Battle of the ski resorts: Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is known for its big terrain, huge off-piste terrain and legendary ski lifts... but how does it measure up in our Battle of the Ski Resorts

Jackson Hole, nominated by Jonny

Ease of access 4/10

This is a pig of a journey, with no directs. It’s got slightly better in the last few winters, as you can now route via San Fran (which brings in Tahoe options too), as well as the usual Chicago change.

Sense of scale and epicness 8/10

Who needs the Mont Blanc when you’ve got the legendary Jackson Hole tram (Big Red) and as you go up for the first time and look left, there’s the infamous and terrifying Corbet’s couloir?

Variety and quality of the pistes 7/10

Jackson had a rep for years as no good for learners/improvers. They’ve worked hard at this and now the terrain split is 50% expert, 40% intermediate, 10% beginner. You really could have a happy time here with a mixed-ability group, thanks to the 100-plus trails, albeit with the main goodies and kudos still for the best skiers.

Off-piste potential 8/10

Huge. We regularly get submissions from areas like Fat Bastard (YouTube it) but you really need very large maracas to attempt it, or even its smaller cliff siblings, as well as a gung-ho guide. Cody Bowl, gated access with no lifts, is most accessible.

Lapability 7/10

Damn good. Even in a low snow year which is rare (they average over 450 inches) it keeps you smiling. I’d say it’s more about mid-length challenging blasts rather than mega-long easy cruising but maybe that’s because I was desperate to eat up any couloir going. There are lots.

On-hill grub 6/10

Like all of North America, they like their food, with pokey, atmospheric Corbet’s Cabin at over 10,000 feet my favourite. They do a lovely waffle too.

Après scene 7/10

Fine but not historic. Mangy Moose is excellent for après beer, Million Dollar Cowboy bar a bit ‘meh’, but essential for anyone ticking off the usual Jackson tourist spots.

Base suitability 5/10

There are masses of options. Hire a guide and gear-up! Fancy a ski safari by road? Utah/Park City is a half day away, or Grand Targhee just an hour by car.

Family friendly? 6/10

Stay at the Alpenhof Lodge at the base and all will be well. They do great deals on extra beds in the rooms, are super friendly/helpful and run various powder clinics etc. The resort itself hasall the usual good deals regarding accommodation, lessons, childcare etc.

RANK: 22