When we first visited Jackson in the early 1990s, you went for its gnarly mountain, shedloads of snow and big vertical - simple as that. It had few facilities at the base or on the mountain, and an antiquated lift system.
Now, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Jackson has a modern (though still inadequate) cable car, a gondola, three fast chairs serving easy and intermediate terrain, a bunch of upscale hotels at the base, two table-service restaurants on the mountain - and many more beginners, intermediates and families around as a result. Some old hands hate the changes; we love them. Now, we get the best of both worlds - superb snowy steeps on the one hand, decent lunches and stylish lodgings on the other.
The town of Jackson, with its wooden sidewalks, cowboy saloons and pool halls, sits on the edge of Jackson Hole - a high, flat valley surrounded by mountain ranges in Wyoming. Jackson gets many more visitors in summer than in winter, thanks to the nearby national parks. The slopes are a short drive away. At the base is Teton Village, which has developed a lot over the past few years, with an increased choice of bars, restaurants and hotels - some notably upscale.
A popular excursion by car or daily bus is over the Teton Pass to the smaller resort of Grand Targhee, which gets even more snow. Read the Rest of the West intro.