Grand Targhee Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Joan Firstenberg
Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Grand Targhee Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Grand Targhee Resort is located in Alta, Wyoming. It sits beneath the statuesque peaks of the Grand Tetons, and is 48 miles from Jackson Hole and 107 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Both Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, airports are about 90 minutes driving time from the resort. Grand Targhee is small resort -- perfect for families, couples and skiers of all ages in love with powdery snow.
Grand Targhee Resort ski area stretches over two mountains: Fred's and Peaked Mountain. It delivers more than 2,000 acres for skiing and boarding on champagne light powdery snow -- and there's lots of it. Grand Targhee Resort's location on the western side of the Tetons receives more than 500 inches of snowfall annually because of precipitation from huge storms emigrating from the Pacific. The resort owns snowmaking equipment but uses it only in the early season at the bottom of two chairlifts to make enough snow to enable loading. The total vertical drop is 2,592 feet, while the summit elevation is 10,000 feet. The resort's ski season runs from November to April.
Trails And Lifts
Grand Targhee Resort has 82 trails, with 10 percent easy, 70 percent medium and 20 percent the most difficult. Grand Targhee Resort's signature trail is a hike up Mary's Nipple, permitting access to some of the most stupendous powder trails. Grand Targhee Resort has five chairlifts: a magic carpet, a double chair, a quad chair and two high-speed detachable quads. Grand Targhee Resort offers a Trick Town Terrain Park that allows skiers and riders a chance to learn freestyle sliding, with plenty of fun rails and mailboxes. It's great for more experienced skiers as well, with features including tabletop, rainbow, flat down flat, helmet hill and spine hill. Grand Targhee Resort also has a Nordic trail system with nine miles of groomed track for touring and skating.
In The News
The Grand Targhee Resort hosts the Snow Bike Race and Bike Demos in January as part of the Teton Valley Great Snow Fest with distances of 15K, 30K and 45K. Snow bikes can be rented, and every racer receives an event race hat, awards and a chance to win in the raffle after the contest. In January, the top mountaineering and endurance athletes race a grueling course up and down the mountain. Grand Targhee Resort also hosted a 2011 IFSA Junior Freeride Competition, with more than 140 skiers ages 12 to 17 that compete on the steep ridge of Peaked Mountain. Grand Targhee Resort has its very own celebrities, such as Jeff Jung, who has professionally skied in the Tetons since 1994 and is now the lead patroller at the resort.
Lift tickets at Grand Targhee Resort are broken into full and half days, so an adult all-day ticket costs $69 a and half day is $49. For a senior, it's $44 and $39. For 6 to 12-year-olds, it's $29 for both, and children 5 and younger ski for free. A yearly pass for the whole family costs $1,699, while a yearly adult pass goes for $899. Grand Targhee Resort's rental shop offers skis, boots and poles in several performance levels. A sport rental costs $39 for a full day, $25 for a half day and $33 for three days or more. Grand Targhee Resort Ski & Snowboard School offers PSIA/AASI instruction to adults. For preschoolers, there's a Mini Moose school where private lessons cost $90, and group lessons go for $75. The price of Powder Scouts for kids 5 to 14 years old ranges from $69 to $111.
After skiing, guests can take a dip in Grand Targhee's outdoor saltwater heated pool and hot tub. As they step out of the pool, a fitness cabin awaits equipped with free weights, weight machines, cardio equipment (including spin bicycles), fitness cycles, treadmills, elliptical trainers and a television. Grand Targhee Resort has four on-site restaurants: Branding Iron Grill, The Trap Bar and Grill, Wild Bill's Grill and Snorkel's. There is also a general store for snacks. A favorite apres-ski snack is Wyoming's world-famous Wydaho Nachos. Almost every night of the week, the resort invites a music group (usually country and western), to sing at the Trap Bar for an apres-ski music session and drinks.
WATCH: Grand Targhee Resort
Grand Targhee received 32 inches of snow within 24 hours, creating a powdery wonderland.