First Timers Guide
If you've made your way to this page, we’re assuming you've never been to Jackson Hole. Most of this information is scattered somewhere else on this site – links are provided when useful – but all of the basics are below, in one convenient spot. First things first: Jackson Hole is a singularly beautiful, special place – unlike any ski destination in the world – and we're excited to share it with you.
How do I get to Jackson?
Traveling to Jackson Hole in the winter has never been easier. Daily non-stop flights fly into Jackson Hole Airport from twelve U.S. cities – including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Newark, Minneapolis Los Angeles and most recently New York (JFK), Houston and Seattle – on Delta, United, Frontier and American. If you live in one of these cities, then you’re one flight away. Most everywhere else connects to one of these cities. Easy.
The airport is located in Grand Teton National Park, so fight (or ask nicely) for a window seat on your flight into Jackson. It's a view you'll never forget.
Once you're here, things even less complicated. Jackson Hole is a flat valley surrounded by mountains: no mountain passes or canyons to negotiate, no city or highway traffic to stress you out..
View Jackson Hole in a larger map
Local Geography 101
“Jackson Hole” can refer to several things: the general area, the town, and also the ski resort. This can cause confusion early on, but this key will help clarify things:
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – the carrot that led you here – is the ski area, located in Teton Village. Jackson generally refers to the Town of Jackson, a downtown district 12 miles from Teton Village. Jackson Hole is the valley: a broad, flat plain approximately 60 miles long and 15 miles wide that runs from Hoback Junction in the south to Jackson Lake and Togwotee Pass in the north. Jackson Hole encompasses the Town of Jackson, Teton Village and Grand Teton National Park.
It’ll all make sense once you are here: Jackson Hole, no matter the reference, is beyond definition.
Important to know: Jackson Hole Airport is about 15 minutes from the Town of Jackson; Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are about 20 minutes from downtown.
Important to know: the Jackson Hole Airport is about 15 minutes from the Town of Jackson; Teton Village & Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are about 20 minutes from town.
What's the weather like?
Like any mountain environment, the weather in Jackson Hole can vary greatly (and rapidly). Jackson Hole Mountain Resort averages 459 inches of snow each winter, but that’s a measurement taken on the mountain. The valley receives less snow but know this: there will be snow on the ground all winter long, so plan accordingly. The roads are rather flat and generally well-plowed, so if you're thinking about renting a car, rest assured that driving in the winter is relatively easy. It's not uncommon for us to get inversions, where the temperature on the mountain is actually warmer than at the base or in the valley. In any case, plan to be in immersed in a wintry wonderland where the weather can change at the drop of a hat, but no more so than any other high alpine location.
Where Should I Stay?
There are three distinct lodging options in Jackson Hole: downtown Jackson, Teton Village, or the outlying stretch in between town and the Village. Each area boasts benefits, depending on what you're looking for. Staying in town is nice if you want a wide variety of shopping and dining choices, and don't mind driving or riding the bus to Teton Village to ski. Teton Village hotels, condos and homes are located at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and are very convenient if skiing or riding is your top priority. Staying in between Jackson and Teton Village is a hybrid of the two – closer to town shops and restaurants, and just a short drive or bus ride from Teton Village. Your best bet is to talk with a reservation agent at Jackson Hole Resort Lodging (800-443-8613) or Jackson Hole Central Reservations (888-838-6606) and let them help you figure out the best option based on your preferences.
How is the skiing - will it be too hard?
Jackson Hole’s reputation for steep and deep precedes it, eh? Yes, there’s plenty of powder and pitches, but here’s a little known fact: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a great a place for beginners to learn how to ski and for intermediates keen to cruise long groomers. Beginner and intermediate trails make up half of our terrain, meaning that our non-advanced/expert terrain acreage – 1250 acres – is larger than many ski resorts' total terrain. While we are famous for the Aerial Tram and expert chutes, they're only half the story: Bridger Gondola and Apres Vous Quad access the mellow side of the mountain, and the new and improved Casper area caters to intermediates. We highly recommend lessons with our Mountain Sports School, and if you're looking for a little more challenge, you might consider a Steep and Deep Camp or Backcountry Guide.
We also offer complimentary Mountain Host tours. Get to know the mountain through an intermediate guided tour on groomed terrain by one of our fabulous Hosts. Tours run daily at 9:30 AM and meet outside Walk Festival Hall beside the Gondola loading dock.
Whether new to snow sports or deeply addicted, skiing or snowboarding Jackson Hole is an experience you won't soon forget.
Should I rent skis or bring my own?
The airlines aren't making it any easier or less expensive to check bags, especially skis and snowboards, and we appreciate that skiers and snowboarders LOVE their gear….but this winter, we advise you to leave your equipment at home. Avoid the hassle of traveling (and paying for) your gear on the airlines, choose equipment that's designed for Jackson Hole’s terrain and conditions, and have it ready to pick up at a ski-in, ski-out location. To make the deal even sweeter, JH Sports is offering a 20% discount if you book your skis online before you arrive. So to make a long story short – rent! Still determined to bring your own boards? JH Sports also offers a shipping service that will receive your gear, give it a wax and tune, and have it ready for you slopeside, upon arrival. They'll also make sure your equipment gets packed and boxed carefully, and ship it back to you.
What about the kids?
We promise our kids programs will completely surpass your expectations. The Kids Ranch sits slopeside, a convenient spot for families to drop-off and pick-up, all in one handy location. Fun teaching tools like the Tram Gang ensure that kids learn about the sport and the setting while their having fun.
At the Kids Ranch, we pay attention to the important stuff, down to the details. We know your child’s health means everything, so for lunch we serve only free range and natural meat. Our dedicated child care and teaching professionals love spending time with kids of all ages and their energy is contagious!
The Kids Ranch offers daycare programs for children ages 6 months to 3 years old, ski and snowboard lessons for kids of all skill and age levels, and camps for the older kids up to 18 years old. If you prefer to ski with your children during the day but want to go out on your own in Teton Village or Jackson, the Kids Ranch also organizes a Kids Night Out program, replete with movies and sledding. We're pretty sure your children will thank you for vacationing in Jackson Hole!
We know Jackson Hole is situated in a pristine part of the world, how much are they doing to preserve and protect the spectacular environment of the world’s most intact natural eco-systems?
Last May, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort received the 2011 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence – the most prestigious environmental award in the ski industry. We are proud to be ISO 14001 Certified for 5 years running and we are committed to an environmental management system throughout our company that focuses on quantitative goals.
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Addresses and Phone Numbers
PO Box 290
Teton Village, WY 83025
Mountain Sports School:
Operations Shipping Address:
7652 Granite Ridge Loop Rd.
Teton Village, WY 83025
Admin Shipping Address:
3395 Cody Lane
Teton Village, WY 83025