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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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Ready, Get Set, Go – It’s Officially Summer in the Tetons

Summer season in the Yellowstone-Teton region presents a unique set of problems for both the locals and visitors alike. It’s not easy trying to decide what fun thing to do on any given day when presented with the choices we have. And, if you’re spending your vacation at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa with a finite of vacation days at your disposal, well, then your life definitely just got more complicated. It’s a good problem to have. This very nice woman from Virginia was staying at the lodge attending a wedding and had four days to explore the region and squeeze in as many activities as possible. She asked what absolutely had to be on her itinerary to truly experience the magic of this place. My advice to her – you better get going!

One of our local summer travel guides is called “GET OUT,” and that frankly says it all. If you’re visiting Teton Springs, chances are you’re geared up and anxious to embrace the great outdoors. The sun is so brilliant, and the sky so blue, that it’s tough to justify relaxing in your suite, as pleasant as it is.

With the anticipation of another terrific day filled with adventure and discovery, it’s easy to rise early and embrace the day. First you’ll need to fuel the tank, and the place to do that is with a breakfast at the resort’s Range Restaurant. This is a buffet brimming with seasonal fresh fruit, house made granola, eggs scrambled to perfection or a hefty serving of pancakes or cheese blintzes.

Now you’re ready to scatter, and any direction you choose holds promise. Many will head east for Jackson Hole and the most extraordinary scenic float trip on the wild and scenic Snake River. On this excursion you’re floating thru Grand Teton National Park, considered by many to be the most spectacular setting in North America. Your guide on this float should really issue a warning prior to boarding; the view of the Teton Mountains, in bold view throughout this trip, can seriously take one’s breath away. For a more exciting ride, many opt for the whitewater raft trip thru the Snake River Canyon. This ride is a blast, especially in early summer when you’ll hear nothing but squeals of delight from everyone as you conquer the rapids, especially Jackson’s most famous, Big Kahuna. Expect to be soaked; it’s half the fun! On both the mellow scenic and the whitewater, wildlife viewing will be at a premium.

As long as you’re this close to Yellowstone, take a peek into the country’s first national park, on us! When you stay two nights on the resort’s “Park Pass Package,” Teton Springs gives you a 7 day Free Park Pass. Check out all our Summer vacation and get-away packages!

Teton Valley and the surrounding area is a Mecca for hiking. Guest at Teton Springs can lace up the sneaks for a short jaunt to check out the neighborhood, which just happens to be the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. And, if more rugged and challenging hikes are in order, there are plenty of trails to conquer. Beautiful wildflowers are just beginning to blanket the landscape and the delicious smell of sage fills the air. A more strenuous hike, but well worth the effort, is up Fred’s Mountain at Grand Targhee (or you can always take the scenic chairlift) where the view of the Tetons is breathtaking. A shorter excursion is a quick hike up to the Darby Wind Caves, just minutes from Teton Springs. This trail, complete with waterfalls, meanders through meadows and thick forest and is in the heart of the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area. I’ve never hiked this area without seeing moose, deer, elk and other critters that inhabit this glorious land. View the
many outdoor activities and adventures in the Teton Valley,

Now it’s time to fish! Two words that will incite passion in any fly fisherman – salmon flies! They’ve been spotted on local rivers and any day now we can expect to see the rainbows and brown gulping these on the South Fork. Our guides at South Fork Outfitters are standing at attention and ready for you to experience the best tailwater and dry fly fishing in the country. If your casting is a tad rusty, practice throwing the line on one of the many private lakes and ponds that envelop the Teton Springs Resort Community.

There’s another reason to head to Teton Springs this month and that’s the “Celebrate America Festival” at Huntsman Springs in downtown Driggs, Idaho. This year it’s slated for June 28, and this event offers gobs of fun and entertainment for the entire family, especially the kids. The day is topped off with live music and the valley’s largest and most magnificent fireworks display.

Another date that should make the calendar is July 19, when the Community Foundation of Teton Valley hosts the annual Tin Cup. Teton Springs Lodge & Spa will be more involved in the event this year, as our parent company, Natural Retreats, is a proud sponsor of the Tin Cup.

It’s a great day in Teton Valley supporting the valley’s nonprofits, and kids and adults can participate in a variety of fun walks, runs, and even the more competitive race for the diehard. Tackle the course individually or as a family team, followed by a festive day in the park with entertainment, games and local food. Check out the Tin Cup Challenge.

Get up and go – it’s Summer in Teton Valley! – 877.787.8757

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Teton Springs Lodge & Spa and South Fork Lodge

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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