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Yes, Jackson Hole is famous for a reason: pounding tram lap after tram lap will leave your quads suffering and your heart begging for more. But, if you want to avoid the crowds and ski a resort that’s a little less aggro, head over Teton Pass to Grand Targhee. The resort has free parking, a small base village, and enough vertical, cliff drops, and tree stashes to keep you happy all day long. Plus, the lift lines are short, the locals are friendly, and the beer and Wydaho Nachos at the Trap Bar are worth the trip alone. http://www.grandtarghee.com/
Photo: Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com lays it down.
The Trap Bar at the base of the ‘Ghee serves up Wydaho Nachos: all your regular nacho fixin’s (cheese, beans, sour cream, guacamole) piled high on a plate of waffle fries. Chase them down with a Teton Ale from the Grand Teton Brewing Company. http://www.grandtarghee.com/the-resort/dining.php
At Jackson Hole, the Mangy Moose in Teton Village is an old standby for a reason—nothing tastes better after a long day of tram laps than pitchers of beer and spicy, cheesy, gooey nachos. You can also expect live music many nights of the week. http://www.mangymoose.net/
The Hostel in Jackson Hole is cheap, comfy, and most importantly, slopeside (and barside—it’s right behind the Mangy Moose). There’s a lounge room for movie-watching, a tune room to wax your boards, and a game room to keep you entertained. When you wake up hungover, it’s just a three-minute stumble to the base of the tram. http://www.thehostel.us/
Within a 50 minute bootpack from the parking lot, you can access wide-open bowls, tree-dotted ridge lines, and gladed zones stuffed with powder. Make sure you’ve got a beacon, shovel, and probe (plus the know-how to use them), and check the local avalanche report.
Formerly in downtown Jackson, Teton Thai moved to the base of Teton Village when their lease was up last year. You can still expect the same spicy pad see ew and masaman curry, now from the base of the resort. http://www.tetonthai.com/
The Cadillac Grill, right on Jackson Town Square, has three restaurants in one: a classy establishment with proper tables and napkins, a bar area with a full menu, and the Cadillac Grill— a 50’s diner-esque offshoot of the other two restaurants. Sit in one of the booths in the bar and you can still order from the Grill menu: $9 burgers is about the best deal you’ll get in Jackson. Don’t miss Two-For-One drinks on Friday and Saturday night. http://www.cadillac-grille.com/