Guide to Gaper Day in Jackson Hole

Put on your goofiest costume and buckle up, because this is one celebration you won't want to miss!

Step into the wild and wacky world of Gaper Day in Jackson Hole, where skiing and snowboarding become a silly spectacle. This eccentric tradition, originating from the dynamic ski culture of the 1980s and 1990s, paints the slopes with a palette of outrageous fashion and endless laughter. Whether it's the first time you’ve heard of Gaper Day or you’re a seasoned attendee, we've put together a guide to help you celebrate Gaper Day 2024.

When is Gaper Day?

Gaper Day typically takes place on April Fool's Day (April 1st), infusing a playful spirit into the ski season. This unofficial holiday often coincides with the Rendezvous Festival, creating an energetic atmosphere of celebration and merriment both on and off the slopes.

What is a Gaper?

Within the skiing and snowboarding community, a "gaper" is a novice on the slopes. Gaper is also an acronym that means, "Guaranteed Accident Prone on Every Run." In addition to being called a gaper, newcomers to the slopes might also hear themselves referred to as a Jerry, Joey, or even a Gorb. This light-hearted teasing led to the ski industry's launch of the Gaper Gap or Gorby Gap campaign, highlighting the crucial need for properly fitted helmets to avoid gaps between goggles and helmet brims.

History of Gaper Day

The colorful history of Gaper Day dates back to the vibrant ski scene of the 1980s and 1990s, where the tradition of skiing in jeans on the last day of the season, often April 1st, became known as “Ski in Jeans Day.” According to the Whistler Museum, in 1996, jeans gave way to a kaleidoscope of retro outfits and costumes, and the event officially transitioned into Gaper Day, a time for skiers and snowboarders to unleash their creative flair and embrace the spirit of silliness.

Ways to Participate

  • Get creative with your outfit! People wear anything you can think of including jeans, shorts and speedos, neon wigs, costumes, and retro ski gear.
  • Gather your crew and hit the slopes together for a day packed with laughter and adventure—because when it comes to Gaper Day, the more, the merrier!
  • Shred the slopes! Gaper Day is a chance for skiers and snowboarders to try funny moves and swap out their usual gear.
  • Enjoy a zany après ski. After the slopes close for the day head into town to continue the festivities (in costume, of course!) at popular Jackson Hole bars.

Plan Your Trip for Gaper Day 2024

Visiting from out of town for Gaper Day? Book your stay at one of our conveniently located properties to be within walking distance of Jackson Hole’s top attractions.