Instead of skiing at Jackson Hole, cross the Grand Tetons to Grand Targhee
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see. And all that he could see was snow—acres and acres of fluffy, dry, sparkling Western snow. Grand Targhee (Alta, Wyo.; 800/827-4433; grandtarghee.com; three-night ski-and-lodging package for four $688), a homey resort on the opposite side of the Tetons from happening Jackson Hole, gets little attention from travelers, but lots from Mother Nature: at least 500 inches of powder fall every winter.
That makes for exceptional back-country skiing and snowboarding, accessed via Sno-Cat. But this mom-and- pop place isn’t just for trailblazers: there’s the Eyeball Forest for beginners; two terrain parks; and plenty of runs unlikely to wreck anyone’s knees. Plus, Grand Targhee lets kids under 14 hit the slopes for free if their family is staying at one of the three base village lodges. Après-ski, there’s outdoor skating, sleigh rides, and bingo nights—plus the action in Jackson, just an hour’s drive away.
Badger Pass (209/372-4386; badgerpass.com; lift tickets, adults $38, kids $15). This classic ski area, California’s oldest, is located in Yosemite National Park. Stay trailside at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls (559/253-5635; yosemite park.com; doubles from $109), or 45 minutes away at the spectacular Ahwahnee Hotel (559/253-5635; yosemitepark.com; doubles from $439).Save a day for animal tracking in the giant sequoias.
Mountainside Lodging: from $420
Full-day lift tickets (adult/child): $79/$39
Day at kids’ ski school: from $130
Grand Targhee Resort
Mountainside Lodging: from $29
Full-day lift tickets (adult/child): $59/$36
Day at kids’ ski school: $85