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Three Perfect Days: Jackson Hole

In this former cattle ranching capital, the West is still as wild as ever, but that doesn’t mean every meal needs to be prepared over a campfire

Author Sam Polcer Photography Sam Polcer

Fishing guide Boots Allen demonstrates how to hook a trout in the chilly Snake River

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“WHY DON’T WYOMING DRIVERS USE turn signals?” quipped Wyoming Senate President Jim Anderson a while back. “Because it’s nobody’s darn business where they’re going.”

People in Wyoming, the least populous and 10th largest state in the Union, need their space. Always have. The independent streak Anderson referred to is what drove 19th-century trappers, ranchers and homesteaders through perilous mountain passes to settle Jackson Hole—the name given to a 48-mile-long valley that straddles the Snake River, south of Yellowstone National Park. That fierce determination to go it alone has defined the area ever since.

Ironically, it’s the elements that have kept this place isolated for so long—the rugged terrain, the remote location—that have made Jackson Hole such a draw for outsiders. The area is, quite simply, an adventure wonderland waiting to be discovered. Think dogsled teams padding toward hidden hot springs; rivers full of trout wending past snowdrifts; the majestic Teton Range looming, well, majestically.

But there is an array of less rugged attractions, too. In the town of Jackson, a slew of swanky restaurants and retailers have set up shop in recent years, while the Teton Village ski base has also seen a proliferation of luxury accommodation, dining and shopping options, along with a significant upgrade of nearby skiing facilities.

Tying it all together is an authentic cowboy aesthetic and head-in-the-clouds topography—all of which gives visitors the feeling that they, like the pioneers before them, have happened across something special. Who wouldn’t want it all to themselves?

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2 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Jackson Hole”

  1. david yashar 1K Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 2:04 am

    reading this months magazine, I came across an advertising regarding beaver comforters…can somebody please forward me the web site for that company. certainly would appreciate it.

  2. Joseph Paine Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I have been living on the West Bank of the Snake river for 3 years now and am an annual 100+ day skier at JHMR. My Mother pulled a Hemisphere mag off her plane to show me the article about my home.

    Sam you did a good job writing about what you know, luxurious amenities, but pretty much blew it writing about things you don’t know, namely hardcore ski culture and the infamous Jackson Hole Air Force.

    You should have encouraged everyone to buy the movie “SwiftxSilentxDeep” and probably should have watched it yourself. Aside from the video, Jackson Hole Air Force gear is not for sale at any shop anywhere in the valley. You also can’t show up and “try for an Air Force patch” unless you show up and dont leave for 10 years, skiing extremes beyond anything you’ve ever imagined, and not being a jackass. Its not about how hard you go, its about how hard you go and who you are as a person.

    Kudos to you for finding that picture of Wild Bill Bowen dropping into S&S in his denim though. That was far and away the best part of the article. I am clipping it for the Hostel employee kitchen refrigerator door.

    Also, you got the actual height of the mountain wrong by 400 ft. The actual height is 10,450 not 10,927 – wherever that number came from. To your credit though, Wikipedia says its over 12,000 which is waaaayyyy off. Thank God you didnt go with that number.

    Also, Wyoming Whiskey is garbage and that editor at Whisky Mag was either paid off or just very drunk. Have you ever heard of a 3 year bourbon? I never had until WyoWhiskey rushed their whole process and put out that godawful young batch. Id rather drink moonshine… and I frequently do. 3 year bourbon is a joke, quite frankly.

    I respect the fact that you wanted to mention the Air Force (which I am not a member of), I just felt obligated to point out some rather glaring false information in your article. Despite the obvious fact that your readership, the folks who can afford to eat at all the amazing restaurants you reviewed and stay in the posh 4 Seasons, will neither notice or care!

    Sincerely,
    Joseph Paine
    HostelX Housekeeping / Professional dirtbag skier

    Ski fast. Take chances.

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