Teton Springs Lodge & Spa and South Fork Lodge

Posted by admin in Fly Fishing The Tetons, Golf Packages on June 11th, 2014 9:02 am

Teton Springs Lodge & Spa and South Fork Lodge Both Share a Unique Place in Yellowstone-Teton Country!

We’ve all watched, clutching our tissues, news stories about siblings separated at birth finally being reunited, sometimes decades later. Well, at the risk of sounding too hokey, Teton Springs Lodge & Spa in the heart of Victor’s Teton Springs Resort community has also found its true sister, South Fork Lodge.  And, here she was all along, practically in the neighborhood, and what a beauty she is. But that’s only the beginning of this story.

In recent months, Teton Springs Lodge joined an international luxury travel company called Natural Retreats. South Fork Lodge has enjoyed Natural Retreats status for a number of years, and when Teton Springs joined this family, it too became part of a collection of stunning destinations of coastal, countryside and wilderness locations around the globe. Natural Retreat’s primary mission is to provide guests with adventures in the world’s most pristine and spectacular settings, and paramount to their vision is to provide unparalleled guest service driven by a unique and personal concierge service. These folks leave nothing to chance when individuals, families or groups are planning a vacation to one of their properties located in the most beautiful places on this continent, or to some exotic destination in the United Kingdom, Ireland or Canary Islands.

Yes, Natural Retreats certainly has a knack for picking the winners! The splendor and variety of outdoor recreation unique to the Yellowstone-Teton region has drawn visitors to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa since 2007, when it became the only full-service, year-round resort in eastern Idaho. With the Byron Nelson designed Headwaters Golf Club as its anchor, the Lodge quickly gained a reputation for its quality accommodations, on-site activities, access to the area’s best recreation, proximity to two of the nation’s most revered national parks, full service Spa & Salon and an uncompromised commitment to their guests. Therefore, it didn’t take long for Teton Springs Lodge to become the jewel of Idaho and why U.S. News & World Report has named Teton Springs Lodge the “Best Hotel in Idaho” for the past three years.

Like all “sisters,” The South Fork Lodge and Teton Springs Lodge & Spa definitely share the same DNA on many fronts. One is location, location, location. South Fork Lodge, a scenic 25 minute drive away in Swan Valley, Idaho, sits perched on the bank of one of America’s most esteemed rivers, the South Fork of the Snake. Just the location itself, “Swan Valley,” instantly conjures up an idyllic image, and the setting for the South Fork Lodge is truly right out of a movie set. It’s a place where guests can literally dangle their feet in the river while savoring their morning coffee (which is Starbucks by the way.) Or, take in panoramic views of the South Fork while feasting on Chef Tony’s home cooked breakfast and dinner in the lovely Riverside Bar & Grill, where every seat has a million dollar view.

Undoubtedly each of these destinations shares a value for unspoiled settings. At Teton Springs one of the main attractions is the Headwaters Course, considered by many in the golf industry to be one of the best classically designed golf courses in the most stellar of Northern Rockies settings. The Teton and Big Hole Mountains and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest envelop the resort and the distractions can be an issue; there’s so much beauty to take in around every bend. At Teton Springs, it’s not simply a round of golf; it’s a virtual date with Mother Nature. However, for many visitors it’s also the opportunity for discovery and adventure, a chance to be actively engaged with the outdoors in the purest sense. Fly fishing is one way to be so engaged.

A day of fly fishing on the area’s rivers has always been a priority for many visiting Teton Springs, and now they’ll have the industry’s most experienced South Fork guides to lead the charge. South Fork Outfitters enjoy private access to a 65 mile stretch of the South Fork, armed with 34 guides on staff, each with impeccable training and many with time honored experience guiding on this massive waterway. In fact, a few of these guides have been rowing and spotting fish for so long that between the top tier guides, there is a staggering 80 years of pulling the oars on the South Fork between them. I know from fishing myself for many years that experience is paramount to success on the South Fork; I almost feel a little sorry for people fishing without these guys.

