advertisement

Grand Teton compares to Yellowstone somewhat the way a Generation X snowboarder compares to an old ski patrol graybeard: It's younger, flashier, and closer to the bars. The Tetons are a young mountain range in geologic time, and Grand Teton is a young national park, on the rolls in its present form since 1950; Yellowstone, by comparison, dates from 1872. And whereas the geysers of Yellowstone are a pretty long drive from anywhere, you can come off a climb at Grand Teton and be in a posh Jackson eatery 20 minutes after you hit the valley floor.

That's not a knock on Grand Teton National Park. Jackson, after all, is a spiffy resort town with a little cowboy still in it. And within the park's borders are beautiful lakes and rivers, wildlife galore, and lots of recreational opportunities. In the summer, you can climb, hike, boat, balloon, backpack, raft, bird-watch, and fish. In winter, the park and nearby resorts become a magnet for skiers of every style and skill level. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is upgrading furiously to keep its status as a premier national skier's destination, and its neighbor on the west side of the mountain, Grand Targhee, has some of the best powder in the Rockies.