Granite Canyon Trail

26 February 2017 by 1der Girl

Granite Canyon Trail

Yesterday, a juvenile moose was munching away near the RV Park!

In keeping with the tradition to avoid skiing on the weekends, we pulled out our snowshoes and hit the trail for a Saturday stroll to Phelps Lake, the sixth largest lake in Grand Teton National Park.

On Moose-Wilson Road, we headed north of Teton Village to just past the entrance of Grand Teton National Park. We were greeted by huge walls of snow that blocked any further advancement up the road.

We parked Beastie and examined our options to find the trail. In case you're wondering about a GPS, remember: we're in the middle of winter, so unless a trail is clearly defined through heavy use or a deep track, even with a GPS, routes are not easily discernible in double-digits depths of snow.

The options: a) I wanted to climb up the snowbank to what appeared to be a very established route and follow a couple people who were carrying cross-country skis. b) 1der wanted to go the opposite direction to the normal trailhead sign and embark from there. Guess who won?

Unfortunately, once we were a little past a buried trail distance sign, no real trails were visible, so it was a crap shoot to know which way to go.

We decided to follow one set of tracks that became the main / only tracks to follow.  After snowshoeing in out of the little-used tracks for about an hour, we appeared to be on a direct route to the lake. But then there was one "little" problem: there was (and still is! 😆) a huge mountain between where we were and the lake. Uh oh...

Luckily, the tracks took a turn to the right. Shortly after that, the tracks ended. Just like that. We followed tracks to no where.  Oops!

We backtracked for about 20 minutes and got to a point where there was a fork in the trail. We took a hard left. Within 15 minutes of "bushwhacking" (I love this word, but of course we weren't bushwhacking), we were on the trail that would have taken us directly to the lake (ahem: where I wanted to start...).

And look what we found along the way. Signs of civilization!

It was really cold, so we had to keep moving to stay warm.

1der looked like a freak with this full (too tight, ya think?) balaclava.

Unfortunately it was too late to make it to the lake, so we had to turn around at this point.

My advice to anyone snowshoeing this trail: do not go to the official trailhead (as shown above). Walk in the direction opposite the parking lot entrance and look for the ski tracks. You may have to climb up a snowbank to get to this area. Depending on the time of year and snow conditions, there will be a wide, clearly established, defined ski-track trail that is well-used. By going this way, you will be able to find the lake and not get lost like us. If you're snowshoeing, be sure to stay to the side of the tracks and not walk on them. Hope this all helps!

We made it back to Beastie in time to defrost (it was COLD!) and drove to the Village / Mangey Moose to meet up with A & B, a really cool couple we met last October.  A & B live in Jackson and had flown to San Francisco to attend the wedding of B's cousin, a city-slicker all the way who has the self-appointed persona of a Cowboy. The Cowboy and his truly awesome bride T had a fantastic wedding, and we thank the newlyweds for the strategic seating arrangements which found us next to A &B. Of course our mutual love of skiing / Jackson / Jackson Hole, the mountains and all things adventures gave us lots to talk about that memorable night.

It was great to see them again, and we LOVED their twin girls.  The red-headed and freckled girls are absolutely adorable, and their matching stripped union suits and ski jackets were too cute! My heart melted when I saw them interact and snuggle with each other, happily sharing their Mom's iphone to watch movies.  I was particularly delighted when one of the girls snuggled into my lap to warm up.  I gave her the fleece owl hat I made to keep her warm, and it was so adorable on her, I just had to give it to her.  I will make her sister a matching hat before next winter.

At the end or our time together, the girls, who at this point weren't wearing any shoes, were happily bouncing little superballs in the entrance while their Daddy went to get their truck. When B pulled up, he picked up one of the girls, and 1der the other.  It was SOOO cute to see them get transported and buckled safely into their seats, and then watch them slip on their warm and comfy matching little ugg boots.

We can't wait to see them next year and meet their new son / brother!

1der Girl
1der Girl


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