It may be obvious to some when asked to name the top ski resorts in Idaho. One that immediately comes to mind is Sun Valley; definitely the oldest and some say unequivocally Idaho’s top ski resort in Idaho’s fleet of ski and snowboard areas. However, Sun Valley, an area attractive for more than its snow sports, represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to prominent Idaho resorts. Granted, its rich history, gracious accommodations and mountain infrastructure make this central Idaho resort a favorite among ski aficionados, not just from those calling the United States home but also appreciated by ski enthusiasts from around the globe.
Visitors making the annual winter trek to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa in Victor, Idaho, definitely consider Grand Targhee Ski & Summer Resort as one of the top ski resorts in Idaho. Granted, Grand Targhee can be considered somewhat “geographically challenged,” but in a good way. Targhee, technically a Wyoming resort nestled deep in the heart of the Teton Mountains, is only accessible by crossing the state line from Teton Valley Idaho into adjacent Teton Valley Wyoming. In fact, this friendly and low key resort lies only a few miles inside the Wyoming border. Teton Springs guests consider Targhee an Idaho destination, as does the state of Idaho.
Grand Targhee is on the tip of any serious skier or snowboarders’s tongue when asked where the best powder snow in North America can be found. There’s a whole list of resorts scattered across the country that lay claim to offering their guests the greatest snow conditions. However, snow sliders who are a bit snobby about what constitutes “great” snow can usually be found patronizing the resorts that dish up the light, fluffy powder snow that’s typically more a product of the Rocky Mountains. Snow is a crucial component, besides the luxury accommodations & resort amenities, that draws visitors to Teton Springs once winter arrives.
Another service that separates Teton Springs from the pack is their heli ski service. HIgh Mountain Heli, operating out of the Lodge at Teton Springs Resort, has been operating their heli skiing service in the Teton Mountains since the 1970’s. It’s difficult to imagine any guide service being in the same class when it comes to the deep knowledge and raw expertise of maneuvering a chopper in the dramatic mountains of this Yellowstone-Teton region and guiding skiers and snowboarders to the best snow this area has to offer. High Mountain Heli has over 305,000 acres in their operational permit, giving powder seekers a staggering choice of prime mountain peaks to conquer.
Heli skiing and snowboarding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience
For many Teton Springs Resort guests, heli skiing and snowboarding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but many make an annual sabbatical to ski the vast Teton Mountain range. Return guests know that one, or even multiple trips isn’t nearly enough; there’s always new terrain to conquer. It’s an entirely different perspective seeing this majestic landscape from the air. Or, they may head to portions of the Hoback and Gros Ventre Mountains. And that’s just in Wyoming. High Mountain Heli also delivers powder conditions in portions of Idaho’s Palisades Range. Guests flying & sliding with High Mountain Heli will, on on any given crisp winter day, ski the best conditions in both Idaho & Wyoming.
Heli skiers also discover pretty quickly that in addition to accessing some of the best snow in the northern Rockies, they will also be exploring vast wide-open bowls, steep chutes, enchanted landscape with trees galore and glades that seem to go on forever. Heli skiing is one service where it’s easy to rack up significant vertical feet in a day. Strapping on the right boards to ski this type of snow is essential and the guides are there to help with equipment needs. This is not terrain one will ever experience at a resort. Even the best resorts in America can’t compete with heli skiing. Therefore, all strong skiers and snowboarders should have heli skiing on their bucket list. Teton Springs can make the dream a reality.
Idaho ski resorts, beauty and adventure
Ski resorts Idaho style, offer more than just schussing down pristine groomed slopes covered with Rocky Mountain’s white gold. Skiers and snowboarders, both from the local region and those who have made a long trek from across the country, gravitate to this region for a wider array of winter adventures. The snow capped mountains filled with the country’s lightest and driest snow primarily attracts skiers for the traditional lift served sliding but there are so many reasons to pursue other winter adventures. Western ski resorts, Idaho being at the top of the list, have made a conscience decision to offer other ways to enjoy the pure mountain air and eye-popping scenery. Marketing types acknowledge that everyone who ventures to the Northern Rockies isn’t necessarily just interested in conquering black diamond slopes on alpine skis or snowboards.
Cross country skiers paradise
In Teton Valley, the cross-county aficionados and other local experts,namely the staff at Teton Trails and Pathways, have come together to create a world-class Nordic Trail System across the entire swath of Teton Valley. This is partially why Teton Springs Lodge & Spa remains one of the most popular winter destinations in theTeton Mountains, and for good reasons. It’s easy access from this year-round resort to the miles and miles of groomed Nordic trails that dot this landscape. Winter ski resorts such as Teton Springs offer viable options when you’re looking to work a tad harder for your turns as you head into the adjacent Caribou-Targhee National Forest, or simply want to start this vacation with a leisurely ski tour.
At Teton Springs Lodge, you’re right in the middle of beautiful trails
Visitors arriving at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa in Victor, Idaho, will find groomed cross-country trails right outside their accommodations, whether they have opted for a comfortable Lodge room, one or two bedroom suite, or one of the 3, 4 & 5 bedroom elegant mountain log homes that mark the perimeter of the Teton Springs Resort. You can also skip the hassle of traveling with your own gear. Guests interested in this self-propelled mode of transportation can find the latest equipment in one of the many ski shops in Teton Valley, particularly in Driggs, Idaho, a charming town located just 8 miles from Teton Springs. Rental packages for both nordic and downhill ski equipment are available for skiers of all ages and ability levels.
Grand Targhee skiing is close by
Grand Targhee, just across the border into Wyoming and a short scenic drive from Teton Springs, is also a major destination for the cross-country skier. Known primarily for its powder-filled downhill skiing and snowboarding, they also appreciate the popular draw of cross-country skiing. They have thus dedicated a large parcel of groomed track, Rick’s Basin, located just below the base village and easily accessible from the parking areas. Here in Rick’s Basin you’ll glide over rolling terrain in wide-open meadows. You’ll have the sense that you’re miles from the civilized world when in fact you can be in the day lodge within minutes for a steaming cup of hot chocolate or bowl of homemade chili. The day lodge is warm and cozy and affords a birds-eye view of the lift served mountain and interesting shops in the resort’s main plaza. Or, stop into the resort’s General Store for a quick snack or sample the authentic mexican delights served up by Nacho, the resort’s master chef.
Jackson Hole skiing is just up and over the hill from Teton Springs Lodge
A trip across Teton Pass into Wyoming’s Jackson Hole area should be on every visitor’s agenda. Popular cross-country trails accessed from the top of Teton Pass means a voyage into some of the Tetons most beautiful and ruggedly beautiful terrain. It can be argued that an Idaho resort, like Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, is definitely more famous for its championship Headwaters golf course and world renowned fly fishing packages. However, when the snow melts those seeking out winter adventures that include a variety of freshly groomed trails need to look no further than this Idaho ski resort.