Interior veiw - Chill Spa ,Jackson Hole, American West

Chill Spa

The appropriately named Chill Spa has just six treatment rooms and a hot tub with a view on the rooftop of the LEED-certified Hotel Terra eco-hotel. Treatments employ all-organic products, of course. Interiors are in fresh, vibrant colors, and the staff is young and friendly. It’s a great spot for a relaxing afternoon and popular with groups of friends who take over the whole facility.

Dine On the Slopes

If you want to have a languorous lunch à la European ski resorts, it’s best to get off the slopes and go to Teton Village, where good options include The Peak and the Westbank Grill.  But serious skiers who want to get back on the slopes as soon as possible can break at one of the slopeside cafeterias.

Rendezvous, at the top of the Bridger Gondola, is the largest on-mountain restaurant, serving everything from burgers and hot dogs to homemade soups and hearty chili, all made from organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and so quite good.

Casper, at the bottom of the Casper Bowl, is smaller and cozier, with a fireplace, but also more limited in its food selection—go for a hot chocolate before your last run.

Corbett’s Cabin, in a small shack at the top of the Aerial Tram, offers homemade waffles with a variety of toppings. Beginner skiers beware: the top of Rendezvous is not groomed, so all runs leading off it are black.

Exum Mountain Guides

This company offers climbing instruction and has a huge roster of guides who will take you on ascents throughout Grand Teton National Park and many nearby areas. It can accommodate everyone from families with children to serious Alpinists who want to explore the more challenging terrain.

Fly-Fishing: Jack Dennis Sports

One of the most popular summer and fall activities is fishing, especially fly-fishing. Jack Dennis Sports, in Jackson, has a large network of guides and also offers dedicated fly-fishing trips.

Four Seasons Spa

Sleek, spacious and with typically gracious Four Seasons service, this large spa has 16 treatment rooms, including two private spa suites; a long list of pampering treatments; and men’s and women’s “tranquility” lounges, both with fireplaces but sans mountain views. Lovely details include homemade energy bars and tea.

Editors' Picks


For golfers, there are two courses in the valley: the Arnold Palmer–designed Teton Pines ( and the one at the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club (, which was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones. To make arrangements, see the Jackson Hole Web site ( for a list of recommended outfitters, or ask the concierge at your hotel.

Music Festival at Grand Teton Music Festival  ,Jackson Hole, American West

Grand Teton Music Festival

Launched in the 1960s, this concert series presents international orchestras, soloists and chamber ensembles. Past luminaries have included Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta. Performances are held in the Walk Festival Hall, at the base of the Grand Tetons. Check the Web site for the annual schedule. There are also always free community events, such as the popular open-air Fourth of July concert, which takes place on Alpine Field.

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Grand Teton National Park

The entrance to this famous park is a short drive from Jackson. The park has a fascinating history: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. visited the area in the 1920s and was so taken by its natural beauty that he bought up enough land to create a large ranch for his family and still be able to donate tens of thousands of acres to what became a federal park encompassing some 310,000 acres (or about 485 square miles).

Outdoor types come to hike the 200 or so miles of trails or to scale the 13,770-foot-high Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton range. Part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the park supports around three hundred species of birds, 61 species of mammals (including bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bison, moose, pronghorn and elk), plus more than two dozen species of fish. Beyond hiking and climbing, park pursuits include fly-fishing, wildlife viewing and kayaking and canoeing.

Hole Hiking Experience

Inspired by Wyoming’s natural beauty, Cathy Shill moved to Jackson Hole in the 1980s and founded her company, the Hole Hiking Experience, in 1989. A trained naturalist with a degree in biology, Shill leads inspired expeditions, including hiking, snowshoeing and ski tours, for private clients and small groups. Her passion for the expansive countryside is contagious, and you learn a ton about the fragile ecosystems you traverse. She’s especially popular among young visitors, for whom she attempts to bring the great outdoors alive. As Shill explains it: “We utilize our senses, so you can taste, touch and smell your way through the mountains. En route, I have the kids tasting licorice and mint, even edible ants for the more intrepid ones (they taste like lemon). We smell flowers and trees and touch the soft petals and rough bark. We also bring butterfly nets, which make it fun to frolic, to catch, identify and release these beautiful creatures.” The Hole Hiking Experience offers a wide variety of tours, and with small groups, Shill will customize the itinerary. For the truly outdoorsy, there are overnight journeys to remote areas of the national parks. Shill also runs all-women trips, combing hiking, yoga, white-water rafting and time in Jackson Hole.

