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Sliding Downhill is Only Part of the Winter Story at Teton Springs Lodge

O.K. It’s no secret that we arguably have the best snow conditions in the Northern Rockies – again! We’ve been down this road before – many, many times in fact. History has indeed given us legitimate boasting rights, if we’re so inclined. But even as Grand Targhee continues to post the big numbers on their snow stake, we still try to refrain from taking our good fortune for granted. But I must admit; it does take a lot of the pressure off for all those visitors who plan an annual holiday visit to Teton Springs Resort.

Folks traveling to their favorite ski destination this time of year have enough on their plate; it’s refreshing to scratch off worrying about snow conditions.

Holidays spent in the valley of the Tetons are extraordinarily special and snow filled slopes delivering terrific skiing and snowboarding is only part of the Christmas magic. Hopefully a new down-filled parka and a pair of the latest Smith gogglses are hidden under the tree as it’s almost time to head to Grand Targhee and take a run or two with Santa himself! The holiday crowds haven’t accumulated yet so it’s typically an intimate festive day, enjoying a chairlift ride or two with the local ski bums (giddy with holiday spirit, they may even share their secret powder stashes with you) and taking in the panoramic views from Targhee’s 10,000 summit. The resort puts on fabulous après ski entertainment to celebrate Christmas, the annual Torchlight Parade. Take a seat on the plaza and enjoy the show, complete with steaming cups of hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies.

You couldn’t ask for a more serene and lovely setting in which to enjoy this very special time of year than what’s offered at Teton Springs Resort. Snow-capped aspens, glistening lakes and ponds, and accommodations that have earned Teton Springs the “Number One Hotel in Idaho” award by U.S. News & World Report for three straight years. The lodge rooms and suites are cozy and elegant, but for this time of year, the Handpicked Homes would probably be my number one choice for the ultimate in accommodations. Three, four and five bedroom custom mountain log homes are nestled among the foothills of this 780 acre property snuggled up against the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, presenting a most distinctive private retreat, truly a home- away-from-home. What speaks to the holidays better?

Skiing over 2,000 acres of Grand Targhee’s terrain can easily wear one out, so, maybe a day exploring the Yellowstone-Teton area is in order.  One of my favorite things to do is hop in the van with the experts from Brushbuck Tours for a dawn or dusk Wildlife Tour in the splendor of Grand Teton National Park. Expect to be wowed with multiple viewings of moose, buffalo, elk, deer, and antelope, and that’s usually within the first half hour!  I usually take the early tour, leaving plenty of time to explore the eclectic array of retail dotting Jackson’s Town Square.

There’s also a full-day excursion available that includes a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge, located on the outskirts of Jackson Hole. Prepared to be wowed.

An evening at the Linn Canyon Ranch, just minutes from Teton Springs, is another time honored tradition for Teton Springs visitors. Snuggled in the foothills of the Grand Teton Mountains, this setting is truly something right of out of a Hollywood set, but everything is strikingly real about this place, especially the owner/operators. Going back generations, Linn family members have been Idaho & Wyoming ranchers and their hospitality and culinary skills are enviable. Cocktail hour includes historical tales of Teton Valley and its rich characters. Dinner with the Linn’s never disappoints.

A brisk ski on the groomed tract at Teton Springs, or a snowshoe jaunt with the Big Hole Mountain at your back, is another relaxing way to spend one’s day. Check out all the Winter activities available to you while you stay with us at Teton Springs Lodge.

Or, simply do nothing at all but indulge yourself at the resort’s Stillwaters Spa & Salon. This gorgeous retreat, with its 5,000 square feet of treatment space, is guaranteed to make your Idaho visit a true vacation, in every sense of the word. You can expect the finest spa treatments and products at Stillwaters, and Aveda, a brand recognized worldwide for connecting beauty, the environment and well-being, has recently been added to the arsenal of products you’ll find at this spa.

Join us at Teton Springs for an OPEN HOUSE to showcase AVEDA Friday, December 19, 2-6 p.m. – Enjoy complimentary Christmas goodies, a glass of bubbly, hors d’oeuvres, a luxurious hand massage and a chance to win AVEDA SAMPLE PRODUCTS!

