The Jackson Town Council will review a zip line developers have planned for public land at a meeting today. Town leaders asked Snow King Mountain Recreation to stop construction on the “Soaring Eagle Zip Line” last fall after the group started work on the 700-foot-long ride without town approval. The council could decide at a 2 p.m. workshop whether the zip line falls within the parameters of the town’s lease with Snow King Mountain’s Manuel Lopez. The lease allows “ski area uses.” “This is the town of Jackson as the owner of the property deciding how the lease should be interpreted,” Town Manager Bob McLaurin said. The question that needs to be considered is, he said, “Is the zip line an appropriate use within the lease?” Lopez believes it is. “One hundred percent of it is within land that we control,” Lopez said. “Some of it is owned by the town, but we have a lease that goes on for another 21 years. That lease allows for lifts, any kind of development.” The zip line would be similar to a ski lift, he said. Riders hang onto a pulley attached to a cable and slide from the top to the bottom of the inclined line. The top and bottom of the ride would be located on public land on the town hill. The property is leased to Lopez’s group for $1,200 a year.
Luxury Travel Magazine recently published this article on luxury vacation packages offered in Jackson Hole. Sounds amazing!
Did you know that Teton County in Wyoming is one of America’s wealthiest? With that in mind, it’s no surprise that The Clear Creek Group, a luxury vacation rental company based in Jackson Hole has developed the “Elite Winter Escape.”
The trip, designed especially for affluent travelers looking for an over-the-top approach to a ski getaway, includes custom handmade skis, in-home local whiskey and beer tastings and more. Not to mention the opportunity to experience the destination’s well-sought-after real estate.
The Clear Creek Group specializes in luxury vacation rentals and has more than 50 properties in its portfolio ranging from one to ten-bedrooms. All homes are located within Jackson Hole with easy access to the award-winning slopes for prime winter exploration. The expansive portfolio includes Riva Ridge, a ten-bedroom lodge on 125 acres including a private recording studio and indoor Carrera marble pool. Windswept Ranch, a six-bedroom home offers stunning views of the open Wyoming sky and is a favorite for stargazing. The five-bedroom Phillips Ridge includes an indoor bowling alley, grotto pool and movie theater.
It’s a well-worn cliché employed by one-time ski bums who quickly grasped the appeal of ski-town living after the snow melted, the temperatures rose and the wildflowers bloomed.
In recent years, top ski destinations have beefed up their warm-weather offerings to lure visitors. Most large ski resorts offer world-class golf and mountain biking. Many are adding bells and high-altitude whistles like man-made whitewater parks, ziplines and much more. The bonus? Bargain rates at some of the region’s swankiest spots.
“In the summertime, travelers can experience the same luxurious lodging and dine at the same world-class restaurants for a fraction of the price,” says Dan Sherman of Ski.com, which sells mountain vacation packages. “We have found that travelers can snag deals with savings of up to 85-percent off the most expensive travel times in winter.”
Wow, you say? That’s what we thought, too.
Outpacing even Boulder County, Colo. — long regarded as the nation’s leader in physical health — Teton County is first in the nation for physical activity, according to a new study.
The report, released Tuesday by researchers at the University of Washington, drew its conclusion from two annual surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that rate all U.S. counties according to activity levels of residents. “Residents of Teton County should be happy with their record on obesity and physical activity,” said Joy Portella, spokeswoman for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the organization that led the study.
One of its authors said the study is important in that it highlights the contrast in health from county to county. “There are huge disparities within states and counties, and unless we address these disparities, we will not achieve what we want in the United States,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at the University of Washington. “We have not made the improvement other countries have made — we’re falling behind.”
Factors such as education and wealth are strong determinants of health, he said, and primary drivers of the differences in health found among U.S. counties. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in 2012 that Teton County residents bring home more income per capita than any other county besides New York County, N.Y.
A pair of peregrine falcons nesting on a popular climbing destination in Grand Teton National Park has led park officials to close the area until the young birds have fledged. It is the third year Grand Teton National Park has closed Baxter’s Pinnacle near the mouth of Cascade Canyon due to peregrine falcon nesting activity.
Once the young birds have learned to fly, the closure will be lifted. The park did not issue a press release this year. Instead, officials chose to place signs on the approach starting in early April. Peregrine falcons are extremely territorial, park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said. The birds will abandon a nest if they are disturbed and have in the past dive-bombed climbers. “The closure is really two-fold: to protect the peregrine’s nesting area and to protect climbers,” Skaggs said.
