Last season in the Tetons, the snow gods gave like Oprah. When the winter ended, 593 inches of fluff had fallen on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the most in the ski area’s 51-year history. That caused readers to gush about the conditions, saying things like, “Kickass Western steep and deep!” and “What a winter for snow, and more snow, and more snow.” It helped the resort to a No. 7 ranking in that category. And it made for near-daily powder skiing on the resort’s famous steeps, including the couloirs and glades, huckable cliffs and cornices, and thousands of acres of easy-to-access backcountry. “Best terrain” was the common refrain among readers, garnering Jackson Hole a No. 2 in Challenge. Of course those attributes brought the masses (558,390 skier visits marks the third highest in resort history), and readers complained that the ski area felt “too crowded.” It wasn’t the biggest gripe. Many readers criticized Jackson for “not being kid friendly” (No. 30). The ski area’s brass is attempting to fix that, adding Solitude Station, a 12,000-square-foot lodge located at the Sweetwater Gondola’s mid-station that will cater to “family après events” and house a ski school. That, however, won’t open until next season. Until then, patrons will have to make due with the No. 9-ranked dining (“on-mountain food is best at the top of the gondola, but all options are good,” notes one reader), the speedy, No. 8-ranked lifts (“great network!”), the town’s charming Western vibe (No. 7)— several readers commented that the area has “lots of character”. And, yeah, all that snow.
OFF-THE-MAP TRAIL Hike up the near-vertical White Spider and ski any of the lines in Casper Bowl. The cliffy bowl is lightly skied and typically good for a few powder stashes.
DINNER PICK The Snake River Grill is pricey but worth a splurge. And you can find a delicious bargain: the wild game Korean Hot Bowl, a spicy, $28 mouthgasm of deliciousness.