Once upon a time, 10 or so years ago, I went to Brooks Lake Lodge with my mother and sister for a quick summer get-away. Even since, I have always wanted to go back in the winter.
In the summer, the small but luxurious lodge rests near Shoshone National Forest near the Continental Divide and offers all sorts of activities ranging from horseback riding to hiking to fishing. There is a dirt road that you can take all the way to the ranch.
But in the winter, you must find your own way into this beautiful, mountain oasis. While just five miles down a groomed path, Brooks Lake Lodge emulates the feeling that you are in the middle of nowhere. You basically have three options for reaching the lodge between now and March 15th: snow-coach that you pre-arrange with the lodge if you are staying there, snowmobile, or on cross-country skis.
We chose the latter for our overnight visit to the lodge. The five mile ski in was lovely, and surprisingly quiet considering the snowmobile activity in the region. The parking lot on Togwotee Pass is only an hour and 15 minutes from Jackson, and the ski in took us a little over an hour and a half at a leisurely pace.
Once there, it was easy to relax in front of the many fireplaces and enjoy the lunch options, which range from a kale and quinoa salad to a burger and fries. The lodge permits day guests in the winter to come and enjoy the main lodge, bar, and lunch. It is a great destination for the day and in addition to the the skiing, snowmobiling and ice-fishing accessible right out the door, the enthusiastic staff will take overnight guests tubing on a nearby hill or find other ways for you to enjoy a stay.
There is a spa facility offering multiple ways to relax including not-to-be-missed massages, a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. There is also a workout facility on-site. Generally the lodge requires a two-night stay in the winter (starting at $290 a person) and a three-night stay in the summer (rates from $375 per person). Rates include all meals, lodging and some activities. Occasionally when their schedule allows it, locals can get in for less than that so call to inquire.
There is still plenty of snow and time for a day or overnight visit this winter and the lodge will reopen again for the summer season June 17.