Her neighbor (Jackson Hole) garners most of the local fame, but she offers nearly as much variety without all the hype. Her closest major gateway is in another state (Driggs, Idaho), and her mailing address (Alta, Wyoming) is sometimes confused with another powderhound resort.
Welcome to Grand Targhee, Wyoming.
A Skiers Delight
Snowrider enjoying a gladed run
There are only four chairlifts, but youll seldom languish in a liftline.
Shes blessed with an annual dump of more than 43 feet of nearly perfect
powder snow, yet even a couple days after a storm there are plenty of freshies
to be found. Theres a good-sized base of ski-in-ski-out accommodations,
yet priced so the entire family can enjoy a week of comfortable lodgings.
|Two separate but adjacent mountains comprise Targhees 3,000 skiable acres of playground. Trails are cut along ridge tops, down massive bowls, through chutes, and along gladed pathways. Half the skiable acreage resides on Freds Mountain, including 63 mostly intermediate runs, but with enough beginner and advanced terrain to keep your whole group happy.|
Base Village, Freds & Peaked Mountains
The majority of the nine runs on Peaked Mountain are intermediate-level, with 15% catering to advanced snow riders. Peakeds Sacajawea high-speed quad chairlift is the entry to 500 acres with over 2,400 feet of vertical. Another 1,000 acres is accessible only by signing on with SnowCat Adventures, who accommodate up to twelve people in each of their three conveyances. On an average day, you can reap ten to twelve runs and log 14,000-20,000 feet of vertical with these folks.
|Walk a few steps from your lodgings and hop aboard the Dreamcatcher chair. While youre ascending to the 10,000-foot summit, look around and scope out a plan to intertwine as many of the untracked lines and meandering gullies as possible. On top youll find yourself awe-struck by the view: spreading across the horizon are the jagged, snow-draped mastiffs of Mount Moran, Mount Owen, Grand Teton Peak, Middle Teton, and South Teton, all towering above 12,500 feet. On the backside sits Jackson Hole ski area, but the snowstorms first pass over Targhee and leaves her a much bigger helping of the coveted light and dry.|
Grand Teton & Her Neighbors (photo courtesy of Crystal Images)
Runs like Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Blackfoot Bowl are the ultimate delight
for cruising. Two thousand feet of vertical drops you down undulating terrain
that begs for whooping and hollering as you make your descent. Numerous black-diamond
chutes provide a continuous variety for the adrenaline addict, and snowsliders
will enjoy slopes like Chief Joseph Bowl and Wild Willie. Heading over to the
Blackfoot lift takes you back to the time when uphill transport was done with
just one fellow passenger, allowing time to swap stories and savor the experience
of being outdoors in a winter wonderland.
Snowboarder & Powder Trails (photo courtesy of Crystal Images)
If variety is the spice of life, Grand Targhee is a cornucopia designed to delight any gourmet. Regardless of your ability level, at some point you must head out on the Teton Vista Traverse, a green circle (i.e. beginner) run which skirts along the boundary of Freds Mountain for more than two-and-one-half miles, and definitely lives up to its vista name. The Shoshone quad lift services an intimate beginner area with over a half-dozen routes back to the base.
Off the slopes, a multitude of activities will keep you busy. Rent a pair of snowshoes and enjoy a tour led by a Resort Naturalist into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, or hitch up to a dog sled team for an excursion through the countryside. A few spins on the ice skating rink might be a nice change of pace -- admission is free and rental skates are available. Bundle the family into a horse-drawn sleigh for a romantic ride to a western-style dinner in a warm and comfy yurt.
Day snowmobile trips will introduce you to the natural wonders and wildlife
of Yellowstone National Park or the Big Hole Mountains. If your legs are beat
but you still have a desire for more snow sliding, rent a tube and head for
the tubing park, where the Magic Carpet lift takes the huff out of hauling your
hinny-slider up the hill.
|Whether youve played hard or just want to pamper yourself, indulge in a visit to the full service Spa at Grand Targhee, located poolside. Swim in the outdoor heated pool or soak in one of two hot tubs. Relax and rejuvenate yourself with a massage, facial, or body scrub and wrap. The hardest part is selecting from the variety of treatments on the menu!|
The Spa & Pool
Targhee does have snowmaking equipment, but once it has laid a base to assist
in the loading of two chairlifts, it usually spends the rest of the year in
hibernation. They are so confident in their white abundance, they guarantee
their snow conditions: if you arent happy, take your ticket back to the
Ticket Office within one hour of purchase and theyll give you a Snow Check,
good for another day anytime that same season.
|Two freestyle playgrounds include the gentle but entertaining North Pole Terrain Park, or those who want more challenge can enjoy over 15 features in the Trick Town Terrain Park. Fifteen kilometers of groomed trails beckon the Nordic enthusiast into the forested backcountry and across picturesque meadows. Complimentary mountain tours meet up daily at the bottom of the Dreamcatcher lift. Ski, snowboard and Nordic lessons and clinics are available, as well as ski and snowboard equipment rentals and sales.|
Powder Tracks (photo courtesy of Crystal Images)
Situated at 8,000 feet, the compact base area includes a range of culinary choices: fine dining at the Targhee Steakhouse, breakfast and deli-style lunches or pizza and pasta choices at Snorkels Café, the full-service cafeteria Wild Bills Grille in the day lodge, or great après-ski and entertainment in the Trap Bar & Grille. Shops run the gambit of equipment, clothing, ski, snowboard, and boutique.
Complimentary ski storage takes the concern out of leaving your equipment while
enjoying a bite of lunch or an après-ski/board brew. Day care and babysitting
services are available to take the worry out of your wee ones who arent
romping in the snow.
Happy Friends (photo courtesy of Bob Cartmell)
Native American tribes were the original residents of this area, and a local chief, Targhee, lent his name to the resort. The first lifts were installed in 1969, and since then Grand Targhee has been a somewhat well-kept secret among snowsliding powderhounds. But good things keep on happening here. This season alone has seen the Teewinot Lodge newly remodeled, and two new cats added to the grooming fleet. Peaked Mountain has opened 100 acres of new gladed terrain, and it now offers bowl skiing from top to bottom. And thats just the start of a Master Plan that includes a redesigned base area and additional lodging facilities.
Grand Targhee is located 42 miles west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and just 12 miles from Driggs, Idaho. Give them a call at 1-800-TARGHEE (827-4433) or 307-353-2300, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or check out www.grandtarghee.com for more information.
Vicki Andersen may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.