Friday, May 29, 2015

Sperry and Granite Park Chalets Launch Trailhead Shuttle Service

Sperry and Granite Park Chalets announced yesterday that they will be offering shuttle service to all chalet trailheads this summer.

For additional information, schedule and costs, please click here.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday

In order to reach their traditional hunting grounds on the Great Plains, the Arapaho and Ute Indians traveled across Rocky Mountain National Park using east-west routes such as Trail Ridge, Forest Canyon, Fall River and Flattop Mountain. To the Arapaho Indians, the Flattop Mountain corridor was known as “The Big Trail”. A modern pathway was formally constructed in 1925, was rehabilitated by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940, and is now currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the Flattop Mountain Trail is considered to be one of the most popular day hikes in the national park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park
Grand Teton Hiking Trails

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Climbing Longs Peak

It dominates the horizon in northern Colorado. It's been photographed by Ansel Adams, has been featured on the Colorado state quarter, and is the most-climbed fourteener in Colorado. At 14,259 feet Longs Peak is also the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park, and is the only mountain in the park to exceed 14,000 feet.

I once "attempted" to summit Longs Peak. I got about two hundred yards or so above The Keyhole and discovered that I really wasn't a mountaineer. I thought the sheer drop-offs from the trail along that narrow stretch were downright frightening. Although many people summit the mountain each summer, many others are satisfied just to reach The Keyhole. Although a very tough day hike, the views are quite spectacular along the way, as well as from The Keyhole itself. Moreover, hikers don't have to worry about falling off the mountain to get there!

In the video below the editors of Backpacker Magazine take viewers on a vicarious climb to the top of Longs Peak. You be the judge - would you do this?


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Volunteer in the Grand Tetons on National Trails Day June 6th

National Trails Day is just around the corner and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation looks forward to celebrating the annual event for the second year in a row. Join the Foundation on Saturday, June 6th for their volunteer event in Grand Teton National Park. Volunteers will focus on trail maintenance along one of the many popular hiking trails in the Grand Tetons. The specific location will be determined the week of the event.

This nationwide holiday is celebrated every year on the first Saturday in June to recognize America’s extensive trail system. Trail maintenance is extremely important in protecting Grand Teton’s natural resources. Not only do clear trails provide an enjoyable hiking experience, they also minimize erosion and impact on the environment.

Interested in volunteering? Please RSVP to or 307-201-7660 by Wednesday, June 3rd.

Volunteers will meet at Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 11AM and should plan to return around 5PM.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Gear Review: The New Dare 2B Stalwart Jacket

This morning I finally had the opportunity to test the Stalwart Jacket, a new line of outdoor apparel from Dare 2B, an outdoor clothing company out of the United Kingdom. In addition to cycling, running and snow sports, the clothing company also focuses on apparel for hikers.

And, just in time for the spring and summer season, Dare 2B has launched a new line of active wear which now includes its new Body Seamless technology, which is designed to reduce friction in critical areas during active sports, while ensuring that you'll have maximum comfort at all times and at all levels of activity. As part of this new line is the brand new Stalwart Jacket.

Dare 2B touts the jacket as "the ultimate fast and light defense from the elements". This 4-way stretch shell is waterproof, breathable and is super lightweight. The jacket features taped seams, has a full front zip and underarm zips for ventilation, an adjustable shockcord hem system, multiple pockets, adjustable cuffs, a shaped hood with a technical wired peak to keep the rain out, and has a roll away hood function.

So after hanging in my closet for a couple of weeks, I finally had the opportunity to give the jacket a real live field test this morning. I was waiting for the opportunity to take a walk in the rain to see if the jacket lived up to its billing. Overall I was very pleased.

During my somewhat brisk half-hour walk around the neighborhood in a steady rain, the jacket kept me completely dry. Moreover, at 65 degrees, I worried that I was going to overheat inside the jacket. To my surprise this didn't happen. In fact, I felt completely comfortable during the entire circuit. This surprised me because the jacket is thicker than a standard shell, and even has a light lining. Now, if I had to climb some substantial elevation in these same conditions, the result might be a little different. That, however, remains to be seen.

I also thought that the wired peak feature on the hood was a plus, acting similarly to that of a baseball cap.

My only real complaint with the Stalwart Jacket is with the design of the hood. When turning my head from side to side, the hood wouldn't move. To remedy this I had to pull the hood with my hand in order to see on either side of me.

Americans will also have to get used to the zipper being switched to the opposite side. Maybe its because I'm left-handed, but it takes a little practice to get used to the English/European version. Potential customers should also note that the Stalwart Jacket is cut a little more slimmer than their American cousins.

All in all I thought this was a great jacket, and look forward to using it in the mountains when the weather turns sour.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Snake River Brewing Beer Supports Jenny Lake Renewal Project

The Snake River Brewing (SRB), in partnership with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of Jenny Lake Lager, formerly known as Snake River Lager. SRB’s collaboration with the Foundation will provide support for Inspiring Journeys, a $17 million renewal effort that is underway at Jenny Lake, and will help the Foundation spread the word about the project to new audiences within the community. The newly rebranded product will be sold at a celebration on May 28th from 5:00-8:00 pm at the Brewpub. The community is invited to attend; there will be giveaways and live music from John Wayne’s World.

For every Jenny Lake Lager purchased in 2015 and 2016, a portion of the proceeds will support the Inspiring Journeys campaign. This public-private project between Grand Teton National Park and the Foundation is transforming Jenny Lake’s trails, bridges, key destinations, and visitor complex for the National Park Service centennial in 2016. When Snake River Brewing owner, Ted Staryk, and his family first moved to Jackson, Jenny Lake hikes were among their favorites. As part of the Inspiring Journeys campaign, Staryk saw the opportunity to rebrand Snake River Lager as a way to give back and to celebrate a place his family loves.

Jenny Lake Lager’s new look was inspired by a Depression-era promotional poster featuring Jenny Lake. The poster, and many other national park posters from that era, was reproduced by former Grand Teton National Park ranger, Doug Leen, in 1973. Leen worked for seven years as a Jenny Lake Ranger in the 1970s.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Brewpub,” Foundation President Leslie Mattson said. “This campaign marks a huge milestone for Grand Teton and the NPS and we appreciate their support. It’s a great opportunity to partner with a local business that is also interested in enhancing the experience at Jenny Lake for visitors and locals alike.”

Construction on the Jenny Lake trails is underway and reroutes will be in place throughout the summer. Visitors are encouraged to check in at park visitor centers for up-to-date information on closures, trail conditions, and alternate routes.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday

At one time (and may continue today) there was an old Swiss custom of placing bells on mountain tops and passes in order to allow hikers and horseback riders to ring loud bells in the mountains. During the early years of the park, Glacier National Park was promoted as the answer to Americans leaving the country to vacation in the Swiss Alps. In addition to building several Swiss style chalets around the park, the Great Northern Railway and the Glacier Park Hotel Company requested permission to place locomotive bells on the summits of several passes in Glacier. In September of 1926 the request was finally granted to place bells at Swiftcurrent Pass, Piegan Pass and Siyeh Pass. Three years later a fourth bell was added at Scenic Point. The bells remained in place until the fall of 1943, at which point they were removed by the hotel company and donated to a World War II scrap metal drive. Today, each of those four passes remain as some of the best hiking destinations in the park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park
Grand Teton Hiking Trails