In addition to your fishing gear, be sure to pack the binoculars. Distractions on this guided trip also include some of the best bird watching in the Lower 48 as the South Fork is home to over 120 species of birds, including raptors. This corridor is also where mountain goats, black bears and even mountain lions roam, although I’ve never had the pleasure, but moose, deer and elk are often spotted dining on the banks.

If you’re splitting your stay between Teton Springs and the South Fork Lodge, choosing the right lodging for you could present a dilemma; there are simply too many choices. Both resorts can legitimately lay claim to offering the most comfortable yet luxurious accommodations in the entire region. Options include a suite in the Lodge or a 3, 4 or 5 bedroom custom luxury mountain log home on the Headwaters Golf Course at Teton Springs. Choices at South Fork include a rustic Fishermen’s Cabin, a deluxe suite overflowing with amenities, lovely Lodge rooms and even a 4 bedroom home. All sport unobstructed views of the South Fork, this wild and scenic river ranked as one of the best dry fisheries in the entire country.

Or, and this hands down would be my choice. After a day of landing the big browns and rainbows, opt for literally sleeping on the bank of the South Fork in a roomy tent on a comfy cot, where the only sound you’ll hear after a day of landing the big browns and rainbows is the river flowing by. Relax & swap lies while the staff prepares a delicious meal. Fish, eat, sleep – wake and do it all over again, with the Overnight Camp program.

Teton Springs Lodge & Spa & South Fork Lodge – truly a family affair!

For the ultimate rod-bending days on the river and other world-class activities, call Teton Springs Lodge @877.787.8757 and South Fork Lodge Natural Retreats Reservations and Concierge @ 434.202.4590 concierge@naturalretreats.com.

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This Wildlife Safari is All About The Animals

Posted by admin in Fly Fishing The Tetons, Golf Packages on May 28th, 2014 9:36 am

I was excited when invited along with staff at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa to take a Wildlife Safari with Brushbuck Guide Services. This Jackson Hole based company has been guiding our guests through Teton National Park and Yellowstone for years, and always to rave reviews. It’s not difficult to understand why our guests, from both this country and those from across the pond, are fanatical about seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s a thrill and not something most folks have easy access to in their own backyard. However, it’s easy to get a tad snobby about wildlife viewing when you live and play in Teton Valley. It’s practically a national past time here, and boy, do we love our critters. The thrill of seeing beautiful creatures stirs something in our imagination like nothing else can.

Teton Springs Resort sits adjacent to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and the furry forest inhabitants tend to drift onto our Headwaters Golf Course with some regularity. It’s not at all unusual to be teeing off on the 9th hole and have to hold up play while the resident moose strolls through. It’s a delay of game no one ever complains about. Both Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles are also playing companions, and I never tire of watching them perched on one of the cabins lining the golf course, or soaking up the sun on a fairway rock.

So our guests have their own version of a wildlife safari right here at Teton Springs. However, to almost guarantee you’ll get to see abundant wildlife in the most staggering of settings, the Brushbuck Wildlife Safari is highly recommended. With the Teton Mountains as your backdrop on this particular tour, you’ll often find yourself mesmerized by the peaks when you should be looking for moose, bear and wolves. The largest Peak, the Grand Teton, reaches into the sky over a mile high and you’re in its shadow for this entire excursion.

Yes, there are plenty of ooh’s and ahh’s on this tour bus starting with your first step into Brushbuck’s van. It’s deluxe, comfortable, well equipped with spotting scopes, binoculars, raingear and a terrific variety of snacks and drinks. And, the van is definitely custom built for wildlife viewing with its expanse of windows and easy on and off access when it’s time to hop off to check out the animals.

