Monday, January 15, 2018

Best Places to Hike in Jackson Hole


When it comes to enjoying the best hikes ever, Jackson Hole boasts of some great options. Most of them contain some of the most dramatic scenery and solitude. Many of those trails can be connected with other and run in a loop, which is great for backpacking. Climb high to the mountain panoramas of canyons and peaks and find yourself surrounded by jagged, towering peaks. There are hikes for the beginners as well as some of the most spectacular hikes for those looking for some challenge. The gorgeous parks dazzle the hikers with jaw-dropping scenery as they access high-elevation trails in the complete wilderness.

Once at Jackson Hole, you will find that it is not just about skiing, but the region boasts of some of the best hiking trails in the country. Browse for epic multi-day treks or the family-friendly lakeside loops. There is something here for everyone. However, as a word of caution, just watch out for grizzlies, moose, black bears and keep a safe distance from them. Just look for some suitable cabins in Jackson Hole, get your hiking gear ready and you are all set to go.

Here are some of the most sought-after hiking trails in Jackson Hole.

• The short but steep Snow King

Snow King is the social hub during summertime. It is famous because it is right downtown, and one can ride to enjoy priceless views of the valley. Enjoy gazing at the entire Teton Range, the National Elk Refuge, Flat Creek and some of Yellowstone’s mountains. The hike here is short and sweet but steep.

• Paintbrush Divide 

If you are looking for a rewarding experience, then go for this challenging climb up the Paintbrush Divide. You will feel elevated as you pass by the prettiest mountain lakes and get to enjoy breathtaking scenery along the way. Start at Leigh Lake Trailhead and pass along the eastern side of String Lake and alter enjoy some great views of Mount Moran. You will come across colorful wildflowers as you climb and the beautiful Holly Lake.

• Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon

As is apparent by the name, the glacially carved canyon and a cascading waterfall make for a rewarding experience as you hike on this trail. It is indeed one of the most popular outings. After a moderately flat two-mile hike, the trail climbs to Cascade Canyon proper, and later the route flattens once again thus making an easier hike. As the route is connected with Paintbrush Canyon, it offers a good backpacking trip.

• Dunanda Falls

Dunanda Falls hike, tucked in the remote visited side of Yellowstone National Park, goes along a river through a pine forest. Eventually, it opens out to giant grassy meadows which is a favorite with the grizzlies. Thus, be a little cautious and always carry a bear spray. You get a rewarding experience of a natural hot spring at the base of a thundering waterfall. The trail is flat and manageable.

• Marion Lake 

This is a great alpine hike if you are staying at Teton Village. You can ride up more than 4,000 feet in the tram and reach the top of Rendezvous. It is definitely a more strenuous hike because of the elevation change. It is indeed a different experience hiking in the alpine zone, and one is sure to notice a decrease in oxygen. You enjoy perpetual glorious views of the surrounding peaks and are likely to come across an occasional bighorn sheep or the wolverine.

• Sleeping Indian

This is a big Jackson Hole favorite that takes you in the Gros Ventres Wilderness. The peak is known as the Sleeping Indian as it looks like a Native American in full headdress, who looks like he is sleeping on his back. However, its official name is Sheep Mountain because of the bighorn sheep. It is a challenging 12 to 14-mile mile hike up the distinctive peak that take you through the pine forests and lush meadows dotted with wildflowers. At the top, you get to enjoy some spectacular views of the mighty Tetons and the Jackson Hole valley.

• Hanging Canyon

Hanging Canyon, tucked between the Cascade and Paintbrush canyons is so aptly named. The trail is sheer and not well marked and thus makes for a challenging trip. However, the reward is sweet as one gets to see some rarely-visited glacial-fed lakes and it is really worth it to reach here. Towering granite walls ring the area and make it even more spectacular.

• Taggart Lake-Bradley Lake Loop

The popular hike promises stunning mountain scenery. The easiest route is a three-mile return hike to Taggart Lake, and on the way, one comes across meadows covered with wildflowers and dense pine forests. Keep an eye out for chipmunks, marmots, and moose. Enjoy gorgeous views of Avalanche Canyon as the hike ends. Take some photos and enjoy a picnic. You can later head back or continue to Bradley Lake to enjoy more beautiful views of the Tetons.

Packing the Right Hike in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole promises a fantastic hiking experience and different options throughout the valley. One should consider their stamina and experience before choosing a hike. Always keep in mind the activity level of your group, especially if one is traveling with the children. Check the trail conditions and safety that can vary with the season. It is a must to carry food, water, warm clothes, first aid, light, phone and bear spray. The best hiking seasons stretch from June through the end of September.

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