Combining three fantastic resorts (Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee and Big Sky) with one of the greatest road trips in the world, the Yellowstone Ski Safari is an unforgettable experience. Ski Safari customer Jan Clifford sent us such a fantastic, detailed write-up of her family's trip that we couldn't help but share it on our blog.
"This was the most perfect road trip from start to finish. A fantastic start to the holiday was a three hour flight to Reykjavik where we spent four nights at the Hotel Marina; a lovely hotel in a great position from where we were able to do a Northern Lights Tour (compliments of Ski Safari), a trip to the blue Lagoon and also a Golden Circle Tour. As we had deluxe rooms we were able to take advantage of free drinks and canapes in the library from 6pm - 7pm every evening.
A great start to the ski trip which then involved a flight to Denver and a good recommendation from Ski Safari to stay overnight in the Cambria Suites at the airport before flying to Bozeman the next day.
Bozeman is a beautiful little airport - more like a ski lodge - and the car rental pick up is SO easy, all done in the airport. First class service, the best we have had anywhere. We had a beautiful four hour drive to Jackson Hole, miles and miles of snow-covered prairie in Montana and Wyoming with the stunning mountain backdrop.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Just before Jackson Hole, travelling through the Teton Pass is amazing - whatever the weather. We stayed in a condo in downtown Jackson which was brilliant for walking access to very good restaurants - including the best steak we have EVER had in the White Buffalo Club, a meal in the incredible Wort Hotel, a not to be missed drink in their bar and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and a visit to the Antler adorned main square.
It was an easy trip to the slopes, about 15 minutes with free parking and shuttle access. The skiing in Jackson Hole is great and good for all abilities. The view from the top of the tramway is amazing, as is the food at the top of the gondola. Jackson Hole is quite an upmarket resort and not cheap but worth every penny. We spent a day in Grand Targhee. A lovely, quaint resort to ski. A day was enough and well worth the hour's drive from Jackson Hole.
We had the most fantastic day trip to Yellowstone in a snowcoach. Picked up from our condo at 7am in a mini bus, we saw the sun rise over the Tetons on our way there. Full breakfast on arrival at Yellowstone, then transfer to a 9 seater snowcoach to see the amazing Old Faithful Geyser, bison so close you could almost touch them, coyote, waterfalls and an excellent history from the guide. Lunch also included and a return to Jackson at 5pm.
On leaving Jackson after 5 great days skiing we followed Andy's excellent advice to visit the Elk Refuge on the edge of town where you go on a horse drawn sleigh with a very informative guide who tells you about the habits of the elk.
Big Sky, Montana
We then drove four hours to Big Sky in Montana, where we stayed slopeside at the Village Centre which was brilliant for ski-in ski-out and a nice contrast after driving to the slopes in Jackson Hole. We stayed in studios with Murphy beds which worked really well. The service at the Village Centre and Huntley Lodge was excellent. The outdoor hot tub was great too.
Once again, the skiing at Big Sky was great, lots of wide open pistes for all abilities with plenty of difficult stuff for the 'professionals'. The terrain is vast. We were very lucky on our trip in January/February to have had winter snow with beautiful, bluebird spring sunshine.
I used the free Mountain Host service three times in Jackson Hole and Big Sky which was really good in both resorts, especially as I managed to be 1 to 1 on all three occasions! I learnt as much about the resorts as I did about the slopes. The ski valet service at The Village Centre is excellent. The choice of dining is limited but enough for a four night stay. An excellent full buffet breakfast was included in the stay.
Leaving Big Sky was an easy drive to Bozeman airport and a quick and easy flight to Denver. Once again it was worth another overnight stay in the Cambria suites before the long journey home; a 7 hour flight to Reykjavik and a change of plane there because of the stopover on the way out, but that was really easy, even at 6.30am. Off one plane, in through a door, time for a coffee, out through the next door and on to the next plane for the final three hour flight to Gatwick. Icelandair were very good. No food is provided on the flights (although there are snacks you can buy) but that is easy to provide for with forward planning, there is plenty of leg room on the plane and the entertainment system is first class.
We would never have thought of this road trip ourselves and cannot thank Andy Knights enough for suggesting it and for planning it with us. This is our 4th Ski Safari and each one has been 1st class. Our thanks go to Andy who has organised and anguished through 3 of them with us and to Victoria Davies on this last trip, who has done all the admin for our trip so efficiently in addition to answering our endless questions with great patience in the same calm, friendly manner with the same brilliant sense of humour as Andy.
So... where next?"