How to Get to Jackson Hole (Unbiased Pros and Cons):
After hearing about it, you’re eager to see Jackson Hole’s fabled landscape.
All you need to do now is arrive!
You will find all the information you need to get to Jackson Hole in this guide.
Better still, you will get an unbiased analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each choice since I have no affiliation with any nearby airports, travel agencies, or shuttle services!
Happy travel planning!
Where is Jackson Hole Mountain Resort?
Jackson, Wyoming, is home to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Jackson is around ten miles from the Wyoming/Idaho border on Wyoming’s extreme east coast.
(It’s also a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park and directly on the Grand Teton National Park boundary.)
In good weather*, drive times are as follows:
- Jackson, Wyoming to Jackson Hole: 30 minutes.
- Idaho Falls to Jackson Hole: 2 hours.
- Bozeman, Montana to Jackson Hole: 4.5 hours.
- Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jackson Hole: 5 hours.
*Winter driving times can be very different! Read on for a deeper look into your options!
Option 1: Flying in Jackson Hole (JAC):
Flying straight into Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is the most apparent method to get to Jackson Hole.
There are direct flights to the airport from twelve different terminals nationwide.
Regarding location, JAC is among the nation’s most ideal ski airports. The mountain hamlet (Teton hamlet) is around 35 minutes from the airport, and Jackson Town can be reached in ten to fifteen minutes by car.
Everything has trade-offs, of course.
First off, airfares to JAC are often not inexpensive. The second is that JAC is one of the country’s iciest airports because of its proximity to the mountains and winter snowstorms. According to SlopeLab’s post comparing the best and worst airports for skiing, JAC had an astounding 8.06% of winter flights being canceled or diverted. To put it another way, this implies that there will be significant travel issues on 1 in every 12.4 winter journeys to JAC.
This lesson is to have flexible travel arrangements if you want to fly into JAC!
Option 2: Flying into Salt Lake City (SLC):
Flying into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is the second most often-used alternative.
This is the nearest international airport to Jackson Hole, offering more affordable travel choices and a more extensive selection of flights. Furthermore, compared to flights into Jackson’s airport, flights to SLC in the winter are almost 2.5 times less likely to have serious issues.
Nevertheless, making this decision will require a lengthy journey.
How far is Salt Lake City from Jackson Hole?
In excellent weather, the about 300-mile drive from the Salt Lake City airport to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, takes around 5 hours, passing through the scenic regions of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
Driving to Jackson Hole from Salt Lake City (A Warning):
The chart shows the distance from SLC to Jackson Hole if you intend to drive there. However, it may take some time to be apparent that you have a few alternatives, none of which are accessible.
- Option 1: I-15 to Teton Pass: This is the most common path, although Google recommends it less nowadays. It’s a straight shot along I-15 from SLC to Idaho Falls before veering to 26 and heading over Teton Pass, one of the country’s steepest and most avalanche-prone roads. Translation: This is usually an easy drive for the first 4+ hours, although the last leg can be a little hairy.
- Option 2: Through Soda Springs: A sleepier route with a more extended section of 2-lane highway driving, with more time spent on twistier mountain roads.
- Option 3: I-80 to Evanston, Wyoming: People usually take this route from Park City, but it includes longer Wyoming roads that must be regularly maintained. It’s common to come across snowy road conditions, even on clear weather days.
All three of these possibilities may be stressful when it’s snowing. Additionally, the roadways may and often do entirely shut during poor weather.
Even though I’ve already completed these routes, I wouldn’t look forward to meeting them again.
It’s unusual for rental vehicle companies to guarantee AWD or 4×4. So I wouldn’t feel confident taking them on without them.
Shuttles from SLC to Jackson Hole:
Should all of that seem overwhelming, you may outsource the driving completely.
Shuttle and bus companies may drop you off in Jackson at the Salt Lake Airport.
The average fee range is $50 to $80 for each trip.
The quickest choice is Mountain State Express, but you’ll need to make transfers for Salt Lake Express and Greyhound buses, which might extend your trip time to about eight hours.
Option 3: Flying into Idaho Falls (IDA):
The Idaho Falls Regional Airport is one option that should be considered.
At least, as compared to SLC, this alternative drastically reduces your journey time since it is just a little more than two hours away from Jackson Hole.
Finding flights into IDA might be difficult since it’s a small airport, and your options may vary depending on your origin. Teton Pass—steep, authentic mountain driving—will still be a part of the route. Furthermore, in the SlopeLab analysis of ski airports, IDA has a 6% flight Diversion/cancellation rate during the winter, somewhat better than JAC’s (8%) but still ranks 13th worst worldwide.
Do you need a car in Jackson Hole?
With all the discussion about shuttles, you may wonder whether Jackson Hole needs a vehicle to get about.
This isn’t true in actuality.
In Jackson Hole, traveling without a car during your ski holiday is straightforward.
The Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit, or START bus, is a handy shuttle service offered by the resort. Regular service is provided by START between the mountain settlement and Jackson town. (Those staying in the mountain hamlet are the only exception; the START bus stops operating quite early in the evening, making journeys from the village to town difficult or impossible.)
As an alternative, many nearby hotels provide complimentary shuttle service to the mountain for its patrons. The most renowned may be the Town Square Inn chain of lodgings, which has four strategically located hotels across the town.
Ultimately, your route to Jackson Hole is entirely up to you.
It should be easy sailing with any choice in favorable weather. But in the cold, a few things influence your choice.
If you have flexible travel dates and are not on a tight budget, I would fly into JAC.
On a tight budget, SLC is a fantastic choice. Additionally, you may hire a vehicle and drive yourself the five hours from SLC to Jackson if you are okay with driving in the snow. I would check into shuttle possibilities from Salt Lake City to Jackson if you would rather be a passenger.
If you’re looking for a somewhat more moderate choice than the other two, consider looking into flights to Idaho Falls (IDA).
In any case, good luck and enjoy one of the best ski resorts in the country!
Travel safely, wherever you’re going, and wherever you get here. When you’re in Jackson, look for the helpful print version of Jackson Hole Traveler, which you can use as a guide at the airport and throughout the city. Enjoy a wonderful vacation!