Mud Season Delights

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Mud Season Delights
JACKSON HOLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
outdoors
travel
The Teton Mountains
outside of Jackson
Mud Season Delights
Adventure and great deals await your getaway to Jackson Hole.
W
BY GLEN WARCHOL
e were near the Contindental Divide frolicking in a
sunny bowl, when I heard the muffled shouts of one of my
companions over the growl of my snowmobile’s engine. I
throttled back and located her. Her snowmobile was sunk in
a patch of soft powdered snow.
In fact, she was exactly where our guide had warned us not to
go. I watched as the Dallas resident blithely stepped off her
machine and promptly sank to her armpits in the white powder.
The guide and I rode as close as we could to the
forbidden soft spot, then waded through the powder to her.
About 20 minutes later, we had wrestled the machine and
rider onto firm snow. Who says snowmobiling is a lazy
person’s answer to cross-country skiing? The mishap wasn’t
exactly fun on an otherwise perfect snowmobiling day, but
it was an adventure to relive later over drinks.
The so-called shoulder or “mud season” is the bane of ski
resorts. Any remaining downhill skiing is on slush not snow,
but much of the terrain remains too mushy for biking or
hiking. Jackson Hole’s summer life as gateway to Grand
Teton and Yellowstone national parks has yet to begin.
But spring in Jackson Hole can be a wonderful thing.
Time it right and you can sample the delights of winter,
spring and summer without the crowds and at discounted
rates. And, with Jackson only four and a half hours by car
(an hour by air) from Salt Lake City, it’s a spectacular
end-of-winter getaway.
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MAR/APR 2014
55
Salt Lake magazine’s guide to exploring
JACKSON HOLE, WYO.
Barrel through the backcountry
Bet on the pow
Late-season skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
means short lift lines, if iffy snow. The upside: By
afternoon you may have to strip off a few layers. During
our stay, we had a not-so-unusual springtime dump
that offered a classic powder experience to end the
season. 1-888-DEEP-SNO, jacksonhole.com
When snow is on the ground, basically through March,
the best views of wildlife and spectacular scenery
around Togwotee Pass (pronounced toga-tee) are from
the saddle of a snowmobile. A hearty lunch awaits
when you tie up your snow machine at Togwotee Lodge.
Snowmobile outfitters, winding down their season, are
delighted to take a few last trips. Scenic Snow Safaris,
888-734-8898, scenic-safaris.com
travel
Wine round-up
Après with style
Bin 22, a wine bar, grocery, bar and restaurant
that offers tapas, salumi, cheese plates,
wine and conversation—all in an informal
(reservations not accepted) milieu. Think Eataly,
NYC. 307-739-WINE, bin22jacksonhole.com
The raucous ski culture at Teton Village
is anchored at the Mangy Moose, but if
you yearn for more of a dining experience,
walk a hundred yards to the Handle
Bar, where a team of chefs offer small
plate delights like black truffle beignets,
Jackson Hole elk chili and pan-roasted
duck breast, backed by artisan cocktails.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Teton Village, 307732-5157, thehandlebarjh.com
après
dark
Belly up
No trip to Jackson is complete without straddling
a saddle at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar where
you can swing to live western music. And don’t
miss the historic display of chaps that add vampin’
to cowboy ridin’ and roping’. On Jackson Square,
307-733-2207, milliondollarcowboybar.com
on the
snow
Soul Tram
Jump on the Red Tram and rock out as you
and a hundred soon-to-be-close friends
glide 4,139 vertical feet up Rendezvous
Mountain (12,463 feet), while taking in a
360-degree view of Grand Teton National
Park and the Gros Ventre Range. But
there’s more! The tram drops you at the
top of 2,500 acres of prime skiing terrain.
1-888-DEEP-SNO, jacksonhole.com
Old Jackson
Homesteader Charles Wort had a dream of building a luxury
hotel in Jackson that he accomplished in 1941. Seventy-three
years later, the Wort Hotel’s dining experience is reaching new
heights. Still, the Silver Dollar Bar remains the Wort’s glory—
with 2,032 silver dollars inlaid into the curving bar itself.
50 N. Glenwood St., Jackson, 800-322-2727, worthotel.com
Power Up
Jackson Hole’s adventures require a steady flow
of fuel to your body. Pocket a few of the local
energy boosters—the Tram Bar (or Grizzly Bar or
Caz Bar) cooked up by a ski bum and named after
the Tram at Jackson Hole. katesrealfood.com
stay &
relax
Throttle back
back to
nature
Party with
Jackson’s “celebs”
Jim Bridger never had it so good
Wild Art Scene
This is no cheesy roadside attraction: On a cliff overlooking the Elk
Refuge, the National Museum of Wildlife Art features more than
5,000 works by 550 artists that trace the history of European and
American wildlife art. John Audubon passes the torch to Charles
Russell who gives way to the whimsy of Donna Howell-Sickles. The
building itself was inspired by the ruins of a Scottish castle.
2820 Rungius Rd., 800-313-9553, wildlifeart.org
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A draft horse-drawn sleigh delivers you to
a teepee, where you’ll dine on free-range
buffalo, Dutch oven-roasted potatoes and
steamed asparagus followed by apple tarte
tatin. If you want to earn that meal, strap on
a pair of wooden snowshoes and count bald
eagles along the Snake River before dinner.
Afterwards, sip a cocktail by the fire.
307-732-COAT, snakeriversleighrides.com
Where did the iconic antler arches of
Jackson come from? Visit the National
Elk Refuge on the outskirts of town,
where horse-drawn sleighs driven
by knowledgable guides take you
breathtakingly close to elk (humans
in sleighs don’t spook them) for an
education on the animals and their
ecosystem. The elk will be shedding
their antlers in preparation for summer
in the high country. (Boy Scouts
collect tons of antlers and sell them
for charity.) 307-733-9212, fws.gov/
nationalelkrefuge
When the going gets tough, even the hard
bodies finish the day at a luxurious spa.
Jackson Hole offers some of the best,
including the Teton Resort’s Solitude Spa,
where you can get a mani-pedi or iron out
the kinks with the Herbal Poultice Ritual.
Or check out the organic Chill Spa at Hotel
Terra. tetonlodge.com/spa/solitude-spa
Organic Comfort
The LEED-Silver certified Hotel Terra offers
understated rooms that appeal to a European
resort sensibility, a perfect base camp for
days spent in the wilds. Grab a quick, but
hearty breakfast at Terra Cafe that extends the
simplicity of the hotel to its organic, healthy
and hearty fast food. Teton Village, 307-739-4000,
hotelterrajacksonhole.com
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