There is winter – the sparkly scenes from magazine spreads – and then there is winter – the long, deep freeze that cloaks Jackson Hole. As serious as winter is around here, locals make the most of the snowy season by being serious about their pastimes. While downhill skiing often steals the spotlight, a host of activities make the Tetons a winter wonderland. Whether donning ice skates or sipping Belgian hot chocolate, winter-lovers know where to find cozy camaraderie amid the cold.
With snow, the valley becomes a playground of winter sports. The trails snaking through public land become tracks for Nordic skiing. Weekly grooming of Cache Creek and the Snake River dike allows for the speed of skate skiing or the serenity of classic. Or venture into Grand Teton National Park for a more natural experience.
Snow, for some, may signal the end of cycling season, but intrepid bicyclists make the burly transition to fatbikes come winter. Try out the beefy treads on the same forest trails that skiers enjoy (sharing means caring).
For family fun, head downtown to the Town Square. As soon as temps drop below zero, the western corner of the square becomes a skating rink open to all (conveniently, rent skates on site). Pop music and night lights make it a fun evening excursion for families.
After so much activity, take solace in spectating: Jackson Hole is home to a show-stopping hockey team. The Jackson Hole Moose Hockey Club plays nearly every weekend to the delight of the loyal local audience. Check out the schedule here.
The sporty life in Jackson Hole knows no limits.
Beat the shivers by retreating inside restaurants. From fireside dining to dishes designed with warmth in mind, a plethora of places make winter the season of edible delights.
Daytime activities should always end with a delectable cup of Persephone Bakery’s hot chocolate – a rich soup of molten Belgian chocolate topped with a house-made marshmallow (vanilla or peppermint). On the same sweet note, the warm chocolate soufflé (doused in Grand Marnier anglaise) at Snake River Grill is the perfect way to cap an elegant fireside dinner. Channel the coziness of a campfire at Trio with its s’more, a wood-oven roasted house-made marshmallow atop a graham cracker-crusted brownie.
Always skipping to dessert, savory standouts include the Napoletana-style pizzas of Pizzeria Caldera, the ever-changing menu of Gather, the carnivorous cornucopia of Local, the cabin-eclectic fare of Sweetwater Café, the stylish South Asian scene at The Indian, the award-winning nanobrews at Thai Me Up, the modern Mexican of Hatch, the creative rolls at King Sushi, and the wine-bar bites of Bin 22. No matter the appetite, Teton restaurants guarantee memorable meals made all the more magical by the sparkling scene outside.