Details: Jackson Hole, Wyo.
GETTING THERE: American, Delta, Northwest and United serve Jackson Hole, Wyo. All flights from the D.C. area involve at least one stop. Round-trip fares in January start at $342 and rise in February.
GETTING AROUND: I opted against renting a car due to the ample airport transportation and free shuttle from my motel to the resort. Even if your lodging is off the shuttle route, public buses run from town to the mountain for $3 each way.
Alltrans (800-443-6133, www.jacksonholealltrans.com) runs taxis to and from the airport, and around the general area. Rates from the airport to town are $14 one way, and to Teton Village/ Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, $21 one way. Alltrans also serves nearby Grand Targhee ski resort and Yellowstone National Park.
A few car rental agencies operate from the Jackson Hole airport, with January rates from around $100 per week. Dollar Rent a Car operates from the town of Jackson, with January rates from $90 per week.
WHERE TO STAY: All of the following lodging options -- except the Hostel X and the Four Seasons -- can be booked through Jackson Hole Central Reservations (800-443-6931, www.jacksonholewy.com/jackson-hole-lodging-w.php).
The Antler Inn (43 W. Pearl, 307-733-2535, www.antlerinn.com), near the town center of Jackson, has doubles with full bath starting at $58 a night in January; rooms with fireplaces are $80. Other budget lodgings include the Cowboy Village Log Cabin Resort (120 S. Flat Creek Dr., 800-962-4988), with cabins including kitchenettes, from $78; and the Forty-Niner Inn and Suites (330 W. Pearl, 800-451-2980), with doubles from $83, including continental breakfast.
A more upscale option in town is the historic Wort Hotel (Glenwood and Broadway, 800-322-2727, www.worthotel.com), which houses the Old West Silver Dollar bar and grill, with doubles from $225, including breakfast.
Most lodging in Teton Village, at the base of the ski mountain, tend toward pricey, but there are some good deals. The Alpenhof Lodge (3255 W. Village Dr., 800-732-3244, www.alpenhoflodge.com), with a four-star restaurant, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, masseuse and other amenities, has special January rates on doubles from $125 (rates normally start at $250). The Best Western Inn at Jackson Hole (3345 W. Village Dr., 800- 842-7666, www.innatjh.com), also steps from the slopes, has deluxe king rooms from $163 in January.
The Four Seasons (7680 Granite Loop Rd., 307-732-5000, www.fourseasons.com), at the base of the ski mountain, offers natural wood and stone touches in spacious rooms, with private balconies and mountain views, for $475 per night. One budget property at the base of Jackson Hole, by the tram, is Hostel X (3315 McCollister Dr., 307-733-3415, www.hostelx.com). Very basic rooms have private bath and housekeeping service, but little else. Rates are $55 per night for one to two people, and $68 per night for three to four.
WHERE TO EAT: Built in a refurbished home, the Blue Lion (160 N. Millward St., Jackson) serves creative American cuisine, with seafood, meat, poultry and pasta dishes in a pleasant atmosphere. Try the Idaho red trout ($19.50) and the Santa Fe duck cakes appetizer ($9). Other Jackson spots include Rendezvous Bistro (380 S. Broadway), which serves an out-of-this-world meatloaf ($14) and excellent grilled salmon ($15). You might have to wait for a table, but the bar is abuzz and has a decent wine list. The Snake River Brewing Co. (265 S. Millward) has wood-fired pizza ($9-$11), salads and more, plus a host of award-wining beers (try Custer's Last Ale).
SKIING/SNOWBOARDING: Lift tickets are $67 Dec. 18-24, Jan. 3-April 3 ($69 in high season during the holiday) with multi-day discounts available. This year, Jackson Hole is offering the backcountry camp Jan. 8-10, Feb. 4-6 and March 4-6. Cost is $545, including lift tickets. Details: www.jacksonhole.com/info/ski.ac.backcountry.asp.
INFORMATION: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 888-333-7766, www.jacksonhole.com. Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, 307-733- 3316, www.jacksonholechamber.com/chamber/index.php. The Grand Teton Park & Jackson Hole Visitors Guide Web site (www.jacksonholewy.net.) has information on lodging, dining, trans- portation, shopping, activities and more.
-- John Briley