Two Naturalists, Duane & Patrick, were our Brushbuck hosts and what extraordinary wildlife guides they are. Both were gracious, accommodating and boy did they ever know their stuff. While capturing wildlife in their natural surroundings is the top priority on this trip, you’re also treated to an extensive lesson on the entire Yellowstone-Teton ecosystem. They enrich the tour by giving us a history of the area, its rich western culture filled with trappers, explorers and early Mormon settlers, the geology, every bird, bug and mammal that coexists here, what they eat, and how they survive this challenging winter climate. It’s all on the information menu
provided by the guides. Each question asked by a one of our group was answered eloquently by either Duane or Patrick; you simply couldn’t stump these guys. My head was spinning, in a good way.

 

The tour starts on Spring Gulch, a back road I’ve travelled a thousand times, a turn one makes right before you hit the main drag and hustle and bustle of Jackson Hole Wyoming. The van stopped quickly and our guides swiftly went into operation wildlife viewing mode, quickly pulling out powerful spotting scopes that made the animals come to life right before our eyes. On the hillside were the biggest elk I have ever seen, with racks swaddled in velvet. Guess I simply never looked up before when driving this back way to the Jackson Hole Airport and other off-the-beaten-path Wyoming destinations.

Next stop was the Gros Ventre River which flows into the mighty Snake River. We were looking for a bear feeding on a carcass that was spotted earlier that week by our guides. The bear had apparently moved on to greener pastures but the most spectacular Bald Eagle accommodated us with his presence on the river bank. He even hung around for pictures.

We drove deeper into the main attraction, Grand Teton National Park, home to a whopping 61 specifies of mammals, big and small. We watched a herd of buffalo make their way across the sage brush, a huge Pronghorn Antelope standing majestically on the horizon, more elk, white tailed deer, mule deer and a fox taking his leisure early evening stroll. We made a stop to check out a massive beaver lodge and one its inhabitants even popped out to say hello.

As dusk was settling in, I was afraid I wouldn’t fulfill my top priority of the trip, and that was seeing a grizzly bear up close and personal. The later it got, I was resigned and not a bit disappointed; it has been a glorious tour. As we drove along the Jenny and Jackson Lake Loop Road, multiple cars were stopped and that only means one thing in this area, WILDLIFE ALERT! Sure enough, a bear cub was in a tree a few hundred yards away and with our spotting scopes we were able to watch as the cub figured out how to safely reach ground. It was exciting, and a tad daunting, knowing mom was close by. It was also a tad eerie as the sound of the cub crying ferociously was the only sound filling the night sky.

We left without seeing momma bear but Duane and Patrick were not about to give up quite yet; we simply loaded up and parked about an eighth of a mile up the road. We were barely out of the van and mom showed her face. With the spotting scope drawing her in, the sight of her gave goose bumps to everyone on our tour. She was huge, fabulous, gorgeous and wild, and within minutes, she was out of our sight and as it turns out, too close for comfort. In an instant, there was a look on our guides’ faces that said, "back in the van now," which we all gladly complied with. This grizzly mom was virtually within steps of us, apparently curious about us too. It was the highlight of the trip and now almost dark. I didn’t get to see my most favorite mammal, the moose, but it was time to call it a day.

As Duane & Patrick dropped me off, I told them I’d be back with friends and family. I think next time I’ll take the early morning tour that Brushbuck offers, when the light is truly magnificent and the animals are just beginning to stir. I drove slowly over Teton Pass on my way home to Victor, knowing that deer and elk also travel this road at night, and lo and behold, near the top of the pass a monster Bull Moose was casually strolling in the drainage ditch. I swear he returned my gaze as I crept by ever so slowly.

Ah, my checklist was complete; it was truly a great day – thanks Brushbuck!

Call Guest Services at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, BY NATURAL RETREATS, to book your next vacation and don’t forget to schedule your wildlife tour, fly fishing expedition and more!

