Viewing by month: May 2011
Services in Grand Teton National Park are opening for the season. While Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Moose is open year round, Colter Bay Visitor Center and Jenny Lake Visitor Center opened in the last couple of weeks. Laurance S Rockefeller Preserve Center and Jenny Lake Ranger Station are scheduled to open this weekend. Flagg Ranch Information Station will be the last to open on June 6. Even with all of these services opening, most of the trails are still under snow. Naturalist Mandy Crane said that most of the Jenny Lake area is still under a few feet of snow. So I would imagine that many of the trails in other areas would be as well. You might not be able to hike or take the ferry across Jenny Lake, but a drive in the Park is still one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Be forwarned though, the speed limit from the town of Jackson all the way to Moose will be 45 mph for the entire summer. (They re putting in the bike path!!)
Even though the mountains are still snowy and the air brisk, most valley level trails and park roads are dry and clear. The usually busy 9 mile Moose Wilson Road between the Teton Village and the Moose entry of Grand Teton National Park is a joy to run this time of year with crisp temperatures, few vehicles and majestic views of snowy Tetons and the surrounding Mountain Range. The few bridge crossings reveal icy, clear and fast moving creeks snaking through the trees. If your idea of a perfect run is losing yourself in the surrounding scenery than May is a perfect time of year to run through the winter mountains colliding with the soon to be summer foothills. May is also a good time to see wild life. The Moose, Elk and Buffalo are all on the scene this time of year. The trails on the Snake River levee are clear of snow as well. Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles and Osprey when running these trails. If you prefer to stay off the roads and the dirt there are miles of paved bike and running trails all over Jackson. Visit Friends of Pathways to see the miles of paved trails that spread from the Teton Village to the town of Jackson and all the way to the Grand Teton National Park.