skidrew

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How's this drive in the winter? Thinking of flying into Jackson, ski a bit there, and then drive up to Big Sky for more. Figure late March for this . . .
 

blah

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Don't know about the drive, but late March is most likely a little too late in the season for the goods in jackson.
 

Tricia

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We’ve driven to Jackson then Big Sky with @Philpug @FairToMiddlin @JayT a few years ago
IIRC the drive was fine and we had great snow. It was during the same time of year that Your talking about
 

wyowindrunner

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Drive part of this frequently commuting for work and part of it going to Targhee. The hill north of Ashton and the flats between Henry's Lake below Targhee pass before W.Yellowstone can get a little iced due to windblown snow but the roads are kept open fairly well. The road thru the park to Big Sky is usually pretty good. They keep they snow off but it can get iced up. Usually the only problems are some one going too fast and putting it in the ditch. The pics were taken coming from Bozeman about 10+/- ?miles north of Big Sky. This guy in some trouble- ruptured diesel fuel tanks- on the right side of the road is the Gallatin river. The Montana fish and game boys were there along with the cops. Folks I talked to said the driver was trying to pass people and generally driving like a fool- guess those imported goods couldn't wait to get to the Chinese outlet store. If I remember correctly it took over two hours from the time I got there for the road to open again. Kinda screwed up a good powder morning. The other thing to watch for are the Buffalo's north of W. Yellowstone. The HiPo's were escorting a few down the road when my son came thru a couple weeks back- they are kinda like the wind- go where they want when they want!

BSky tj.JPG WM TK.JPG
 

TonyC

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Don't know about the drive, but late March is most likely a little too late in the season for the goods in Jackson.
Yes, I would spend most if not all of that trip in Targhee and Big Sky. Those areas have some sun exposure issues too, but average ski terrain elevation is much higher and in particular most of the south facing at Big Sky is 2,500 feet higher than the comparable terrain at Jackson. Also the Moonlight side of Big Sky is nearly all north facing, likely retaining winter snow.

Anecdotal comments about someone's random trip do not override the consistent effect of late March sun upon steep south facing terrain. I also stopped by Jackson and Targhee for a day on the way to a NASJA meeting in Big Sky in late March 2001. One day in Jackson was enough.
 

wyowindrunner

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Yes, I would spend most if not all of that trip in Targhee and Big Sky. Those areas have some sun exposure issues too, but average ski terrain elevation is much higher and in particular most of the south facing at Big Sky is 2,500 feet higher than the comparable terrain at Jackson. Also the Moonlight side of Big Sky is nearly all north facing, likely retaining winter snow.

Anecdotal comments about someone's random trip do not override the consistent effect of late March sun upon steep south facing terrain. I also stopped by Jackson and Targhee for a day on the way to a NASJA meeting in Big Sky in late March 2001. One day in Jackson was enough.
Some of Targhee has southern exposure but the Headwall/South side of Chief Joes bowl stays good, especially in the trees. Yes Jackson can get pretty gloppy and sticky. The stuff at Big Sky on the Thunder Wolf lift can get pretty soft and chunked up too. Heard that they are charging a bunch to park at Jackson now?
 

JayT

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We’ve driven to Jackson then Big Sky with @Philpug @FairToMiddlin @JayT a few years ago
IIRC the drive was fine and we had great snow. It was during the same time of year that Your talking about
That damn cop in Idaho said there weren't any freeways in the state over 55mph (I was going 65 while in the right lane behind a bus!). 10 minutes later... we see a 65mph sign. I still don't get why he lied about it?
 

Living Proof

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We did a round-trip drive from Jackson to Big Sky several years ago, and, it was done in later part of March. The drive is pretty straightforward, but, as mentioned above, avoid driving in windy conditions. The road twists and rises/dips quite a bit, and, is very rural. Just give it the respect is deserves, and, you should be fine. We did encounter a road block due to buffalo crossing while in the Park, very interesting.
Would also agree that the skiing in JH and Big Sky can be in melt/refreeze conditions, you can't control the weather, just hope the skiing is good.
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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Thanks all . . . sounds like what I have to worry about is snow in Jackson. I realized that from previous posts on that . . . may not do it (would start in Jackson because my daughter is on a trip there and would pick her up - figured we could try a day or two at JH first).
 

TonyC

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my daughter is on a trip there and would pick her up
She can opine when you arrive whether its worth staying in Jackson vs. moving on.
The stuff at Big Sky on the Thunder Wolf lift can get pretty soft and chunked up too.
Yes Thunder Wolf was slop on that late March trip, but Marx/Lenin/Dictators up high were winter snow the first 2 days, softened nicely the third day. On our last day we got a tour of the Yellowstone Club. It was overcast and we heard that the south side of Lone Peak was refrozen and closed. So I consider myself lucky with Big Sky on that trip.

Targhee was all winter snow on the March road trip as it was overcast and must have been that way since it last snowed. I have seen melt/freeze at Targhee on sunny days, so I was lucky on that one too.
 

Rio

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The drive between Driggs and Big Sky is fine as long as the wind isn't blowing hard. If the winds blowing and it has snowed recently the stretch between Ashton and Driggs can get huge drifts and even blockages. Once on Highway 12 the road is usually clear but visibility can be poor due to blowing snow until you get to West Yellowstone. I try to avoid driving it at night if its windy.

Another problem with driving at night is there are few amenities along the way. Be sure to gas up and load up with food and drink in Driggs if you're driving late.
 
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