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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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The Adventures Continue Well Past Labor Day Here in the Northern Rockies

Labor Day always feels bittersweet to me. And, if you listen to some naysayers/ dream slayers, you get the feeling this three-day holiday signals the ultimate end to our precious summer season. Of course it’s not over; Labor Day is literally a date on the calendar, nothing more, especially when it comes to recreating in the Tetons. For families, perhaps time does become more limited as the reality of reading, writing and arithmetic looms on the horizon for kids beckoned back to the classroom. But, there’s always weekends. For those in the know making the trek to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, it’s definitely not the end of summer fun, not even close. In fact, for a huge segment of the traveling public, September officially marks the beginning of the “real” traveling season.

This time of year the motor homes start to disappear from the highways, there’s fewer hikers on the trails, and the chance for afternoon thunder storms decreases significantly. Not to mention what happens to the vast open landscape in September, when the trees decide to unveil their true brilliant colors. Honestly, September and October can be the best time to visit the Tetons when warm, sunny days seem to be the norm, and guests start to ask more frequently for that extra blanket at night. It’s darn near perfect across the board!

Now is the Time to Golf!

We’ve had our share of summer rain the past few weeks, giving the Headwaters Golf Course at Teton Springs a bright green hue, a look and feel normally reserved for the early days of summer. Fairways are lush and the greens soft and true.

It’s easy for guests to book tee times of their choice with Lodge Stay & Play Packages and the 10th anniversary celebration of this award-winning course will last well into October.

It’s also the favorite time of the year for our guests to visit Jackson for the day. The crowds flocking to this iconic western town thin dramatically but the Jackson Hole Chamber folks continue to put on a show. One major attraction is the annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, held September 3-14, and recognized as one of the top events in the United States. With the Tetons providing a most inspiring backdrop, this festival is definitely family-friendly with many free and interactive exhibits guaranteed to delight visitors of all ages. It’s a virtual potpourri of western, contemporary, landscape, wildlife and Native America arts. After looking at the mind boggling wildlife art to be featured this year, it’s time to see some up close and personal!

A raft trip on the scenic Snake River is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of all the magnificent critters that call Jackson and Teton National Park home; eagles, moose, deer, buffalo, and elk. To enhance your chance to see these creatures in their natural environment, seriously consider a Wildlife Tour with our partners at BrushBuck Tours. Many of our recent guests traveling off the beaten path with the BrushBuck guides have also been treated to sightings of the elusive grizzly and their majestic co-inhabitant, the gray wolf.

If you decide to be your own tour guide, the nice folks at Teton Springs Lodge will treat you to a 7-day pass for trips into Grand Teton and Yellowstone when you book the National Parks Getaway Package. Bring the binoculars; you just never know what spectacular sights await!

Fly-fishing on the Snake River – When it comes to the waning days of summer, the South Fork truly comes alive. Every day weary anglers lumber through our lobby with extraordinary tales of browns, cutthroats and rainbows filling their nets. I’ve seen the pictures.

The Dept of Reclamation gratefully lowers the water this time of year on the South Fork as the farmers downstream have pretty much put their crops to bed. That’s great news for fly fishermen; new riffles are exposed every day and the bugs come alive. The guides at our sister property, South Fork Lodge, practically guarantee success on this waterway, considered one of the best dry fly fisheries in the entire country. No argument there.

Sounds like it’s time to make plans to visit Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, a Natural Retreats property. After all, Fall won’t last forever!

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Tis the Season for Accolades in Yellowstone – Teton Territory!

There’s no doubt that Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, A Natural Retreats property, reaps tremendous business success for a variety of reasons. First, the commitment by everyone on staff to provide stellar guest service to each and every guest that cross their door is is my view, unparalleled. These folks truly care and it’s not just because it’s their job to insure our customers have a memorable stay. It’s simply the culture at this boutique hotel, and speaks volumes about the caliber of the people who steer this ship. It explains why Teton Springs Lodge & Spa won the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award in 2014.

Our livelihood is here but we also live in this glorious valley. I have to think it’s a matter of pride. Everyone I know is always anxious to show off and share this marvelous place with family & friends. It’s simply too incredible to keep it all to ourselves, and God knows, there’s plenty of incredible to go around.

When you hear people say something works because of location, location, location, there’s typically a lot of truth in it. The shops, restaurants, outfitters etc in Teton Valley all reap a certain reward because they literally operate at the base of what many consider to be the most spectacular mountain range in North America. Then there’s the Teton River, definitely one of the top fisheries in the Northern Rockies, flanking the east side of Teton Valley. Add in recreation opportunities galore, and sprinkle in some genuine western hospitality, and there you have Teton Valley’s unequivocal recipe for success.

The Beautiful Teton Valley

It’s easy to see why Teton Valley is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for vacationers the minute you walk into the new Teton Geotourism Center in Driggs. At the Grand Opening celebration on August 1st, there was an impressive show by state, regional and local political types and tourism leaders from both sides of Teton Pass. Yet what really impressed me was the showing by the local residents; young, old and everyone in between. All in attendance were wearing ear- to-ear grins, and with good reason. It’s a beautiful facility with engaging interactive exhibits and fabulous photography celebrating the past, present and future of Teton Valley. It captures the character of this region from Swan Valley to Ashton, and will undoubtedly serve this entire community well as both a museum and visitor center. It also provides tremendous economic opportunities for our local businesses. It’s staffed by smiling volunteers who make you feel like you’re entering their living room. Again, that pride thing.

Teton Valley Biking

The week after the Geotourism Center ribbon cutting, Teton Valley had even more to celebrate. The International Mountain Bicycling Association gave a huge nod to the world-class mountain bike trails in Teton Valley. With this honor of having Teton Valley designated “Silver Ride Center” status, our community instantly joined the ranks of being one of the top mountain bike destinations in the entire nation.

Again, it’s the commitment by the local community to do everything at full throttle, and our local non-profit, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, with a gaggle of volunteers in tow, deserves a lot of the credit. Neighboring Grand Targhee earned their own special kudos from IMBA for the outstanding mountain bike trails built at the resort over the past several years. Easy to see Targhee is well on tract to become one of the premier mountain bike destinations. After all, not many places one can ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain and be staring down the three most beautiful peaks in the world. Again, location, location, location plus a lot of hard work.

Many Outdoor Activities for Just About Everyone!

Besides the fly fishing, award-winning golf on the Headwaters Course, treatments at the Stillwaters Spa, hiking, swimming and other activities at this sprawling 780 resort, Teton Springs guests flock to the neighboring national parks.  It’s no surprise to me that USA Today readers recently voted Yellowstone National Park #3, and Grand Teton #6 of their Top 10 favorite national parks in the nation. Breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife are but a few of the reasons these treasured parks rank so high with visitors.

Personally I would rank Yellowstone #1 and Grand Teton #2 and recently on a day excursion thru Yellowstone I was treated to multiple grizzly bear sightings (and Mr. Moose!). Teton Springs offers a multitude of summer packages in the gorgeous Lodge and Luxury Mountain Log Homes but the #1 package is their terrific Parks Package where admission to the national parks is free!

Hope to see you soon in the Tetons. There’s plenty of summer left to explore this special place we call home.

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