One would expect to see some bears while driving through several national parks in the USA, but no we did not. So, our girls were quite excited to see one in front of The Lodge at Jackson Hole Wyoming. What a delightful place! But look out for the wooden bears, it’s not just one… They're all over the place: peaking in windows, climbing on balconies and into the trash cans outside!

As a matter of fact, we were already excited when driving to the Lodge. We take the opportunity to visit Atlantic City; the community is a small mining settlement in a gulch (dating back to the gold rush in 1867) and well worth a visit.

 Getting rid of some energy during one of the long rides in Atlantic City

Getting rid of some energy during one of the long rides in Atlantic City

When we cross the doorsteps of The Lodge a Western feeling comes right to us: stuffed animals are everywhere. The lounge's casual atmosphere offers a huge fire place, wine, cocktails & light fare in the evenings. The Lodge is in the heart of Jackson and therefore a perfect place to see more of the city and at the same time, when sleeping on a higher floor, you might have a view on the nearby mountains.

 Animals everywhere

Animals everywhere

Make yourself at home in one of the 154 air-conditioned rooms. They all have the same western look and feel, maybe this experience is the reason prices are quite steep (as most hotels in Jackson Hole). Guests are required to pay a fee for amenities, which covers such things as the breakfast buffet, wireless internet access, fitness center use, pool towel service, parking and a free shuttle which will drop you off at the town center and pick you up when you call.

Our girls are fond of the pool which is nicely heated and both in- and outdoor, so you can use it in every season. You could say the pool area is fitted in a western style as well... you don’t see a pool with curtains and Cowboy collectables that many. Additional there’s an outdoor Jacuzzi, indoor soaking tub and sauna as well as two spa treatment rooms for massages and body treatments; they ask you to reserve at least 24 hours in advance.

 Indoor-outdoor pool

Indoor-outdoor pool

Service depends on the staff member helping us at that moment. But we are sure it’s not easy which such a variety of guests and wishes coming over. It was nice that one of them found us a room a bit earlier than the time of arrival. In our opinion the gourmet breakfast buffet could have been a bit better and it was the same every day. Dinner is available too, all though there are some great restaurants in town as well. After quite a journey we’re happy to find a washing machine here. The hotel also provide lemon water for free all day and a free fountain water machine; we enjoy the refill of water a couple of times.

And not to forget: the staff can help you plan your days, from activities to where to eat dinner. That might be handy since there’s so much to do around here. The location of the Lodge is convenient to Jackson Hole Rodeo Grounds and Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. And it’s within proximity of Teton County Fairgrounds and Center for The Arts. Nearby you will find lots of adventures that are great for children as well: wildlife tours, rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing, paragliding, hiking, kayaking and pack trips or trail rides. And golfing and fly fishing mostly most appreciated by adults.

As we visited in Summer we found most guest are off for the several parks in the area such as Yellowstone which was the first National Park in the US and might just as well be the first national park in the world. Apart from activities like hiking, boating and fishing, it has some great wildlife and geothermal features such as the Old Faithful geyser. It comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges, as well as the largest active super volcano on the continent. As for wildlife you might encounter grizzly bears, wolves, bison’s and elks.

 Just a little bit of waiting for the Old Faithful geyser shows itself

Just a little bit of waiting for the Old Faithful geyser shows itself

In the Winter months the Lodge is a true ski hotel. Think of snowmobiling, dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. The complimentary winter ski shuttle service makes getting to the slopes very easy. The ski rental shop is full service and you can put your skiing equipment is the dedicated storage area.

We take our changes while going with the Aerial Tram tot the top of Mountain Rendezvous. There’s a family pass for this leisurely ride by the way and we’re glad we all wear layers. The views of the valley and surrounding mountains are epic and we realize now why the Grand Tetons are singled out as far as “must see” sites are concerned. As we hike and the sun comes through, it gets quite warm. And soon a snowball from my daughter hits me. Don’t forget the time of the latest tram ride; we had to run to be on time, although sleeping in the small café/restaurant at the top would have been an adventure as well :-).

 Snowballs in Summer...

Snowballs in Summer...

And ofcourse there's the Grand Teton National Park. History here dates back at least 11,000 years, when the Paleo-Indians began migrating into the region during warmer months pursuing food and supplies. In the early 19th century the first white explorers encountered the eastern Shoshone natives. The mountains became a focal point for explorers wanting to claim first ascents of the peaks. Efforts to preserve the region began and in 1929 Grand Teton National Park was established. The naming of the mountains here is attributed to French-speaking trappers—les trois tétons (the three teats). Grand Teton rises more than 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole. In the park the same species of flora and fauna that have existed since prehistoric times, can still be found there. For children it is also a beautiful place for mountaineering, hiking (over 200 miles…) and relax...

 In front of the Tetons

In front of the Tetons

WOW

# The western feeling you will encounter when entering the Lodge; you will experience this everywhere throughout the hotel.

# It’s location: don’t search for another base in Jackson Hole combining a city with so many outdoor activities.

# The pool is nicely heated so at all seasons you can end the day with a dive for the kids.