The Magic of Yellowstone in the Winter

Posted by admin in General on January 28th, 2015 1:03 pm

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Yellowstone National Park. Working in the park after college really happened by accident. It was intended to be but a slight detour, a brief summer fling with Mother Nature, for this east coast urban dweller. However, living in the heart of Yellowstone changes one’s life in so many ways, making it nearly impossible to return to life as we once knew it. That stint in Yellowstone led to Victor, Idaho, and the Tetons, undoubtedly the most spectacular & unspoiled mountains in North America. I was smitten, still am. My story is not unique; it’s played over and over again by countless others in search of adventures in the Wild West.

Most of the staff at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa shares the same resume. Their stories vary, but basically, they’re here because they love this rich, rugged, and stunning environment. Their expertise and enthusiasm about this Yellowstone-Teton region proves time and time again to be an extra bonus for our guests as they’re excited to share a roadmap for adventure designed for our guests’ personal preferences. And now that Teton Springs is a Natural Retreats property, you can simply dial one number and instantly be talking to a concierge who will take one’s mountain vacation into high gear.

Another common thread in my resume is my love for beautiful hotels. In Yellowstone I had the pleasure of working at the Lake Hotel. This Grande Dame first opened in 1891 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, guaranteeing that future generations will also enjoy this treasure. Now, my heart belongs to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, and while it’s only been serving guests since 2007, and thus not quite ready for the history books, it’s equally as captivating.

Travelers anxious to sample the countless things to do in our vast region arrive primarily during the summer months. I get that. For many of our guests, the attraction is Teton Springs Resort’s world-class Headwaters Golf Course, with its 360 degree mountain views and lakes teeming with native trout.

For others who land in eastern Idaho, it’s the extraordinary fly fishing that’s the main attraction. The South Fork Lodge, a sister to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, is headquartered on the banks of the South Fork River, believed my many to hold the key to the best dry fly fishing in North America. No argument there.

And for others, the lure is a combination of the above, coupled with some of the incomparable outdoor recreation in the lower 48; hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, music festivals, and the list goes on and on and on…

So, it’s easy to understand why there’s such an influx of visitors to this glorious playground when the sun-kissed days seem almost endless. I’d also venture to guess that just about everyone poking around in the Tetons throughout the summer has at least a one day trip planned for Yellowstone. Viewing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat is worth the price of admission and then some. And, to take the guess work out of finding the best nooks and crannies to insure an encounter with a majestic moose, towering elk, or an elusive grizzly, it’s smart to book a Wildlife Safari with our partners Brushbuck Tours.

However, to truly lose oneself in the splendor of Yellowstone, I would suggest a winter trip. A guided snowmobile trip into our nation’s first national park on the back of a sled is like a magical mystery tour; you never know what’s around the next bend. It’s also a very intimate way to experience Old Faithful and an abundance of other less famous, but equally as striking steaming geysers. And be ready for the ultimate Kodak moments as you’ll often find yourself literally face to face with the bison that share the snowpack roadways.

I am always struck by the stark beauty and almost eerie stillness of the park when it’s blanketed with snow and the roadways are closed to all vehicles (except for snow coaches and snowmobiles of course). The National Park service limits the number of sleds entering the park each day, allowing for an abundance of solitude and a sereneness that’s challenging to experience on summer excursions when cars, motor homes & campers fill the roads. Yellowstone’s character is altered dramatically with the changing of the seasons, but one thing is constant, it always fills one with awe.

Our Natural Retreats experts are standing on alert and will take care of all trip essentials; reserving your top-of-the-line lodge suite or maybe a custom Hand Picked Log Home, and they’ll set you up on your Yellowstone discovery mission with our partners at Teton Valley Adventures. This local Teton Valley company is all about the service, and familiar with every twist and turn of Yellowstone. They’ll pick you up at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, and you’ll travel north on eastern Idaho’s most scenic highway, from Victor to the west entrance of Yellowstone Park. You can also book a private tour, just you, your family and friends, and the bison of course.

There’s simply no place on earth like our Yellowstone-Teton territory in winter!

