Two ski towns face off.
This filthy-rich ski town has had its eye on Bozeman for a while now, and it’s high time we settled this feud. Is it worth the drive? Time to find out.
Davey Edward Jackson was just some 19th century trapper from Virginia who drove the local beaver population into the ground. If it weren’t for him, our favorite Wyoming ski destination would probably be called Beaver Hole—which would’ve been awesome, as beavers are proud, industrious animals. Good ol’ Johnny Bozeman laid out the plans for our mountain town and guided its early development, truly earning the right to name it after himself. And he died in a shroud of mystery, shot dead either by Indians, a jealous husband, or a greedy business partner—way cooler than beaver-boy’s sickly demise in a Tennessee living room.
Big Sky’s groomers may be great for beginners, and the Tram offers some serious steeps; but damn near half of Jackson gets a bone-crushing black diamond or two—plus J.H. has the undeniable allure of the vast, rugged, and hitchhikable Teton Pass backcountry. Just like that tattooed barista who rides the motorcycle: there’s something sexy about danger.
Edge: Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole is one of those special places where most residents have more money than sense. If you prefer silicone injections, diamond rings worth more than your mortgage, and Teacup Chihuahuas that eat better than an Ale Works patron, come on down. That isn’t to say there aren’t haves and have-nots here, but the line isn’t quite as stark.
Backyard National Park
The mountaineering in the Grand Tetons is nice, but can you really be proud of a park named after sweater puppets? And while Yellowstone is interactive, it’ll inevitably explode and take a huge chunk of North America with it. Hard to call this one.
After a few epic multiday, near-death rafting trips on the Snake or Salmon rivers, a drunken float down the Madison on your leaking River Rat will never quite feel the same.
Edge: Jackson Hole
Local Outdoor Publication
Though you can’t fault them for trying, Jackson Hole Magazine is nothing compared to the compendium of wit, wisdom, insight, stunning photography, and impeccable editing you currently hold in your hands. And those lazy bums only publish two issues a year? We win this one by two points.
Score: 4 to 2. Winner: Bozeman! It looked close there for a while, but Montana’s finest pulled ahead and kicked the Cowboy State’s gem to the curb.