Adventure Travel: Brooks Lake Lodge

Views and snowmobiles all around are what Brooks Lake Lodge is all about. The sheer amount of snow, incredible vistas, amazing terrain and top notch accommodations make the place a definite ‘bucket list’ for adventurous sled heads!
There are very few perks to being married to a Sled Head. In the winter, I am a weekend widow, watching kids sporting events alone and fixing PB&Js for dinner (because really why would you cook for kids?), all the while my husband chases the other love of his life … snow.

While I know my husband adores me and our children, he has always had a fascination with the cold white adrenaline rush of snow. And, while I like it, I don’t always get up in the middle of the night when it starts to flurry, or get frustrated when nights are above freezing because it means, “the snow has been melting all night!” So, when Ryan asked if I wanted to accompany him on a destination review I put on a happy face, but secretly hoped he would change his mind and ask his brother or another sledding buddy.

Then we arrived and my own love affair with snow commenced.
■ The deep powder!
First of all, the snow was so thick and deep we had to be charioted five miles in by a tracked snow-van. Later we were told by the manager that this snow abundance was …gasp … normal. In fact, when other places are scarce, this resort at 9200 feet always fares well with 400-600 inches of snowfall annually. As my husband chatted with the friendly driver, I watched the snow fall around our warm carriage and felt the relaxation start to take hold.
Our arrival started with a gourmet dinner in the Great Hall. As I entered the hall I observed my fellow travelers: a group of 12 jovial men speaking what I guessed to be Norwegian; two well-dressed couples seated together talking in subdued tones and sophisticatedly sipping wine; and another couple obviously on a romantic getaway. The gatherings were varied, but all were enjoying the cracking from the large fireplace, the luminescence of their companions’ faces from the oil table lamps, and most importantly … the food.

All the meals were included in our reservation with cuisine created by a Master Chef. Each course of every meal was a mouthwatering delight. Tender venison, unique salads, and delectable desserts (think deep fried cookie dough balls for a lunchtime dessert---whaaaat?) were plated beautifully and served on china and crisp tablecloths. To say they hit this one out of the park is an understatement. I was a frazzled weekend widow who had become used to paper plates and chicken nuggets. Ryan, as the man who whisked me away to this picturesque lodge with food fit for a king, instantly became my Knight in Shining Armor. My man is always more attractive as I’m looking up from my ganache-covered cake too!
Our lodging was a cabin suite and had a sitting room with a wood stove and the most comfortable king-sized bed I have slept (or not slept) on. The wood stove and insulated blinds made us feel like we were snuggled in for hibernation. And hibernate I did! I slept absolutely soundly and deep, as the snow insulated any evidence of sounds that would have disturbed the peaceful cabin. The absence of six children provided an extra extravagance. We were able to talk, laugh, and most importantly play on the sleds all on our own.

■ Not just for pros!
Snow is a fabulous playground, and a guide took us on a 2-up sled (a previous injury kept me from driving my own) for a ride in the scenic backcountry that surrounds the lodge. While it was a tamed-down version of the riding my husband usually does, we explored the trails and he did some off-trail riding through the Shoshone National Forest. The Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa snowmobile fleet is well serviced and new. It is comfortable to travel without pulling up your trailer full of sleds too! While our fun was snowmobile focused, there are other snow activities to treat yourself to at the resort. These activities include skiing, ice fishing and snowshoeing. One of my favorite activities though was reading in the plush lodge chairs by the fire.

The service at Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa is nothing short of five stars. Staff are warm and welcoming, with the General Manager available on site. They comfortably visit with you if you are interested in asking questions or quietly attend to your needs when you are in conversation with your travel companion.

And the snow … the clean white insulated blanket provided the peace I needed. It blocked out the world so I could enjoy a few days of snowmobile luxury ... which is much needed to survive a winter of being solo while my Sled Head husband rides.
• Location: Wyoming’s Rocky Mountains, within the Shoshone National Forest. The closest city is Dubois, Wyoming 25 miles to the southeast.
• Elevation: 9,200 feet
• Snowfall: Averages 400-600 inches annually
• History: Built in 1922, it was a stop for tourists going to Yellowstone.
• Ammenties: Sauna and aromatherapy or the hot tub with mountain views at no additional charge. Book a spa treatment for added relaxation. All-inclusive resort 5-star accommodations, seasonal activities, and gourmet meals.
• Cowboy Bar: Where guests enjoy a beverage while playing foosball, darts or shuffleboard.
• The Views: Pinnacle Buttes, Brooks Mtn., Richard’s Peak
• Interesting Notes: Many return customers, certain times book a year in advance. The resort is also open in the summer; lodge and cabins provide a total of 18 private bedrooms.
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