Several people have died in avalanches on Taylor (all on the prominent East Face). Skiing it should not be taken lightly. That written, there are some south-facing trees that are on some locals' list of green-light places for days when avy danger is rated to be "considerable."
What Makes It Great
There's a treacherous log bridge to cross if you follow the skin track heading directly north from the parking lot. Instead, clamber up the snowbank on the parking lot's west side. There's a bridge over the creek here. The two tracks meet up in about 200 meters. There is a bootpack up the southwestern arm. We're more familiar with the skin track up the southeastern arm. This track is often annoying as it makes it ways up through the trees at the bottom--if it's not steep then it has an abundance of switchbacks--but it improves the higher you get.
As you ascend this track, you'll be cutting across open glades that you can choose to ski on the way down. On bad weather days and days with high avy danger, we like this track because it offers the choice of not going all the way to the summit. At any point as you're skinning up this track, you can stop, transition, and ski down through areas that are mostly treed. Climbing the southwestern arm, if you want to ski the peak's southern or eastern aspects, you have to go to the summit. The 400 feet heading south immediately below the summit can be slide-y.
If we're feeling at all sketchy about the snowpack, we stop below here--there are plenty of areas to safely transition--and start our trip down. If we're looking to do multiple laps, this is also a nice transition point. We usually do laps between here and the top of the deadfall-y section at the bottom. This makes for 2,000-foot runs. If you have the chance to go all the way to the summit, you should.
If you're feeling good about the conditions and want to go for the East Face, the most obvious feature as you approach Taylor from Jackson, don't expect to lap it. We've never seen a skin track going back up from the bottom. While it is one of the most aesthetic areas on Taylor, a East Face run is shorter than if you were to ski the south side. The bottom of the East Face is higher up Coal Creek and you end up being on the out track for longer. Our recommendation? First do a lap on the south and then end your day with an East Face run.
Who is Going to Love It
If you're looking for a view, Taylor's is one of the most beautiful summits around. Taylor is only the 935th highest peak in the state, but its views rate much higher. Look north from the top and you can see the Grand. The Snake River Range stretches out to the south.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
On the western side of Teton Pass, 10,351-foot Taylor is accessed from the Coal Creek trailhead.
Before doing any backcountry skiing in Jackson Hole, we recommend you check in with the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center. The center issues area-specific reports and advisories by 7 a.m. daily during the ski season.