Ever yearned for the luxury lodge lifestyle in Jackson Hole but just a teeny bit short of the readies? Fear not. Rising to 2100 metres, perched atop its own butte, Spring Creek Ranch offers tough luxe amongst the Teton Mountains. Energetic adolescents in geologic time for the Rocky Mountain chain, the Tetons were eroded into rugged handsomeness 9 million years ago. As the Western block hinged skyward to become the Teton Range, the eastern block tilted downward to form the valley now known around the world as Jackson Hole.
Spring Creek Ranch’s hotel rooms and condominiums are suitably clad in Western Red Cedar and come with stone fireplaces, rustic luxe furnishings and wrap-around scenes of the mighty Teton Range viewed across the verdant Snake River Valley.
It was in the late 1970s that a bunch of lawyers riding along the ridge thought this would be a good escarpment for a hotel. Work began early in 1980 and whilst they could have built a 100-room hotel, their over-arching desire was to maintain a sense open space. Consequently, just 36 rooms were established across 400 hectares. Since then, 81 condominiums and 8 private villas have been built offering multi-generational spaces with full resort facilities including a discreet pool, in-room dining, the spectacular Granary restaurant, massages and spiritual cleansing in a tepee, two tennis courts and horses ready to saddle up and ride the range.
“Allowing environmental space has enabled elk, moose and mute deer to flourish,” said Price. Certainly all properties are discreetly placed on the butte, some completing their disguise with grass roofs.
As seasoned travelers, we find that there are few places where you look out and see no-one, where the only sounds are sweet bird song and leaves shivering in a light breeze. On arrival, we’re greeted with a Whoa sign rather than Stop – something that’s easy to do amongst these awe-inspiring surroundings.
Room rates average around USD380 a night; a 2 bedroom condo around USD670+
For more check out www.springcreekranch.com
While you’re there….
Just 8 minutes away, downtown Jackson Hole has the trappings of a frontier town with all the shopping, dining and drinking distractions one could desire. Wooden boardwalks, period buildings and even a stagecoach are offset by fine jewellery stores, expensive all-terrain action clothing, bespoke homewares and art galleries.There’s a nightly shoot-out in the town square and despite its winter ski destination reputation, summer is its busiest season.
For more visit www.jacksonholechamber.com
Twenty minutes away, Teton Village’s aerial tram ride delivers panoramic valley views as it smoothly whirls visitors to the finger-numbing summit of Rendezvous Mountain. Energetic, adventurous types can then walk the 7.4mile trail back down to Teton Village.
Tickets from USD21 www.jacksonhole.com/tramtickets.html
Designed to extrude from the hillside like a rock formation, the impressive National Museum of Wildlife Art houses substantial collections of paintings, sculptures and pottery depicting our relationship with animals. Works span more than 150 years and whether it’s scenes of the hunter and the prey or how the female of the species is portrayed, it causes us to pause and consider the relationship. ‘Chief’ is a breathtaking painting by Robert Bateman and his subject, a bison from Elk Island Provincial Park in Alberta Canada, is partially shown emerging through the cold, white light of day. Sitting in front of it, the animal’s raw power leaps off the canvas like an oncoming locomotive.
2820 Rungus Road, Jackson Hole www.wildlifeart.org
Jackson Hole’s Sweetwater restaurant’s menu is a little bit Southern, a little bit Western and a whole lot local. There’s game from Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, fish and vegetables from Idaho. Try a buffalo T-bone from Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company grilled over an open flame with an Idaho baked potato or Elk osso bucco braised in Wyoming Whiskey jus and served over jack cheese grits. It doesn’t get more local than that!
85 Kings Street, Jackson www.sweetwaterjackson.com