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Archive for category Idaho Summer Vacations
Things are heating up at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, a Natural Retreats property, and I don’t mean the temperatures. The summer fun meter has skyrocketed at the resort as well as in this entire Yellowstone-Teton area. With all the glorious traditions and revelry of the 4th of July celebrations behind us, our guests arriving now in beautiful Teton Valley can focus on the more important tasks at hand like fishing, golfing, hiking, river rafting, swimming, and on and on and on.
The summer weather here in eastern Idaho beckons us all outdoors. I know that everyone likes to talk about the weather. It’s more of a national pastime than baseball for goodness sakes. I guess truth be known, I can understand the fascination with what Mother Nature has next on her crazy agenda given the almost weekly reports of one weather-related disaster after another. Thus, I hesitate to brag about our weather scene for fear of altering the cosmic forces that are responsible for the picture perfect days and nights we experience here on a daily basis. Not many places can claim daytime temps in the low 80′s, under purple blue sunny skies with virtually no humidity, followed by cool evenings and sleeping temps that often require slipping under the down blanket. It’s a place where cranking the air simply means opening the windows wider, especially in one of the luxury cabins at Teton Springs.
TEE IT UP
It’s perfect golfing weather for a round on the Headwaters Golf Course, particularly in the early evening when the air is still and the lakes glisten in the afternoon light. You’re also likely to share this setting with the occasional fly fisherman as many of the spring fed lakes and ponds on the course are teeming with native trout. The Headwaters Course at Teton Springs simply couldn’t be in any better shape. The fairways are lush, the greens true and the scenery mesmerizing. And the best part, it’s truly affordable to tee it up on a world-class course like Headwaters when you book a Stay & Play Package at the Teton Springs Lodge & Spa. While this club is indeed private, hotel and cabin guests have playing privileges on the 18 hole links and the par 3 short course, both designed by golf’s greatest talent, Byron Nelson. Left your sticks at home? Not a problem, the folks at the Pro Shop have the latest and greatest rental gear.
The Headwaters Course is a main attraction in this valley and it’s well worth carving out a few hours to sample eastern Idaho’s signature course, recipients of the industry’s most glowing reviews (Las Vegas Golf & Leisure Magazine recently named Headwaters one of the “6 Must Visit Resorts for the Vegas Resident!”).
THE SOUTH FORK EXPLODES
It’s almost a given that fly fishing is on most visitors itinerary when Teton Springs is the destination, and for the next 12 weeks or so, bringing in the big browns and rainbows on the South Fork of the Snake is almost like taking candy from a baby! Lodge guests returning from a day on the South Fork, one of the best dry fisheries in North America, are grinning ear to ear and that includes the kids too. The guides from Teton Springs partner, South Fork Lodge, will lead this charge. Anglers can expect nothing short of success given the multiple dry fly hatches now going off simultaneously. A sampling includes salmon flies, yellow sallies, pale morning duns, & golden stones. Excited yet? The
South Fork Outfitter Shop also has the largest selection of flies and fishing gear in Conant Valley. It’s simple – if fishing is your passion, why go anywhere else?
HIKE, BIKE AND OOH & AAH
If it’s time to push yourself physically, head to neighboring Grand Targhee Resort. Known primarily as a Mecca for powder skiing and other winter activities, Targhee offers summer recreation in equal proportion once the 500 inches of snow drains from their slopes. Hop on the scenic chairlift at the resort’s 8,000 base, and as you disembark at the 10,000 summit, be prepared to enter a zone that remains unspoiled, unhurried and spectacular.
You won’t find any vantage point in Teton Valley that affords this view of the magnificent Grand Tetons. You’ll also be hard pressed to find better biking and hiking trails, and it’s not all death defying as one may expect given this mountain’s impressive vertical drop. Targhee has done a yeomen’s job of carving out trails that optimally suit the beginner and intermediate rider but options do indeed include trails that will push the limits for the more
experienced pedaler. The same welcoming principle applies to their hiking trails. Walking down from the summit offers a virtual explosion of color as wildflowers dot the entire landscape.
