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Archive for category Scenic Drives
March in Teton Valley, Idaho – In Like a Lion, Out Like a Bigger Lion! Here in Teton Valley we rarely experience a March that fits the saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Thank goodness. The month of March in this Yellowstone-Teton territory is usually just more of the same as the months preceding it, powder days followed by even bigger powder days. However, this isn’t the norm. Most people in the great U.S. of A. celebrate the end of winter, and view this change of seasons as a time to finally get outdoors again.
There’s no doubt spring is rejuvenating – to feel the warmth of the sun on our face, watch the buds start to appear on trees, and temperatures heading in the right direction to warm winter-weary chilled bones. These same people pray that if March does indeed arrive with a roar that by the end of the month, winter is simply a distant memory.
But here in eastern Idaho, suffice to say there is definitely a genuine disdain for the arrival of spring. It’s generally accepted that in the year 2013, the waning days of winter are over and the start of spring officially begins March 20th. Official or not, die hard skiers and snowboarders in Teton Valley have the confidence in knowing Mother Nature doesn’t recognize, and certainly doesn’t respect, for what should happen with the onset of spring.
So Many Fun Winter Activities in the Teton Valley
Shifting sunlight is normally the criteria for when the beginning of spring is designated. Ah, light, it is the one component that local residents and visitors to Teton Valley alike embrace who cherish all things winter, like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and backcountry adventures. In the Teton Mountains, spring simply means longer days, and thus, more play time.
Safe to say most Idaho resorts can’t touch the terrific winter vacation packages that Teton Springs Lodge & Spa offers. For example, lodging in their deluxe hotel and snowcat excursions at Grand Targhee.
Thank goodness Targhee had the vision back in the late 1980′s to take a huge chunk of their most pristine mountain terrain and set it aside as a private reserve for skiers and snowboarders hungry for an affordable & quality knee deep powder snow experience. Granted, Targhee had the unique luxury of owning (well, Forest Service Use Permits in this case but that’s practically like owning) two distinct mountains in Wyoming’s iconic Teton Mountains. So, the Wyoming cowboys in charge of this unassuming and totally charming destination resort created the ultimate slice of heaven on Peaked Mountain reserved just for the cats.
They also left plenty of lift served acreage to go around. As the sun is illuminating the Wyoming sky over Targhee’s quant village, anxious skiers and snowboarders board the
snowcats and chug up to the summit of Peaked Mountain. On a clear day, the Tetons are in full view and the
vistas are staggering. That alone is worth the price of admission.
The Place to Stay While Skiing Targhee or the Teton Village
Teton Springs also offers the option of traveling a short distance across Teton Pass for a day of sliding at the Jackson Hole ski area. Or, stay put at Teton Springs; there’s Nordic skiing and snowshoeing right outside your lodge door. Simply put, there’s no other resort destination in the lower 48 that offers the variety of unique ski and stay packages and other year-round adventures than what this charming boutique hotel offers. For that dynamic spring fling and some nice spring getaway packages, the best option going is their stay two nights and the third night is FREE, in any and all resort accommodations.
Welcome to Yellowstone-Teton territory, home to easily the best skiing and snowboarding and family ski vacations in North America. Spring can wait.
We grudgingly give up our summers here in the Tetons where the days are endless and inevitably turn into star filled crisp evenings. This is a place where air conditioning simply means cranking open your window a tad wider. Basically, the summer weather is glorious, just about all the time, and even the news worthy natural disasters are dreadful occurrences that only seem to happen somewhere else. It’s easy to understand why so many people call this Yellowstone-Teton area their favorite summer destination. After Labor Day, things tend to quiet down, families have wandered home and the optimum September weather and wide-open & uncluttered roads lure those fortunate enough to embrace the adventures that beckon. I spoke of one such journey in the past but it’s definitely worth another look.
Yellowstone Park – The Nation’s Finest
Yellowstone National Park is especially enchanting this time of year. The sun glistens on the mountain peaks and it’s prime wildlife viewing season. Wolves are busy teaching their young to hunt while the bears fill their bellies in anticipation of their upcoming hibernation. The elk are in rut and if you’ve never heard an elk bugle, well, it’s a sound truly found only in nature. It’s eerie and surreal and something you won’t soon forget. There are a few ways to reach our first national park from Teton Valley but I’m going to recommend you take your time getting there and enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. After all, isn’t that the reason for visiting this land of towering mountains, wild and scenic rivers, rolling sand dunes and fertile open space that seemingly stretches into forever. This is the "off-season," right, so stop, look and listen along the way. You may be amazed at what you’ll find.
The Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop Road is one of America’s most spectacular scenic driving experiences and it’s a worthy journey.
Staying at Teton Springs Resort – Fun for Everyone
You’ll begin your road trip in Victor, with a delightful stay at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa where the pool is heated, the golf magnificent, the food scrumptious and the fish hungry in one of this resort’s many private lakes and ponds.
And the Spa, well; you may just want to consider hanging around for a few days at this property before rushing off anywhere.
