Wyoming's Backcountry Beckons

Photo courtesy of Jim Surrette / Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
The eight mountain ranges surrounding Jackson, Wyoming, are big. Think 10,000-feet-plus, 400-inches-of-snow-a-year and thousands-of-acres-of-protected-backcountry big. This was more than enough to suit pro skier Kit DesLauriers, 38, who moved up from Telluride, Colorado nine years ago (and skied off the summit of Mount Everest in 2006). "I've definitely evolved my style to match the scale here," she says. "The terrain is phenomenal, and so accessible."

Just a few miles outside Jackson, prime off-piste routes can be found steps from the blacktop. And come February, once the major winter storms have blasted through, the powder is at its peak and the sun is starting to shine. Cruise Grand Teton National Park by car or dogsled, or even skirt the park's borders on a day trip out of Jackson Hole. In western Wyoming swapping the groomed runs of luxe resorts for the trackless Teton wilds is effortless--and far easier than skiing off Everest.

Your Four-day Plan


Day 1
Pack an avalanche transceiver, or better still, go guided along the epic open bowls of Teton Pass. Rendezvous Backcountry Tours leads small groups down the 2,000-foot drops. Get knee-deep in powder, then head to Grand Targhee Resort, where lodges sit right on the slopes.

Day 2
If the freestyle runs of Targhee's twin peaks don't sate, boarders can rip the advanced flats and rails in its three terrain parks. Steer south for views into the gaping Grand Canyon of the Snake River then loop back to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a 3,000-foot gondola ride to the ultrachic Couloir Restaurant.

Day 3
In the first week of February check out Shaun White carving like crazy during the Quiksilver Natural Selection, then test your game in Jackson's 3,000-plus backcountry acres. After snowboarding 12,000 vertical feet by day, catch the moonrise at eco-friendly Hotel Terra.

Day 4
Block out some time in Grand Teton National Park for a dogsled sprint across the Antelope Flats with Iditarod racer Billy Snodgrass. Top it off with a hearty meal and an overnight in a log cabin--that's plenty of park in 24 hours.

The Pit Stops


DO: Rendezvous Backcountry Tours one-day Teton Pass tour ($225; skithetetons.com); Grand Targhee Resort ($41 half-day pass; grandtarghee.com); Jackson Hole Mountain Resort one-day guided backcountry tour ($560 for a group of three; jacksonhole.com); Grand Teton National Park ($5 entrance fee; nps.gov/grte); Continental Divide Dogsled Adventures half-day Togwotee Mountain Lodge tour ($145; dogsledadventures.com)

SLEEP: Grand Targhee Resort's Teewinot Lodge ($160; grandtarghee.com); Hotel Terra ($400; hotelterrajacksonhole.com); Dornans in Moose, Wyoming ($125 for a one-bedroom cabin; dornans.com)

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