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For some, paradise isn’t a pristine tropical island: it’s a mountain dusted with fresh, untouched snow. Skiing is a popular winter getaway for outdoor junkies who would rather work up a sweat tearing up the trails instead of lying in the sun. While the Northeast is home to a number of ski havens, snow bunnies may find themselves itching to hit the powder along the mountaintops out West. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a skier’s paradise, home to a number of beautiful, budget friendly resorts. But making the trek from the East Coast can be an ordeal. The journey required two, sometimes three transfers, an exhaustive trip which can leave any athlete breathless (and minus some vacation days). Good news for those looking to maximize their time on the mountains: United Airlines is doing its part to help skiers can get from their home to the slopes much, much quicker.
The airline announced it will offer nonstop, daily flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Jackson Hole from December 19 to January 2. Flights will also take off every Saturday from February 9 to March 30. The change is part of a wider expansion of services to Jackson Hole across several carriers. United recently began flying non-stop out of San Francisco, and Delta will offer flights from Minneapolis this winter.
The dog days of summer may be upon us, but RockResorts is looking to cool you down with its winter getaway deals featuring savings of 25 to 50 percent, and rates starting at $85 per night at locations around the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Already dreaming of snow? Book now for the lowest rates at The Arrabelle at Vail Square or The Lodge at Vail, RockResorts’ establishments near Vail, Colorado, where you’ll find excellent back-country skiing and snowboarding. At nearby Beaver Creek, the group’s Osprey and The Pine Lodge also offer activities like snowshoeing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, and hot air ballooning. Read more
Of course, nature also encompasses wildlife, some of which – bears, mountain lions, or even a seemingly docile bison – can turn an outdoor adventure into a trip to the hospital (or worse). And though animal attacks on humans are extremely rare, spring, when animals are coming out of hibernation and caring for their young, presents a good time for a primer on what to do if you cross paths with a potentially dangerous animal.
For expert insight, I spoke to Kurt Johnson, the resident naturalist at Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming, who’s also a wildlife photographer with decades of experience in the wilderness. “What’s really interesting about wildlife interactions with people is that they’re communicating with us constantly,” Johnson says. “They’re telling us when they become uncomfortable, when they get agitated.”
A good rule of thumb with any animal, Johnson says, is to understand that if “what you’re doing is changing the behavior of the animal, you’re doing something wrong.” Here, more tips on understanding animal instinct and staying safe in the wild.
The 2011/2012 ski season has been a bit of a bummer for bona fide ski bums, since it hasn’t put a dent in last year’s record-setting snowfall. Still, there’s plenty of powder to be had in prime ski destinations, and leading the (snow)pack is Wyoming, which has seen more snowfall than Colorado, Utah, California, or the New England region.
I recently spent several days at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (confession: it was the first time I’d strapped on skis in years), where bluebird skies, fluffy powder, and nearly nonexistent lift lines have surely spoiled me for my times to come out on the slopes. The resort has a reputation as an experts’ paradise – it boasts 4,139’ vertical feet of steep and deep runs, including the notorious Corbet’s Couloir and its two-story drop into a rocky chute – but I was surprised (and grateful) to learn that the resort also has plenty of fantastic terrain for just-getting-back-into-skiing folks like me.
Here with a few more unexpected discoveries that I made, primed for helping other first-timers to Jackson Hole, too: Read more
It’s the forecast that skiers and snowboarders have been longing for: Big snow is finally on the way this weekend. More than four feet of snow are expected to dump on Jackson Hole, Wyoming – as well as other snow-starved resorts – this weekend, as part of the winter storm fronts that are gearing up to hit the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. In anticipation of the long-awaited snowfall, two properties in Jackson Hole are offering a 3-night “Storm Chaser” package that includes accommodations, lift tickets, and other perks.
Package deals from Teton Mountain Lodge and Hotel Terra come with a 3-day lift ticket for two adults, a $20 per room breakfast credit, and accommodations, with starting nightly rates from $314 for Teton Mountain Lodge and $339 at Hotel Terra (three night minimum stay required). Considering that adult full-day passes at Jackson Hole cost $85 alone, that’s pretty significant savings. The deal runs through Jan. 31.
The 2012 ski season has kicked into gear, so if you’re looking to hit the slopes with your partner, but are also seeking romantic aprés-ski ambience and excellent dining, here are my suggestions for the best U.S. ski resorts for grown-ups – from the Adirondacks to the Rockies.
Jackson Hole, WY: Combine a funky cowboy-town vibe with world-class resorts – and add in a majestic setting against the stunning Grand Teton peaks – and you have Jackson Hole. Read more
“This year we’re going to a dude ranch with the whole family,” Modern Family dad Phil Dunphy told viewers at the beginning of the Emmy-winning comedy’s season three premiere last week. Fans of the show or not, your own modern family has a chance to win a summer vacation at Lost Creek Ranch Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the very ranch where the Modern Family brood stayed and filmed on location this past summer.
Situated between Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the ranch has lush scenery with pricing to match. During high season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) half duplex cabins for one to three people are $6300 per week per cabin and living room cabins sleeping up to eight are $13,500. Kids six and under stay free, and all meals as well as your own horse for the week are among the inclusions. If this packs appeal, one strategy might be to start saving now and, for good measure, entering Wyoming Tourism’s Modern Family sweepstakes, whose winner will get a package for four including five nights at the ranch and another two in Yellowstone, as well round-trip airfare and a rental car. The sweeps window opened last week and closes a second before midnight this Friday, September 30. Another winner will get a skiing-oriented winter escape elsewhere in Jackson Hole.
The Luxury Situated less than 5 miles from the Grand Tetons and just 60 miles from Yellowstone, the 31-room Rusty Parrot Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, elevates lodge living to lavish heights. Suites come stocked with L’Occitane bath products, whirlpool tubs, and fireplaces. Wild Sage, the on-site eatery, serves local game and organic produce. Outside, guests can hike or bike past golden aspens, then retreat to the Body Sage Spa for kneading of sore muscles.
There are few more definitive ways to embrace winter than whisking through fresh powder while skiing down the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and the Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming has made it very easy to do. Skiers booking the minimum four-night deluxe hotel stay as part of the Ski Free Package (rates start at just $87.50 per person/night) will receive a complimentary three-day lift ticket at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort! Guests will also receive daily breakfast and complimentary shuttles to the resort and town. Additionally, those who mention ShermansTravel.com when booking have the exclusive option to upgrade their Ski Free Package to a four-bedroom mountain villa, the ideal accommodations for large groups, for $1500/night.
THE VALUE: Full-day lift tickets during high season are $91, which alone is more expensive than the starting nightly rate of the Ski Free Package!
THE CATCH: The starting price of $87.50 can increase depending on the time of ski season. For the cheapest fares, book in late-November to early-December and late-March to early-April.
THE DETAILS: Book your vacation at www.springcreekranch.com or call 800-443-6139 for travel between November 27, 2010 and April 3, 2011.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great, low rates on flights to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Take a look at our Spotlight on Jackson Hole backcountry skiing.
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