A week exploring the Tetons

The first time we saw the Grand Tetons we were on a bicycling tour from Salt Lake City up to Glacier National Park. They were so magnificent we found it hard to keep our eyes on the road—just wanted to always take in that fantastic skyline. We’ve gone back a few times since, taking more time to hike, bike, and explore the area.

IMG_1208Two years ago we found a cozy little cabin for rent in the Teton Valley. We loved it. Situated on a 20 acre ranch near Driggs, ID, it’s very peaceful. One drawback, however, is the 40 minute drive to get to Jackson, WY. Still, we liked it so much we went back this year after first visiting Yellowstone for a couple of days. Two years ago we were there in September, after the grain fields had been harvested. Huge flocks of sand hill cranes would fly over in the morning and evening, and we enjoyed listening to their squawking in the nearby field. This year, in early July, the most prevalent wildlife were the field mice that visited the kitchen every night. We dispatched a number of them. One in particular was all cozy in Karen’s book bag until she open it, saw the mouse, screamed, and slammed the books over on it (either that or it died of fright from her scream).

On the bike trail from Moose to Jenny Lake

On the bike trail from Moose to Jenny Lake

We did a few nice bike rides. The Teton Valley has a paved bike trail from Driggs to Victor. It would be nice if there was a wonderful coffee and pastry shop in Victor, but we haven’t found one yet. There is a nice one in Driggs that we visited a few times. We also did a short ride on one of the quiet country/farm roads right from our cabin.

Jackson and the Grand Teton NP have a great paved trail system. There is a paved trail from Jackson to Moose and then it continues in the National Park to Jenny Lake. We didn’t feel like riding that far, so we started our ride at Gros Ventre Road where it crosses Highway 26.

Darby Canyon Wind Cave

Darby Canyon Wind Cave

We also did several days of hiking. Once again we hiked the Bradley/Taggert Lake loop on the Jackson Hole side of the national park. These are pretty lakes tucked right up against the Tetons. For something new this year, we hiked a couple of canyons from the west side of the national park. Hiking up Darby Canyon our destination was the Wind Cave. This was a beautiful hike up an open, glacially-carved canyon. Wildflowers were profuse. The Wind Cave is large, with a fair-sized stream running out of it and then almost immediately over a waterfall. We weren’t prepared for cave exploring, but several folks were doing so.

We also hiked the south fork of Teton Creek. We had no particular destination in mind, so just went as far as we felt comfortable. The trail continues on to the Alaska Basin, which sounds intriguing, but was a longer hike than we thought we could do.

As luck would have it, we had quite a bit of cloudy weather, and some rain, but no nasty thunderstorms (well, maybe a far off rumble here and there). There are lots more places to explore, so I hope we can return for another visit.

Links
Tetons 2013 photo gallery
Grand Tetons 2011 blog
Tetons 2011 photo gallery

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