There’s more…

  • December 19-21 – Purchase $50 of Aveda product and receive 10% off
  • Purchase $100 of Aveda product and receive 20% off

Happy Holidays from your friends at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa a Natural Retreats property

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Our Very Own Victor Idaho Sports a New Big City Stoplight!

Pinch me, I must be dreaming! We’re getting into the waning days of October and up until a few days ago, we were still hiking in t-shirts, spending lazy afternoons on the South Fork enticing the rainbows into the boat with the perfect hopper, and committing to memory just how gorgeous the fall foliage was this year. In fact, one of my favorite hikes this time of year takes you to the rim overlooking the South Fork, watching the drift boats from our sister resort, South Fork Lodge, float lazily by, knowing they too are on borrowed time.

Teton Springs Lodge guests recently enjoyed their final 18 holes of the season on the resort’s Headwaters Course, with the bright gold aspens lining the fairways. Well, the aspens are shedding their leaves and the staff is putting this baby to bed for the year, and what a terrific season it was with Headwaters posting record rounds on this Byron Nelson masterpiece. I’m already looking forward to teeing it off next spring and so are the groups who have already booked their golf Stay & Play Packages for 2015!

The incredible weather also gave relief to the workers installing Victor’s first stop light. Rather than simply drifting thru the stop sign on Highway 33, one has to pay attention now when they come to this crossroad with a right turn over Teton Pass to Jackson Hole, or swinging a left heading thru Teton Valley and beyond. I never thought I’d see the day when Victor would actually need a stop light, but summer traffic heading north on Idaho’s scenic byway to check out Mesa Falls and other east Idaho treasurers, and southeast to the most prominent destinations in the country, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, truly dictated we join the ranks of the real world. Progress I guess, but I sincerely doubt that this entry into the 21st century, in any way, threatens the small-town charm and idyllic lifestyle that defines Victor.

The buzz on the street is that winter is creeping around the corner, and that’s o.k. It’s time. And, to make the transition easier, we’re getting primed by the annual ski extravaganzas that fill the local movie screens this time of year. This season we have another premier to attend other than the highly anticipated Teton Gravity Research flick. This is a show that is guaranteed to get the ski juices going in both sexes. “Pretty Faces,” an all-female flick starring Pro freeskier Lynsey Dyer, one of the best freeskiers in the nation, was recently screened in Jackson to rave reviews. It’s about time, and only fitting that the Equality State had first dibs on unveiling “Pretty Faces” to the waiting public. What terrific inspiration to young female shredders everywhere. Finally it’s totally cool to ski like a girl!

However, it doesn’t take a thrills and spills ski movie to get everyone at Teton Springs excited about the upcoming heli ski season. Powder snow aficionados undoubtedly dream about cruising thru the Tetons finest fluff long before the first flake appears. This backcountry experience should be on everyone’s bucket list.

With Thanksgiving in our sites, it’s time to book that holiday weekend at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa. The very popular “book two nights and the third is FREE” winter vacation package remains intact, much to skiers and snowboarders delight. Grand Targhee has every intention of accommodating snow sliders with a projected opening the week before turkey day.

If any resort in North America can pull it off, it’s Grand Targhee. Their projected 500 inches of snowfall this season isn’t simply a delusional wish, it’s a stat born of history. This free night package special at Teton Springs during Thanksgiving isn’t just valid in the elegant lodge rooms and suites, but also works if you’re looking to upgrade to one of their luxury mountain log homes.

Officially referred to as “Handpicked Homes,” by Lodge operator Natural Retreats, calling these elegant homes “Handpicked” is a great way to separate these incredible custom built homes from the ho-hum lodging fare one usually finds in most tourist destinations.

Sometimes referred to as “cabins” by resort staff, these are not cabins in any stretch of the imagination. While the three, four and five luxury cabins at Teton Springs may be of log construction, the comparison to log cabins as most of us envision them literally ends there.

These gorgeous, well-appointed homes indeed provide the optimum home-away-from-home setting for winter ski enthusiasts, and, the perfect holiday gift for a family or group of skip buddies looking to start the festive season in the lap of affordable luxury.

