Hidden Gems

Friday, August 9, 2019 - 7:42pm


Caryn Dawson

One thing I was most excited about when preparing to come out here for the summer, was all of the hikes and time outside I would be able to spend. That is one of the special things about this area. The opportunities are endless, and you can never run out of hikes and outdoor activities around here. So one of my goals was to keep a hiking log over the summer.

So far this summer, I have hiked in Harriman state park (Island Park, ID), Yellowstone National Park, Mudlake  trail (Victor, ID), Horsetooth falls trail (Fort Collins, CO), Grand Teton National Park (3 different hikes) and Darby Canyon (Victor, ID).

This weekend a couple of the interns and I decided to go to Jackson, Wyoming to go camping and spend a day inside the Grand Teton national park. Even though the park is quite small, it can be difficult to be choose which hike to do because they are all unique and beautiful.

The first day, we hiked to the Phelps lake jumping rock. It was about a 2 and half mile hike with a view of death canyon on one side and the lake on the other side. The lake was a beautiful dark blue color, and we were enjoying the trail in each other’s company. When it came time to jump off the rock, it looked intimidating but also thrilling. I finally decided to jump the 20-foot jump and even though the water was freezing, it was so refreshing I decided to jump again.

The second day we decided on a hike that wasn’t actually on the trail map and the popularity of it has spread more by word of mouth. For me, this made the adventure more exiting. Whenever I visit a new place, I always wonder about the hidden gems and not so much the main attractions because it shows the character and the well-kept secrets to are important to that specific area.

The famous Delta Lake. It was one of the more difficult hikes that I’ve done. The incline was sharp, 2,329 ft of gain, there were about 5 switchbacks up the mountain before we had to climb/scramble across 2 boulder fields to find the pocket where the small glacial outwash lake was hidden. As we gained sight of our goal, I saw how the pastel turquoise color of the water, and different shades of gray and white boulders framed the ultimate objective, the Grand Teton. THAT is what everyone comes to see. We found a rock to eat our lunch on and debated on getting in the water or not.

Every chance I get, I take advantage of the beautiful scenery this part of the country has to offer, every sunset, every hike, every wildlife spotting and every mountain. Whenever I hike, I always remind myself that it was always something I wanted to do more and get better at and now that I am doing just that, it is one of the best feelings.