Peregrine falcons can reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour. “Every effort we make to give the falcons a healthy nesting area and to protect the safety of climbers, we will,” she said. The birds were first discovered when climbers reported being attacked on the pinnacle three years ago.
A land largely unaffected by the progress of man, the Tetons Range and the surrounding areas are a pristine ecosystem inhabited by a vast diversity of wildlife spreading across multiple national parks. Uninhibited by foothills on the eastern side the range rises sharply and splits upper Wyoming and lower Idaho in two. On one side sits Jackson Hole, home to the legendary ski area and playground to outdoor junkies. On the other resides the Teton Valley: a landscape dotted with hay farms and the small rustic towns of eastern Idaho. Smack in the middle, off the pass that separates the two, lies some of the most progressive mountain bike trails in America. Local riders teaming with the Forest Service have created a network of trails designed and built specifically for riding. We explored both sides of the pass and rode varied terrain from purpose-built bike park features to backcountry singletrack, clinging to the edge of 10,000-foot peaks.
The Jackson Hole Land Trust sewed up a conservation easement last week that will protect 153 acres on the Red Rock Ranch. The deal capped a big year for the trust, its leaders said. The property conserved last week, along the Gros Ventre River above Lower Slide Lake, is home for bald eagles, elk, mule deer, antelope, moose and cutthroat trout.
Land Trust Executive Director Laurie Andrews said the easement “protects ranging heritage as well as important, high-quality habitat and connectivity for wildlife up the Gros Ventre.” The property is one of six on which easements were secured during 2012. The trust’s efforts preserved 438 acres. That’s a significant increase from last year, when the nonprofit organization completed easements on three properties, protecting 61 acres.
Land trust representatives also finished the third phase of its Flat Creek Corridor Project, a partnership between the trust and the town of Jackson that seeks to place about 40 acres under protection. Another two easements were put in place in the Bar B Bar Ranch subdivision, north of Jackson along the Snake River corridor. Those easements protected 97 acres in an area that is riparian habitat and part of a migration route for elk between Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. Last month, a company called Sacred Waters donated 5 acres at the B-Hive Ranch along Highway 390. Aside from the flurry of end-of-the-year activity, the organization accepted a 181-acre easement in August on a property north of town along the Snake. It is also in the middle of planning a park on the banks of the Snake River, near the intersection of Highways 390 and 22. Land trust representatives, through a partnership with the LOR Foundation, closed on the riverfront property in December 2011. They hope to open the park, called Rendezvous Park, in fall 2013 or spring 2014.
Hundreds of skiers and riders cheered as resort owners and senior staff officially opened the new Casper Quad Chairlift today. The high speed quad accesses a whole new mid-mountain intermediate experience for guests. Shortly after the Casper opening, resort General Manager Tim Mason announced the Bridger Gondola and Marmot Lift will open tomorrow and on Saturday, December 8, the Resort will open the Aerial Tram, Thunder and Sublette lifts for the winter season, accessing 4139 vertical feet from top to bottom.
“It’s truly a winter wonderland at the higher elevations on the mountain and we are excited to be able to open more terrain and over 4,000 feet of vertical for our guests,” said JHMR President Jerry Blann.
Over 107 inches of snow have fallen so far this season in the Tetons, which have received the most snow of any region in the Rockies.
Meteors are typically best after midnight, but in 2012, with the moon rising into the predawn sky, you might want to watch for Perseid meteors in late evening as well. You can get moonrise times via this custom sunset calendar. As seen from around the world, the waning crescent moon will rise later on August 12 than on August 11, and, on the morning of August 13, although you’re slightly past the peak, the moon will rise later still. On any of those mornings, moonlight shouldn’t be so overwhelming as to ruin the show. Plus the moon on those mornings will be near the bright planets Venus and Jupiter in the eastern predawn sky. It’ll be a beautiful early morning scene. The Perseids are typically fast and bright meteors. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero. You don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower because the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best shower, and often peak at 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark sky. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn.
Today I want to share activities in one of my favorite towns in the world, Jackson, Wyoming. With a population just under 10,000 and located just outside Grand Teton National Park, it is prime time for adventurers. I was lucky enough to guide a Wyoming – Yellowstone/Teton adventure this past week, which starts and ends in the beautiful town of Jackson.
For some history on Jackson as well as a list of what to do, click here.