I personally recommend the hydraquench body wrap, a signature treatment at the resort’s Stillwaters Spa & Salon. You’ll leave Teton Springs feeling relaxed and rejuvenated and more than ready to begin your journey into wild and scenic Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The Grand Teton Loop Tour takes you north through Teton Valley, an area famous for its potatoes, but also its rich history of explorers, trappers, fur traders, mountain men and Mormon pioneers. Modern day "explorers" take delight in the incredible recreation afforded them here, in just about any season. As you head into Ashton, Idaho, take a break at the Trails Inn for some of Idaho’s best open-faced chicken fried steak. Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, next on the agenda, are two of the last undisturbed waterfalls of consequence in the West and both are easily accessed from the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.
Fishing, Sightseeing, Bears and Wolves
Hope you have your fly rods packed and ready to cast, the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is just steps away and September fishing is on fire!
The town of West Yellowstone is a major gateway into Yellowstone and deserves a look. It’s home to a cool museum, unique and funky shops and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery center. Give yourself plenty of time in Yellowstone National Park with its 2 million acres to explore, 300 geysers and 10,000 geothermal features. Hope you packed your hiking boots!
It’s a seamless journey from Yellowstone into Teton National Park and the sage filled landscape of this national treasure is a startling contract to the jagged peaks of the Teton Mountain Range. Over fifty miles of Snake River winds through the park and hiking and walking trails are plentiful and all afford staggering views of the Teton Mountains. Dotted with numerous sparkling lakes and incredible wildlife viewing, this could easily be your favorite stop and for that extra "wow factor," stop at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor center.
Jackson Has Something for Everyone
The town of Jackson, Wyoming, is an optimum place to end your official driving tour. This gateway-to-the-parks iconic western town certainly sees its share of summer visitors but gives post Labor Day stragglers all the room they need. There’s a staggering array of shops (more than just cowboy hats & boots!), great dining and entertainment, world-class museums and art galleries and a dizzying array of outdoor activities. And, if you happen to be in town during the 27th Annual Fall Arts Festival September 8-18, that’s even more reason to extend your stay at Teton Springs. You’ll want more than one taste of this internationally acclaimed event and it’s only a 25 mile commute to Jackson from your accommodations at the Lodge at Teton Springs Resort.
You’ll be pleasantly exhausted after your Grand Teton Loop Tour. The nice folks at Teton Springs will tuck you in.
Call 208-787-7888 for fall Lodge specials and upgrades to one and two bedroom suites. Or, sample one of the resort’s deluxe log mountain homes and check out all our amazing fall get-away packages!
FALL FOLIAGE IN YELLOWSTONE-TETON TERRITORY – TRULY A MAGNIFICENT SIGHT TO BEHOLD!
This time of year Mother Nature always tries to trick me, seemingly overnight altering the landscape of Teton Valley with her sudden burst of color appearing on the wayward willow or unsuspecting aspen. I play a game, silly and fruitless though it is, and try and catch her working her magic. This year I did it! It happened on my walk just this week at Teton Springs Resort. I pinky swear, a lime green leaf turned yellow almost before my very eyes. Just one, have you, but I knew there was no turning back. The changing of the seasons is the one phenomenon we can always count on and there’s a certain comfort in its consistency, even though, that single gold leaf spells the end of the glorious summer season we so love here in the Rockies.
This time of year we literally go to sleep with our outside world a proverbial sea of green and wake to a kaleidoscope of brilliant yellows, gold, orange & burgundy hues. It truly happens in a blink of an eye. Seriously, I’ve always wondered why people don’t travel west to view the magical transformation we experience in the fall season. People flock to Teton Valley for the mother lode of recreation available here, but somehow, leaf peeking is usually not noted as one of the top reasons folks give for venturing into this glorious Yellowstone-Teton territory. It’s just not on most people’s radar screens outside of our special little world.
I grew up in Pennsylvania so I’ve always had an appreciation for how magnificent the fall season can be. But even in my “City of Brotherly Love,” which can legitimately hold bragging rights to some of the most incredible fall foliage, we were always the stepsister to our neighbors up north. New England always stole our thunder for top honors in the fall foliage division so I can understand why the west doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Here in Teton valley, the backdrop is so extraordinary in virtually every direction. We’re warmly embraced by the Teton and Big Hole Mountains and their side hills are virtually blanketed as far as the eye can see in the richest hues found in any crayola box. So many trees, so much open space, so much rubbernecking!
With our wet spring and cooler temps this past spring and summer, we can expect a full-on assault of fall colors. You’ll find yourself in the thick of it at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa. Book a luxury cabin which sit in a thick band of changing aspens, and if you can manage to pull yourself away from the many creature comforts enjoyed in this resort community, take the extraordinary “Top 10 Scenic Drives in North America,” Or, take in a round of golf at the Headwaters Golf Club. It just so happens we are now offering an incredible Fall Stay & Play Package.
Every hole on this magnificent Byron Nelson designed course is totally surrounded by bands of aspens, willows, dogwoods, cottonwoods and the occasion maple; the colors will astound you. We all know in golf it’s optimum to keep your head down, good luck with that!
We embrace this time of year, you will too, as soon the glorious hues of the rainbow will be replaced by that welcomed shade of winter white. We’ll be ready!