This summer I flew out to Jackson, WY, to help W and his field crew with some ecology work, mainly in Yellowstone. We stayed at a lodge in the Grand Teton National Park, just about an hour or so south of where we were doing most of the fieldwork.
I had just arrived in Jackson a few days earlier when we decided to go on this hike. Originally we wanted to backpack and spend the night at a campsite or alike, somewhere in the mountains, but with all the logistics we figured that a day hike was a lot easier and maybe more doable given the circumstances. I always want to see some grand views during my hikes, and if you can fit in some forest, streams and alpine tundra into that mix I am all for it. A couple of other friends had done this hike the day before and said it was amazing, so we also went on that same hike.
2900 Feet and 13 Miles
As I said, we got forest, streams and mountains, right of the bat. We would have to earn the view of the alpine ecosystem of course, some total elevation gain of 2000 feet or so... The deep forest, consisting of spruce and pine does remind me about the Swedish forest to some extent. It reminds me that I have to go back there and get some hiking in. As always we marvel on this landscape, and the ecology behind it. We are both ecologists/biologists, so even the tiniest things matter to us.
The end point of our hike was an alpine lake, Holly Lake. A beautiful lake at an elevation of 9450 feet. Originally W wanted us to continue after the lake, up on the ridge, before heading back, but that did not happen. We were satisfied with the lake being the end point of this hike. I for one was happy about this, because I was pretty beat after that approach. The last few miles before the actual lake we were treading through snowfields that were starting to melt. But what a view once we got there. I am always so blown away by these landscapes. I have to pinch myself in the arm to make sure it's for real. We took a nap at the lake after a quick lunch and then started the descend.
Most often I am not a fan of out and back trails, with the exception of hikes that includes a view, which seem to be the norm nowadays. Usually when you hike up you keep looking back at the landscape behind you, and you get treated by that landscape all right in front of you when you walk down. Every single view of this hike was absolutely spectacular! Have you done any hiking this year that blew your mind away?