The Magic of Yellowstone in Winter
I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Yellowstone National Park. Working in the park after college really happened by accident. It was intended to be but a slight detour, a brief summer fling with Mother Nature, for this east coast urban dweller. However, living in the heart of Yellowstone changes one’s life in so many ways, making it nearly impossible to return to life as we once knew it. That stint in Yellowstone led to Victor, Idaho, and the Tetons, undoubtedly the most spectacular & unspoiled mountains in North America. I was smitten, still am. My story is not unique; it’s played over and over again by countless others in search of adventures in the Wild West.
Most of the staff at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa shares the same resume. Their stories vary, but basically, they’re here because they love this rich, rugged, and stunning environment. Their expertise and enthusiasm about this Yellowstone-Teton region proves time and time again to be an extra bonus for our guests as they’re excited to share a roadmap for adventure designed for our guests’ personal preferences. And now that Teton Springs is a Natural Retreats property, you can simply dial one number and instantly be talking to a concierge who will take one’s mountain vacation into high gear.
Another common thread in my resume is my love for beautiful hotels. In Yellowstone I had the pleasure of working at the Lake Hotel. This Grande Dame first opened in 1891 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, guaranteeing that future generations will also enjoy this treasure. Now, my heart belongs to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, and while it’s only been serving guests since 2007, and thus not quite ready for the history books, it’s equally as captivating.
Travelers anxious to sample the countless things to do in our vast region arrive primarily during the summer months. I get that. For many of our guests, the attraction is Teton Springs Resort’s world-class Headwaters Golf Course, with its 360 degree mountain views and lakes teeming with native trout.
For others who land in eastern Idaho, it’s the extraordinary fly fishing that’s the main attraction. The South Fork Lodge, a sister to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, is headquartered on the banks of the South Fork River, believed my many to hold the key to the best dry fly fishing in North America. No argument there.
And for others, the lure is a combination of the above, coupled with some of the incomparable outdoor recreation in the lower 48; hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, music festivals, and the list goes on and on and on…….
So, it’s easy to understand why there’s such an influx of visitors to this glorious playground when the sun-kissed days seem almost endless. I’d also venture to guess that just about everyone poking around in the Tetons throughout the summer has at least a one day trip planned for Yellowstone. Viewing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat is worth the price of admission and then some. And, to take the guess work out of finding the best nooks and crannies to insure an encounter with a majestic moose, towering elk, or an elusive grizzly, it’s smart to book a Wildlife Safari with our partners Brusbuck Tours.
However, to truly lose oneself in the splendor of Yellowstone, I would suggest a winter trip. A guided snowmobile trip into our nation’s first national park on the back of a sled is like a magical mystery tour; you never know what’s around the next bend. It’s also a very intimate way to experience Old Faithful and an abundance of other less famous, but equally as striking steaming geysers. And be ready for the ultimate Kodak moments as you’ll often find yourself literally face to face with the bison that share the snowpack roadways.
I am always struck by the stark beauty and almost eerie stillness of the park when it’s blanketed with snow and the roadways are closed to all vehicles (except for snow coaches and snowmobiles of course). The National Park service limits the number of sleds entering the park each day, allowing for an abundance of solitude and a sereneness that’s challenging to experience on summer excursions when cars, motor homes & campers fill the roads. Yellowstone’s character is altered dramatically with the changing of the seasons, but one thing is constant, it always fills one with awe.
Our Natural Retreats experts are standing on alert and will take care of all trip essentials; reserving your lodge suite or maybe a custom Handpicked Home, and they’ll set you up on your Yellowstone discovery mission with our partners at Teton Valley Adventures. This local Teton Valley company is all about the service, and familiar with every twist and turn of Yellowstone. They’ll pick you up at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, and you’ll travel north on eastern Idaho’s most scenic highway, from Victor to the west entrance of Yellowstone Park. You can also book a private tour, just you, your family and friends, and the bison of course.
There’s simply no place on earth like our Yellowstone-Teton territory in winter!