Grand Targhee Ski Resort
Grand Targhee Ski Resort is a great place to practice and improve powder skiing, Skiing in deep powder can scare even relatively advanced skiers and snowboarders. Snow as deep or deeper than the knees requires slightly different movements, balance, mentality, and even equipment, than you use on the average groomed trail. For this reason, most resorts choose to groom down the powder on all but the steepest runs within hours of a snowfall. At Grand Targhee Ski Resort, they let some deep powder sit on even some of the gentlest slopes.
Grand Targhee Ski Resort gets an awful lot of snow: an annual average of 500 inches. Its location on the backside of the Teton Mountains, far from any large body of water, means that this is generally gorgeous dry powder, like the champagne powder you get at Snowbird, Alta, and other Utah ski resorts.
The five lifts at Grand Targhee Ski Resort service about 2,000 skiable acres. Experts will want to explore the other 1,000 skiable acres serviced by snowcats. Ten skiers and a guide head up in each snowcat to ski Grand Targhee's Peaked Mountain. The longest backcountry run is over three miles and the area includes some great glades and bowls. Experts will also want to try the Good the Bad and the Ugly glades skiers right off the Dreamcatcher lift.
You don't have to like powder to ski Grand Targhee, but it helps - only about a third of the runs are groomed. Intermediates should rent some wide powder skis and practice their turns on the many blue runs at Grand Targhee Resort. Sacajawea and Dreamcatcher lifts both have some nice descents, with some opportunities for tree skiing between the trails.
Grand Targhee Resort is probably not the best mountain for first time skiers. There is a small learning area near the base serviced by a magic carpet, but beyond that there are not many ungroomed bunny slopes. Novice snowboarders fare better at Grand Targhee, because all the snow makes for soft landings and the wide boards are better suited to deep snow. Beginners should come to ski Grand Targhee if they want to improve their powder skills. The runs at Grand Targhee are not particularly steep; they are just often knee deep in snow.
There are not too many hotel rooms at Grand Targhee Ski Resort and its isolated location makes it fairly sleepy at night. Visitors who value a good après ski scene and want more to do off the slopes should consider staying at Jackson, about 40 miles to the east. That way you could also visit Jackson Hole Ski Resort. After a trip to ski Grand Targhee, its more famous neighbor may disappoint you: Grand Targhee gets about twice as much snow.
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