Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming is well-branded (cowboy joke) for its butt kicking terrain, garnering #1 for challenging terrain in annual ski surveys. In addition to the 2,500 acres of inbounds terrain, 50% of which is expert, there is another 3,000 accessible backcountry of snowy bowls, steeps chutes and gullies. But there is a softer side to Jackson Hole – specifically the luxurious lodging at the base of the lifts in the swank Teton Village.
Staying at the slopeside Four Seasons Jackson Hole we felt absolutely spoiled. Perhaps it was the ski concierge offering to buckle my ski boots (really!) then placing my skis on the snow for me, or maybe it was the spa attendant keeping our fluffy towels and robes in a warmer while we soaked in the outdoor hot-springs style heated pools with views of the ski slopes.
Yes, the Four Seasons Jackson Hole is first class, five-star and the finest ski hotel in my extensive travels. Our spacious suite had an incredible view of the slopes, at night we could see the groomers’ lights sweeping over the slopes prepping for our first tracks (no excuse not to make first lift when you are a snowball’s toss from the gondola and someone is going to buckle your boots).
The high altitude skiing at Jackson can exhaust an eastern skier, so we indulged in an afternoon off the slopes for a wilderness safari. The Four Seasons Concierge arranged our private tour with the on-staff biologist,Tenley, who toured us around the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park in a Mercedes SUV equipped with Swarovski binoculars for each of us. We saw herds of elk, moose, deer bison, (the bear were hibernating), and bighorn sheep grazing amid the incredible backdrop of the Grand Tetons. Elegant white trumpeter swan bobbed in the Snake River while we snacked on our delicious car picnic created by the Four Seasons chef.
That evening, we stretched out in sumptuous cowhide chairs in the lovely fireside lobby bar, enjoying artfully prepared game on a plate, toasting our good fortune to be back at the Four Seasons at Jackson Hole.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s take on skiing the biggest small ski resort – Grand Targhee.
Photos by Greg Burke