Melody Ranch, just four miles south of the Town of Jackson, is a place of wide-open spaces, remarkable views and a strong sense of community. While residents appreciate the development for its close proximity to town and its natural beauty, they also love the fact that it feels like a true neighborhood, a place where people have chosen to make as their year-round home in Jackson Hole.
Melody Ranch has deep roots in Jackson Hole history. In 1888, the area was settled as Cheney, one of the first townships in the valley. In the 20th century, an out-of-towner named Paul von Gontard visited the area as a boy and was so bowled over by the soaring mountains and grassy meadows that he later returned to establish a cattle ranch on the land. The main lodge and outbuildings from those days still stand, and their historic character is complemented by the design of today’s Melody Ranch homes, which are in the Western mountain and ranch styles, in natural earth tones.
As a planned residential community, Melody Ranch retains all the openness and close-to-nature attributes of its ranching heritage. Development started in 1995 in accordance with a master plan that emphasizes preserving open spaces. Today, in fact, open spaces make up 70 percent of the community. As Melody Ranch Development states, “Our philosophical approach is that maintaining these views and landscapes will enhance and protect what we value so highly – the freedom to live in, and appreciate, the wide open spaces of the hard-won West.”
Flat Creek, the water source for the hay meadows of Melody Ranch, still meanders through the development, and thanks to careful planning, the Teton and Snake River mountain views that made such an impression on young von Gontard more than 50 years ago can still be enjoyed in full. Cottonwoods, spruce and aspen dot the landscape and add a sense of privacy. Melody Ranch “has incorporated time-honored concepts of historic ranch development into its master plan, to preserve the open character of horse and cattle pastures and hay meadows while allowing native and natural vegetation to protect and shade its buildings,” the developer says.
The development features manmade improvements that give residents a backyard playground. There are bike trails, trout fishing ponds, playgrounds and playing fields that make the development ideal for families with children. Schools, grocery stores, shops, restaurants and all the other amenities of town are within easy reach, as are Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. But at Melody Ranch, staying home is just as an attractive option as getting out to other parts of the valley. Great views are just the beginning.