A far cry from the glitz and glamour of Jackson Hole (although less than 30 miles as the crow flies), Targhee boasts a warm, friendly spirit that’s everything you love about skiing without any of the overpriced fluff. With just over 2,600 acres of skiable terrain, over 500 inches of snow each year, and lift lines that rarely allow time to unbuckle your boots, the oft-overlooked Wyoming resort is still a (relatively) hidden gem of the Tetons. “Grand Targhee is where everyone is a local,” says one reader of the laid-back vibe and welcoming feel. And indeed, skiing Targhee for the first time feels like visiting an old friend.
Long sweeping groomers and wide-open glades make navigating the mountain easy and intuitive, with playful gullies you can dip in and out of as you please. If you’re looking for a challenge, bump over to the cliff band looker’s left of the Sacajawea Lift and you’ll see that Targhee’s friendly attitude has a darker side. On a bluebird day you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better view of the Tetons than from the top of the Dreamcatcher Lift. Ski the ’Ghee when low clouds roll in, however, and you’ll understand why locals call it Grand Foggy. The sparse trees that let you wander the mountain however you please make it tough to find your way down when the vis drops. Targhee is first and foremost about the skiing. “Nightlife” is virtually nonexistent once the lifts stop spinning and for many, that’s part of the draw. After a round or two at the Trap, those looking for a livelier atmosphere can head down the road to Driggs (Teton Thai is a local favorite) and everyone else settles into a deep sleep before doing it all over again the next morning. — Lily Krass
Grand Targhee’s 2021 Reader Resort Guide Rank: #28 in the West
- What’s New: Targhee will be on the Mountain Collective Pass for the 2020-’21 season, a big deal for the old-school Wyoming resort that’s so far stayed out of multi-resort mega pass deals.
- Local Tip: Hike up Mary’s Nipple (the peak between Fred’s and Peaked) a few days after a storm for well-preserved powder when everything else is skied out. Enjoy an up-close view of the Tetons from the summit before ripping back down into the resort via some playful tree skiing.
Check out No. 27: Snowbird, Utah
Learn about No. 29 in the West for 2021: Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah
2020 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey Rank for Grand Targhee: 20th in the West
Grand Targhee might never crack the Top 10: It’s a place with a potato-farm vibe and no nightlife, and where “shopping” means picking up a sixer and a meat stick at the General Store. And that’s just the way its loyal fans like it. “I hope it never changes!” declares one. Because when it comes to skiing—and isn’t that the point?—this place delivers. First, the snow (No. 2): Storm clouds moving east get snagged by the Tetons and dump most of their feather-light goodness here. “Best snow in the country,” one reader exclaims. All that weather does give the place a deserving nickname of Grand Foghee, but when the sun does come out, the views of the Grand Teton deserve its No. 9 ranking for Scenery.
Because it’s overshadowed by Jackson Hole just on the other side of the tectonic fence, the liftlines here are nonexistent. Parking, however, can be an issue. “The terrain is amazingly varied, from beginner to insane,” says a reader. Indeed, families love the mellow fall lines and low prices (No. 4, Value), and hardcores love the hike-to backcountry access. At the end of the day, all the walks of life meet up for live music and après at the iconic Trap Bar (Local Flavor, No. 7). If there’s one metric that tells all, though, it’s the No. 3 ranking in Overall Satisfaction, prompting more than one reader to sum up simply, “Ski the Ghee!” — Kimberly Beekman
- APRÈS-SKI: The lively Trap Bar serves local beer and Wydaho Nachos, which come with waffle fries instead of tortilla chips. (This is potato country, after all.)
- MANDATORY RUN: The 650-vert boot-pack up to the summit of Mary’s Nipple is a must—both for the views of the Grand Teton and the powdery steeps.
- DINNER PICK: Foodies will love the Warbirds Café, a locals’ secret tucked into the tiny Driggs airport that serves farm-to-table fare and fine wine.
SKI Magazine’s 2019 Review of Grand Targhee, Wyo.
When two of its greatest strengths are Value and Snow, it’s a wonder that Grand Targhee isn’t the continent’s most-visited resort. After all, what skier doesn’t want to schuss abundant powder on the cheap? But alas, this mom-and-pop resort is still a true hidden gem.
Located an hour’s drive west of Jackson Hole over Teton Pass, Targhee pleases its fans not only with affordable skiing and great snow (more than 500 annual inches, typically), but also with laudable scenery, the resort sitting beneath the backside of the Tetons as it does. Offering an uncrowded alternative to the touristy hub of Jackson, Targhee is unpretentious, with a great local vibe that makes everyone feel like family.
And the skiing. Well, it’s varied, from the rollicking Kids Fun Zone off the Shoshone Lift to the notoriously steep wall of chutes, such as Pink Slip and Toilet Bowl—found off of the Sacajawea Lift—to the playful tree skiing of Painted Pony on Mary’s Nipple Peak. The mountain’s nearest town of Driggs, Idaho has an authentic atmosphere with affordable lodging and shuttle service between town and the resort. If you find yourself there after dark, stop into Teton Thai for spicy Pad Thai, Pineapple Fried Rice, and warm sake shared among friends. The way skiing was meant to be. – Jessi Hackett
Come to Grand Targhee For The…
- VALUE Teton Valley Cabins are a 20-minute drive from the slopes and one of the coziest, yet affordable places to sleep in Driggs. Individual, rustic cabins come complete with mini- kitchens, friendly staff, and a country feel, plus you’ll save money and experience the charm of life beneath the Tetons.
- LOCAL FLAVOR There’s no place like the Trap Bar & Grill, at the base, for beers on tap, great Bloodys, and world-famous Wydaho Nachos.
- SNOW On a storm day: Hit the trees off the Blackfoot chair, which hold snow despite windy conditions. A couple days later: Hike Mary’s Nipple, a wide-open bowl accessible via a 20-minute walk off the Sacajawea chair.
- DINNER SPOT The Royal Wolf, tucked away in nearby Driggs, is a little gem. Stop in for a home-cooked meal or good convo at the bar.