The Grand Targhee resort has struggled at times, changing ownership, wheeling and dealing with federal land managers, and sparring with local conservationists over expansion plans and real-estate development. None of that affects the snow, however, which is terrific. Or the deep, forgiving powder from November through spring (more than 500 in. annually), and a more peaceful, less-crowded village that provides a worthy alternative to Teton Village. Many skiers break up a Jackson ski trip by driving over Teton Pass for a day or two on these slopes.
This may also be a better place for less-aggressive skiers. There is a beginner's powder area and hundreds of acres of wide-open powder slopes for intermediates and other cruisers. You can take a high-speed quad to the adjacent Peaked Mountain and ski in thigh-deep, untracked snow. A problem you might encounter is, oddly enough, fog. Now and then the mountain gets socked in with gray moisture, forcing skiers to ski below the thick blanket. The Lost Groomer Chute, a run that takes full advantage of the weather moving west to east, will provide the most insatiable powder hound with enough dust.
Here are a few of the other treats at Targhee: You can ride a sleigh on a starlit evening to a round-table dinner in a snow-buried yurt; your kids can enroll in the Powder Scouts program, which gives kids ages 6 to 12 a full day of instruction, food, and skiing for $128, rental included; and a spa offers everything from massage to an herbal body wrap, along with hot tubs, sauna, exercise room, and heated outdoor pool. Lodging is available at several slopeside hostelries; double rooms start at $139 during regular ski season.