Jackson (pop. 9,000), the only incorporated town in Jackson Hole, is 70 miles south of Yellowstone National Park and just outside Grand Teton National Park. The compact downtown area can be covered in two afternoons. A good starting point is the town square; most stores and restaurants are within walking distance.
Telephone Numbers: The area code is 307.
Amangani A spectacular property designed by Aman architect Edward Tuttle, this low-slung construction of raw stone, metal, and wood perched on a clifftop recalls Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and the cantilevered aerie Cary Grant dangled from in North by Northwest. The reception area opens onto a three-story lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, towering sandstone columns, and Pacific redwood accents. (The view is of Teton Pass instead of the iconographic peaks themselves, the choicer view having been usurped by Spring Creek Ranch.) The motif continues in the 29 regular suites (there are 11 larger ones as well), which share the same layout: a combined bedroom and sitting area with fireplace, terrazzo-topped dining table, and cowhide chairs upholstered in faux wolfskin; a vast, redwood-lined bathroom and dressing room with a soaking tub in front of a tall window; and a generous terrace. The outdoor pool is heated and open 24 hours a day. The health center and spa offer a full range of treatments, steam and sauna rooms, exercise equipment, classes, and trainers. The restaurant serves all meals. Free shuttles take guests to Teton Village, dropping them off at the Amangani's VIP lounge (with ski lockers and other amenities) near the Bridger Gondola. Rooms, $675-$1,000. At 1535 N.E. Butte Rd.; 734-7333; fax 734-7332; www.amanresorts.com.
Rusty Parrot Lodge The most distinguished in-town lodging: snug and comfortable, with a superb staff. Inside the classic timbered lodge are 31 rooms with rustic, handcrafted furnishings and goose-down comforters; some have fireplaces and double-sized Jacuzzis. A full breakfast (included) is served in the lobby near a snapping fire in the river-rock hearth. On-site is The Body Sage day spa. Rooms, $275-$500. At 175 N. Jackson St.; 733-2000; fax 733-5566; www.rustyparrot.com.
The Grill at the Amangani Shares the hotel's can't-miss design and views. Agreeable American regional fare but can't compete with the best restaurants downtown. Dinner, $100-$150. At 1535 N.E. Butte Rd.; 734-7333.
Snake River Grill The default choice for locals, with a cheering interior done to Ralph Lauren-esque perfection. The menu stresses fresh and organic ingredients, down to the inevitable venison and trout entrées, well-prepared and served with aplomb. Dinner, $80. At 84 E. Broadway; 733-0557.
Restaurant Terroir A soothing contemporary, banquetted space that seems to have been imported from SoHo. The chef changes the menu to take advantage of whatever is freshest or in season. A typical dinner might include marinara soup with spaghetti squash, followed by veal short ribs with Marsala mashed potatoes and sautéed greens. Dinner, $70. At 45 S. Glenwood St.; 739-2500.
Old Yellowstone Garage A break from Jackson's Western Eclectic fare. The menu includes superb Italian comfort classics like eggplant parmigiana and odes to ambition like organic pork chops with apricot mustard and pancetta-wrapped fennel. Dinner, $60. At 175 Center St.; 734-6161.
Koshu A sleek wine bar serving inventive Asian fusion, sake by the glass, and the sort of eccentric wines you'd expect from a boîte attached to the town's dominant wine store. Try the whole—head and all—deep-fried catfish with citrus dipping sauce. Dinner, $50. At 200 W. Broadway; 733-5283.
Billy's Giant Hamburgers No visit is complete without stopping by to watch the cook labor over the half-pound house specialty as "Freebird" blasts away. Dinner, $12. At 55 N. Cache St.; 733-3279.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort The tram ends atop 10,450-foot Rendezvous Mountain in solidly expert terrain. For nonexperts, a day of varied skiing on intermediate to advanced runs can be accomplished using the Bridger Gondola and the midmountain Casper Bowl chairlift. Finish with a top-to-bottom schuss on Gros Ventre. For beginners: lots of good trails off the Tweeinot chairlift. Plus: ski school, childcare, 11 miles of groomed Nordic track, guided backcountry skiing for experts. Lift tickets, $30-$59. In Teton Village; 733-2292.
Grand Targhee An intimate, manageable mountain, with excellent terrain for skiers of all abilities. The Shoshone Quad serves a suite of runs for beginners. Large swaths are left ungroomed to take advantage of frequent powder dumps. A second, smaller mountain, reserved for experts, has a new lift, or skiers can be transported to the peak via Snow Cat. Lift tickets, $29-$47. On Ski Hill Rd.; 800-827-4433.
Snow King Resort Jackson's original ski mountain features day and night skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing, all within walking distance of the town square. Lift tickets, $22-$32. At 400 E. Snow King Ave.; 800-522-5464.
Spring Creek Nordic Center Nine miles of groomed, double-tracked trail skiing and guided ski tours of Grand Teton National Park. Rentals, instruction. Trail fees, $5-$8. At 1800 Spirit Dance Rd.; 733-1004.
Teton Mountaineering Serious ski and climbing gear and clothing from purveyors like The North Face and Patagonia. At 170 N. Cache St.; 733-9740.
Mill Valley Sheepskin & Leather Co. Fine leathers such as shearling from Spain and Italy and Entrefino lambskin characterize the beautifully tailored coats, shirts, and accessories that have been sold here since 1981. At 172 Center St.; 739-1790.
Wild Turkey Boutique High-end womenswear like Craig Taylor, Fabrizio, Forte cashmere—a hit with fashion-conscious locals. At 35 W. Deloney St.; 733-4719.
Jackson Hole Hat Co. Paul and Marilyn Hartman's custom creations—beaver-felt beadeds, shady bradys, classic cowboys—are world-famous, and rightly so. At 245 N. Glenwood St.; 733-7687.
ElkHorn Designs Custom-designed high-end Old West lamps, furniture, and accessories, proof that an antler chandelier can be tasteful. At 165 N. Center St.; 733-4655.
Two Grey Hills Indian Art Outstanding Navajo textiles, Hopi and Zuni jewelry, kachina dolls, and other one-of-a-kind Native American art and artifacts. Corner of Broadway and King St.; 800-700-2671.
Mangy Moose The place to toast the day's last run at J-Hole, with postcard views, a happening crowd, and a decent kitchen. Dinner, $40. In Teton Village; 733-4913.
The Great Outdoors
The Hole Hiking Experience Naturalist and ace guide Cathy Shill will take you on an exhilarating and edifying backcountry snowshoe tour of Bridger-Teton and Targhee national forests. Pickup, drop-off, snowshoes, and snacks included. Half day, $45-$60; full day, $65-$85. 690-4453.
National Elk Refuge From December through March up to 12,000 elk winter at this preserve just outside Jackson. Hire a horse-drawn sleigh to see the beasts up close, or observe them through telescopes inside the excellent National Museum of Wildlife Art, across Highway 89. Museum: 2820 Rungius Rd.; 733-5771. Sleigh rides: $12 (tickets sold at museum); 732-5426.
About This Guide
Prices In U.S. dollars.
Disclaimer: The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication in January 2002, but we suggest you confirm all details with the service establishments before making travel plans.