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Make This Mother’s Day Something Extra Special for the Woman in Your Life

Posted by admin in General on May 6th, 2014 10:39 am

May has always been my favorite month in Teton Valley. Green replaces white as our most prominent color, on the valley floor at least. It’s a welcomed transition from the glorious winter season, when daily activities are often dictated by the early morning powder alert. The month of May signals a fresh beginning, a time to dust off the mountain bike and begin to obsessively monitor yet another report, but this one is all about the fishing. However, hardcore skiers and boarders can still indulge their passion for sliding downhill by earning their turns with a simple hike up Teton Pass, or anywhere for that matter in the Tetons this season. Regardless of how addicted one is to the legendary powder plentiful in these parts November thru April, there’s nothing more satisfying than carving a big arc turn thru corn snow, with a texture as smooth and delicious as Idaho’s most famous mashed potatoes.

May is also extremely noteworthy for another reason. It’s a time to celebrate the women in our lives. While Mother’s Day is officially recognized but one day a year, hopefully this tribute to our moms, grand moms, wives, sisters, girlfriends, aunts, nieces, virtually anyone you share a maternal bond with, will linger long past one simple day designated on the calendar. Some cynics blame the greeting card giant Hallmark for creating this day of appreciation for those special women in our lives. It would have been a brilliant marketing move if they had, but they really can’t take the credit. This day in May has been around in some shape or form since the early 20th century, and while it has become decidedly more commercial, the relevance still shines through. Or it should.

Visit the Spa & Salon, Fly-fishing, the Range Dining and More

The folks at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, now a member of the Natural Retreats Family, have the perfect solution on how to step out of the box and make this Mother’s Day extra special, and why not a Mother’s Weekend?!

While flowers are sweet, and breakfast in bed a luxury, imagine your special someone’s surprise and utter delight in waking up in a deluxe lodge room at Teton Springs. Start the celebration on Friday with a scrumptious dinner in the Range, Teton Valley’s latest and greatest restaurant nestled in the village at Teton Springs Resort with nationally celebrated Chef Rick Sordahl leading a highly touted culinary team.

Saturday choices could include a day of fly fishing on the legendary South Fork of the Snake with Teton Springs partner South fork Lodge Outfitters. These expert guides almost guarantee you’ll catch fish and they relish the chance to teach beginners. Talk about the gift for mom that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

Or, a visit to the Stillwaters Spa & Salon; they’ll celebrate moms the entire month of May with special promotions. As good as a back rub from our sweetie feels, nothing can compete with the hands of a professional and this staff is top notch.

Scrumptious Mothers Day Brunch and Get-away Packages

Mother’s Day begins with a short walk back to the Range for a scrumptious Mother’s Day brunch from 10:30 to 2:30 followed by a round of golf on the award-winning Headwaters Course. These masterfully designed links, created by the master himself, Byron Nelson, makes its 2014 debut on May 9. And, it’s worth noting, the Headwaters Golf Club celebrates its tenth anniversary this summer, and this facility has definitely gotten better with age, with its large smooth greens & mature trees guarding the fairways. One thing that hasn’t changed, the spectacular Teton & Big Hole Mountain views afforded the players in all directions. There’s a “Swing Into Spring” package that’s makes this Mother’s Day plan sweeter than any box of bob-bons, and given the occasion, definitely go for the one bedroom suite upgrade. The luxury of this upgrade is a real value and will set you
back less than a dozen roses would and the memories will linger long after the pedals fall from the vine.  (In fact, I’m confident the nice folks at Teton Springs Lodge will give Mom a complimentary one bedroom suite upgrade if you mention that you read it in this blog post).

The Most Beautiful Nature Drives and Hikes

If golf isn’t your thing, but a short road trip brimming with spectacular scenery and viewing wildlife is, take to the parks. Grand Teton, with its jaw-dropping saw-toothed peaks, and Yellowstone, our nation’s oldest and most revered national park, are but a short drive from Teton Springs. With few cars on the road this early in the parks season, it’s the optimum time to visit our national treasures. There are few cars on the road, and, it’s only fitting on this Mother’s Day weekend that you’ll be treated to rare glimpses of baby buffalo, moose, deer and elk, unveiling themselves to the viewing public.

Hats off to Moms everywhere! The folks at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa look forward to making this Mother’s Day and entire summer memorable for all the special women in our lives.

 

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