Monday, September 08, 2014

Granite Springs Hike

Nothing like packing "light"!

Pete Kondak - Jackson Hole Office

Recently myself and three friends set off for a 22 mile overnight backpacking trip in the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area adjacent to Jackson Hole.  I have been meaning to accomplish this hike for years.  Not just because of the incredible scenery but because you are rewarded with a chance to soak in 100 degree natural hot springs at the end of the hike.  The hike is not difficult but it does require some car shuttling as it's a through hike.  After a few hours of shuttling cars around we got around to a late afternoon start. 

The hike starts out to a popular Jackson Hole day hike called Goodwin Lake.  It's about 3 miles up to Goodwin Lake over moderate terrain.  Once we reached the Lake we continued to the East of Jackson Peak.  Jackson Peak is a very prominent peak that can be seen from almost anywhere in Jackson Hole.  As we pass under the looming summit there is a rock cairn off the left signaling the trail to "the Ski Cabin".  The Ski Cabin is a popular back country cabin used in the Spring by local skiers.
Not such a bad view!

After another few miles we reached the crest of the hike.  At just under 10,000 feet we had an incredible view of the Teton Range to the West. We proceeded to hike another 2.5 miles to Turquoise Lake just before sundown.  Turquoise Lake is set below towering alpine peaks.  The scenery was amazing.  The lake was filled with an abundant population of small cutthroat trout.  We made good use of the next morning fishing.  The rest of that day consisted of 12 miles of hiking downhill in 85 degrees.  Everyone's feet and legs were very sore.

We arrived just in time to catch a soak in Granite Hot Springs before they closed for the evening.  Granite Hot Springs is a man made swimming facility built by the CCC in the 1930's.  The pool is fed by a natural hot spring.  It's just we need after marching 22 miles in warm Wyoming sun.  Granite Hot Springs is open all summer and it accessible in the winter via snowmobile, dog sled, ski, or snowshoe.

Good friends, good times!

 Pete is known among our staff as being one of our real "world travelers". We're leaning on him to share some interesting anecdotes from his recent trip to Spain and Morocco!

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