The all-inclusive historic resort in Dubois, Wyoming, recalls the grand tradition of the great Western lodge.
The year 1922 saw the creation of a much-needed stopover for travelers heading toward Yellowstone National Park. It would be a comfortable haven for outdoor adventurers looking for a mountain destination that would feature an off-grid experience combining rustic charm and lavish pampering. This July a century later, that stopover, Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa in Dubois, Wyoming, celebrates its centennial.
Located in Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest near Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park, the 100-year-old lodge remains steeped in the grand tradition of the great Western lodge. Initially called the Two-Gwo-Tee Inn (the Shoshone word for spear), it offered travelers an ideal location in the Rocky Mountain wilds of Wyoming.
The magnificent vistas from the property’s perch at 9,200 feet just one mile from the North American Continental Divide include the Pinnacle Buttes, Austin Peak, and Brooks Mountain. The breathtaking setting, adjacent to 300-acre alpine Brooks Lake and surrounded by evergreen forests, compelled Bryant B. Brooks, the seventh governor of Wyoming, to write in 1889 upon discovering the valley, “Among the fir and pine there glistened a lake … what a sight! I stood closer that day to nature’s heart than ever before.”
Over the years, the remote inn transformed into a dude ranch and then into the acclaimed luxury guest ranch and resort it is today. Some of its accolades include “Top All-Inclusive Family Resort in the U.S.” by Reader’s Digest, and one of the “20 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S” by U.S. News & World Report in 2021, a best place to “Lean into Winter” by Travel + Leisure in 2020, and a 2018 “Best Lake Resort” by National Geographic Traveler.
“From the beginning, the mission of Brooks Lake Lodge has been to offer guests an out-of-this-world escape where they can engage with the outdoors in ways that allow them to relax and recharge,” says Brooks Lodge general manager Matthew Tousignant. The need to immerse in the natural world has only grown stronger and more important.
Within easy driving distance to Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, the 25-acre crowd-free property seamlessly blends its pioneer-era foundation with modern amenities. The main lodge, constructed in a Western Craftsman architectural style in keeping with Yellowstone’s “parkitecture,” has been carefully preserved.
The décor evokes the grandness of the time — stone hearths, antler and wagon-wheel chandeliers, plush leather furniture, stained-glass windows — while simultaneously offering current-day comforts such as sink-into feather beds, state-of-the-art spa treatments, freshly prepared and locally sourced gourmet meals and free Wi-Fi.
Guests can peruse the collection of Western fine art and sculpture before retreating to one of the handful of lodge rooms — individually decorated with handcrafted lodgepole pine furnishings and goose-down comforters — or private cabins equipped with wood-burning stoves and inviting sitting areas.
Western traditions of the past are alive and well at Brooks Lake Lodge, where guests can immerse themselves in activities reminiscent of the original travelers like horseback riding, fishing, and archery.
Summer and winter activities on the property and in the more than 2 million neighboring acres of pristine national forest and mountain-ringed farmland focus on connecting guests of all ages with the area’s natural abundance and include such authentic and immersive experiences as:
- Horseback riding along trails and in the arena with experienced wranglers, as well as on glamping-style overnight pack trips complete with backcountry golf, hiking, and fishing.
- Hiking for all skill levels, from short nature trails to summitting an 11,000-foot peak.
- Year-round fishing for trout in Brooks Lake, with the chance for guests to have their catches brought back to the lodge to be cooked up for dinner.
- Canoeing around stunning Brooks Lake.
- Archery lessons and target practice with expert instructors.
- Expert-guided wildlife excursions.
- Stargazing tours of the pristine Wyoming dark skies.
- In winter, skiing and snowshoeing in winter on miles of groomed trails or into the backcountry and snowmobiling into the nearby forests, including 2 million acres of scenic terrain.
The historic and homey Great Hall dining hall, with its grand fireplace and high-beamed ceilings, hosts guests for chef-prepared meals (all included with an overnight stay): hearty Western breakfasts every morning, filling lunches at noon, and gourmet dinners nightly. There’s a Governor’s Tea with hors d’oeuvres in the cozy fireplace-centered Tea Room and an extensive selection of spirits along with fun and family-friendly nighttime entertainment in the lodge’s Cowboy Bar.
Guests can enjoy free hot tub (with mountain views), sauna, fitness center, and tranquility room access, as well as restorative treatments (priced separately) in the Rocky Mountain Spa.
Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa will celebrate its centennial with a grand open-to-the-public party at the lodge on Saturday July 2, 2022 (check the Brooks Lake Lodge website for details).