A group of people cat skiing in the 80s

History of Targhee

Since 1969 Grand Targhee has been the home of skiing on the west side of the Tetons. With consistent snowfall, wide-open terrain, and breathtaking views it has remained a staple of the area since its opening. While we’ve seen a few changes over the years and have more on the way, the Targhee vibe is still alive and well. Since the lifts started spinning we’ve embraced being laid back and keeping it simple. We were built for skiers and we’ve tried to keep it that way. 


1966 – Locals conceive of a ski area & form Grand Targhee Resort, Inc., an Idaho non-profit corporation.

1969 – Resort is built including Bannock & Shoshone lift, Targhee Lodge, & a small day lodge.

December 26, 1969 – Grand Targhee’s first-ever opening day. Over 2,000 skiers partake. Lift tickets were $3.75 and season passes were $55.00.

1971 – The Sioux Lodge opens and a master plan for the resort is adopted by the U.S. Forest. 

1973 – GTR is purchased by Bill Robinson of Big Valley Corp.

1974 – The Blackfoot lift opens.

1977 – The Teewinot Lodge opens.

1978 – Expansion of Day Lodge, Steakhouse opens, Lodging Office & Admin services expanded into a new building.

An old photo of a skier from the 80s
Two snowboarders from the 80s
A ski resort from the 80s


1980, 1988, 1995, 1996, 1998 – Various attempted land exchanges.

1987  – The Bergmeyers purchase GTR.

1988 – The resort adds summer operations.

1988 – Kids Club is built.

1988 – The 1st Annual Bluegrass Festival.

1988 – 1st Cowboy Poetry Festival – A 3-day festival that ended in 1993.

1989 – The snowcat skiing operation begins.

1989 – The Pagoda Ticket Booth built – RIP 2015

A group of skiers pose for a photo


1990 – Sunday, March 25 – Fire destroys Day Lodge & Retail buildings. By Friday, March 30, using tents as temporary facilities, the resort resumed full operations.  Mortimer the switchboard is replaced with rotary phones.   By November, all base facilities were rebuilt & open.

1991 – Spa facilities open, Targhee Institute is established and Rockin’ the Tetons a 2-day festival that ended in 1998 begins.

1995 – A new Master Plan is completed for Resort Area and Skiing Mountain capping allowable skiers at one time (SAOT) to 5,130.

1997  – GTR purchased by Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. Shoshone replaced with fixed-grip quad, Bannock replaced with high-speed detachable quad & renamed Dreamcatcher. Resort enters process to exchange Squirrel Meadows to USFS for the base area.

1997 – Revised 40-year USFS Special Use Permit is issued to Grand Targhee Resort in March. 

An old photo of a ski resort base area from the 80s


2000 – GTR purchased by George Gillett & family.  The Magic Carpet is installed.

2000 – February 25, 2000, single-day snowfall record of 41” in 24 hours.

2001 – Sacajawea lift opens expanding terrain by 500 acres.

2002  – Trick Town Terrain Park opens.

2004 – The GTR-Squirrel Meadows Land Trade is completed. North Pole Terrain Park opens. The Steakhouse is remodeled.

2005 – The 1st Annual Targhee Fest.


2011 – A shuttle program is implemented with the Idaho Transportation Department.

2014 – For summer operations the resort purchased a “Mule” for trail building.  Two new cross-country biking trails are added, along with two downhill trails, a new flow trail, and the skills park aka Pinball.

2016 – The Blackfoot double is replaced with a fixed-grip quad Doppelmayr chair lift.

2017 – Mountain Master Plan and Base Area Plan are revised and submitted to Forest Service and Teton County, Wyoming.

2020 – Massive wind storm blows down thousands of trees in Middle Earth, Lot 5, and service road to Blackfoot. 

2021 – New state of the art mountain operations building is constructed, $6.4 million put into employee housing, and a new parking lot is built, increasing parking by 30%

2021 – Construction began on the new Peaked lift. 

2022 – The new Colter Lift on Peaked Mountain opened on Friday, November 25, much earlier than anticipated due to early season snowpack. The Colter Lift opened up 600 acres of lift-served terrain that used to only be accessible by cat skiing. Half of Teewinot Lodge opened with newly renovated rooms. Resort moves from paper tickets to RFID cards - RIP wickets 

2023 – The Bluegrass Festival returned for its 33rd year after a 4 year hiatus. Inaugural Wildflower Trail Run began. Regrading of the beginner area and construction on a new beginner conveyer begins. 


Colter's Escape and 38 Special are closed due to logging, please obey closures.