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!