Grand Teton Lodge Company Echo Day

Grand Teton Lodge Company will participate in a Fence Pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge as part of our contribution for Echo Day on August 7, 2010. The Fence Pull results in allowing wildlife to pass freely throughout the area without being injured. We are inviting members of the Jackson Hole Community and our guests of Grand Teton Lodge Company to volunteer with our employees for an hour of their day and to be part of this effort to improve our environment of Grand Teton National Park.

If this activity sounds like the perfect way to give back to the environment we are excited to have you participate! Plan on meeting at the Jackson Lake Lodge Corrals at 10am on Saturday morning. If possible wear long pants and work type clothes, gloves will be provided for your safety. This event is from 10am-5pm, but even an hour of your time will be a huge contribution to the Fence Pull!

If you want to learn more about what really happens at a Fence Pull please read our blog “The Clearing of Devil’s Rope”. Also, to find more information about Vail Resorts Echo Day – click here!


When: August 7th
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
What: Continue/complete fence pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge
Where: Meet at JLL Corrals
Who: All GTLC Employees, Community, Guests, National Park Service


4th of July Celebrations

4th of July with Grand Teton Lodge Company was a weekend of celebration of our Nation’s birthday! The weekend events started on July 3rd with the fabulous Jackson Hole Community Band playing a selection of patriot ballads. They were followed by Granite Youth Symphony who entertained with delightful melodies.  It was a proud day to be an American with the lovely musical selections played in Jackson Lake Lodge and the astonishing Teton Mountain Range in the background. Grand Teton Lodge Company was honored to host both the Jackson Hole Community Band and Granite Youth Symphony and thank them for their for the memorable performances!

Granite Youth Symphony

Jackson Hole Community Band

July 4th festivities followed with a fantastic parade given by our employees as well as, face painting and a coloring contest! The wranglers went all out and looked terrific with their all American horses. The bellman entered bicycles and golf carts to join the parade and Colter Bay brought a boat float. Children at the parade smiled wide when the multi-colored horsed paraded by, and then screamed with joy as candy from the other various floats was tossed their way. We hope you all can join the fun next year as we continue the tradition!

Patriotic Horse in Parade

Colter Bay's Boat Float

Children Gathering Candy

One of the Bellman Floats!

Dinner Lake Cruise to Elk Island

The Dinner Cruise to Elk Island is so delicious it deserves a second blog. The cruise alone is worth the trip. Walk down the dock and find the cruise ships Rendezvous and Teewinot waiting to depart. All ages are welcome aboard and the journey on Jackson Lake begins.

The Dinner Lake Cruise starts at 5:30pm which means the sun will slowly set during the cruise. The first 30 minutes of the cruise offer an interpretive and humorous talk given by the spectacular first mates about the natural landscape and history of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake. For instance, do you know the size of the largest trout caught in Jackson Lake? Find the answer on the Dinner Lake Cruise!

The Teewinot leads the way to Elk Island

As the boat travels to Elk Island there are plenty of Wildlife viewing opportunities.  See Below:

Elk on Elk Island with Antlers

Once the boat arrives to Elk Island it is time for dinner, and one should come hungry because the food is cowboy cookin’ scrumptious. Dinner is cooked on site over a grill and the food is served from piping hot cast iron skillets. Griddle grilled corn on the cob, baked beans and kettle potatoes all are amazing sides as well as, a full salad bar with rolls. The main course is unbeatable when it comes to flavor! Can anything compare to Flame-grilled steaks and Idaho trout?

Excellent 1st Mate Servers

Cowboy Dinner

Just when one thinks they are full and satisfied dessert is served. Blueberry cobbler is served warm and delicious cooked in a large cast iron skillet. Add a cup of coffee and it is the perfect way to end an amazing feast.

Warm Blueberry Cobbler

What about the view? As mentioned earlier the cruise leaves at 5:30pm when the sun shines down on the mountains before setting behind them. Dining on an Elk Island offers brilliant close up views of the Teton Mountain Range while in nature. After the meal there is time to walk the trail to a lookout on Elk Island and see incredible panoramic views of Jackson Lake and the mountains.

Lookout view from Elk Island

If you are looking for a fun-filled evening with family or friends participate in the Elk Island Dinner Cruise and have the experience of a lifetime.

Back to Colter Bay Marina

GTLC Fun Facts II

Grand Teton Lodge Company was started by the Rockefeller family.

Our employees represent all 50 states  and may have worked for us for decades.  Our longest employee worked for us 52 years on a seasonal basis each summer!

The US/Russia Peace Talks of 1989 were held at Jackson Lake Lodge.

