It’s day 6 on our exploration of Jackson Hole, and we’ve been busy exploring Grand Teton National Park and the Gros Ventre wilderness.
Once everyone arrived on airport day, we set up camp for the first time at the Gros Ventre campground and prepared for our first day hike in Grand Teton. We headed over to Jenny Lake for a six-mile hike to Inspiration Point, which offers a stunning vista of the Jackson Hole Valley. Anna was very excited to share her knowledge of the local environment with everyone in the group, and made extensive use of the guidebook to learn more as we walked. We also had our first wildlife sighting — a mule deer feeding on some bushes by the edge of the trail! After lunch at Inspiration Point and lots of photos at Hidden Falls, we headed back to camp for dinner and s’mores to celebrate the trip’s beginning.
We spent our second day planning and purchasing food for our 3-day, 2-night venture into the Gros Ventre Wilderness, a protected area that borders the national park. We woke up early on day 3 to pack our backpacks for the first time and drive out to our trailhead. Duff did a particularly excellent job packing his pack for the first time, and he helped us navigate through the first section of the trail. We arrived at our campsite four and a half miles later. It was in an idyllic location, right on the edge of a valley peering up at the 11,000 foot mountains to the south. We were especially excited to see a giant double rainbow after a short evening shower.
The next morning we awoke to perfect weather, just in time for a five mile hike to a nearby peak at 10,665 feet! Olivia kept everyone’s spirits high on their way up the mountain, and she took the lead to be the first person to reach the summit. The view from the top was an unexpected but awesome 360° panoramic view of the Rockies. Once we got back to camp, we made dinner and went to bed to rest up for our early morning hike out to the van.
Emily was quite proud of herself for completing the first backcountry section, but was also very psyched for our first trip to Jackson’s Rec Center to take a long shower. Once we arrived, Ben was quick to locate and test out the water slide and diving board at the pool. We’re in Jackson tonight preparing for our big Yellowstone trip, which will take us sea kayaking, zip lining, and whitewater rafting. We’ll also be visiting all the major attractions like the Old Faithful geyser and Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. Erica is super excited for this upcoming portion of the trip, since she really loved the whitewater rafting and sea kayaking portion of her last trip with WV.
We’ll be letting you know how the Yellowstone adventures go in the days to come. But for now, everyone’s looking forward to a sleep-in day tomorrow with a pancake breakfast!