Owl Vs. Weasel

Great-Horned Owl - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
Another great Winter wildlife safari today! Highlights included coyotes scavenging, moose browsing, sage grouse flocking and a porcupine roosting. This great-horned owl was serenely perched in a cottonwoood tree turning its head back and forth while studying us. Eventually, we noticed the most remarkable part of this sighting which was a long-tailed weasel clutched in its talons.

Normally its white Winter coat serves as camouflage to prevent such incidents. If you look closely at this image, you can see its leg and tail underneath the owl.

To Jackson Hole from Anywhere

To Jackson Hole from Anywhere – Buy 2 get 2 FREE!

Jackson Hole Skiing
Now through April 3rd buy two airline tickets to Jackson Hole and get more two free.

2011 is shaping up to be one of the best years on record in Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opened with a record 130” of snow, followed by unrelenting storms throughout December and January. Now with almost 330 inches of snow to date, lift ticket, lodging, and lunch package options starting at $79—it’s time to check Jackson Hole off the bucket list.

Check out some specials for Spring Creek Ranch.

With non-stop flights from six major cities, a 15-minute drive from the airport to the resort, flying to Jackson Hole offers one of the shortest transit-times of any Rocky Mountain destination. This winter don’t miss the ski trip of a lifetime.

Big Bad Wolf

Big, Bad Wolf - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
The last few safaris have been absolutely phenomenal with excellent sightings and interesting behaviors observed. This black wolf was seen in Grand Teton National Park along with a gray-colored wolf nearby and was one of many great animals seen.

Other sightings included moose browsing on cottonwood trees, a young golden eagle attacking bighorn sheep, mountain goats navigating steep cliffs, and a porcupine perched in a tree.

Tree Weasel

Tree Weasel - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
I was able to spend the last day of 2010 doing one of my favorite things…photographing a beautiful and relatively uncommon critter.

Pine martens are one of the only local weasels that regularly spend time in trees (often pursuing red squirrels) and this individual put on a phenomenal show! We commonly encounter their unique track pattern in the snow but only see the animal itself a handful of times each year. Thanks to Lance, Sophie and Steve for the heads-up on this great sighting!

Heli-Skiing in Jackson At Its Best

Stay at Spring Creek Ranch and Heli-Ski the Teton Backcountry

Stay at Spring Creek Ranch and Heli-Ski the Teton Backcountry

Heli skiing in the Tetons could very well be one of the most astonishing thrills a powder hound will ever experience! One of the hallmarks of a winter trip to Spring Creek Ranch is a heli-ski adventure with the folks from High Mountain Heli Skiing. What could be better than coveted “face shots” on every run and extraordinary tree skiing on terrain that belongs to you, and only you, for the entire day?

Guests are treated to over 305,000 acres of terrain south of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort including all of the Snake River and Palisades Mountain Range. There’s plenty of powder stashes here on the Idaho side, too, at their disposal. This is the kind of backcountry experience nature intended.

After an incredible day carving your way down the mountains relax and rejuvenate at the Wilderness Adventure Spa where you can choose from a wide variety of luxury spa treatments, including deep tissue and sports massages.

Masked Mammal

Raccoon - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
Raccoons are not extremely common here in Jackson Hole so I was surprised to see this handsome critter in my yard the other night. Most trash containers in this area are bear-proof, so it wasn’t able to cause any trouble for us. Winter has arrived in full force and wildlife watching has been great.

We are seeing elk, mule deer and moose on Spring Creek Ranch regularly and many other animals nearby on our safaris including bighorn sheep, coyotes and eagles.

Steller Feathers

Steller's Jay - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
The vast majority of breeding birds have left Jackson Hole in search of warmer climates, but several birds including this Steller’s Jay will remain throughout the Winter. This image taken this morning shows the vibrant blue coloration of this jay’s wing and tail feathers and (simply by good luck) has a six-sided snow crystal which recently landed on this bird.

This lightweight brand of snowflake has landed in abundance during the past week, accumulating to over three feet of snow in the mountains and allowing Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to open all of its ski lifts this weekend.

Snowmobiling Adventures Abound in Jackson Hole Area

Snowmobiling Adventure in Jackson Hole
Last weekend we found plenty of snow on and off the groomed trails atop snowmobiles.

During this snowmobile trip, we explored the trails of the Salt Creek Pass as did several other enthusiasts. We enjoyed a few signs of spring along the way on our fifty-seven mile round trip day and we loved every minute!

We stopped in a cabin that is perched on the top of one of the buttes that was built for snowmobilers to get warm and enjoy a quick meal before heading back out.

We are very fortunate to live where we do and we respect the beauty of the land for those who will come after us. Contact a Spring Creek Ranch concierge to get you set up for your own snowmobiling adventure.

A Great Day Skiing at Snow King Mountain

Nearby Ski Resort Offers Superb Skiing

Snow King Mountain
The time was about noon on Sunday and we decided to get in an afternoon ski at Snow King Mountain – The Town Ski Area – know to the locals as “THE KING“! I was skiing with my son Caleb – 14 yrs old who has been skiing since he was 2 yrs old and thus is always waiting at the bottom for me after each run. After riding the Summit Chairlift to the top of The KING, we took some time to check out the awesome views of the Teton Mountain Range and some of the other surrounding mountains. What a bonus to skiing at The KING!

The weather was sunny & clear with temperatures in the upper 20′s. We skied one of our favorites, “Belly Roll Trail,” a Black Diamond Run that rolls down the mountain with plenty of moguls. We also skied “Elk and Grizzly Trails” from the top, which offers great views of the town of Jackson with the Tetons in the background – these runs were skiing super.
View of Jackson Hole from Top of Snow King Mountain
Snow King Mountain also offers some other winter activities which include the Tube Park, Night Skiing and a Indoor Ice Rink with Public Skating and the Home of the Jackson Hole Moose Hockey Team. Check in with our concierge at Spring Creek Ranch for more details on these activities. Snow King Mountain recently hosted members from The USA and French Olympic Ski Teams for some ski race training before headed to 2010 Winter Game in Vancouver. So check out Snow King Mountain on your next winter visit to Jackson Hole – see you all at THE KING!