Is Grand Targhee the Best Ski Resort in the USA?

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Me enjoying the deep powder and “free refills” that Targhee is famous for.

I have to admit, I’m a bit biased because I had such a fantastic time at Grand Targhee. Emilie and I met some fantastic people there. Our hosts, local ski pros Max and Gary Mackenzie, and their friends were super hospitable and easy to work with. The snow was great. The food was good. And the people (it’s our job to interview strangers on the hill, so we meet a lot of people) were the friendliest we’ve met on the tour.

That’s all fine and dandy, you might say, but how does it stack up to bigger, better-known hills like Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley?

Here’s how it compares.  

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Grand Targhee Micro Guide

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In our quest to visit some of the best ski resorts in the western U.S. to decipher which will provide the best vacation experience for skiers and snowboarders like you, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve been interviewing locals, taking photos of local skiers and boarders tearing up their hometown hill, and then stuffing all the information we gather into these multi-media micro guides.  The video contains the core information, which is expanded on below with a written summary and location addresses and maps.

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Grand Targhee Powder Porn

After our time at Jackson Hole, Emilie and I headed to Grand Targhee.

Grand Targhee has amazing snow. The hill receives more than 500 inches of dry, light, Teton snow every year. If you don’t believe me, just ask a local.

I met up with a few local pros: snowboarder Amber Nelson and free skiers (and brothers) Gary and Max Mackenzie. They were awesome. They showed me the hill, took me hiking to some awesome hard-to-reach spots, and did some amazing riding for me to shoot. They even shot a few photos of me riding.

It was an epic two days. Good snow and great people. This is one hill I’ll be returning to soon.

Grand Targhee Ski Photo 01

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Is Jackson Hole the Best Resort in the USA?

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A friend I made on the chairlift hucking off the first cliff we could find

Jackson Hole is an epic mountain, there’s no question about it. It was even crowned the best ski resort in the USA two years in a row by Christopher Steiner in his top five list for Forbes. Not being trusting of lists that are based purely on statistics (as Steiner’s is), Emilie and I visited Jackson Hole in mid-December to test out our new gear judge for ourselves whether the hill actually offers the best skiing experience in America.

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Jackson Hole Powder Porn

Last week Emilie and I were fortunate to arrive in Jackson Hole for two days of skiing and snowboarding in the middle of an epic storm. Jackson Hole was buried in snow. Now I understand why the locals love it so much.

It was mostly a white-out, so it wasn’t great for photography, but the snow was amazing!

I also met a lot of locals who I managed to snap some good photos when the weather allowed for it. Here they are.

Jackson Hole Powder Porn 01
The first person I met was a guy named Brian who lived in Taos. This was one of the first photos we took.

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Some Extremely Serious Gear

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Finding the best ski resort in the western United States is a serious job. We’re going to have to do a lot of skiing and snowboarding, interview a lot of people, take a lot of photos and videos, and upload a large number of said photos to Facebook and Twitter to make sure our friends are sufficiently jealous.

We’re taking this job very seriously.

Serious people doing serious jobs require serious equipement. Below is a list of the most important gear that we’re taking with us. Click on the name of any piece of gear for more information about it.

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