We make nearly 30 gallons of homemade ice cream every day.

The Ranch House Restaurant was developed at Colter Bay to honor the many original dude ranches of the Jackson Hole area where our log cabins originally came from prior to being relocated to Colter Bay.

We have a private meal-site on the banks of the Snake River just under the Snake River Overlook where Ansel Adams took his famous photo of Grand Teton National Park.  Join us for dinner throughout the week and then float a 10 mile section of the river with our guides.

Our staff created the artwork and details for our kid’s coloring book called the Wildwalk Passport…ask for one at the Front Desk.

Between all our operations we employ nearly 1,000 people each summer…approximately 49% of which are returning employees.

Colter Bay Marina is the only location on Jackson Lake where boat slips can be reserved….get your name in now…there is currently a 15 year waiting list!

We hope you enjoy learning a few fun facts about our operations.  If you know of more we’d welcome learning of them, so feel free to make a comment!

Wet N’ Wild ~ Kayaking on Jackson Lake

 

Kayaking is not a new sport to me; however that doesn’t mean I’m ready to barrel roll down the rapids! That being said, I’m perfectly happy to rent a kayak from the Colter Bay Marina and take in a paddle on Jackson Lake.  Last weekend, my boyfriend Sy and I did just that!

 

Melissa & Sy Kayaking Jackson Lake

Melissa & Sy Kayaking Jackson Lake

Having done this once before, Sy and I lathered up with sunscreen, donned our safe and stylish life vests, and pushed off into the calm waters of the Marina. We decided on a relaxing paddle around the closest bays, and are very happy we did!

The bays were filled with active water birds.  As we paddled along we watched bald eagles soar overhead, an osprey defend its territory, and saw a blue heron and spotted piper hunting for their lunches along the shore.  We’d like to share some of our photos from that day with all of you!

 

This Bald Eagle Decided that branch looked like a good landing spot.  I love this photo because it reminds me of a flagpole topper!  This guy had a very busy morning.  He soared high above us hunting for his next meal and was chased by the Osprey.  He definitely deserves a nice rest!

 

Our Bald Eagle Sighting

Our Bald Eagle Sighting

This Osprey kept his eyes open for that pesky Bald Eagle.  It was very cool watching him dive bomb the Eagle as he chased him from his territory!

 

The Guardian Osprey

The Guardian Osprey

Can you spot the spotted sandpiper?  I’ll give you a hint….he’s brown and white and is standing on a branch.   

 

The Shy Sandpiper

The Shy Sandpiper

That’s right, he’s right in the middle of the photo.  This Sandpiper was so interesting to watch as he chattered and bobbed his way along the shore! 

  

This Blue Heron was searching the shoreline for some lunch.  I almost paddled right by him until he started moving.   

A Blue Heron Struts Along

A Blue Heron Struts Along

 He was quite shy and flew away when I got closer to him. 

blue heron flying

So if you are in the Tetons this summer, Sy and I definitely recommend coming out to Jackson Lake for a paddle!  If the wildlife is not particularly active that day at least you the have gorgeous view to keep you company!

kayak 3sml

 

From Melissa’s Corner (of the lake)!

GTLC Fun Facts

Grand Teton Lodge Company began as a transportation company.

Jackson Lake Lodge was built in 1955.

Colter Bay is comprised of 166 guest cabins that are all authentic settler’s cabins from around Grand Teton National Park.  Each cabin was moved from its previous location to Colter Bay Village to provide lodging for guests visiting the national park.

Jenny Lake Lodge is the only inclusive and award-winning hotel in Grand Teton National Park ~ recognized by Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure, AAA, Mobil, Fromer’s, Food & Wine and many other prestigious entities.

Grand Teton Lodge Company has it’s own butcher shop, bakery, laundry facility, grocery store and recycling center all on-site within Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Lake Lodge houses the only pool in Grand Teton National Park.

Each cabin at Jenny Lake Lodge is named after a native wildflower.

Grand Teton Lodge Company employs an Interpretive Specialist who focuses on training and guest programs to enhance Park visitor experiences.

Jackson Lake Lodge (we believe) is the largest meeting location within a National Park.  With over 17,000 sq ft of meeting space and 385 guest accommodations, meetings are affordable and inspiring.

We are proud to host nearly 30 weddings each summer….and many more happy anniversaries!

Gros Ventre Campground is the closest campground to the town of Jackson with over 300 campsites available making it easy to enjoy the Park and play in Jackson!

Jackson Lake Lodge is 20 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone and approximately 1 1/2 hours from Old Faithful.

