Grand Targhee Resort
Tuesday Mar. 1st, 2011
Nestled in a quiet corner of paradise, Grand Targhee Resort is located in the Teton Mountain Range, in Alta Wyoming. The drive from Bozeman to Alta is a relatively quick and easy one. About three and a half hours of beautiful mountain scenery. Either passing through Ennis or West Yellowstone depending on your chosen route, both offer at least one good stopping place to gas up your ride and fill up your belly. Ashton or Driggs, both in Idaho, are also good places to get some last minute things before settling in for your stay at the resort.
The elevation at Grand Traghee’s base area is 7,860 feet. There you can find a variety of Dining and Retail options including a full service rental shop, Teton Mountain Outfitters, and the famous Trap Bar which focuses on Great Food & Drink with Live Entertainment. Also in the Main Plaza there’s a General Store with some basic provisions including dry goods, snacks, pop, beer, and liquor store.
The Activity Center, also located in the Main Plaza is where you can sign up for a lesson, and get the kids in the Kid’s Club or out Tubing. You can also get signed up in the Activity Center for a Sleigh-Ride Dinner, or even better yet a private Snowcat Adventure. That’s right you can ski or ride on your own private stash of over 600 acres of great Teton Powder.
Private snowcat area aside, Grand Targhee Resort offers over 1,600 acres of some of the best Intermediate / Advanced-Intermediate skiing in North America. Atop of Fred’s Mountain the elevation is 9,862 feet giving the riders at Grand Targhee a 2,000 ft vertical drop. The Dreamcatcher lift is a high speed detachable quad which departs from the main plaza in the base area. The terrain serviced by this lift is generally speaking, wide open, offering amazing views of the Grand Teton to the South on clear days. There are huge bowls with great pitches for skiing powder, big steep rolling groomers, and not to mention some nicely gladed trees / cliff bands as well.
From the Dreamcatcher Quad, you can ski all day and be happy, or you can head Left (North) to the Blackfoot Double Lift, which offers some of the most fun glade skiing in Wyoming. The runs Powder Cache, Lost Warrior and Raven Wood are more than worth the ride on the fixed grip double lift. In fact they are way too fun too miss, for any reason. You also can ski here all day without noticing very big crowds, and be quite happy all day.
Once you decide to ski back to the Dreamcatcher Quad, head up and go right (South) from the top, you will access an area known as the Happy Hunting Ground. This is where you get some of the most amazing views of the Grand Teton as well as Grand Targhee’s own Peaked Mountain & Mary’s Nipple. Riding down the Happy Hunting Ground, You decend through some tree and rock bands to an area called ‘Middle Earth’ between Fred’s and Peaked Mountains and then wrap around to the south to where the ‘New’ Sacajawea High Speed Quad is to access Peaked. A 9,830 ft tall mountain with Grand Targhee Resort’s most difficult terrain. Just to the North of the lift’s top there are big cliffs and terrain steep enough to get any skier’s heart racing at the top, and bottom of the runs. if that is not quite your cup of tea, Peaked Mountain also offers some amazingly fun Intermediate runs both groomed and off-piste.
Snow? Oh Yeah! Grand Targhee gets a ton of that too. Averaging over 500 inches of fluffy Teton powder every year Grand Targhee Resort is at or near the top of almost every snowfall list, every year. The same snow that makes Jackson Hole famous, but more of it, with way fewer people, shorter lift lines, and a laid back, welcoming vibe. For a smile (and/or a beer) many locals will be happy to show you some of their favorite runs, or maybe even a secret stash or two of deep powder.
The infrastructure at Grand Targhee Resort is not brand new, but instaed has a nostalgic feel. It is not worn out, but has the feeling of an old fashioned well maintained place. The Lodges were built in the 70’s and have a European charm about them. Nothing too fancy, yet very relaxing. All have access to a workout facility, a 90º pool and a 104º hot tub, and are waalking distance to the Main Plaza and Dreamcatcher.
If you, your family, or friends are planning a spring ski trip somewhere in our region, you definately should consider heading south to Grand Targhee Resort. They have some great ski and stay packages online at www.grandtarghee.com as well as discounted 2 day passes. I say Ride On!