Vol 27 Mid-March 2020
‘Staying inside today so we can all go outside tomorrow’
We’re going to do something a little different the next few weeks. We’ll go to one place each time, and get the perspectives of members of Solar Outdoors who have been there. And you can offer your comments.
Our first destination….
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Grand Teton National Park is an American national park in northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres (480 sq mi; 130,000 ha; 1,300 km2), the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long (64 km) Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. Grand Teton National Park is only 10 miles (16 km) south of Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Along with surrounding national forests, these three protected areas constitute the almost 18,000,000-acre (7,300,000 ha) Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the world’s largest intact mid-latitude temperate ecosystems.
Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The naming of the mountains is attributed to early 19th-century French-speaking trappers—les trois tétons (the three teats) was later anglicized and shortened to Tetons. At 13,775 feet (4,199 m), Grand Teton abruptly rises more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above Jackson Hole, almost 850 feet (260 m) higher than Mount Owen, the second-highest summit in the range. The park has numerous lakes, including 15-mile-long (24 km) Jackson Lake as well as streams of varying length and the upper main stem of the Snake River. Though in a state of recession, a dozen small glaciers persist at the higher elevations near the highest peaks in the range. Some of the rocks in the park are the oldest found in any American national park and have been dated at nearly 2.7 billion years.
Paintbrush Canyon is a strenuous hike
Grand Teton National Park is an almost pristine ecosystem and the same species of flora and fauna that have existed since prehistoric times can still be found there. More than 1,000 species of vascular plants, dozens of species of mammals, 300 species of birds, more than a dozen fish species and a few species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the park. Due to various changes in the ecosystem, some of them human-induced, efforts have been made to provide enhanced protection to some species of native fish and the increasingly threatened whitebark pine.
Grand Teton National Park is a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking, fishing and other forms of recreation. There are more than 1,000 drive-in campsites and over 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails that provide access to backcountry camping areas. Noted for world-renowned trout fishing, the park is one of the few places to catch Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout.
Park description is from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Teton_National_Park).
Photos are from the National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm).
Below: Kayaking on Jackson Lake
My experience with Grand Teton
I was there for the first (and only) time in 1970, when I was, uh, younger than I am now. I was with my family and we were on a month-long trip, driving during the day and setting up our tent trailer when we reached that day’s destination, with extended stays in some locations. An exciting moment was, after driving across the Plains for days, sighting the mountains of the American West for the first time. Grand Teton was one of several iconic places we visited. We took a float trip down the Snake River, and admired the beauty of the lakes and peaks. Years later, my niece Natalie was on a trip there with boyfriend JJ. They were hiking one day and stopped to take a break. There they were, high above Jackson Hole, with the grandeur of the Tetons around them, when JJ reached into his pack and pulled out…a ring! Natalie was so excited that she almost dropped it down the mountain. I suspect that they will be back there some day, when their two children are older. I would love to return myself, for challenging and exhilarating hiking, and perhaps wildlife viewing and paddling along a lake.
So, have you been to Grand Teton National Park? What did you think? Or, is it on your bucket list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
Coming soon….we’ll go to our next destination!