Snowbird Mountain Lodge to Hold an Encaustic Beeswax Art Workshop

Snowbird Mountain Lodge pic

Snowbird Mountain Lodge

Richard Rankin supervises the operations at Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC. Over the last 20 years, Richard Rankin has grown the lodge into a haven for people seeking peace and natural beauty, earning the Robbinsville, NC, retreat the number-one spot on the area’s list of best bed and breakfasts and inns.

Snowbird Mountain Lodge holds numerous events, ranging from culinary to artistic, throughout the year. On July 23rd, 2016, Gulf Coast artist Kat Fitzpatrick will hold an encaustic beeswax workshop at the lodge. This all-day workshop will teach beginners and more experienced artists to create art using the beeswax that is melted together with different pigments of color and damar crystals. Participants can make artifacts, photo transfers, and various types of collages using this technique. This event is just one of the social and cultural events taking place at Snowbird this summer.


Hiking Near Robbinsville

As Spring approaches we are seeing more and more hikers in the forests that surround Snowbird Mountain Lodge and the Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock/Citico Wilderness in the Nantahala National Forest. It’s these times that we spend time helping to find
“lost” hikers and I thought this might be a good space to give you some tips about being in this remote area of North Carolina.

Know that here, all of the usual hiking tips apply.

1. make sure that you have appropriate hiking shoes/boots on your feet as all of our trails         in the area are root and rock strewn, a twisted or broken ankle here will cause major             problems.

2. Cell Phones are great tools, but realize that in this remote section of North Carolina and      Tennessee, they WILL NOT work in most locations. So, the ability to send a text or make      a call for help is all but impossible!

3. Make sure that you have a day pack at the very least. Inside the pack please carry some         extra food, water, water purifying supplies, rain gear, first aid kit and warm clothing.

All of these common sense items are especially important in the woods that surround Robbinsville. This is remote country and yet so close. This area isn’t like the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but sparsely populated and traveled. These are the qualities that make this area so beautiful and attractive and Fun to be in!

Without a doubt you can have an amazing time in our woods and we want you to. If I can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to call me at Snowbird Mountain Lodge – 800-941-9290 and I’ll help you plan a great adventure in nature!

Robert Rankin

Innkeeper, Explorer, AdventurerIMG_8702


75 Years and going Strong

Dear Friends,

It was late spring, 1941. Arthur and Edwin Wolfe surveyed the view from the porch as the Lodge prepared to open its doors to guests to the very first time. The anxiety level was high. They had invested everything they had in this place believing that the people that would soon arrive needed a place like this, a retreat to rediscover the feel of nature that so many were missing. I can imagine very well what the Wolfe brothers must’ve felt when the opened the Lodge. This year Snowbird celebrates

75 years of Mountain Magic!

I know that if the Wolfe brothers drove up the mountain today and rounded the bend to see the Lodge before them that they would recognize everything they had created. While changes have come through the years, the vision they had remains strong today. Snowbird continues to focus on being that special place, completely modern, yet lost in time. A wonderful mountain experience where you are completely looked after, all senses filled and satisfied. Where welcomes are warm, genuine heartfelt hospitality flows and connections are made. Those types of connections – to all that surrounds us is still what this place is all about and in these times has become more important than ever.

It has, as always been a busy winter. We continue the vision and are constantly working on improving the mountain. We finished our upgrade of all the bathrooms in the main Lodge and renovated Wolfe Cottage with rainfall showers. The culinary team has been very busy meeting with farmers and growers to get the very best of fresh, local produce to grace our tables. Butch has improved our craft beer list to include more local North Carolina offerings and our wines and spirits have been updated as well.

When you turn the page and look inside you’ll notice that we continue to offer the very best of naturalists, photographers, artists and music for your enjoyment while you’re here and we have even more in store this year! Our website is currently under an extensive “redo” so you can check it often to see what updates have been made. We hope that you’ll join us as we celebrate our “diamond” anniversary. 75 years of Snowbird is something special and we promise the best year yet! If you haven’t ever visited Snowbird or we haven’t had the pleasure of your company in a while, then please accept this invitation to join us for what will certainly be an amazing year!

We are in celebration of the Great Adventure ahead and look forward to sharing with friends, some old, some new, like you!


Elizabeth, Sophie & Robert Rankin

Innkeepers, Explorers & Adventurers

Here it comes…Fall!

As September winds down to a close we are getting ready for what many consider the most spectacular time of year here on the mountain. September has been a most beautiful month here at Snowbird. We’ve had great fall wildflowers with walks hosted byIMG_4477 (1) IMG_3959 (3)Nancy and John Rennie and are wrapping up the month with Aaron Steed leading his fabulous birding adventures. While he has been here we’ve had guests able to watch the bird banding at the Audubon Society fall migration station set up at Whigg Meadow off of the Cherohala Skyway. Marvelous stuff indeed.

As I sit to write this it’s raining outside. Elizabeth is busy with school and the Robbinsville JV volleyball squad is getting ready for FullSizeRender (39)another game tonight. It also gives me a chance to think about all of the magic that happens in the coming month and give thanks for the past. Often here we are overshadowed by the magnificence of the changing colors. The reds, orange, yellow and browns that are coming are predicted to be the best FullSizeRender (40)color we’ve seen in years. I know that without a doubt it will be awesome! I also know that that time of year gives way to Thanksgiving and the quieter times that are yet to be.

A guest asked me the other day if after 20 years of being the caretaker here, whether my glass was half empty or half full. I smiled and told him he missed the point altogether – The glass is refillable! I hope that you will join us in celebration of all things fall – the color, the football teams on the field, the coming cooler weather, sweaters, jackets, fires in the fireplace and yes…raking the yards. I know that what the future holds will be wonderful and all of us on the mountain look forward to sharing it with you!

