driving from SLC to jackson? to big sky? - Page 2

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  1. #11
    not on max pass. big sky is the inexpensive choice. Jackson is the easiest to get to choice

    ~the stars turn, and a time presents itself~

  2. #12
    kingslug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KustyTheKlown View Post
    I'm going to Utah 12/15-23. even if this storm next week delivers, they still won't have very much terrain open. I have a rental car with unlimited mileage, and a 4-6 hour drive is nothing considering I do Vermont every weekend. my only concern is the driving conditions in a relatively shabby rental car. guaranteed 4wd is just prohibitively expensive.

    both routes look like they are predominantly flat, but each with some mountain passes towards the end of the drive.

    Jackson is closer, but not on my pass, and cheap lift tix are not available
    Big sky is an hour+ further, but is on my pass.

    I have cheap refundable accomodations in both locations

    what do we know about the roads involved here? anyone ever do these drives? @thetrailboss?
    looks like we have the same dilemma at the same time. Try to get a jeep with 4wd. Mountain passes are no fun. But the chain idea is good. Can't believe we even have to think about this. I've never missed in the last 5 years going at this time.
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  3. #13
    It really is absurdly expensive renting 4x4 out there. You may as well buy a crappy 4x4 beater on Craigslist for a few thousand if you're out there on a 10 day vacation.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  4. #14
    for real. I should buy an old jeep for $5k and sell it for $4800 on my last day.
    ~the stars turn, and a time presents itself~

  5. #15
    We skied Brighton/Solitude/JH/BS last Feb/Mar. Jackson is the best ski town, but unless you have a MC pass, very expensive. I would not do Teton Pass without a 4x4 or chains if any snow is on the road. But only need to do that if you are going from JH to BS. I doubt the good stuff at BS will be open mid-Dec and a lot of its terrain is pretty tame. Don't know if putting all the hours in to get there and back really makes sense. I might opt for staying put and just enjoying Solitude and Brighton, especially if Honeycomb Canyon is open. With the money you'd save on gas, you could also do Powder, which is supposed to be a lot of fun. Also, many more dining choices in SLC vs BS.

  6. #16
    look at the year to date snowfall and the weather. the skiing (which is the only important thing) will be awful in utah in mid-late december unless there are drastic changes immediately. approximately 0% chance honeycomb is open
    ~the stars turn, and a time presents itself~

  7. #17
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KustyTheKlown View Post
    I'm going to Utah 12/15-23. even if this storm next week delivers, they still won't have very much terrain open. I have a rental car with unlimited mileage, and a 4-6 hour drive is nothing considering I do Vermont every weekend. my only concern is the driving conditions in a relatively shabby rental car. guaranteed 4wd is just prohibitively expensive.

    both routes look like they are predominantly flat, but each with some mountain passes towards the end of the drive.

    Jackson is closer, but not on my pass, and cheap lift tix are not available
    Big sky is an hour+ further, but is on my pass.

    I have cheap refundable accomodations in both locations

    what do we know about the roads involved here? anyone ever do these drives? @thetrailboss?
    So I have not been to Big Sky...yet. The drive from SLC to Jackson Hole is pretty easy. Only concern would be weather. I suggest taking I-80 east to Green River, Wyoming then heading north. Be forewarned that there is NOTHING once you leave Green River until at least Cokeville. The route goes in and out of Utah and Wyoming before heading north and east outside of Bear Lake. You drive 89 north to Cokeville. That is a logical stop--gas, truck stop. From there it is a relatively easy drive up Star Valley (Smoot, Afton, Alpine) before you turn off and head up the Snake River Canyon to Hoback Junction. Just watch the weather. I have done it in about 4.5 hours.

    And if Jackson is too much (it is VERY expensive), go to Grand Targhee. Cheaper, laid back, easy to get to. Drive north on I-15 to Idaho Falls then head east to Driggs. Currently Grand Targhee is killing it--lots of snow.
    Last edited by thetrailboss; Nov 28, 2017 at 8:58 AM.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  8. #18
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
    Sun Valley is about 300 miles from SLC. They have a ton of snowmaking. I have not done the drive from SLC, but the skiing is big fun.
    Sun Valley is also another good option. Relatively easy drive, except for possibly bad weather at the Idaho border.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KustyTheKlown View Post
    not on max pass. big sky is the inexpensive choice. Jackson is the easiest to get to choice
    No, Jackson isn't "easiest" to get to. As trailboss mentioned, Targhee is easier to get to, less expensive too.

    If you're going for Jackson's reputation of gnarly terrain, those needs a lot of snow to open. Same for Big Sky too.

  10. #20
    I have been to all three. Targhee is too expensive to stay at, but their lift tickets are reasonable. I can stay in town of Jackson for $50 a night, but their lift tickets are wildly unreasonable. I can stay outside Big Sky for about $70 a night, and ski for free. I haven't looked closely at Sun Valley yet, but I know they don't have discount lift tix (no Mountain Collective resorts do). Sun Valley seems like the safest and easiest drive.

    As for the gnarly terrain - yes, I know, they need a lot of snow to open super steep and exposed stuff. Of course. But this is all relative. Jackson and Big Sky and Targhee all have an impressive early season base, even if they got rained on recently. Utah has quite literally NOTHING right now. absent a multiple foot blockbuster storm, the skiing in Utah will be substantially more boring than anything on offer further north.

    I don't mind driving in terms of time, at all. I log two 4-6 hour drives every single weekend to get to New England. My only concern is running into some gnarly driving conditions in a cheap ass rental car. I will beg for 4WD upgrade at the counter.
    ~the stars turn, and a time presents itself~

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