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Bragging Rights Well Deserved at Teton Springs Lodge

Posted by admin in Driggs Restaurants, Family Winter Vacation Ideas on January 13th, 2015 4:18 pm

Well, it’s official. Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole just surpassed 200 inches of snow for this winter ski and snowboard season, and we’re just getting started. It’s especially striking when you consider many Rocky Mountain resorts are still looking to push their total to 100: year-to-date total of the white gold. It appears that once again both of these Wyoming areas, with the Grand Teton Mountains as their spectacular backdrop, will leave most of their North American competitors in the dust, the white fluffy dust that consistently defines this Yellowstone-Teton region.

These fabulous conditions make it especially challenging for our guests at Teton Springs to decide what activity to sample on any given day. Not such a bad problem to have. With the snow filled Big Hole Mountains flanking the west side of Teton Valley, and the frosty Tetons rising from the valley floor on the east, all winter activities are in full bloom. That also includes the ultimate in winter sports indulgences – heli skiing. Any day now the folks from High Mountain Heli Skiing will be onsite at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, standing at attention and ready to personally escort our guests to the waiting chopper. But first, a word to the wise. With great snow comes equally as great demand. Don’t be left standing on the flats with powder boards in hand, reserve your heli seat sooner than later.

Unlike most heli ski operations in the lower 48, at Teton Springs there’s no schlepping for miles by car to reach your personal chariot with wings. Here in the heart of Victor, Idaho, you’re literally steps from the launching pad, whether you’re relaxing in a sumptuous Lodge Suite, or in one of the luxurious Handpicked Homes, the 3, 4 & 5 bedroom dwellings that totally redefine one’s vision of the “log cabin.” In fact, you can watch the whirlybird land while you’re savoring the last sips of a Starbucks vanilla latte in the Lodge’s Storehouse, the resort’s new gathering spot.

Located on the ground floor of the lodge, and just steps from your accommodations, the Storehouse is a warm & cozy café featuring the hearty breakfast items you’ll need to fuel your next outing and dinner is served following an exhilarating day exploring this magnificent region.

And while we’re on the subject of what’s new and exciting at Teton Springs. The Outfitters also just enjoyed a grand opening in the Lodge and features just the gear and accessories you’ll need to tackle any outdoor adventure in style and comfort. A sampling of the brand names you’ll find in this retail store includes Mountain Hardware, Smith Sport Optics, Chums and Hydroflask. You can also rent your snowshoes at the Outfitters for that trek into the adjoining Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

It’s tough to take a break from the thrill of sliding downhill or simply playing in the snow, but there are other experiences to pursue, more of the sensory type. This doesn’t mean we have to forgo a day in the most beautiful mountains that surround Teton Springs, it simply means having a different kind of thrill, or even better yet, a chill day in the Stillwaters Spa & Salonn. During the month of January, feel yourself sink into a deep relaxation with a complimentary Hot Stone Foot Massage! Yes, it’s absolutely FREE when you book a luxurious 90 Minute Massage. How do you think this combo will feel after a day tackling the slopes?!

There’s also no time like the present to finally figure out the mysteries and magic of Yoga, with a private Yoga class no less, and coupled with a glorious 60 minute massage. This stretch, breathe & relax special would be a particularly fun outing with friends or family but the spa staff is happy to accommodate individual bookings as well. It’s no secret that a daily dose of Yoga is just as important as eating our fruits and vegetables, and that the best athletes in the world have Yoga at the top of their daily “to do” list. The Stillwaters Sap staff will get you started in style. Classes for the more advanced Yoga practitioner available as well.

If you still have a spring in your step after ripping the pow in the Tetons, be sure to check out the top notch accommodations in the two other world-class winter destinations operated by Natural Retreats, Taos, New Mexico and Winter Park Colorado. Winter never felt so good.

We look forward to welcoming you to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, a Natural Retreats property.

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An Exciting New Year on the Horizon at Teton Springs

Posted by admin in Family Winter Vacation Ideas on December 31st, 2014 12:02 pm

This holiday season at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, the classy hotel that some would rightly consider the Grande Dame of the delightful Teton Springs Resort, there is plenty to be both grateful for, and excited about. Of course, when you live in Teton Valley, or have plans to visit this glorious place during the holiday season, the gauge that more or less measures the general mood, and peoples actual mental state, is determined by how much snow blankets our neighboring ski mountains. It’s why we’re here and we’ve been apply rewarded thru the years; we don’t accept mediocre conditions very well. We don’t have to.

