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Grand Teton National Park, Photo by Heather R. Geranen

Featured Article

A Bucket List Escape for 2021

Make 2021 a year for exploration and adventure. Here's why you should taste the Tetons and peruse Park City

As we embark on a new year, many hope to make it a year of checking off bucket list items, especially when it comes to travel. With the changing times, travelers are trading airplanes for automobiles and cruising our country’s backroads.

If you’re craving a unique, driver-friendly excursion via the Valley, surrender SoCal for wide open spaces. Here’s an itinerary that will change your mind, body and spirit forever.

Depart the Valley and take the 10.5 hour simple and scenic drive to Park City, Utah. The area is known for its winter haven of snow sports—but there’s so much more. 

Where to Stay:

Newpark Resort sits amidst the Swaner Nature Preserve, which is lined with picturesque walking paths. Blending modern luxury with chic comfort, the property offers plush rooms and spacious townhouses equipped with a fireplace, private hot tub, and plenty of amenities. 

For an in-town location, opt for Marriott’s MountainSide, situated with ski-in, ski-out access to Park City’s famous slopes. Indulge in R&R from the heated pool sitting at the base of the mountain, and forget dining out; order in as you enjoy condo-like accommodations ideal for a family or group.

Where to Play:

Woodward Park City is a slice of heaven for daring individuals. The indoor/outdoor facility is an esteemed action sports destination with impressive grounds and 60-plus acres of outdoor terrain and mountain parks. Have you dreamed of riding a ramp via skateboard? Now's your chance. Or, take a ski class—you might just see an Olympian on the slopes (they use the facility to train).

After a few days in Utah, head to Jackson, Wyoming. The four-hour drive is a beautiful breeze and upon arrival, you'll find yourself in the heart of Town Square under the infamous antler arches. This transport to the Wild West will leave you at peace, surrounded by our country’s most magnificent landmarks.

Where to Stay:

The Snow King Resort is nestled at the base of Snow King Mountain, Jackson’s only full-service, year-round property offering Western-inspired renovated rooms with patios overlooking the lush landscape. Upon checking in, allow your mind to check out—grant yourself an emotional escape… just don’t forget your cowboy boots. 

Outdoor adventures span dog sledding, fishing, and skiing, and make sure to thrill-ride the Cowboy Coaster, open seasonally.  

Where to Play:

Grand Teton National Park is 20 minutes out of Jackson. The drive takes you through the National Elk Refuge, where you can spot thousands of wildlife in the winter (opt for a sleigh ride). 

Guaranteed, the first sight of the Tetons will take your breath away. Make your way to Jenny Lake and take the easy-moderate hike to Hidden Falls—it’s simply majestic. String Lake is another must-see, and for the ultimate photo-opp, snap a selfie at Schwabacher's Landing.

Jackson is also two hours to the heart of Yellowstone, the largest active geyser field in the world. Stand in awe at these incredible phenomenons; give Old Faithful a visit, along with the Grand Prismatic and Fountain Paint Pots. Drive through Hayden Valley where you’ll likely spot a bison.

Final tip: download the GyPSy Guide app. The GPS-triggered audio tour educates you on landmarks throughout the parks. 

  • Grand Teton National Park, Photo by Heather R. Geranen
  • Marriott’s MountainSide in Park City, Utah
  • Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming
  • At Grand Teton National Park, Photo by Heather R. Geranen
  • Newpark Resort
  • Newpark Resort