Hiking in the Grand Tetons

When we planned our visit to Grand Teton National Park for mid-May, we were thinking like people who grew up in Ohio. Mid-May in Ohio can be very warm – time for shorts and t-shirts. We always considered the official start of summer to be the end of May.   Now, if you’re planning a trip to the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming, you ought to know that there are fewer than 60 days a year that the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing. When does all the snow melt? Never, we guess. If you go high enough into the mountains, snow will be there.

The weather was balmy, but we saw a good bit of snow on our hike to Moose Ponds, south of Jenny Lake.

We hiked through an area with high mountain snow that looked like it had been hit with an avalanche in the winter. Lots of downed trees had slid down the mountain.

The wildflowers, lanceleaf springbeauty (claytonia lanceolata), reminded us of little crocuses heralding the end of snow.

Another day we hiked from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve on the Lake Creek-Woodland Trail loop trail. The ranger had recommended the trail as a good one and not far from where we were staying. She said at this time of year, and with all the snow the park received this winter, it will be awhile before many of the other hiking trails are open, particularly the ones that climb upwards.

The hike started well, but too soon we saw a group of hikers gathered ahead and guessed that meant one thing: a big animal sighting.

As we got closer it was clear why everyone had stopped. A big bear was eating berries a short distance from the hiking path. We didn’t stay long enough to try to get a better photo.

We looped over to another hiking path, some distance away and across a river, and continued on our way.

The path around Phelps Lake to reach Huckleberry Point turned into this metal walkway over a pond adjacent to the lake. This was hiking in style!

Surprisingly, we saw lots of animals in the park and near the cabin where we stayed. We were happy to rarely see wild animals on the hiking trail that might pose a threat to our safety. However, we were amused when we ran across this animal:

The marmot seemed to act like people posed no threat to him, as long as his eyes blocked any view he might have of people.

Hiking in the Grand Tetons was lovely, but, for future trip planning, we’ll make the necessary adjustments to account for seasonal changes — temperature and snow.


May 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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14 Responses to Hiking in the Grand Tetons

  1. Oh I seriously thought that standing marmot was a bear – perfect disguise he had! LOL

  2. jakepbaker says:

    These shots are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing! It reminds me of the time I took a chairlift in July to the top of the Zugspitze Mountain in Germany. My brother and I were in shorts and t-shirts with snow on the ground!

  3. Pina Marek says:

    Looks like a great area to hike! Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  4. nutsfortreasure says:

    Glad you had a great time 🙂 my son lives there but I would be crazy with that much snow I need my 5 or 6 months without it lol

  5. plaidcamper says:

    Looks like wonderful hiking territory!

  6. A bear!!! How exciting, but I can understand why you kept your distance. I like that marmot’s thinking – if I don’t see them they aren’t there. 🙂

  7. Jackson Hole is one of my favorite places on earth.

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