Rollicking cowboy town. Challenging mountain.
Hard to get to. Needs a lot of snow.
No need to open the envelope—Jackson wins again for Challenge. This Teton monster with 4,139 vertical feet makes you “feel like a real skier while simultaneously being humbled.” Open boundaries to limitless terrain, supersize scenery, unique off-hill recreation (wildlife safari?) and lodging ranging from modest to swank make this the ultimate bigmountain experience. Ski mortals, take heart—Jackson’s instructors work miracles to inspire all-mountain independence. And continuous upgrades (see Marmot chair, below) that improve the flow between the area’s expert and its less heralded intermediate terrain encourage exploration. Wild West hospitality, a stylish village and the cowboy town of Jackson make this “pretty remote” resort worthwhile. But “Hit Jackson on powder day, and nothing else matters.” —Edie Thys Morgan
Bragging Rights » Tower 3 is the best of Jackson— steeps, chutes, bumps and chalky dry snow, all in one take-a-deep-breath-and-go rite of passage.
What’s New» The Marmot double rises from the bottom of Thunder to the top of the gondola; snowmaking on the lower mountain ensures buffed slopes all season.
Off-Mountain Restaurant » Dig into seasonal, natural cuisine and local Wyomatoes fireside at The Kitchen in downtown Jackson.