Sprawling Mountain Resort Near Jackson Hole
By and large, the Teton Valley is still the same unspoiled wilderness it was in the early 1800s, when John Colter split from the Lewis and Clark expedition to venture through the valley for the first time, encountering snow-capped peaks, evergreen forests, and sparkling lakes. The sprawling Teton Springs Lodge & Spa reflects its natural setting and pioneer heritage with rustic yet upscale décor in its main lodge and log cabins.
Still, the resort's amenities belong firmly to the present. At the swim-and-tennis complex, visitors can soak in two hot tubs, swim laps in a 25-meter, heated outdoor pool (opens Memorial Day), or work up a sweat on the tennis or basketball courts. The Headwaters Club at Teton Springs blends into the Teton landscape, with 18- and 9-hole golf courses, designed by architect Gary Stephenson, golfer Byron Nelson, and PGA touring pro Steve Jones.
All accommodations resemble contemporary log cabins, with wooden furnishings, oversize leather sofas, and western-flavored artwork. In select three-bedroom log cabins, mounted antlers preside over the stone fireplace. At the main lodge, one-bedroom suites feature a king-size master bedroom with a two-person jetted tub large enough to stage recreations of Lewis and Clark's late-career turn to synchronized swimming.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Rustic Mountain Enclave Near Grand Teton National Park
The town of Victor lies just west of the Idaho-Wyoming border and less than 25 miles from the cowboy mountain town of Jackson, Wyoming—sometimes referred to as Jackson Hole, a term that actually refers to the entire valley. Originally a quiet gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Jackson has blossomed into a cultural hub in its own right, with trendy restaurants, bars, and art galleries. Yet Jackson retains its rough-hewn character, visible everywhere from the staged cowboy shootouts that take place nightly in the summer to the town square's four iconic archways crafted from elk antlers shed at the nearby National Elk Refuge.
The refuge, located north of Jackson, is a 25,000-acre park where horse-drawn sleighs take visitors to the wintertime digs of a massive elk herd numbering in the thousands. The animals hunker down on the property six months out of the year before they migrate back to the high country for the summer. Other animals spotted on the refuge include moose, bighorn sheep, bison, coyotes, and wolves.
On the slopes of Rendezvous and Apres Vous mountains at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, skiers and snowboarders whoosh down 116 named trails, half of which are designated expert-level run, or guests can opt to heli-ski off-trail on more than 300,000 acres of natural terrain. Of course, Grand Teton National Park is a popular year-round attraction, and the colder months bring fewer crowds and a more peaceful experience. Wintertime park-goers often snowshoe, go cross-country skiing, and guest judge yeti beauty pageants.