Grand Teton Lodge Company is certified to the standards of the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) for 14000 (Environmental), 9001 (Quality) and was the first hospitality organization in the US to acheive this 9001 certifications.  These third party certifications ensure we are providing a quality operation with environmental standards in place to protect our unique setting.

We’ll provide a few more facts in upcoming blogs.  In the meantime, do you know a few you’d like to share with us about GTLC or the Park?  If so, we’d like to hear from you….

Moosin’ Around Again…

Next week the staff of Grand Teton Lodge Company has promised to have my name.  It seems a lot of you have joined in the competition to come up with just the right one…I cannot wait to learn what it is!  In the meantime, I’ve been playing around alot. 

Since so many people have been interested in the lake cruise on Jackson Lake this summer, I decided to check it out for myself.  Wow was it fun!  Take a look at the photos my friends took of me along the way…

Moosin Around 029First I had to get a ticket for the trip.  The price was really reasonable…since as you know from my last adventure…I don’t get a very big allowance!

Moosin Around 017

Then I went inside to check in and met a new friend!  That’s me lookin’ up at him as we talked about the upcoming adventure to Elk Island!

Moosin Around 022

Then it was off to catch the boat cruise and see Jackson Lake!

Moosin Around 019

Before the captain came on board, I snuck up to his chair to see about a career change…he’s got a pretty big job!  That comfy captain’s chair is the TICKET!  I recommend that seat if you can grab it!

Moosin Around 020

Before we could leave, we had to learn all the steps for a safe trip.  So the captain took a moment to tell us about the safety measures on the boat…that’s me takin’ it all in.

We learned about the area along the way.  Our first mate was Biddy…I forgot to get a photo with her, but she had great stories.  She told us all about the Park and Jackson Lake and was pretty funny too!

About half way through the trip, we docked at a private island.  It was fun, there wasn’t anyone around and all the guests could hike and eat until they had their fill!

Moosin Around 025 

As you may know, I’m a moose and just like the other wildlife in the Park we aren’t supposed to eat human food, or we’ll certainly get sick.  So I just took a look at all there was to enjoy…

Moosin Around 024

Then I sat by the campfire.  Even though it was summertime, it was fun to watch all the familes.  They were playing with something called marshmallows and making this treat called s’mores. 

The kids sure thought it was fun that’s for sure!

Moosin Around 023

Eventually, with the sound of the dinnerbell, it was time to head back to the boat to conclude our adventure.  I hopped on the front of the boat for a quick photo opportunity before we left.

Special Tip:  If you are brining the kids, ask the captain about the Jr. Captain License…it’s a great way to add to the kids adventure!

Here’s something else you should know for your adventures in the Park.  We’re at high altitude and it is really dry here.  So it’s always good to drink lots and lots of water.  After our trip was over, I stopped by the water fountain for a drink so I didn’t get dehydrated after having so much fun! 

Moosin Around 031

Next time you are here, let me know…maybe I can be your escort for a fun-filled day in Grand Teton National Park!

A Walking History of Colter Bay Village

 
A Colter Bay Cabin
A Colter Bay Cabin

An historic walk through Colter Bay Village with Grand Teton Lodge Company Historian Mary McKinney is a fascinating walk back through time.  Listen how the valley began to develop and dude ranches dotted the landscape.  Hear how John D. Rockefeller Jr’s vision and generosity assisted in preserving this wonderful landscape.  Compare the differences of how these early dude cabins were constructed and with what unusual materials.  Laugh at how our housekeeping cabins were once “Chic Sales”.      

Colter Bay Village actually represents an eclectic collection of cabins from various sites around Jackson Hole. The cabins at Colter Bay serve as a window into the past, giving guests the chance to experience a bit of history during their stay. Though the cabins have been modified to accommodate plumbing and electrical needs, they have been restored and maintained to reflect as close a representation of their original construction as is possible. Many of the cabins were constructed in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but some date back to the late 1800’s. 

As tourism in Jackson Hole began to flourish in the early 1900’s, accommodations began to sprout up all over the valley. The result of this influx of tourists was the beginning of dude ranches in Jackson Hole.   A typical dude ranch was composed of a central building surrounded by many smaller guest cabins.   The largest of these resorts was the Teton Lodges at Moran, located at the site of the old town of Moran below Jackson Lake Dam. 

