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Jackson Hole

snow coach
Jackson Hole
Getting There
snowmobile Jackson Hole is much more than downhill skiing. It's a whole Winter wonderland. Thousands of people come here for a week every year and never go near the slopes. They cross country ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, tour the Elk refuge, ride sleds, take snow coach or sno bus tours of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, view wildlife, go on photographic expeditions. Newcomers can take lessons in every activity at every level from raw novice to advanced. You should take at least one day off from skiing and try some of these other activities. Your hotel will have details, can make arrangements for you, and may have special packages available which combine with your room rate. Ask about these when making your reservation.
Cross Country Skiing, referred to locally as Nordic Skiing, is very popular here. Because of the large flat valley and the gentle hills to the East (opposite the jagged peaks of the Tetons), plus all the hiking and backpacking trails, Jackson Hole is one of the world's great CX skiing locales. You can take CX lessons at the same Teton Village where you take downhill lessons. Phone 307.739.2629. Or there are several agencies in town which provide lessons along with rental skiis, transportation to various trailheads and guiees to accompany you. Try Grand Targhee Nordic Center, Jackson Hole Nordic Center. Spring Creek Ranch Touring Center, and Teton Pines Resort & Ski Center.
CX skiing
snowshoeing Snowshoeing is another hugely popular sport here. Equipment rental, lessons, transportation and guides are available at several locations including Teton Village and Jackson. Modern snowshoes are shorter and more maneuverable than the old ones you see hanging on the walls of ski lodges. They're also much easier to use and less exhausting, although a day on the trail is still a good cardiovascular workout. Teton Village offers lessons at the base of the ski resort : 307.739.2629. In town, there's The Hole Experience, 307-690-4453.
Snowmobiling as practiced in Jackson Hole is a spectacular sport. With a guide and rented thermal suits, you can travel long distances through beautiful forests and high mountains and see lots of wildlife. There are hundreds of snowmobiling routes, like the one shown here at right. They carve through the national parks, national forests and huge ranches. This is one of America's great snowmobiling centers and if you've never done it before there is no better place to be introduced to the sport. Old Faithful Snowmobile Tours : (800) 253-7130 is the most widely known company. They offer one day and three day two night trips, into Yellowstone and into the Gros Ventre Wilderness. They pick you up at your lodging at 8 a.m. snowmobiling
snow coaches Snow Coach or Snowmobus tours are great ways to spend one of your days here. The most spectacular take you into Yellowstone National Park to see the geysers, Yellowstone Falls and all the wildlife. This photo shows the coaches at Yellowstone Snow Lodge, where most tours stop for lunch. It's a bouncy, fun and exciting ride over the drifts and deep snow, and the drivers stop to let you take photographs of scenic spots or the herds of Buffalo, Elk or other animals. Teton Science School : 1-877.404.6626 is the oldest and best known company. The most popular trip leaves your lodging at 6:45 am and returns 13 hours later. The trip includes breakfast at Flagg Ranch and lunch at the Yellowatone Snow Lodge. The coaches will take you by and stop for viewing at Old Faithful, the Upper Geyser Basin and the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Some trips also visit the Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
You absolutely cannot spend a week in Jackson Hole and not visit the National Elk Refuge. It is a magnificent sight to see an entire herd of Elk up close, with the Teton skyline behind them. Several Jackson outlets run daily tours of the refuge. A tour lasts about two hours and can be scheduled either in the morning or afternoon. Elk in Winter
dogsledding And then there's Dog Sledding. There are a lot of people out there who have at least tried CX skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling before coming to Jackson, but almost nobody has tried dogsledding. It's a unique and thrilling way to see the Jackson Hole country, and a dogsled can cover an amazing distance in a few hours. Your guide will man the sled while you relax under a warm blanket, or will teach you how to man the sled and drive the team. You can book half day, full day, overnight and multiple night trips into the Winter wilderness. Continental Divide Dogsledding Adventures : 307-222-0421. Guide Billy Snodgrass will pick you up at your lodging and transport you to his ranch at Togwotee Pass near Dubois. The overnight trips stay at a Yurt pitched deep in the wilderness. Snodgrass and his staff prepare all meals. There is also Iditarod Sled Dog Tours : 307-733-7388. They're located up Granite Canyon just outside Jackson. A 20 mile one day trip stops for lunch at a natural hot spring, where you change into your swim suit and enjoy a 30 minute hot tub soak before a lunch of hot soup, hot beverage and various sides. Iditarod does not offer overnight or multi night trips.
For all these activities except Snowmobiling you can wear your ski clothes. Since your ski boots won't work, you'll want to bring a pair of high top backpacking boots, preferably insulated. Gaiters and a Balaklava are considered essential. If you don't already own Gaiters you might wait until you get to Jackson before buying a pair, since stores here stock the exact kind you need for these high, dry, powder conditions. You can order a good Balaklava from Campmor or any good outdoor equipment store or site. Bring a large thermos. Even if you don't usually take one skiing, you'll need one here for days or even half days out on the trails. snowshoeing
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