Archive for category Womens Vacation

It’s Clear Sailing Into Yellowstone

For a good part of the summer Mother Nature has been flexing her muscles in a big way, in all areas of the country. Of late, it’s the unprecedented number of wild fires scorching the west that has captured our full attention, and our empathy. It is sheer torture watching the evening news and seeing the desperation and helplessness on so many faces affected by these disasters. The staff at Teton Springs was happy to welcome back some of our guests from the Sun Valley area who fled here to escape the smoke-filled skies of Blaine County.

We all seem to have friends in the Ketchum, Hailey area, and can only imagine their fear of what’s next on the horizon, especially given the personal and economic loss for so many. Now, Yosemite National Park, one of the world’s greatest treasures is the target. For those of us who live so close to two of the nation’s other iconic national parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, we are counting our blessings.

Despite a few recent lighting strikes in western Wyoming that temporarily closed a few roads in Yellowstone, our nation’s first national park is 100% open, and that includes all roads, entrances, and visitor services.

This is particularly good news for our many lodge guests who typically arrive now, the seasoned travellers who know so well that it’s the optimum time of year to tour the parks. Personally, I think now is also the most stellar time of year for a scenic raft trip on the mighty Snake River, and there’s plenty of room to maneuver the staggering array of rivers, streams and creeks for some late summer fly fishing.

Wildlife and Bird Watching in Their Natural Habitat

One of the most fun tours you can take is the Wildlife Tour with Teton Springs Lodge partner BrushBuck Guide Service. We’re been working with this Jackson Hole based company for many moons, and simply put, they’re the best at spotting the bear, wolves, elk, moose, bison and other huge mammals that call Grand Teton National Park home. It’s a four hour tour and they’ve made it easy even if you’re not a morning person. You have a choice of signing up for either the Dawn or Dusk tour. So civilized.

Their tours focus on observing wildlife in their natural habitat and if you’re a bird watcher, Grand Teton National Park is nirvana. You’ll easily spot golden eagles, prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, mountain bluebirds, meadowlarks and the list goes on. The BrushBuck pros will also give you a down & dirty history lesson on this park, which can legitimately claim the most spectacular scenery in America. Their commentary and perspective alone is worth the price of admission. And, don’t worry about packing the spotting scope; they pack all the cool gear, snacks, and – they’ll even pick you up at Teton Springs!

Cozy, Beautiful Cabins on the Headwaters Golf Course

For those of you not wanting to budge from your cozy accommodations at Teton Springs, you’ll also have your chance at spotting wildlife. Chances are especially promising if you’re staying in one of the resort’s amazing mountain log homes that dot the perimeter of the Headwaters Golf Course, that also happens to border the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

The “cabins” all sport a private patio, or two, or three, and wildlife viewing becomes a daily ritual for guests. And while playing a round on the Headwaters links, keep your eyes peeled for the eagle that’s been standing guard on the 9th hole. One guest shares her up close and personal encounter photos with us here.

Another terrific way to spot the animals that live in the Tetons is by taking a hike and literally any hike will do. Lace up your boots and take off right from the resort or drive virtually 10 or 20 minutes in any direction. You’re sure to find yourself off the beaten path with a variety of short and sweet jaunts or the more strenuous grunt up Table Rock.

Teton Valley indeed racks up their share of votes for having the most eye-popping vistas, world class wildlife viewing, stellar weather, and citizens of generous heart to share it all with. Enjoy the adventure!

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The Best Summer Getaway for Gal Pals

THE BEST SUMMER GETAWAY IS ONE FILLED WITH ADVENTURES SHARED WITH OUR BEST GAL PALS!

It was an easy sell talking a few of my best girlfriends into visiting me in Teton Valley this summer. A trip to Idaho and Wyoming was especially enticing for those from the east coast. They were literally wilting on the vine, like Iowa corn, and thus crazed to escape the heat and humidity that overtook the country with vengeance this summer. It’s been almost unbearable everywhere but here. I never take it for granted how lucky we are to live in the Teton Mountains and how silly it is for others not to put this area on the top of their bucket list for places to visit. Pick a season, any season. They’re all special for the unique adventures they offer, but summer – ah, I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for summer in the Tetons.

This was not the first rodeo for most of my guests but their past excursions to the Rockies have always entailed ski parkas, snow boots and powder ski lessons. They had never experienced green grass under their feet or have been lulled to sleep from the comforting sound the aspens make on a breezy summer night. They were also thrilled at the chance to don the latest outdoor warm-weather, mountain-worthy apparel; shorts, shirts and even hats properly sealed with SPF 45, brand spankin’ new hiking boots worthy of scaling Mount Everest, and back packs so technical I feared we would never figure out what all the secret pockets were really intended for. I had to chuckle when I saw them depart the plane on a recent perfect late July afternoon in Jackson Hole, greeted in a full embrace by the Tetons and the legendary cloudless Wyoming sky.