As one of the driving forces behind conserving Jackson Hole, John D. Rockefeller Jr. had bought thousands of acres of property with the intent of donating it as part of a national park. When Grand Teton National Park was expanded in 1950 with Rockefeller’s donation of 34,000 acres, it became apparent that guest accommodations in the park were inadequate. With funding from Rockefeller, the park service began to develop new visitor facilities and remove older resorts as they wanted to restore much of the park to its natural state. After the completion of the new Jackson Lake Lodge in 1955, the Colter Bay visitor site went into development. Cabins were transplanted to Colter Bay from the Teton Lodges at Moran, the old Jackson Lake Lodge resort, and the Square G Ranch (located near Jenny Lake) among others. In 1957 the cabins at Colter Bay Village were opened to the public. Over the years many of the other dude ranches and resorts closed or were donated to the park, and Colter Bay Village grew with the addition of the cabins from these various sites. 

Craftmanship of a Unique Cabin

Craftmanship of a Unique Cabin

Today there is no trace to be found of many resort sites that now makeup Colter Bay Village. All the cabins from the old Jackson Lake Lodge that were not transplanted were destroyed. After picking up much of the town of Moran and transporting it to Colter Bay, the remaining structures were demolished in 1957. Only the post office still survives, transported to present-day Moran near the park’s east entrance.

Mary McKinney

Mary McKinney

Ms. McKinney’s interpretive historic walk is complementary and is scheduled each Tuesday and Friday afternoon at 5pm.  Meet Mary for a wonderfully delightful afternoon at the Colter Bay Village Cabins Guest Lounge.
 

 

From Don’s Corner -Adapted from “A Brief History of Colter Bay Village” by Mary McKinney (GTLC Historian)

Kids Appreciate Grand Teton National Park

Each year the National Park Foundation sponsors the Junior Ranger Essay Contest.   The focus is to ask kids their ideas about how to protect and preserve the national parks. 

In 2009, the essay contest question was “Why are our national parks important to you and what is your best idea to protect our parks for the future?”

Grand Teton Lodge Company was please to learn that the 2nd place winner this year was an essay contributed by Jason Roy Maki of  Marysville, Wa.  Jason’s essay focused on treasured memories of time in Grand Teton National Park.  Below you will find the essay he contributed.

jason-maki_npfwinnerWay to go Jason!  We hope you continue to enjoy and promote our national parks…and return to Grand Teton National Park very soon.

“When I see or even think about a national park, it is like no other feeling I’ve ever had. A national park is like a special cabinet that contains memories that are filled with truly special natural treasures. When you see a picture of a national park on post card, on TV or in a movie, you will probably say, “Wow! That is beautiful!” But actually being at a national park and seeing it in person is even more wonderful and breathtaking. When you go to the zoo and see an animal up close it is very interesting. But imagine that same thrill in the wild – in an animal’s habitat. Habitat is the natural place where an animal lives — like the forest, the meadows, the lakes and ponds, the rivers, mountains, valleys and the prairie.

I love Grand Teton National Park the best. When I visit, I always see elk, deer, black bear, grizzlies, moose, bison, wolves, bald eagles, and more. I’ve seen an eagle and an osprey fighting over a fish. I’ve seen a little baby moose with its mother at the edge of the Snake River. I’ve seen a pair of grizzly cubs wandering out in the middle of a green meadow with their mother close by. And I’ve even seen a rare black wolf running across a snow field. But not all things are exactly what I’d call peaceful. I’ve watched a huge bison lit up against the night sky when lightning struck the mountains. I went swimming with my cousins and came out of a beautiful lake covered in leeches! Ahhhhh! I was even surprised by a black bear ten feet away when I walked around a pickup truck! Even though I’ve had a few scary experiences, it should never stop you from visiting a national park.

National parks are fun places to learn about things that you could never experience anywhere else. That’s why we have to take care of them. We have to follow all national park rules. They are more than just rules. They are choices we make to help our parks survive forever. Don’t litter a park. Don’t feed the animals because they forget how to feed naturally. Make sure campfires are dead out with water. Forest fires are caused every year by careless campers who do not put their fires out. I would like to propose a contest where school kids everywhere come up with a few things to protect and preserve our national parks. We could have a reading program where school kids read about a neat national park. Then they could maybe visit one for themselves some day. I know they will enjoy every moment. That I can promise.

We the people own the national parks. They are ours. That is why we need to protect our parks and preserve them forever.”

Source:  National Park Foundation website

Wells on Wildflowers Trivia Prize

While we received many answers for our wildflower photos, Charlotte LaGrone is our winner! Congratulations to Charlotte, who won a float trip for two! Thank you to all who participated. More trivia to come!

Wells on Wildflowers

The answers revealed:

1. Arrowleaf Balsamroot
2. Sticky Geranium
3. Goatsbeard: Yellow Salsify
4. Indian Paintbrush