As I slide up next to Barbara Sweeney Hughes to catch my breath, she turns to me, grins, and says, “Now that’s what you call milking the run.” It was February 2021, and I had just followed her picture-perfect turns through some of the deepest, lightest snow I have ever skied. Barbara, I, and three other ladies from Utah were on day one of a three-day ski getaway at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming (grandtarghee.com). During our stay, we were treated to many more snow-choked runs like the one Barbara had “milked” on our first morning—often following little to no wait in a lift line—along with lots of laughs, tasty food and drink, and even some spa time, all set against the backdrop of a charming Western town. A visit that, in keeping with the dairy theme, felt a bit like a skiers’ land of milk and honey.
Though “The Ghee,” as it is referred to by locals, is just 45 miles from Wyoming’s bustling Jackson Hole, its ample elbow room and no-frills mom-and-pop vibe make it feel as if it’s on another planet. About 75 percent of its 3,000 acres—much of which is sweeping, open bowls peppered with snow-dusted evergreen trees—is considered intermediate/difficult. Those looking for more challenge can pick their way through the cliffs just off the Sacajawea lift or hike to the 9,920-feet-above-sea-level summit of Mary’s Nipple.
Construction is underway on a new six-passenger, high-speed chair lift servicing the resort’s Peaked Mountain area. The opening of the new lift is slated for November 2022, which means that this season is the last for the popular snow-cat tours into the 600 acres along Peaked’s southern flank. (As of this magazine’s press time, the Grand Targhee Powder Cats were booked for most of the 2021–22 season. Call 1-800-TARGHEE ext. 1 to be put on the waiting list for seats.)
Each of our days at Grand Targhee were navigated in essentially the same manner: taking the Mill Creek Traverse down to the Sacajawea lift in the morning and making our way north to the Blackfoot lift by midafternoon. We considered making the 30-ish-minute hike to Mary’s Nipple—which offers the best view of the Tetons (Grand Teton, Mt. Owen, and Middle Teton)—but decided instead to simply glide to skiers’ left off the top of the Dreamcatcher chair along the appropriately named Teton Vista Traverse to take in a truly amazing view of these iconic monoliths.
All those deep turns earned us some pampering, of course, and so late on the second afternoon we paid a visit to the Stillwaters Spa & Salon, located in the Teton Springs Resort (877-787-8757, tetonspringslodge.com). Following our massages and facials, we made a quick stop at Broulim’s Grocery Store for provisions before heading back to our rental home for a leisurely dinner.
Our final afternoon at Grand Targhee was spent having cocktails on the sun-splashed deck outside the Trap Bar & Grill. The next morning, we got up, cleaned up, practiced a little yoga, and hit the road. As we pulled out of Driggs and back toward our “real” lives, I settled into the drive content with the thought that we had truly milked every moment of that precious weekend away.
Driggs, Idaho, is 316 miles or a four-and-a-half-hour-drive from Park City.
Where to Eat & Drink
Teton Thai, Citizen 33, Forage Bistro, Tatanka Tavern, Three Peaks Dinner Table
What to Pack
Temps average 10–15 degrees cooler than in Park City, so bring boot heaters or heated socks, hand warmers to stash in your mittens, and multiple layers to wear under a down and waterproof parka.