Togwotee Mountain Lodge: A Rustic Retreat

by  Andrew Skwarek | Mar 3, 2010
View for Togwotee Mountain Lodge
View for Togwotee Mountain Lodge / Photo courtesy of the property

I recently spent a weekend at Togwotee Mountain Lodge, located in Wyoming’s serene Bridger-Teton National Forest – tucked away in the mountains, miles from modern civilization. After checking into this no-frills lodge, I opened the door to my private, rustic one-bedroom log cabin (there are 54 in a cluster near the main building) and received a genuine, cordial welcome: a bag filled with Buffalo jerky, as well as hand and toe warmers.

The cozy cabin contained a living room with a wood-burning fireplace (there was spilt timber on the porch), and a reasonably sized bedroom. I found the mattress to be quite comfortable (with a headboard and bed frame made out of real wood, I thought I was going to be tossing and turning all night). In the living room was a small kitchenette, which – although convenient – had virtually no countertop space, so cooking meals could have been a challenge if I wasn’t dining at the lodge’s Grizzly Steakhouse.

Each time I ate at The Grizzly Steakhouse, I was, more or less, the only one in the restaurant. In the morning, the lodge served a traditional buffet-style breakfast with ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, homefries, fruit, and donuts. The food wasn’t anything to rave about, but the wait staff was very attentive and friendly. I only had dinner once at the steakhouse during my stay – the cheapest thing on the menu was just under 20 bucks. I ordered the Marinated Chicken Breast (which was a sizeable portion) with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

However, if you’re staying at the lodge for an extended length of time, and you have a kitchenette in your cabin/room, I highly recommend visiting the supermarket in Jackson Hole – it will definitely save you money. The only drawback? The grocery store is a good hour’s drive away, so you want to make sure you don’t forget any of the cooking essentials.

In addition to the lodge being eco-friendly (its water is supplied via a natural spring), the cabins/rooms are equipped with high-speed WiFi – and it’s free! This made it a cinch to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings while out of the office. Whereas staying in touch professionally proved to be easy, communicating with family and friends back home on my cell phone was tricky – I often lost service in my cabin.

As for amenities, Togwotee Mountain Lodge offers guests a Western-type bar called the Red Fox Saloon, laundry facilities, two hot tubs, as well as a lounge with a crackling fire and a few arcade games.

So, what else is there to do at Togwotee Mountain Lodge? Well, if you’re the outdoorsy type, I think a more appropriate question would be: What isn’t there to do? During the wintertime, the lodge offers exceptional and thrilling snowmobile tours of the picturesque Bridger-Teton National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park, to name a few. In addition, Togwotee offers guests dog-sled tours for those who want to take in the tranquility at a slower a pace.

Once the snow melts and rivers thaw, Togwotee Mountain Lodge and the surrounding area become a flurry of activity. Guests can explore the many trails that beckon them on foot, horseback, or mountain bikes. The lodge sponsors exhilarating whitewater rafting trips on the famed Snake River during the summer, and also offers guided and unguided fishing trips. Not enough to bait you to venture out West? Togwotee presents visitors with the opportunity to experience the Wild West on a covered wagon ride, complete with a succulent rib-eye steak dinner in an isolated aspen grove.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Togwotee – a fox even scurried past my cabin door the morning I was leaving, as if to give me a proper send-off. If you’re looking for sumptuous spas and a great deal of pampering during your visit to the peaceful American wilderness, then Togwotee Mountain Lodge would not be a good fit. But, if you want to surround yourself with nature and explore Wyoming’s incredible rugged backcountry, then Togwotee couldn’t be a more ideal place to stay.

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