So, let the training regime begin to strengthen your core, and most likely, dormant muscles. You’ll need to be ready for what promises to be the ride of your life. A winter of pure bliss is ahead of us in Teton Valley, beneath the grandeur of the Grand Tetons. Priceless…

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Fall’s Colors Arrived on a Fast and Furious Pace

The Fall season in Teton Valley literally arrived overnight. I’m not exaggerating. I was walking around Teton Springs Resort just two days ago, taking photos for a guest from California who requested a sneak preview of what to expect on his upcoming visit. I found myself struggling to find any dramatic evidence of Mother Nature’s transformation from summer to fall, except in very small doses. However, the very next day it was an entirely different landscape. Who could not be in total awe of this annual phenomenon regardless of how many times we witness it?! It’s a given that temperatures and moisture levels dictate how brilliant our fall foliage will be. Well, we have the winning combination of both this year, judging by how gorgeous it is in every direction, from the tips of the mountains and cascading straight to the valley floor.

It’s not just the beauty of this change that nourishes; it’s something we can always count on regardless of what is happening in the rest of the universe. Something to be said for consistency. Speaking of consistency. While summer season draws to a close, exciting offers heat up at Teton Springs. It happens every year like the changing of the leaves, and; I can’t stress enough what an opportune time Sept thru mid October is to visit Teton Valley and this entire Yellowstone region.

Some of the Best Fly Fishing in the Country

With far fewer anglers in sight, even the fish on the South Fork are less wary and more likely to gulp your fly. Floating this world-renowned river after the masses have departed, not only affords the likelihood of more browns & cutthroats in your net, but overall encourages a more relaxing experience, enabling one to truly absorb the sights and sounds of eastern Idaho’s most famous fishery. Momma moose and her young stick their heads out more often as you fish the banks and the Eagles criss-cross the river, watching you watch them. Our experienced guides at South Fork Outfitters practically guarantee a successful & memorable day as you cruise the river in their drift boats, on all fronts.

There’s no doubt I’m prejudiced about the links at Teton Springs, but honestly, as a golfer, teeing it up on the Headwaters Golf Course is always a most gratifying experience even when double bogeys rule the day.

Looking for that Summer/Fall Get-away Package?

Seriously, a round of golf this time of year on course designer Byron Nelson’s last touch of magic is almost a Zen like experience. The soft, lush fairways, dream greens, 360 degree view of the mountains, and toss in the aspens dressed in their fall best, well, there’s few courses that can compare to Headwaters – anywhere, anytime, and I’ve played some of the best. With the Lodge’s Stay & Play Summer/Fall Packages going on right now, what’s to think about?! Group outings are particularly popular this time of year so grab a bunch of buddies and play golf! And, bragging rights couldn’t be sweeter than when they’re told on the patio of a luxury mountain cabin watching the sun set. Cigar and brandy anyone?!

It’s also prime hiking season with perfect daytime temps in the low 70′s and afternoon thunder storms in the mountains a distant memory. Lace up the boots and head virtually in any direction, whether you’re looking for a causal jaunt close to the resort or the hardcore, muscle burning excursion into the Tetons. The Moose Creek Trail, optimum for families, is only minutes from the Lodge with minimal elevation gain in a most spectacular setting.

Hiking, Great Food, Relaxing at the Spa

My favorite hike, bar none, is climbing Table Mountain, which departs from Teton Canyon in neighboring Alta, Wyoming. When you reach the summit, you can practically reach out and touch the west face of the Grand Teton Mountains. This hike is more of a grunt and climbs 4,000 feet in elevation but the payday once you’re sitting on top of Table Rock is well worth the effort. Set the alarm, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Range, pack some carbs and lots of water and allow yourself at least 8-10 hours up and back. The nice folks in Guest Services can give you the full run down on other hikes in our region.

A great massage is always on the agenda after any (and none!) activity and the Stillwaters Spa offer the most comprehensive spa & salon services in all of Teton Valley. It’s also a terrific time to pick up pampering products at the Spa. Sounds like a girls’ getaway weekend to me!

Given our warmer than usual September, the pool will also remain open longer this season, and another fall getaway bonus – there’s no waiting in line for the famous huckleberry milkshakes at the Victor Emporium!

There’s no time like the present to book a visit to Teton Springs Resort – pack the camera and be prepared to be impressed!

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