It’s no secret that Jackson Hole is one of, if not the best ski resort in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean there are no secrets in planning an unforgettable ski weekend there this winter. Jackson Hole is an extremely spread out valley where securing transportation and dinner reservations can be as difficult as the infamous terrain. This guide will go over everything needed in order to plan the ultimate Jackson Hole ski weekend, including non-ski activities such as shopping, dog sledding, dining (both at restaurants and at-home, private chefs) and how to book the Jackson party bus for your night out.
Stay in a Vacation Rental
Don’t get us wrong, hotels are great and have a ton of perks but when it comes to a ski trip, vacation rentals are the way to go. Private hot tubs, room for all of your gear and a place to après are just some of the reasons why vacation rentals are superior in Jackson Hole. If possible, we recommend booking a place inside of Teton Village, that way you are as close as possible to the ski mountain and don’t get stuck in traffic. However, if that’s a little out of your price range there are some great rental options inside of the Aspens and they’re still less than a 10 minute drive.
Ride on a Party Bus
Whether you’re staying in town and need a lift to Teton Village or staying close to the Mountain and need a ride into town for the night, renting a Jackson Hole party bus is by far your most fun transportation option! Equipped with wraparound seating, LED lighting, surround sound speakers and two ice bars, Double Black’s party buses are designed for a great time! They've also got extra-large luggage compartments big enough for everyone's skis, if you want to have a loose day on the mountain.
Not to mention that securing a taxi/Uber after the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar closes down is far from guaranteed and nobody wants to walk home in a Wyoming snowstorm.
Make One Big Dinner Reservation
Jackson Hole has dozens of great dining options, especially for dinner. Unfortunately, not all of them are able to accommodate large parties, especially on weekend nights. This means you’ll definitely want to make reservations early on in your planning. Luckily, we’ve got a few recommendations that are great at hosting large groups.
One of our favorite japanese restaurants in the Valley, Suda offers a whole lot more than just sushi. Their menu includes ramen, kushiyaki, sandos, sushi and great shareable plates. They’ve also got a great selection of sake and A5 wagyu. Make sure to ask for their private dining room if your group is larger than 8 people!
This is our favorite italian restaurant in Jackson and with good reason. They have a killer cocktail list backed by worldly wines and the food is to die for. They’ve got a great private dining room, along with a bar that is first come, first serve. Walk in right as they open for an easy seat at the bar.
A relatively new kid on the block, StillWest is a great casual dining option in the town of Jackson. Located at the base of Snow King, their massive windows provide a perfect view of people on the mountain. Their food is also great and their beer continues to improve.
This one is obvious to the point we almost didn’t even include it. Until we realized we have some recommendations that might not be so obvious to first-timers of the area.
1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the ski area everyone is talking about when they say they’re “skiing Jackson” so don’t get tricked into buying a pass at Snow King.
2. The Tram line is only worth it if there’s new snow, otherwise just ride it once for the experience and then move on to other lifts.
3. If you have the means, seriously consider booking a guide for Saturday. The chairlift lines are going to be brutal and you will be able to ski 5 - 10x more laps if you have a guide who helps you cut the lines.
Have a Private Chef make you Dinner
While dining out is great for your big night out on the town, it’s hard to beat having a private chef come make you dinner in the comfort of your vacation rental. Especially when there’s a blizzard going on and taxis are a nightmare to find (unless you booked a Jackson party bus!) Because of the huge wedding industry in Jackson, along with all of the extremely wealthy residents, there are a ton of private chefs in the area. Also, because winter is their slow season, their rates are somewhat reasonable. Some of our favorites are Maho, Renee and Chef Jason.
While skiing is great and probably the main reason you are coming to Jackson Hole this winter, there are a lot of other great non-skiing activities to do during the daytime. We recommend giving your feet (and maybe your butt) a break from the slopes by enjoying this beautiful area with another activity. Some of these include snowmobiling, dog sledding or cross country skiing. If you are completely obsessed with skiing and cannot fathom missing a day, then you should heliski and still get a break from lift lines for the day!
Buy a Memento
Jackson Hole has some great shopping options, most of which are located around the Town Square. Rather than waste your money on a bunch of touristy junk (a Jackson Hole sweatshirt), we recommend buying one or two higher priced items that can become lifelong mementos of your trip to the Tetons.
Some great options include a custom cowboy hat from Encounter Hat Co., hand forged knives from New West Knifeworks, something covered in fur from Overland Sheepskin Co. or even an old time photo from Judge Roy Bean’s!
We hope this all-inclusive guide has you prepared as you book your flights to Jackson Hole this winter. While famous for its world class skiing, Jackson has so much more to offer and we hope you take full advantage. Don't forget to book a Double Black party bus for your Jackson Hole transportation.