The Snow is Out of This World – Grand Targhee and Teton Village

Grand Targhee, our home resort, opened to rave reviews pre Thanksgiving and basically never looked back. Jackson Hole, the Wyoming giant just 40 minutes or so from Teton Springs in the other direction, is also posting big numbers on their snow stake. Both areas are indeed in North America’s exclusive club, the one that doesn’t accept many members, the few that ultimately will report over 500″ of total snowfall before the winter season is over. This is chest thumping snow and we’re right in the thick of it, and so it appears once again, that our guests have chosen the optimum winter vacation destination. It’s like getting something extra in your Christmas stocking.

Speaking of Christmas. It appears that lots of us are getting smarter when it comes to what we give and receive this holiday season. In speaking to friends & family, there seems to be less of the stuff we really don’t need under the tree this year, or for that matter, even want. As we get older, our expectations change, and hopefully we become a tad more practical. It’s usually not the wall-to-wall gifts that give us the most pleasure but rather spending time with loved ones. Any maybe, regardless of whether we’ve been naughty or nice, be on the receiving end of that one special item, a gift definitely worth giving and receiving.

Heli Skiing – Soar Over the Teton Mountains

Our resort guests seem to echo this sentiment. One particular family staying in a beautiful Handpicked Home during this festive season is literally skipping with joy. I’d skip too, jump up and down and even do cart wheels if a heli ski trip had my name on it. The matriarch of this clan decided to forego the usual frenzy and frustration normally associated with Christmas shopping. She decided to make it simple, asking herself: what would my kids enjoy more than anything? It’s not complicated. I guess I just never thought to ask Santa for a whirly bird powder trip into the wild and wonderful Teton Mountains.

Along with constant snow flurries, something else is in the air at Teton Springs, and that’s excitement. With a new year on the horizon, it’s impossible not to reflect on the significant changes that have been swirling about Teton Springs over the last 8 months or so, both for the Lodge & Spa and the Headwaters Golf Club. In April we announced a new operating agreement with Natural Retreats, a global leisure travel company that offers extraordinary experiences in the most spectacular settings worldwide.

South Fork Snake River Fly Fishing – It Doesn’t Get Any Better

Natural Retreats even gave us a sister, a neighbor we have always admired – the spectacular South Fork Lodge, located on Idaho’s most scenic and world-famous fly fishing Mecca, the South Fork River. With Natural Retreats at the helm, our guests will enjoy unprecedented access to 65 miles of private access to the South Fork, but also new and planned services and amenities for everyone who visits this Yellowstone-Teton region. Corporate gatherings, brides and grooms, families; virtually everyone will feel and experience the dynamics of the “new” Teton Springs Lodge & Spa.

For starters, the Lodge just announced the GRAND OPENING of the “STOREHOUSE,” an intimate & warm café just steps from the Guest Check-In desk.

Now open 7 days a week:

  • 7:30am to 11:00am – serving breakfast and proudly serving Starbucks coffee and specialty drinks.
  • 3:00pm to 8:00pm – Serving a light dinner (soups, chili, Panini’s and an extensive wine list and full bar).

And to ring in the New Year, Join us this Wednesday evening December 31st for a New Year’s Eve Happy Hour from 4-8pm with ½ off Appetizers.

And, that’s just the beginning! The Headwaters Club also has new proprietors. An organization called the Hero Partners recently purchased this unforgettable course set in the Northern Rockies most spectacular setting (and let’s not forget about the unique 9 hole Par 3 course as well). Honestly, it’s hard to fathom how anyone could make any physical improvements to this Byron Nelson designed masterpiece but I have a strong suspicion that this organization will indeed try.

By all appearances it’s just how they do things, and their company’s moniker, Hero Partners, is not a name intended to stroke this organization’s ego. It’s simply paying tribute to an entrepreneurial imagination & spirit that they feel is our nation’s economic backbone.

However some things won’t change with new folks at the helm and that’s the uncompromising commitment to provide personalized service, and genuine western hospitality, to everyone who chooses Teton Springs as their vacation destination.

The future shines bright at Teton Springs. Happy New Year!

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