The ski experience at Jackson Hole has to be one of the most unique in the world. Rising out of the plains of Wyoming is the ridge-backed Teton Mountain Range. Dark, steep and imposing, these slopes are some of the steepest in the USA and attract some of the world's best skiers as permanent residents.
The ski area is a fifteen-minute drive from the old ranching town of Jackson, where cowboys in Stetson hats and spurred boots still walk the streets. The ranching vibe is just as strong up at the Teton Village ski community and makes for a great atmosphere. The Mangy Moose bar even has swinging saloon doors.
Jackson Hole averages a staggering 33ft of snow a year and enjoys some of the best skiing anywhere in North America. The valley turns white by mid-November and the season lasts till early April. Experts can tackle the likes of Corbet's Couloir, dropping down a 15ft vertical chimney just to get to the slope. Beginners and intermediates have a slightly limited choice but there is still much fun to be had. The valley also has other winter exploits with an outdoor adventure slant. Snowshoeing to track wild animals, dog-sledding and sleigh rides in the National Elk Reserve are all on offer.
Even better, Jackson is by no means a one season pony and is as popular in the summer months as in winter. When the snow and ice has melted, the valleys and mountains are an abundant playground with fantastic hiking, biking and fishing, but there are some more unique experiences too, such as mountain-top tram rides, horseback adventures, rafting on Snake River and Wild West style rodeo shootout shows.