show off the guys’ unerring eye: We spotted a set of six framed vintage Ski magazine covers, plus a set of slim notebooks we’ve not found outside of Japan.
Habits Jackson Hole
Shop owner Arcy Hawks pulls together a smart edit of women’s clothing and accessories that truly captures the town’s easy, cozy sensibility. We spied racks of Re/Done T-shirts that you’ll live in year-around, super soft cashmere from Elder Statesman, perfectly faded Frank and Eileen chambray, and one-off hats by milliner Nick Fouquet. Don’t miss the rack of Revival fatigue shirts and army jackets—a local line designed by Hawks and Lisa Walker made from reworked army surplus gear.
Given that Jackson is a town rooted in year-around outdoor pursuits, it’s no surprise that adrenaline-seeking locals like Stephen Sullivan would want to get into the mountain lifestyle gear game. Sullivan launched Stio in 2012, and the line has grown to include men’s, women’s, and kid’s items, making it a one-stop shop for recreation. The sustainably produced line runs the gamut from more hard-core waterproof gear to merino wool hoodies and thin down jackets you can wear while you bum around town or layer under a heavy-duty shell on the mountain. Bonus: The line is sold only online or at the flagship location in town, so you’re less likely to spot someone else in the lift line in the same getup.
Tayloe Piggott Gallery
Tayloe Piggott set out to open her gallery with one intention: to connect the creative pursuits and interests of Jackson residents with the outside world. Her bright, light-filled gallery features a thoughtful curation of fine jewelry (Monique Pean, Gabriella Kiss) and contemporary artwork (Alex Katz, Sebastian Blanck) from around the world. Don’t miss the Project Space, a constantly evolving platform for local and
lesser-known artists to share their work. Last summer, local Jackson photographer Tuck Fauntleroy’s Waterline series captured rivers in the American West from an aerial perspective just as the ice started to melt—a project the artist had been working on for more than a decade.
Best friends Greer Freed and Amberley Baker recently opened Womenfolk, a local consignment store stocked with gently loved vintage wares (fringed leather pants, chambray shirts, Fair Isle sweaters, and cowboy boots) pulled from the closets of fifty or so local Jackson women whose personal style they admire. On a recent trip, we spied a navy Isabel Marant shearling coat ($1,000) and a never-been-worn pair of Montelliana snow boots ($350). They regularly post their favorite finds of the week on their Instagram account in case you want to shop remotely.