Jackson Hole turned 50 last year and, man, has the place grown up. It’s seen the addition of five-star hotels such as the Four Seasons and the eco-chic Terra; fancy restaurants like Osteria—which serves a mean buffalo rib-eye; and a glut of new chairlifts, including the addition, last season, of the Teton lift, a ride that gained skiers access to some of the most sustained vertical on the mountain. But despite all that, Jackson is still known for the same thing it was known for when it opened: difficult terrain. It’s steep and rugged and it garners the mountain the No. 1 ranking in that category. “Gotta love the challenge,” says one reader. That includes the famous 30-foot drop into Corbet’s Couloir, 40-degree steeps in the Alta Chutes, and, for those who want to hire a guide, thousands of acres of sidecountry terrain where you can find powder skiing weeks after a storm. All that plus gasp-worthy views of Grand Teton National Park. “Scenery (No. 2) is incredible. You feel like you’re in the middle in nowhere.” But with all that beauty and challenge come crowds, and readers complain about long lines at the lifts on the lower mountain. They’ll be glad to hear that Jackson Hole addressed the flaw this past summer, installing a second gondola from the base to relieve congestion and get skiers faster access to all that mouth-watering terrain. —Gordy Megroz
Piste Mountain Bistro, which opened last season, will refuel you with grass-fed burgers and lamb loin.
Located in Teton Mountain Lodge, The Spur’s rustic barn-wood walls and fireplaces offer the cozy atmosphere you crave after a cold day on the hill. Its nachos, buffalo wings, and spicy margaritas satiate both body and soul.