Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hiking Signal Mountain, GTNP

Signal Mountain views

For our second hike in Grand Teton National Park, Frank and I chose Signal Mountain because my pocket hiking guide book spoke of a panoramic view of the entire valley including the Tetons and Jackson Lake. This hike was a bit harder than the Taggart and Bradley Lake hike we did the day before. It was mostly walking through the woods, with little peeks of the mountains here and there until the peak, and discussing what to do if a grizzly pops out. Listen, yes, I am scared of bears! Ever since spotting that teenage black bear on a hike in the Catskills I have been aware of my own futility when it comes to nature's powers. Basically, nature is no joke and I'm just here to admire, not bother anyone and not get eaten! Even though, I was mildly nervous the whole hike - the view from the top was phenomenal and took my breath away! The hike starts by Signal Mountain Lodge and Campground, and you have to cross the road at the beginning to start going up.

Hike Length: 7.4 mile double lollipop (11.9 km)
Hike Time: About 4 hours
Peak Elevation: 7,720 ft. (2353 m)
The only way to pose when bundled up for a second hike that may result in death by bear!

Woodland colors
Mountains peeking out

Nice bones.

Happiness at 7,720 feet on Signal Mountain

Friday, January 20, 2017

Taggart and Bradley Lake Hike, GTNP

During my take-my-breath-away trip to Grand Teton National Park, my friend Frank and I did a couple of fairly easy hikes [See Signal Mountain here]. I was irrationally nervous about hiking too high because I thought my lungs wouldn't handle it after 2012's hike to 14,000 feet on Mt. Bierstadt. Luckily, you don't have to hike or even step out of a car in the Tetons to see epic views - but who would I be if I didn't try! 

The first hike we did was the Taggart and Bradley Lakes Loop Hike which passes two peaceful lakes of the 6 lakes in Grand Teton National Park. The weather promised to be cold, but we were in major luck the whole trip because it was beautiful autumn days all around! We bundled up tight, by about 5 minutes into the hike it got very warm and the layers came off.  The Taggart Lake hike is one of the most popular hikes in the Tetons because of it's ease, but it did not feel that populated perhaps because of the time of year we were there (mid-October).

Hike Length: 5.5 miles (8.85km)
Hike Time: 4 hours (lots of stopping, oooing & aaaing!)
Peak Elevation: 7,190 ft (2191.5 m)

Let the Hiking Begin!

A gigantic moose baby! Mom was nearby, too!

Taggart Lake
Bradley Lake
This guy

Yum. Look at those colors.

Friends who hike together, stay friends for 10 years together?
Into/Out of the Woods

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Glorious Grand Teton National Park

"The mountains are calling, and I must go..." - John Muir

finally made it to Grand Teton National Park! It's been on my list of top places for a few years, so it was top choice when I was planning an extension to yet another trip to Denver this fall. Grand Teton National Park, or simply The Tetons, is located in the state of Wyoming, just 10 miles south of the famous Yosemite National Park. The park was established on February 26, 1929 - and 2016 was the 100 year anniversary since the creation of the National Park Service. I felt so lucky to have gone to this beautiful and special place on the centennial and to experience the breathtaking views from every corner. My friend and I did two hikes in as many days: Taggart and Bradley Lake Loop and the Signal Mountain hike.

Epic gates of antlers in Jackson, Wyoming.
Jackson is the gateway to the Tetons!
Morning views outside of Jackson.
Cars, maps, roads, and mountains. Happiness.
First look!
The Teton Range is part of the Rocky Mountain Range and consists of many mountains including the Cathedral Group which can be seen in the above photo. The Cathedral Group include the highest peak Grand Teton at 13,775 (4,199 m).
Travel pals, road tripped our way to the Tetons from Denver for a few days and a couple of hikes.
One of the views from our hike on the Taggart and Bradley Lake trail.

More elk!
Can these mountains be more epic!?
Glorious mountains over Jackson Lake.

Sunshine playing coy over Jackson Lake

If you squint you can see a whole lotta elk, my dudes!

Signal Mountain views

Happiness at 7,720 feet on Signal Mountain
'til next time, my love.

Leaving the park on the last night got us like 😍😍😍