Being in the mountains is our peaceful place. There are no words to describe how much the mountains move us, as we feel at home here and a sense of calm and peace fills us when we are surrounded by mountains. The endless hiking trails, the wildlife and the changing scenery makes us happy to be back in Wyoming at Grand Teton National Park for the summer.
One cannot be bored here as there is always something to do or see. The wildlife has been awesome this year, as we have seen black bears, grizzly bears, a fox and her kits, eagles, beavers, bison, moose and fawns. In the park this year there are four adolescent grizzly bears on their own along with at least two black bears adolescents. Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton there are over 1,000 bears! 399 is the most famous grizzly bear in the area as she has been featured in National Geographic and even has her own Facebook and Twitter account. Wildlife photographers are enchanted with her and tourists alike want to know where they can capture a glimpse to this famous bear.
When we first arrived in the Tetons it was chilly and snowing so we didn’t get out much the first week. We both work outside so by the end of the day we were both tired, wet and cold so staying in, having hot chocolate and watching a Harry Potter movie marathon was great.
Even though is has been a chilly start of to the season, the positive part about the cold and snow was that we were able to capture great photos of the very snow covered mountains. This area received over 500 inches of snow this winter and February was the snowiest February, getting over 43 inches of snow. The first day of summer it snowed, nothing stuck but nothing says summer like snow. Lol.
It is now warming up and we have finally been able to lace up our hiking boots. We are adjusting to the elevation well, quicker then last year and getting in some hikes has definitely made us adapt faster
Our hikes to date:
Black tail butte: This is not a very popular trail but it should be. Aspen trees surround the trailhead and the first bit has a large cliff where mountain climbers practice their skills. After hiking through the forest, the views start off with seeing the Tetons behind a newly blooming meadow to opening up on the other side of the park by Gros Ventre, featuring rolling green hills and cliffs. The summit reveals the Tetons, Jackson Lake and views of the valley below.
Grandview: This was our first year hiking this trail and since it’s short and steep it makes for a great quick after work hike. The hike starts off by soon to be blooming huckleberry bushes and the summit is a pano view of the Tetons after a steep climb through the forest. The day we hiked this trail it started to rain once we reached the summit so we ran down the trail only to have the sun shinning when we returned. That’s the way the weather is in Wyoming, it changes quickly and sometimes it feels like we get all four seasons in one day.
Jackson Lake loop trail: This is usually our running trail since it’s 2 miles and has a few short hills but it’s also our go to trail for a quick walk. The scenery changes often from the forest to being lakeside so it makes for a quick trek and it’s close to our house, which is a bonus. Last time we were on this trail we turned the corner to see an adolescence black bear, which was just minded his own business and looking for plants to eat.
Swan Lake and Heron Pond: A quick and flat trail that leads to two lilly covered ponds and great views of the Tetons and Jackson Lake. There is a cool overview that is straight up a hill and definitely worth the effort. We have been told that sometimes moose are seen there but we have yet to see them.
Looking forward to reporting our next few months here, happy trails!