Each and every one of the ladies arrived looking like models in a photo shoot for Patagonia, Mountain Hardware or NorthFace, all outdoor product companies known for their wilderness chic. Bewildered, I had to wonder, where were my old familiar friends, who not too long ago would have greeted me in consignment store t-shirts, worn sneaks and battered Yankee caps? However, the same infectious enthusiasm for pursuing anything outdoors was still there; I was relieved. If the old adage that "the clothing makes the man" is true, than we were now ready to tackle anything this Yellowstone-Teton area had to throw at us!

The group rented a cabin at Teton Springs Resort. Please note, I use the word "cabin" lightly here; these log mountain homes are, how do I put it – Ooh La La! Teton Springs Lodge & Spa has a great mix of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom cabins to choose from and they’re all unique, incredibly elegant but cozy too. But the best part, Teton Springs prices these accommodations insuring you don’t have to incur heavy debt to sample the lap of luxury; it’s truly amazing how affordable they are for a family or group of friends.

You also have the option of staying in one of the Lodge guest rooms or an elegant one and two-bedroom suite, which come equipped with a full kitchen, living room, fireplace, large balcony and your own whirlpool tub (with lodge accommodations you’re also only steps away from the Stillwaters Spa!)

The gorgeous kitchens in the cabins provided a homey atmosphere but my friends never pulled out a single pot or pan. After all, this was a real vacation right?! The Headwaters Grille consistently provided a delicious break from our action packed visit, and the view was so easy on the eye. This cozy eatery overlooks the first fairway of the Headwaters Golf Club and there were plenty of interesting menu selections, keeping us happy and content for days. There’s also the new Sage Gourmet Café, an intimate and relaxing bistro that is quickly becoming a popular hangout for anyone looking for a unique snack, lighter dinner fare and signature cocktail. The Sage turned into our very own clubhouse of sorts, and between delectable nibbles created by Chef Jenna; we enjoyed a competitive game of bean bag toss on the expansive lawn in front of the lodge (no athletic skill required).

It’s no surprise that the hiking in this area is world-class, and no, you don’t need expedition worthy hiking boots. Tennis shoes will suffice on most regional hikes.

Road trips with the girls naturally included exploring the town of Jackson Hole, definitely an adventure in itself. The ride over is almost worth the price of admission, truly breathtaking. Be sure to stop at the 10,000 foot summit for that group photo and a panorama that duly impressed even my gaggle of seasoned travelers. Hiking to the top of Snow King Mountain can be a grunt for sea level dwellers but the ladies were game. It’s just steps from downtown Jackson and so green and lush as you traverse this 1.8 mike trail ascending 1,500 vertical feet. Luckily there is a snack shop at the top and the ice cream treat was definitely justified. There’s a lot to explore in Jackson and believe me, we didn’t miss much. The luggage going home was stuffed with delicious custom turquoise baubles, hand stitched cowboy hats, and western boots decorated with every crazy color of the rainbow. My friends no doubt made a fashion statement at the local rodeo.

FLY FISHING IN YOUR FUTURE…

Fly fishing for the neophyte can be challenging until you get the hang of it. The folks at Teton Springs make the learning curve as painless as possible with instruction offered thru the resort’s Sport Club. You’ll quickly pick up the tricks of the trade from the local and good spirited fly fishing aficionados. The resort’s numerous private ponds and lakes offer an unintimidating and mellow environment to show off that perfect cast. My friends are now feeling pretty cocky about their new skill set and ready to snag that giant rainbow trout on the nearby Snake River. We’ll see.

 

After a few days of exploring the region, my friends were more than ready for a few days at the pool and ready to sample the activities in the Teton Springs neighborhood: golfing on the Headwaters Course (my pals loved the par 3 course!), mountain biking and hiking in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest that borders this property, tennis, hot tubing, Yoga (private sessions for just you and your pals can be arranged), basketball, weight lifting, wine tasting, and more.

The girls weren’t prepared for just how enticing the Stillwaters Spa truly is at Teton Springs. They were mentally committed to spending literally every minute they were here pursuing outdoor adventures – that is until they stepped inside the spa. Suffice to say, a few of our planned hikes had to be rescheduled to make time for a deep tissue massage and the ever mind blowing hydraquench.

The list of things to do is indeed mind boggling – whitewater & scenic river rafting, canoeing, scenic chairlift rides, hot air ballooning, kayaking, more mountain biking, even more hiking, museums, rodeos and music festivals.

It was tough saying good-bye to my good buddies, but comfort in knowing they’ll be back. There’s already talk of a future autumn trip, when the mountains scream with color and the air crystal clear. The girls will again be forced to make the tough decisions every day they’re here: what to do, what to do, what to do next?!

I also hear rumblings that their husbands are now scheming and planning their own guys’ trip to the Tetons. Who could blame them?!

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