Jackson Hole Mountain Resort provides some of the most prestigious skiing in the lower 48. There are steep lines, terrain parks, new lifts, epic lodges, tasty eats and drinks as well as varied terrain for all to enjoy. On top of an epic ski day, there are a plethora of opportunities for where to stay in Teton Village as well as the town of Jackson. Hospitality is above and beyond leaving guests satisfied in every element. The opportunities for lodging are vast from ultimate luxury to budget friendly options allowing all to enjoy a slice of the Tetons.
A couple years ago, Lance and I stumbled upon another fine gem nestled skiers right of the resort boundary in the bottom of Rock Springs. This was a beautiful yurt that was set with a deck surrounding, and we couldn’t help but stop and peek in at what it had to offer.
To our surprise it was a beautiful set up inside with 8 bunks, a small food prep area with cupboards, a wood burning stove, and a community table inset in the middle. We immediately hustled back through the Hobacks and hopped online to see what it was all about.
Low and behold, we quickly learned it was the Rock Springs Yurt that is an offering for guests to experience at JHMR. It is a version of backcountry living, in what you could refer to as a glorified tent experience with your loved ones.
Yurts have been a distinctive feature of life in Central Asia for at least three thousand years. They have been continually used as habitation for the Mongolian nomadic peoples of the Central Asian Plateau.
A traditional yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure consists of an angled assembly or lattice work of pieces or wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel crown. Modern yurts (like the one in Rock Springs) are permanently built on a wooden platform.
To spend a night in the yurt with your friends, family or loved ones is a special and rustic backcountry camping experience.
The day begins on or near last tram where you will meet your Guide/ Yurtmeister. In our case we were delighted to spend our night with Zach (who has been in this role for close to 3 years). The traditional route down will take you through Rendezvous Bowl and out to the South Hobacks. From the South Hobacks, your Yurtmeister magically nears the bottom and eventually you ski around 100 meters south of the resort to land upon the yurt.
Our group was lucky to experience a JHMR guided version to the hut via Rock Springs backcountry where we took our time playing around before arriving to the yurt. Then it was prime time for a fun après ski happy hour that included whatever drinks you brought, as well as a delicious selection of cheese and crackers from our Yurtmeister.
There is a blissful moment when you are out on the yurt deck and you glance at your friends throwing back a beer, knowing that you do not have to rush down to last chair and your night will instead be spent checking out the stars in a place of peace and solitude among nature.
The night will continue where your Yurtmeister will whip up a chosen dinner. In our case we selected spaghetti with bison meat sauce, salad, garlic bread and delicious cookies that were gone in seconds with our hungry bunch.
We spent the evening laughing, building ski jumps, glancing at the stars, playing cards and eventually ending with a highly competitive game of spoons that left us all laughing historically at how a slew of athletes will take upon competition in every aspect of life.
Your sleep is spent in 8 bunks (some big enough for two), snuggled in sleeping bags provided by the yurt staff as the outdoors present a peaceful slumber under the stars. The only sound you hear is crackling of the fire in the stove. Yet, you might want to bring ear plugs, depending on if there might be the added sound of a buddy that snores.
The morning comes quickly and in some cases, a hung over bunch wakes to fresh coffee and bagels and cream cheese to kick start their day with a sunrise ski out.
The yurt experience is definitely for the adventure seeker that wants a taste of the backcountry lifestyle and sleeping in nature. You experience a version of camping with a slice of glamping as it is comfortable, within a large yurt, eating delicious cooked food and laughing all night with friends.
Check it out the next time you drop in to Jackson for a fun night of celebration, comradery, or family fun.