IT’S TIME FOR PAMPERING
Whew, a vacation at Teton Springs can be exhausting, albeit pleasantly exhausting, and there’s nothing better than mixing strenuous activity with a tad of self indulgence. The Stillwaters Spa & Salon at Teton Springs is the perfect retreat given its full menu of treatments and services. Spoil yourself for a few hours, and before you know it, it’s time for more adventures!
It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching mid-August already. Maybe it’s true what they say about getting older; the hours in the day wiz by and weeks turn into months in a blink of an eye. Some days I start to panic, how will I ever check off all the fun stuff left to do this summer in Teton Valley?
There’s so much energy around Teton Springs Resort this time of year. Families are frantically trying to squeeze in the last bit of quality time with the kids as the target date for heading back to school looms just around the corner. The college kids working at Teton Springs are clicking off the days until they return to life in the dorm, football practice and advanced math. Is it my imagination or are kids forced to abandon summer so much earlier than we use to? Labor Day use to signal an official end to the crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer. Not anymore. Nowadays kids face their first English quiz before the summer ending holiday kicks off. What’s the rush?
Golfing, Yellowstone, Hiking, the Crisp Air
There’s no better time to be in this Yellowstone-Teton area than now and it becomes even more glorious as we cross into September. There’s already a subtle coolness in the Teton air, optimum for that afternoon hike up Pole Canyon, perfect for that late Summer beautiful hike in the Teton Valley.
The days turn crisper and the threat of afternoon thunderstorms become a distant memory. The sunlight on the resort’s Headwaters Course this time of year only accentuates how truly beautiful this entire landscape is, especially in the evening hours. That probably explains why August & September are also the premier months to say “I DO” at Teton Springs. It’s a chance to host a wedding in one of America’s most spectacular destinations, a location guaranteed to wow even the most seasoned traveler.
The Perfect Wedding Overlook
Even if weddings aren’t your thing, it’s hard being at this venue and not getting misty eyed, beautiful bride notwithstanding. It’s almost overload for the senses – the panoramic view of the mountains, the aspen stands bordering the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and the lone fly fisherman making the perfect cast in one of the resort’s lakes. The Teton Springs brochure can’t begin to do this scene justice. From the resort’s new wedding site, the Caddis Lake Overlook, you can also sip a cocktail watching golfers tee off on the resort’s signature 10th hole overlooking Caddis Lake. This usually provides more entertainment value than the Hokey Pokey or tossing of the garter ever could!
The great Byron Nelson and his design team certainly created a masterpiece with the Headwaters Golf Course. The five tee-boxes on each hole present options galore for the seasoned golfer boasting the low handicap and also for the beginner who is perhaps more easily intimidated.
In addition to attracting happy couples to the resort, late summer and fall are optimum times for the leisure traveler to cruise thru Yellowstone-Teton country. Right about now the RV’s start to disappear from the highways and you practically have the scenic overlooks and the many points of interest all to yourself.
The Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop
My favorite, and undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking drives in North America, has to be the Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop Tour. The most critical aspect of this particular road trip is starting your journey at precisely the right place. Most of us “locals” have taken this route, long before tourism officials officially designated it as one the “Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies” (www.drivethetop10.com). You begin your sight-seeing adventure in Victor, just steps from your lodge room at Teton Springs.
Beautiful Grand Teton Mountains and Surrounding Area
Head north thru Teton Valley with the majestic Grand Teton Mountains guiding your every turn as you head towards Yellowstone National Park’s West Yellowstone entrance. The first town you’ll hit after leaving Teton Valley is Ashton, Idaho. Their welcome sign says “Adventure Starts Here,” and that’s no exaggeration. You’ll need fuel for this sightseeing trip so don’t leave Ashton without a quick stop at the historic “Frostop.” The best chocolate malts and tater tots are delivered right to your car by Ashton’s fresh faced teens happy to serve. It’s a very pleasant journey down memory lane especially for the younger generation accustomed to the modern day same all, same all, drive thru joints.
The thundering Upper and Lower Mesa falls are next on this agenda, two of the last undisturbed waterfalls of consequence in the west.
This loop also claims Harriman State park and the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Hope you packed the fly rod. Next stop Yellowstone and then back to your comfy digs at Teton Springs. Enjoy the ride!