So you’ve heard about Jackson Hole’s legendary terrain and are ready to see it for yourself.
Now you just have to get there!
This guide will share everything you need to know about getting to Jackson Hole.
Even better, since I’m not affiliated with any local airports, travel boards, or shuttle services, you will get an honest pros and cons of all your options!
Happy travel planning!
- Where is Jackson Hole Mountain Resort?
- Option 1: Flying in Jackson Hole (JAC)
- Option 2: Flying into Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Option 3: Flying into Idaho Falls (IDA)
- Do you need a car in Jackson Hole?
- Final Thoughts
Where is Jackson Hole Mountain Resort?
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located in Jackson, Wyoming. Jackson sits on the far eastern side of Wyoming, about 10 miles from the Wyoming/Idaho border.
(It’s also right on the border of Grand Teton National Park and a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park.)
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)
The most obvious way to get to Jackson Hole is to fly directly into the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC).
The airport receives direct flights from a dozen different terminals around the country. Here’s a recent winter flight map:
Location-wise, JAC is one of the most conveniently located ski airports in the country. The airport is an easy 10-15 minute drive to the town of Jackson, and about 35 minutes to the mountain village (Teton Village).
Of course, everything comes with tradeoffs.
The first is that flights to JAC usually aren’t cheap. And the second is that due to its location near the mountains and their winter snowstorms, JAC is actually one of the diciest airports in the country. In SlopeLab’s article about the best and worst skiing airports, JAC saw an eyepopping 8.06% of winter flights either cancelled or diverted. Put another way, that means 1 out of every 12.4 winter trips to JAC will have serious travel complications.
The lesson here: if you plan on flying into JAC, make sure your travel plans are flexible!
Option 2: Flying into Salt Lake City (SLC)
The second popular option is to fly into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).
This is the closest international airport to Jackson Hole, with a wider variety of flights at cheaper options. Plus, flights to SLC in the winter are about 2.5 times less likely to have major problems than flights into Jackson’s airport.
That said, this choice means you’re on the hook for a long drive.
How far is Salt Lake City from Jackson Hole?
Driving from Salt Lake City airport to Jackson Hole, Wyoming is approximately 300 miles through the Utah/Idaho/Wyoming countryside, which takes about 5 hours in good weather.
Driving to Jackson Hole from Salt Lake City (A Warning)
If you plan on driving from SLC to Jackson Hole, the map makes the distance obvious. But what might not so obvious is that you have a few different options, and neither route is a cake walk.
- Option 1: I-15 to Teton Pass – This is the most common path, although Google seems to recommend it less these days. It’s pretty much a straight shot along I-15 from SLC to Idaho Falls, before veering off to 26 and heading over Teton Pass, one of the steepest and most avalanche prone roads in the country. 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 longer section of 2-lane highway driving, with more time spent on twistier mountain roads.
- Option 3: I-80 to Evanston, Wyoming – This is the route usually take by people coming from Park City, but includes longer Wyoming roads which aren’t regularly maintained. It’s not uncommon to come across snowy road conditions, even on clear weather days.
If it’s snowing, all three options can get stressful. And in really bad weather, the highways can and do close down completely.
While I’ve done these routes before, it’s certainly not something I’d be looking forward to doing again.
I also wouldn’t feel comfortable taking them on without AWD or 4×4, which is something rental car companies rarely guarantee.
Shuttles from SLC to Jackson Hole
If all that sounds a little stressful, you might prefer to outsource the driving entirely.
There’s a few different shuttle and bus companies that will pick you up at the Salt Lake Airport and drop you off in Jackson.
Prices usually cost $50-80 each way.
P.S. – If you’re coming from Salt Lake City, you might want to check out SlopeLab’s Jackson Hole vs. Snowbird comparison.
Option 3: Flying into Idaho Falls (IDA)
One often overlooked option is the Idaho Falls Regional Airport.
At just a little over two hours from Jackson Hole, this option cuts down your drive time significantly, at least compared to SLC.
Because it’s a regional airport, finding flights into IDA can be tough and may depend on where you’re coming from. The drive will still involve Teton Pass, which is steep, legitimate mountain driving. And during winter months, IDA sees a flight diversion/cancellation of 6%, making it just barely better than JAC (8%) yet still 13th worrst overall in the SlopeLab study of ski airports.
Do you need a car in Jackson Hole?
With all this talk about shuttles, you might be wondering if you need a car for getting around Jackson Hole.
The answer is actually no.
If you’re hoping to go car-less on your ski vacation, Jackson Hole is an easy place to make that happen.
The resort has a convenient shuttle bus called the START bus, short for Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit. START regularly runs from the town of Jackson to the mountain village. (The one exception being those staying in the mountain village… the START bus stops running pretty early in the evening, which can make trips from the village to town either inconvenient or impossible.)
Alternatively, many of the local hotels in the area offer a free shuttle to the mountain for lodging guests. The most notable might be the Town Square Inns collection of hotels, which include four prominent locations around town.
Overall, how you get to Jackson Hole is a matter of personal preference.
In good weather, any option should be smooth sailing. But during winter, your decision depends on a few factors.
- If you’re not on a budget and your travel plans are flexible, I’d probably fly into JAC.
- For those on a budget, SLC is a good option. And if you don’t mind winter driving, you can rent a car and make the 5 hour drive from SLC to Jackson yourself. If you’d prefer to be a passenger, then I’d look into shuttle options from Salt Lake City to Jackson.
- And for a bit of a compromise between the two options, it’s worth checking the flights to Idaho Falls (IDA).
In any case, good luck and enjoy one of the best ski resorts in the country!