When it comes to skiing in Wyoming, everyone will talk about Jackson Hole and its crazy runs and terrain, and rightly so. However, just on the other side of the Teton Mountains lays Grand Targhee, one of the best-kept secrets in the state. See, while Jackson Hole has the terrain, Grand Targhee gets the powder. It lies on the western side of the Tetons, which means it gets the Pacific storms that travel inland while they still carry all that sweet moisture. That moisture, of course, translates directly into powder. So much, that Grand Targhee regularly gets over 500 inches (12.7 meters) of snow each year.
A Broad Overview of the Targhee
Terrain-wise, Grand Targhee offers 2600 acres of skiing with an additional 600 open for cat skiing. There are 95 total named trails (11 of which are in the cat ski boundary) spread out over Grand Targhee. Of these, 10 percent are novice, 70 percent are advanced, and 15 percent are considered expert or higher. Of course, these are all relative to Grand Targhee, not to other mountains.
The resort covers two mountains for skiing, Fred’s Mountain and Peaked Mountain. Fred’s features a summit elevation of 9862 feet with a vertical of 2176 feet. Fred’s is serviced by three chair lifts and one surface lift (one high-speed quad, one standard quad, and one standard double). Fred’s also has the longest trail at the resort, Teton Vista Traverse. This long looping cruiser starts at the top of the peak and takes a meandering path past some of the more treacherous slopes including the double black diamond drops and some wicked chutes.
Peaked Mountain is reserved for advanced skiers. There’s only one lift, Sacajawea, a high-speed quad chair that leads to a drop off point about 3/4 up the mountain. More adventurous skiers can climb higher to experience the double black diamond runs, Pink Slip, Bobcat, Reliable, Toilet Bowl, and Das Boat. From the drop off point, the vertical at Peaked is 2180 feet, and the fastest run is Bird Woman straight down. If you’re looking for some glade skiing, Wachabe Woods will lead you through some of the steepest glades in the region.
Grand Targhee is a great resort for skiers of all ability levels. There are steeps and chutes for advanced skiers, glades for intermediate skiers, and gently sloped cruisers for novices. Grand Targhee is also hardly ever crowded. Combined with the two high-speed quad lifts, there’s never a long wait to get up the mountain. If you want some great trails and fresh powder without the resort crowds, Grand Targhee is a great place to be.