Chilling in Jackson Hole

By Sam Wilson - December 18, 2019

There’s more to this winter ski resort than powder

On arriving in Jackson, Wyoming, the first clue that you are a long way from the Hamptons is at the airport, where rental options include a car and a canister of “bear spray.” For the Hamptons-dweller whose notion of co-existing with wildlife involves making one’s peace with deer in the garden, the concept of bear safety may register as a shock. Such a person might enjoy learning about this corner of Wyoming’s natural wonders from the comfort of a museum, especially in winter, when the mountains are covered with snow. Yes, we know you’ve come for the skiing, but there are plenty of other cold-weather attractions in the Jackson Hole area, too. So when you need time away from the slopes, here’s where to get an education in wild things:

How better to tell the story of wildlife than through art? That’s the premise of Jackson’s National Museum of Wildlife Art. Highlights of the 5,000-piece strong permanent collection include works by John James Audubon, Georgia O’Keefe, Thomas Moran, and Robert Bateman.
Get up close and personal with Rocky Mountain bighorns via a guided viewing tour led by experts at the Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center in Dubois, Wyoming. Weighing in at over three hundred pounds, bighorns are the largest wild sheep in North America. Tours run from November to March and last three to four hours.
Migrating elk are a wondrous sight. One way to see them is on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge, a winter shelter for the Jackson Elk herd. Sleighs traverse the refuge from mid-December through early April, and at any given time sharp-eyed visitors might spot bison, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and wolves. Tickets are available at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. For more information, visit
Mush through Grand Teton National Park in the snow. Continental Divide Dogsled Adventures offers dogsled tours of the greater Yellowstone area from November to April. Under the guidance of Iditarod veteran Billy Snodgrass, the company can also teach you how to drive your own sled with a little help from its team of Alaskan racing huskies.
Fancy an aerial adventure? Hop on the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram. From Teton Village, the tram ascends 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. When you pause to catch your breath, you’ll take in sweeping views of the Tetons, Snake River, and Grand Teton National Park.
Say hello to a raptor. The Teton Raptor Center arranges meet-and-greets throughout the year at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center.

The Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Teton Village is an excellent perch from which to exploring the area. In addition to the usual luxe amenities, it offers ski packages.
Located at the base of Jackson Mountain, the Snake River Lodge & Spa isn’t quite as posh as its neighbor, The Four Seasons, but it’s a comfortable bolt-hole with an indoor pool, a fitness room with mountain views, and a cushy spa. The lodge also has a full-service ski valet and an outdoor adventure concierge.

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