Low temperatures, black-diamond runs, remote location, and an intimidating vertical drop haven't scared skiers away from Jackson Hole -- this is what attracts them. The two largest ski resorts in the area have been expanding, putting in faster chairs, and eliminating long waits in lift lines. The quality of snow on the mountain can vary, but skiers who seek challenges will not be disappointed. All resorts are open daily.
With five Nordic centers and a couple of national parks at your feet, plus the 3.5-million-acre Bridger-Teton National Forest, cross-country skiers have plenty of choices. If you're new to cross-country skiing on any level, you might choose to start on the groomed, level trails at one of the Nordic centers. If, however, you have experience in the steep, deep powder of untracked wilderness, visit or call the National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park (tel. 307/739-3300; www.nps.gov/grte) or the Bridger-Teton National Forest in downtown Jackson at 340 N. Cache St. (tel. 307/739-5500; www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf), and check in before you go.
The local ski shops are excellent sources of unofficial advice about the area's backcountry. Keep in mind that many of the trails used by cross-country skiers are also used by snowmobiles. For those seeking instruction, lessons are available at the Nordic centers, or you can check the schedule of Teton Parks and Recreation (tel. 307/733-5056; www.tetonwyo.org/parks), which takes visitors on various cross-country ski outings from mid-December to mid-March, weather permitting.
The Jackson Hole Nordic Center, 7658 Teewinot St., Teton Village (tel. 307/733-2292; www.jacksonhole.com), on the flats just east of Teton Village, is a small part of the giant facility that also includes some of the best downhill skiing around . Trail passes ($14) allow access to 11 miles of groomed trails. Teton Pines Cross Country Skiing Center (tel. 800/238-2223 or 307/733-1005; www.tetonpines.com) has 7.5 miles of groomed trails that wind over the resort's golf course. At Grand Targhee (tel. 800/827-4433 or 307/353-2300; www.grandtarghee.com), you can rent or buy anything you need in the way of equipment and take off on the resort's 9.3 miles of groomed trails.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.