Log-Cabin Lodge near Wyoming’s Grand Tetons
The Grand Tetons serve as the backdrop for The Bentwood Inn, a lodge located in Jackson Hole. The building’s designers managed to work the landscape into the inn’s decor in subtle ways. It was constructed out of 200-year-old pine logs salvaged from Yellowstone National Park, located about 60 miles away. A 30-foot fireplace built from river rocks anchors the resort’s grand two-story common area.
There are fireplaces in all of the themed guest rooms. The Cowboy room welcomes guests with rodeo-motif bedding and a walk-in shower adorned in tattersall tiles. Upstairs, the Bunkhouse room overlooks the mountains, with a lodgepole ladder leading to a third-story loft, ideal for children. There are hand-painted Native American ceremonial pipes at the entrance of the Indian Paintbrush room, which has an intimate balcony for two.
The Bentwood Inn’s kitchen serves meals and snacks made from seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. Every morning, guests gather in the lodge’s dining room for dishes such as baked praline french toast and buffalo eggs benedict. At night, hors d’oeuvres are served by the crackling fire, which has spectacular views of the sunset. If you opt for a 4-night stay, you’ll get two dinners for two as well as a half-day safari through the wilderness.
Jackson, Wyoming: Wildlife and World-Class Skiing in the Old West
Jackson may be the only place on earth where you might see a rodeo cowboy, rock climber, and Hollywood starlet on the same block. The former frontier outpost draws visitors of all stripes for its special blend of Old West flavor and jaw-dropping natural beauty. Old-fashioned saloons and high-end galleries line the town square, but a few miles north in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find nothing but wilderness.
Though summer and winter are Jackson’s high seasons, you’ll encounter lighter crowds in spring and spectacular foliage in the fall. As the snows begin to melt in May, the rivers swell and fill with rapids. There are about a dozen rafting outfitters in Jackson that run whitewater trips on the Snake River and scenic floats on a calmer stretch upstream, where you’ll have a chance to see eagles, moose, and pelicans.
By early December, the ski lifts are up and running at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, famed for its challenging terrain and laissez-faire backcountry policy. Back in town, the much smaller Snow King Resort boasts the only night skiing in the area; unlike the slopes, the lift tickets aren’t too steep—about $40 for a full-day adult ticket.
Ski bums are seduced by Jackson’s epic snowfalls, but a different species objects to the cold. Each winter, about 12,000 elk migrate to the valley floor, where the temperatures are milder. At the National Elk Refuge, which borders downtown Jackson, conservationists lead horse-drawn sleigh rides to view the mammals up close, mid-December through early April. If the elk prove elusive, head across the street to see them in bronze or watercolor at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.