Grand Targhee Resort

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Grand Targhee Resort
Location Alta, Wyoming
 United States
Nearest city Driggs, Idaho
Coordinates 43°47′34″N 110°57′33″W / 43.79278°N 110.95917°W / 43.79278; -110.95917 (Grand Targhee Resort)
Vertical 2,454 feet (748 m)
Top elevation 9,862 feet (3,006 m)
Base elevation 7,408 feet (2,258 m)
Skiable area 3,000 acres (12.1 km2)
(1,000 acres (4 km2) reserved for cat skiing)
Longest run 2.7 miles (4.3 km)
Lift system

5 (1 surface):

Snowfall 500 inches (1,270 cm)
Snowmaking 5%
Location of Alta, Wyoming, on the Idaho border (at left).
Deep powder among the trees on March 27, 2008.

Grand Targhee Resort is a ski resort located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Alta, Wyoming. It is 42 miles (68 km) northwest of Jackson, Wyoming, accessible by road only by way of Driggs, Idaho. The resort has lodging, a spa, retail stores, and conference facilities. On the west side of the famous Teton Range, it is located 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the Grand Teton, and the majority of the slopes at Grand Targhee face west.


The ski resort has three quad-chairs ( two are high-speed detachable), one double chair, and one conveyor. The greatest vertical drop is 2419 feet (737 m). It is rated as 85% Difficult and 15% Advanced in skiing. There are also Nordic skiing trails, snowshoeing, snowcat adventures, and activities that include sleighride dinners and dogsled tours. It averages over 500 inches (13 m)[1] of snowfall per season which ranks it among the top four ski resorts in North America. This is impressive where it is 670 miles (1,080 km) inland and the snow that falls is nearly always wet powder snow. The reason for the abundant snowfall is twofold. First, the area is on the west slope or "wet" side of the 13,700-foot (4,200 m) Grand Tetons and, second, because there is a moisture channel through the Rocky Mountains formed by the Snake River Plain that channels moisture to the west slope of the Tetons all the way from the Pacific Ocean.

The resort has one terrain park as of January 2012.

Summertime offers scenic chairlift rides, kids camps, music festivals, a bluegrass festival, and the 9 hole Targhee Village golf course. Grand Targhee is also within close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.


The original inhabitants of this area were the Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot, and Crow tribes. The Grand Tetons were called the Tee-Win-At by the Shoshone Indians, meaning "high pinnacles".

Targhee or Chief Targhee by 1867, was known as, “the great head chief of all the Bannock people.” He led his people through what may have been the most grim period of their history as they were forced from their traditional nomadic ways and into a life of hard labor and farming on the newly created Fort Hall Reservation. Chief Targhee was truly a great chief admired for his strong character and integrity. He was honored by euro-Americans and native-Americans alike. He held the peace while his people suffered from starvation and abuse resulting from the shameful acts of both the United States and Idaho Territorial governments. He was killed while hunting for food by the Crow in the winter of 1871/72. Upon his death, the Bannock fractured into several bands bent on war with the euro-Americans that eventually led to the demise of a significant proportion of the Bannock.

Grand Targhee Resort's name includes both a reference to Grand Teton Mountain and Chief Targhee. A national forest, a mountain pass, a creek and the resort commemorate Chief Targhee's integrity and the memory of the Native American contribution to this country.

The locals of Teton Valley were instrumental in establishing Grand Targhee Resort. In 1966, Grand Targhee, Inc. was formed by east Idahoans. One of the goals of the 900+ members was to benefit the community and the economy of the region. The resort opened on December 26, 1969, with the Bannock and Shoshone lifts, Targhee Lodge, and day lodge. The resort was officially dedicated by Idaho Governor Don Samuelson on February 2, 1970. In 1971, the Sioux Lodge opened. The original Master Plan under the Special Use Permit called for eventually developing the resort to a 6000 skiers per day lift capacity, 475 accommodation units, including buildings up to five stories and included plans for a trailer park, golf courses, and snowmobile trails over 1,200 acres (4.9 km2). The original plan never materialized.

Bill Robinson, a plastics manufacturer from Cincinnati, Ohio, purchased Grand Targhee in 1975. Though primarily an absentee owner, Robinson and his family loved the area, bought a home in Driggs, and visited frequently throughout the years.

In 1987, Grand Targhee Resort was purchased and operated by Mory and Carol Bergmeyer. The Bergmeyers improved the resort facilities, added new guest activities and expanded the reputation of Targhee while continuing its dedication to family, quality and the sensitive balance between people and the great outdoors.

Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc., a corporation run by CEO George Gillett, Jr., purchased Grand Targhee in March 1997. In June 2000, George and Rose Gillett, along with their four sons, purchased Grand Targhee from Booth Creek Ski Holdings.

In 1997, the Gilletts installed the first high-speed detachable quad chair by replacing Bannock with Dreamcatcher, and the Shoshone double chair was replaced with a fixed-grip quad. Through a land exchange in 2004, the Gilletts acquired ownership of Grand Targhee's base area. Planning has begun for the future development of Grand Targhee Resort including expansion of Peaked Mountain facilities and a proposed expanded base area with more lodging units.


  1. ^ Grand Targhee Resort - Quick Facts,, April 10, 2008

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