Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Grand Teton National Park
We hiked today through Grand Teton National Park. Our hike started at String Lake, went along Jenny Lake and then climbed to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The weather was cold in the morning, around 20 and the high was low 40's. It was generally sunny, but there was snow on the trails. The weather and conditions were perfect for hiking. Before we left we bought treking poles at REI in Pittsburgh. My friend, Tom Jones, who works at REI suggested I buy them and said they will make a big difference. Tom was right. They really make hiking easier. The conditions in some of the areas were really icy, particularly on the rocky, steep climb to Inspiration Point. The poles made it a lot safer.
We were really hoping to see wildlife and we really lucked out. About half way to the falls we saw a bald eagle circling and soaring. Fortunately we borrowed some binoculars at the hotel, so we had a great view of the bird. Just after ending the hike and getting into the car we saw a few female elk. Where there are females a male has to be around. We saw this guy with this most impressive rack.
I think we also did really well with the time of year for the visit. There were very few people on the trails. The roads were almost empty. The wildlife is out and about. In addition to the elk and eagle, yesterday we saw Big Horn Sheep, Mule Deer, Antelope and a fox.
The timing was also really good for getting a great deal on a room. We are staying at the Teton Mountain Lodge. Although we got a regular room for only $91/night, we were able to upgrade for a few dollars more to an awesome suite with a bedroom, two baths, full kitchen with granite counters, a lving room with a fireplace and a large balcony with great views.