Phillips Ridge sits like the aerie of an eagle high atop a rocky ridge overlooking Jackson Hole. Below, the wide valley rolls away for miles upon miles. A long driveway, bordered by streams and shadowy forest, winds its way up to the house, a magnificent Western lodge, a magical combination of wood, solid stone and ethereal glass. Palatial, sumptuous, and filled with splendid works of art, Phillips Ridge begins with a two-story, light-filled entryway. Thick log walls and tree trunk supports contrast with fine antiques and soft, rich fabrics. The living and dining areas are divided by a massive two-sided stone fireplace and illuminated by a 35-foot-high wall of windows. French doors open to a backdrop of dark green firs and pale aspen, separate seating areas face the fire and the panorama outside. Painter Bo Bartlett created a huge, stunning canvas in oil called "Goddess" spanning an entire wall, it creates as vivid an opening of perspective as do the soaring windows.
The grand kitchen at Phillips Ridge is fit for a professional chef. Its centerpiece is a large gas range set like a medieval hearth inside a hammered copper and stone alcove. A flat-screen television, hidden inside the stone countertop, rises and swivels at the touch of a button, and can be seen from the cooking area, the long, built-in breakfast banquet, and the dining room. A stone-topped island separates the kitchen from the dining room, where the long table, overhung by an antler chandelier, seats ten.
A rustic staircase, with a cast bronze twig-and-branch handrail by sculptor W. Tom Ellicker, curves majestically up both sides of the front entryway. A second-story walkway crosses the big open space over the living room and leads to the sleeping quarters. Each of the five bedrooms at Phillips Ridge is a master suite, filled with light from the high, copper-framed windows, decorated with bold furnishings and textured fabrics. Each has its own stone fireplace, with hand-crafted cast iron and glass doors. The deep wilderness beyond the bedroom windows, and the lacy green woods or mountains capped in snow provide a satisfying contrast to the comfort and luxury within.
Thick log walls, tree-trunk beams and patterned bedspreads make the spacious bedrooms snug and cabin-like. Each one has a hand-built bed with reading lights positioned at either side. Each also has a decadent private bath with double sinks and big soaking tubs, two of which are shaped like oval bowls of polished stone. Some of the bathrooms have stone fireplaces. Glass-walled, rainfall showers and wide windows create the illusion of bathing al fresco.
French doors in the bedrooms open to private terraces or branch-framed porches. The forest runs right up to the house on one side, bringing with it the cool spicy air of the pines. Rich, muted oriental carpets cover the heated floors of the bedrooms, and wall-mounted, flat screen televisions face each of the beds, while beyond every window is an extraordinary panorama of forest, mountains and sky.
Phillips Ridge is an Eden for both vigorous adventure and quiet reflection, indoors and out. The entire eastern side of the house is encircled by a long stone terrace that is almost a home in itself. An outdoor dining area is set next to a large fire pit. Farther along are sitting areas, trap shooting stands and a hot tub. Back inside, a cosmic, two-lane bowling alley, a gorgeous bar room with tufted leather couch, and a casual pub with a billiards table make a day of rain most welcome.
On the lower floor, the lodge also has a state-of-the-art, Weider fitness center, a movie theater that seats twelve in deep leather armchairs, and a truly fabulous indoor hot tub, a grotto modeled on the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Ringed with mosaic stone mountains and a painted firmament of blue, it provides the ultimate conclusion or commencement to the day.
Phillips Ridge is fronted by a low stone wall and a three acre pond that reflects the sky like a mirror. A waterfall splashes merrily down a cascade of stones, and then winds its way under the driveway and around the house and can be turned off and on as desired. Stone bridges cross the small, pebbly pond created by the stream. Out on the terrace, the running water provides a light and constant music to morning coffee or evening cocktails as it passes by on its way to the dark green woods a favorite haunt for moose and down to one of the three private ponds teaming with cutthroat trout.
The vast terraces around the house are equipped with a snow-melt system, so that winter or summer one can step right outside. In early morning, the sun comes up over the shoulders of Sleeping Indian and lights the face of the house, summoning all to come and see. The encircling mountains hold the sunlight like a bowl. Wildflowers edge the rim of the terrace, but then nature takes over; Phillips Ridge's 75 acres are not landscaped and are all the more gorgeous and frequented by wildlife for it. The evening brings another spectacular show, best enjoyed from the cushioned chairs by the fire pit and grill, as the sun goes down behind the hills and turns the mountains seashell pink. The sound of the breeze in the grasses, the sharp clean smell of the evergreens and the crackle of the fire play a symphony for the senses.
One could spend hours exploring the interesting corners, wonderful details and tremendous works of art inside the house, but Phillips Ridge is also the perfect launching pad for skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, swimming or canoeing in the pond, and day trips into wonderful Jackson. And despite its high luxury and fine art, Phillips Ridge is completely child and dog friendly. It is a spectacular property, the overture to an unforgettable Wyoming vacation.
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