In celebration of the great adventure ahead!

Robert Rankin

Innkeeper, Explorer & Adventurer

Jackson Hole Wyoming – The Wild Wild West

It was the perfect time of year for us to escape Snowbird Mountain Lodge and the heat of Robbinsville, NC. My mother always laughs when I tell her I need to get away from the “heat” of the North Carolina mountains. “Robert Rankin”, she says… “Just you move back home to Decatur, AL and we’ll show you what heat and humidity really are”! No thanks I always say.

As a child and then young man I was blessed to often travel with my family to the West. Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho were States where the wild wild west still bloomed. Places with names like Butte, Laramie, Driggs, Crested Butte filled our imaginations. My brothers and I often couldn’t wait for the next cowboy adventure. Those memories continue to call to me til this day and I find myself pulled to the Rocky mountains every chance I get. Travel is an adventure for me, time to find the next view, the next trail, the next “pardner”. This summer I had the chance to introduce my daughters to the magical west in a very special way…….


Wyoming. Often called by Jackson Hole, which isn’t the name of the town, but the valley thatIMG_3737 stretches from the Yellowstone National Park all the way to Hoback, WY. It is a stunning and beautiful place with whitewater rivers, trout fishing galore, hiking trails in abundance, mountain IMG_3631and road biking and nature in all of her grandeur! While there we took advantage of all of those things plus great food in the town of Jackson. We explored the Yellowstone National Park and hiked in the Grand Tetons even managing to swim in some icy cold lakes….I so loved creating those memories, both for myself and my girls. It was perfect.

While I love the west and those magnificent Rocky Mountains I now also know the magic that these mountains I call home hold. Flying back home I watched as the terrain began to change IMG_3822and the trees became more dense and lush. Driving back to Robbinsville, NC and up the mountain to Snowbird Mountain Lodge I knew I was back home…where I belong. My little town is country filled with country folk. Some highly educated and some not, but all here are authentic…in a very real sort of way. If home is indeed where the heart is, then I live in the perfect place and on the perfect mountain…Summer heat and all!

Robert Rankin

Innkeeper, Adventurer & Explorer

Kicking into gear

The walk down the old road was one we’ve taken hundreds of times before. The dogs bounded ahead, smelling the crispness in the air and celebrating life like they always do. The creek flowed wild and free beside the road, a light crust of frost lay on the ground and the trees bent to the wind. It was a perfect time.

Later Sophie, Elizabeth and I sat on a big rock over the water and skipped stones. Watching the retrievers chase sticks that we’d throw and with Beau wandering in the sunshine, Max watching every move I realized how incredibly blessed I am to be able to live in this magical place. It’s hard to think that 20 years have passed since I became the steward of Snowbird Mountain Lodge. I am filled with gratitude to all of you for allowing us to share our dreams, our passions and our lives!

It’s been a busy winter here on the mountain. Our team has been busy making plans for all that 2015 will bring. The kitchen is working on new recipes, planning the gardens and looking after the chickens. The grounds and maintenance crew have been working on landscaping, repairs and the new bathrooms that grace all of the larger main lodge rooms. New plusher and thicker towels await your next visit and we continue to upgrade and make improvements to the Lodge here on the mountain. We can’t wait to share it with you.

The doors will be getting ready to open for our 2015 season as you read this. There are many new things here on the mountain, but we continue to celebrate our past as we look towards the future. Guided walks, hikes, nature, food, wine, art and good conversation all abound here at Snowbird.

Whether you were just here or if it’s been a while since you’ve visited us here on the mountain please consider this our personal invitation to come and join us for the magical experience that Snowbird offers. We look forward to sharing it with friends, some old, some new…like you!

In Celebration of the Great Adventure Ahead!

Sophie, Elizabeth & Robert Rankin
Innkeepers & Adventurers


Early Winter Reflections….

Inevitably, with the onset of winter, comes reflection. Shorter days, longer nights. For me the season spurs an appraisal of the past year. Before the temperatures plunge and the snow flies there is a nearly imperceptible pause – before the diversions of winter woods walks, cold dog swims and snow it lets me look back on the year. This is the time when I remember  the long trail walks with Sophie and Elizabeth the dogs romping far ahead. The laughter and time spent sharing with guests here on the mountain. Watching people that come here to share and delight in Snowbird Mountain Lodge‘s “magic”. It won’t be long before I want the warm waters of the lake or the coolness of the mountain stream on a warm summer day. I smile at the thought of the open road and the miles to ride on one of my bikes. I am grateful.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest of wilderness”

– John Muir

Remembering the times spent on adventures outdoors and the time spent with friends also brings the realization that it seems there’s never enough time to do it all. For me, there are no regrets, but instead a call to action. I make a list of all the stuff I still hope to do and the places I’d like to see in the future. At the Lodge, we get busy planning and preparing for next season and the best that’s yet to come! New bathrooms, thicker, richer towels for them, some new furniture, better lighting in the main dining room that helps my aging eyes see better. Lot’s of things happen behind the scenes as well, with staff mapping out all that will occur next year…..

And in all of the busyness that is, the Christmas tree is up at the house. Elizabeth’s birthday,  Sophie and Elizabeth’s packages are wrapped and getting placed. Robbinsville North Carolina‘s football team is headed for the 1A State championships and dinner is on the stove…..I guess like all of us, life goes on….at an ever quickening pace. As I get a chance to pause…even for a moment……I just want to say “thanks”, for coming to the mountain, for enduring my mistakes, for sharing a part of you with us, for continuing the journey with us. When I was younger, I just wanted to fit in and be a part of the herd…I’m glad I didn’t get my wish. As always we….

Celebrate the Great Adventure Ahead!

Robert Rankin