Photo Credit Source: Graybeard Studios
Photography and Story by:
Kim Buraglio | October 12th, 2021
Like so many others, the pandemic had me reconnecting with past friends as well as longing to get out and travel again.
2020 brought my previous hiking partner back into my life and we decided to rekindle those adventures by meeting in Jackson Hole, WY. We were both on strict budgets, but were determined to make it work. So, she set off in her car from Washington and I started my drive up from Colorado to meet in Wyoming.
The following is the story of our epic and budget friendly trip. And the beginning of more to come.
When you think of Jackson Hole, you either think of camping, or very expensive ranch / lodge accommodations. We stayed at The Mountain Modern Hotel which had super affordable rates with big rooms that had plenty of gear storage! Key when you want to actually walk around the room and not trip over everything. Plus, we were right in town, so easy to walk on in for breakfast and dinner at the end of the day.
As a keto diet follower, I tend to look for Indian or Thai Food wherever I go. Always affordable, loaded with veggies and lots of good fats. This little place did not disappoint and can be found two blocks south of the main street in Jackson.
The famous stop while in town. With horse saddles for barstools and a bar top covered in silver dollars, it's a fun theme night to be had. Head on in for a drink and some local music at least one night of your stay.
We were greeted at the trailhead by this gorgeous fox. He led us a good 1/4 mile down the beginning of the trail. We took this as him granting us safe passage.
Delta Lake was our first stop in the park, and our longest hike. It is not one to be taken lightly.
8 miles roundtrip on steep trail, that leads you to a mile of boulder field to navigate up to the lake.
Make sure you plan accordingly. That means adequate layers (meaning base and mid layer, and a rain shell in case) snacks for the trail as well as a few extras (just in case), a first aid kit, and of course water. I always opt for a camelbak. Easy to drink while moving, and easy to carry the amounts you need.
The trail will start out mellow and a bit wooded, which can be pretty chilly in the mornings.
Again, make sure you have adequate layers. But also, know you will probably need to ditch them as soon as you start climbing.
And will definitely need them again up at the lake.
If you take on this trail, know that it is unmaintained, even though it is one of the most popular in the park. Make sure you have a map downloaded and be confident in in your trail navigation skills.
Time to start the navigation and climb of the boulder field. Take your time and scout your lines. This is a very easy place to hurt yourself. Or even worse, get lost. Be responsible and mindful. You will be climbing for at least an hour here. Get your mind right.
Trust me when I say, that all this effort will be worth it...
Don't forget to look around at the small things too.
While most may think nothing of these tracks, remember, dogs aren't allowed in National Parks.
These, my friends are wolf tracks.
It can be hard to pull yourself away from so much beauty, but get yourself to start heading back down...
Because there is so much beauty to see in this park, and only so much time...
Next we headed on over to check out Jenny Lake. A jaw dropping stop right off the road with an easy walking path along the shore with several excellent short hikes, should you want to "bag" a bunch of hikes, rather than take all day on just one.
We spent a bit of time exploring, and a lot of time staring at rocks and reflections.
A fuzzy shot of a happy me, in my natural habitat.
Next up, we headed over to the teeny tiny stop of Moose, WY, to get some much earned food. But first, lots of stops for pics like this.
While we did try and rent bikes, we never got a chance to partake. But this bike path will take you all the way from Jackson to GTNP and treat you to some epic views on a relatively mellow paved path.
They have an excellent patio as well. And my cobb salad was pretty decent for food inside a National Park.
By now, we are pretty beat. Time to head to town and hit up the hotel hot tub.
Too tired to walk far, we decided to hit up the BBQ place that is just behind the hotel. This was by far, the best meal of our trip and definitely worth a stop while you are in town. Find this spot a block off the main road.
Always a good tip for yummy affordable food: walk a block or so off the main drag....
Just like Jenny Lake, String Lake has an excellent walking path with trail offshoots to check out. It's worth noting you are welcome to paddle on both lakes.
While this is a spot to launch for epic backpacking, we opted to hike up to Paintbrush Canyon a ways then turn around.
It was a tad strenuous, but not as steep as Delta Lake. Absolutely worth checking out, even if you just hike until you feel like it, as we did.
After hiking down from Paintbrush Canyon, we got in the car and drove over to Jackson Lake, the largest lake in Grand Teton. Here you can rent boats, kayaks and more.
We spent our time beach combing...
On the way back in to town, we had to pull over to catch a view of these guys.<br><br>Fun Fact: Buffalo are technically found in Africa and Europe, while we in America have Bison. *the more you know*
Thank goodness for the binoculars in my friend's glovebox. Binoculars are such a great gift idea by the way, and are great to keep in your pack or glovebox, cause you never know what you may come across!
We finally head back in to town to start winding down and finding food.
After dinner, it was time to stroll around and admire this awesome little town before leaving in the morning. There are some excellent little gems to be discovered.
Hit up this breakfast spot the final morning. I recommend it, but we had to wait awhile to dine in. They do offer orders to go should you want a grab and go stop.
With that, I wrap up my story of 48 hours in Jackson Hole and GTNP. If you get a chance to go, take it! As you can see, you will have an amazing time and can still make it affordable and easy on your wallet. But it will have massive returns for your heart and soul!
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