A recent article in the Health section of the New York Times, “Take a Walk in the Woods. Doctor’s Orders.” reveals a trend toward immersion in the woods, modeled after the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.” Doctors and authors around the world assert that time spent in nature can provide health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and boosting moods, with a heightened effect near a stream or body of water. The news doesn’t surprise Adam Long, general manager of Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, a luxurious historic guest ranch on the shores of alpine Brooks Lake deep in Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest near Yellowstone National Park.
“We see firsthand the difference in our guests after even a short time experiencing this beautiful natural setting through hikes, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding – or just sitting on the porch listening to the birds and breeze,” says Long. “And many of our guests return year after year, craving that peace and relaxation.”
Indeed, the exclusive, all-inclusive lodge, first built as a stopover for travelers en route to Yellowstone, has seen guests enjoy the benefits of nature immersion for almost 100 years. The lodge’s intimate size – it hosts a maximum of 36 people at a time and maintains a 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio – ensures a pampering getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle with the opportunity for guided and unguided nature activities at a moment’s notice. And the lodge’s limited WiFi and lack of cell service creates a unique mountain retreat for travelers to truly get off the grid and get on the wilderness train.
Brooks Lake Lodge offers a variety of opportunities to immerse in the surrounding forest and water. Simply by being at the lodge, guests sit at 9,200 feet above sea level just one mile from the American Continental Divide with sweeping views of the Pinnacle Buttes, Austin’s Peak, Brooks Mountain and nearby Brooks Lake. As one guest put it after a hike, “Until I was at Brooks Lake Lodge, I never imagined what it would be like to look in every direction and see NO buildings. This is a life-changing experience.”
The onsite Rocky Mountain Spa is another way for Brooks Lake Lodge guests to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit during a getaway. The spa offers guests a variety of wellness treatments, including massages and facials to soothe sore muscles and rejuvenate the skin.
The lodge also believes in the boosting of guest moods by means of incredible dining, incorporating fresh and local ingredients into Chef Whitney Hall’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that have continued to wow diners. Meals are served in the rustic Great Hall, featuring an array of rich flavors in a mountain-chic setting. And after a day’s adventures in the woods, guests can belly up to the on-site Cowboy bar at night for spirits including the lodge’s special Wyoming Whiskey Manhattan or Huckleberry Margarita before settling into a comfy lodge room or private cabin for a quiet slumber.
The all-inclusive rates at Brooks Lake Lodge include three gourmet meals plus a 4 p.m. Governor’s Tea Time daily, all guided activities and use of outdoor gear, plus spa access. Overnight stays during the summer season.