Jackson Hole Lifts & Terrain

Jackson Hole Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Jackson Hole Trail Map
  • Vertical (ft)
    6,311 – 10,450 (4,139)
  • Average Snow Fall
    459 inches
  • Lifts (15)
    1 tram
    2 gondolas
  • Ski Season
    late Nov -early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 133
    Size – 2,500 acres
    Beginner - 10%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Expert - 50%

Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Sure it snows a lot in Jackson Hole, but this place is ALL about the fabulous terrain. About halfway up the Tram you’ll understand why. Looking across North Colter Ridge all the way to the Hobacks is consistently pitched fall line, the likes of which these powderhounds have not seen anywhere else. Cover that fall line with a foot or two of powder and skiing nirvana is reached. All you gotta do is beat the locals to it. Have fun trying!

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is made up of two mountains. The Apres Vous Mountain is predominantly suited to intermediate skiing, and the base of this mountain tapers off into gentle beginner slopes. Rendezvous Mountain is what excites the proficient riders, and features steep chutes, bowls, couloirs and glades.

The overall terrain is characterised by a consistent fall-line and 1,261 metres of vertical. In addition to the 2,500 acres (1,066 hectares) of inbound slopes, there is another 3,000 acres of gated backcountry terrain. Jackson Hole is also renowned for the powder skiing. With around 12 metres of annual snowfall, there is an abundance of the white stuff that is light and fluffy.

Jackson Hole Lifts

If the KT22 chairlift at Squaw Valley gets voted ‘the best chairlift in North America’, then the Jackson Hole Tram should be voted ‘best tram in North America’. The terrain it services is second to none.

The second main lift is the Bridger Gondola which rises a cool 850 vertical metres up from Teton Village. The remaining lifts are relatively modern quads (5 in total), 2 older triples and a dinky double for beginners.

Lift Tickets

Sadly, like all ski resorts you’ve got to buy a lift ticket at Jackson Hole. Full day tickets are expensive so purchasing them can hurt.

Full day beginner tickets are cheap as chips.

Jackson Hole is accessible off the Mountain Collective pass, which provides savings to ski Jackson Hole as well as many resorts in California, Utah, Colorado, Canada, and Valle Nevado Chile, Hakuba Japan and Thredbo Australia.

Jackson Hole Snow and Weather

Whilst it doesn’t get as much snow as its smaller brother on the other side of the range (Grand Targhee), Jackson Hole scores very well in the snow stakes. Around 12 metres of annual snowfall is about as much as you get anywhere in the world. Sadly the Powderhounds can’t vouch for the sun or blue sky days as it failed to make an appearance during our stay. But the sun only means it’s not snowing, and the sun attracts all the soft punters that waste the snowy days indoors.

Beginner Ski Terrain

Jackson Hole doesn’t have a whole lot for beginners, hence the cheap lift tickets to try to attract the novices. Two chairs at the base of the hill service the basic beginner needs providing them with a massive 130 metres of vertical! This is not a beginners’ hill.

Intermediate Skiing and Boarding

Whilst Jackson Hole is known for its extremities, official trail stats include 40% for intermediates, although a lot of the intermediate trails are cat tracks. Most of the real intermediate terrain is off the Bridger Gondola, Casper Triple and Apres Vous Quad.

Off the gondola the best offerings are Gros Ventre and Sundance. Intermediates should try these on powder mornings. Casper Triple has a range of easy blues to the skiers’ right of the chair, and more challenging runs to the skiers’ left. If conditions are sketchy and icy, intermediates should avoid the Moran traverse to access the Apres Vous chair – it will end in tears!

Despite its advanced rating, confident intermediates should be able to conquer the top of the tram, Rendezvous Bowl, in most conditions. This will give thigh burning access to the entire 1,261 metre vertical.

For the Family/Kids

Jackson Hole is the kind of ski hill that you want to keep an eye on your progeny. Some of the traverses are dangerous if one slides off in the wrong direction. Thankfully the chairlifts and trails skiers’ left of the Bridger Gondola tend to more family friendly. Aside from the two beginner chairs at the base, the Casper and Apres Vous chairs provide the next most friendly terrain. There is also a kid’s snow play area in the village which is great for sledding.

Terrain Parks

The whole mountain is a big natural terrain park – go find some!! Otherwise there is the usual bone shattering and tendon snapping fun available in the terrain park near the Après Vous Chair.

Advanced Ski and Snowboard Areas

Advanced skiers will love the fall line of the spurs coming down off the range between North Colter Ridge and the Hobacks. Higher up on the mountain, Cheyenne and Laramie Bowls, and the Cirque provide steeps, bumps and trees. The gondola has a couple of fast advanced runs - Ranger and Cascade. Arrive first at the gondola on a POW day and scream down Ranger just to show off under the line.

Experts Only

Jackson Hole has plenty for the expert. Cliffs and steeps abound. One of the ski world’s best known couloirs, Corbet’s Couloir, is just below the top of the tram. Check in at the ski patrol before attempting it. If conditions are right, take the short hike to the Headwall (located above the Gondola Summit). This leads to Casper Bowl and eventually the Crags. The range of steep and challenging chutes and tree runs will test all comers.

For the Powderhound

Aside from the usual notions of getting up early to beat the hordes (good luck!), a few spots stood out to the powderhounds as holding uncut snow a tad longer than others.

While everyone goes up the tram and gondola, head in the opposite direction (I know – it sounds crazy) and up the Apres Vous Quad. At the top, drop skiers left into ‘Saratoga Bowl’. It’s not really a bowl, more like a set of beautifully pitched, lightly treed spur lines. Enjoy the freshies - you can thank me later.

Otherwise, the powder awaits in the backcountry. Access gates abound along the resort. You’ll require all the avi gear and knowledge to use it (or to avoid needing to use it as the case may be). If in any doubt – get a guide. The Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School has guides available and even does overnight tours to a backcountry yurt. Other backcountry guides are available in the area as well, such as Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.