Hotel at a Glance: Grand View Lodge
Trimmed with natural wooden timbers, this rustic lodge is set amid pine trees and mountain views, just a 10-minute walk from historic downtown Jackson. The lodge is part of Snow King Resort Hotel, which offers high-end amenities that include a gourmet restaurant and heated indoor pool. Ski enthusiasts can take the year-round chairlift to reach the slopes or take in bird’s-eye views of the landscape.
- Hit the slopes: The resort offers snowshoeing, snowboarding, and day and nighttime skiing.
- Luxurious guest rooms and condos feature crisp linens and granite finishes.
- Stout-braised bison brisket and elk sausage are among the locally sourced eats served at Hayden’s Post. Executive chef Scott Blackerby puts a gourmet twist on traditional camp fare with housemade jerky and wild-mushroom-and-cheese strudel.
- Apres-ski relaxation: Rejuvenate trail-weary limbs with an herbal body wrap, lomi-lomi massage, or acupuncture service at the onsite spa.
- Warm up in the fitness center’s hot tub and indoor heated pool.<p>
Jackson, Wyoming: Wildlife and World-Class Skiing in the Old West
Jackson may be the only place on earth where you might see a rodeo cowboy, rock climber, and Hollywood starlet on the same block. The former frontier outpost draws visitors of all stripes for its special blend of Old West flavor and jaw-dropping natural beauty. Old-fashioned saloons and high-end galleries line the town square, but a few miles north in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find nothing but wilderness.
Though summer and winter are Jackson’s high seasons, you’ll encounter lighter crowds in spring and spectacular foliage in the fall. As the snows begin to melt in May, the rivers swell and fill with rapids. There are about a dozen rafting outfitters in Jackson that run whitewater trips on the Snake River and scenic floats on a calmer stretch upstream, where you’ll have a chance to see eagles, moose, and pelicans.
By early December, the ski lifts are up and running at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, famed for its challenging terrain and laissez-faire backcountry policy. Back in town, the much smaller Snow King Resort boasts the only night skiing in the area; unlike the slopes, the lift tickets aren’t too steep—about $40 for a full-day adult ticket.
Ski bums are seduced by Jackson’s epic snowfalls, but a different species objects to the cold. Each winter, about 12,000 elk migrate to the valley floor, where the temperatures are milder. At the National Elk Refuge, which borders downtown Jackson, conservationists lead horse-drawn sleigh rides to view the mammals up close, mid-December through early April. If the elk prove elusive, head across the street to see them in bronze or watercolor at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.<p>