Exterior Veiw - Jackson Hole Wine Auction ,Jackson Hole, American West

Jackson Hole Wine Auction

The largest fundraiser for the Grand Teton Music Festival, this annual auction is a big event in the wine world and draws chefs, vintners and oenophiles to Wyoming. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. The lots are posted on the Web site.

Facade - Four Seasons, Jackson Hole, American West

Join the Après-Ski Scene

The après-ski scene in Jackson Hole ranges from elegant — space heaters and Adirondack chairs on the terrace of the Four Seasons Jackson Hole — to grungy: ski bums and a gaggle of girls in Uggs and tank tops at the Mangy Moose. If you’re in the mood for a romantic glass of wine with a view of the slopes, head to The Peak or Westbank Grill. To mingle with locals and have a beer with friends, settle into one of the round booths at the cozy European-style Bistro at the Alpenhof, where a live band performs on weekend afternoons. For the wilder side of Jackson Hole’s après scene, try Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Bar, the latter at the base of the Aerial Tram.

Editors' Picks
Rafting at Mountain Sports School  ,Jackson Hole, American West

Mountain Sports School

Jackson Hole’s ski school is known for its small classes, taught during high season by some 500 teachers. Reservations are recommended, especially for the children’s classes, though, as one teacher told me, “We always find room for the kids.” Tip: It’s not official, but for an extra fee, a private teacher can take you up the mountain a half hour before the lifts start so that you can be the first one on the slopes that day. To reserve, call or email:

Jackson Hole is renowned for some of the most difficult terrain in North America—a sign at one of the chairlifts warns: “You must always exercise extreme caution. You could become lost. You could make a mistake and suffer personal injury or death.” At 4,000-plus feet, Jackson Hole’s vertical drop is the longest continuous drop of any U.S. resort. The area draws serious skiers, and the advanced ski classes are packed, mostly with people wishing to improve their off-piste technique. Après Vous Mountain has gentler slopes for beginners, and Rendezvous Mountain offers some lovely intermediate runs, including the wide Amphitheater and Gros Ventre. More seasoned skiers are often found in the 3,000-acre backcountry or in the deep chutes and daredevil trails of the Hobacks or Corbet’s Couloir. The steep and challenging terrain draws more skiers than snowboarders.

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National Elk Refuge

The National Elk Refuge winters 5,000 elk that are used to replenish or reintroduce herds across the country. Starting in December through early April, you can sign up for a horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon when the snow melts) that takes visitors deep into the refuge and close to the animals. The fabulous guides, dressed in traditional cowboy flare, know all there is to know about these animals and share fun facts like: did you know elk have two ivory teeth in their upper jaws? Tip: dress for temperatures significantly below those in town.

Wild life Art at National Museum of Wildlife Art ,Jackson Hole, American West

National Museum of Wildlife Art

This 51,000-square-foot museum, situated on a bluff that overlooks the elk refuge, offers one of the country’s best wildlife-art collections, with interactive exhibits that kids love, as well as traveling shows, lectures and educational programs. Constructed mostly out of red Arizona sandstone, the building features lots of green details, like timber salvaged from Yellowstone forest fires and the on-site capture and treatment of storm water. The café is pleasant, especially during the warmer months, when guests can sit on a terrace and gaze at the nature that inspired so many of the works displayed inside. Open daily, with reduced Sunday hours from mid-October through mid-May.

Other Summer Activities

You can enjoy a host of activities on and around the mountains during the summer, including horseback riding, paragliding, hot-air ballooning and mountain biking and golf.

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Yellowstone National Park

Many visitors also take the one-and-a-half-hour drive north to Yellowstone, which was established in 1872 as America’s first national park and encompasses the so-called Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Old Faithful geyser. During the summer, the park is a popular family destination, so traffic can be heavy and reservations for one of the lodges in the park have to be made well in advance.

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