Conde Nast Traveler Highlights Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 50th Anniversary: Recommends MADE & Mountain Dandy
Posted on July 12 2016
Fifty years ago, Jackson Hole, Wyoming was relatively untamed, a quiet hamlet for only the most adventurous. Today, it's one of the most popular winter destinations in the U.S., and has some of the best skiing conditions in the country. While most associate it with steep terrain, nerve-wracking vertical drops, and the magnificent mountains of Apres Vous and Rendezvous, there's more to it than skiing and celeb-spotting. Here's where to start:
The Wort Hotel, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, is full of original Western art, and recently unveiled a renovation that more than doubled its saloon and bar. Enjoy live music every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Silver Dollar Showroom, whose wood-clad interior and vintage decor pay homage to the hotel's previous Greenback Lounge, one of the region's most rockin' spots in the 1950s.
For those looking for more a contemporary feel, head to the family-owned Hotel Jackson, which opened its doors in June. Each of the hotel’s 58 rooms (including six suites) is stocked with modern creature comforts like Nespresso machines, Geneva sound systems, and gas fireplaces while still feeling appropriately western—think reclaimed barn wood, leathers, and wools. For dinner, grab a bite at the hotel’s restaurant, Figs, where the family’s Lebanese heritage is showcased.
Courtesy Hotel Jackson
The interior of Hotel Jackson.
Take a ride on a Jackson Hole signature, the Aerial Tram, which first opened in 1967 to carry skiers up to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. A new tram debuted in 2008, at a cost of $35 million, and can ferry 650 skiers every hour. It offers a stunning view of the mountain—and whets your appetite for a trip down the slopes.
Climbers in the Tetons know of the Exum pass, named for the first ascent by Glenn Exum, in 1931; his legacy, both guiding and teaching, continues with Exum Mountain Guides. These Jackson natives and expert mountaineers can make nearly any climb, backcountry ski, or hike possible. Structured overnights are available, as are customized daylong adventures for both aspiring and experienced adventurers, ages eight to 80.
Jackson and Teton counties are the only ones in the state to receive a Gold designation on a list of bike-friendly communities, owing largely to the work of the non-profit Friends of Pathways, which this October unveiled Path22, connecting Teton Village with the town of Jackson. Now you can walk, bike, and cross-country ski on 78 miles of cleared pathways, including some in Grand Teton.
Get a sense of old-meets-new at Snow King Mountain, which was Wyoming’s first ski area when it opened in 1939. Even non-skiers can get their adrenaline fix, in both summer and winter, on the new Cowboy Coaster, which zips, loops, and descends 3,295 feet down the mountain.
GRAB A BITE
Just off of Town Square, Persephone bakery has become a cult obsession for locals since it opened in 2011—if you’ve ever tried baking bread at altitude, you’ll know why. Owner and head baker Kevin Cohane, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his wife Ali, have just opened Picnic, a café that expands their assortment of sandwiches and pastries with selections that change daily, including homemade pop-tarts and Nutella banana bread.
Growing fresh produce is a challenge in colder climates like Wyoming, so locals have reason to be excited about Vertical Harvest, a three-story hydroponic greenhouse in the heart of downtown that sells fresh produce year-round. Points for philanthropy: Vertical Harvest will also employ developmentally disabled adults as a part of its commitment to the community.
Even non-skiers can enjoy Piste, the newest on-mountain restaurant, which opens December 19. Accessed via the Bridger Gondola, and open for lunch and dinner, Piste offers bistro style in a casual setting, with daily specials on blackboards and family-style dishes intended for sharing. For something more upscale, make a reservation upstairs at Couloir, which has unbeatable views overlooking the valley, and where Chef Wes Hamilton sources as much as he can within a 200-mile radius for the seasonal prix-fixe dinner menu.
A selection of cured meats at Bodega.
On your way in or out of town, stop by Bodega—an enlightened version of a corner store, it offers gourmet groceries, sandwiches on fresh baked Persephone bread, adult slushies (alcohol included), and a small bar serving local and international beer and wine. Starting in December, the Bodega Butcher will offer meats and charcuterie, with house-made cheeses, pickles, stocks, and salsas.
Stock up on gifts for those who couldn’t make the trip at local glass artist John Frechette’s two downtown shops, Made and Mountain Dandy (as well as a Made satellite in Teton Village). You never know how many glass belt buckles and earrings made from bullet casings you may need.
Original Article here