Wednesday Afternoon Activity:
On Wednesday, September 28, the conference will take a field trip to the Grand Teton National Park Class I area, participate in one of four options for the afternoon, and then rejoin for a special National Park Service Fireside and a Night Sky program. In connection with this activity, you must indicate a preference for one of the four options on the registration form. Space in each group is limited, but we will do our best to accommodate all indicated preferences.
You should be prepared for the afternoon and evening activities with good walking shoes, water, a rain jacket, and a warm jacket and a flashlight for the evening events.
Option 1: Webcam Visibility and Wet Deposition Site and Heron Pond and Swan Lake Hike
This group will first visit the Web Cam Visibility and Wet Deposition study site at the Kelly Campus of the Teton Science School. The walk to the site is only a few hundred yards, but good walking shoes are needed. After a visit at the site with a Park Ranger, the group will travel to the Colter Bay Visitor Center for a 3.0 mile round trip 2 hour easy walk (200 feet elevation change) to Heron Pond and Swan Lake The first part of the trail provides superb views of the Tetons and Mount Moran. The loop trail to the Pond and Lake takes you through lodge pole pine forests. You can expect to see waterfowl and possibly beaver or moose. Never hike alone, but always be with a buddy or in a small group.
Option 2: Bradley Lake -Taggart Lake – Beaver Creek Loop
This is the most challenging hike of the four options, but the trail will take you into stunning mountain country below South Teton. The complete loop is an 800 ft. elevation change, moderate 5.9 mile 4 hour hike. The hike can be shorten by returning directly from Taggart Lake. Never hike alone, but always be with a buddy or in a small group. The bus will then bring the group to Colter Bay Vistor Center.
Option 3: Jenny Lake
Those who select this option will be able to go on one of two hikes in the Jenny Lake area. Both afford views of a beautiful mountain lake with splendid views of the Tetons. The first group would start at the Jenny Lake Developed Area South Jenny Lake Area and follow the Jenny Lake trail 2.4 miles around the western side of the lake to the junction with the Cascade Canyon trail. There you would have the option of an easy 1/2 mile round trip up the Cascade Canyon trail to Hidden Falls and return. (Due to construction on the Jenny Lake Renewal Project – access to Hidden Falls may be closed in 2016. Hikers could hike 1 mile with 500 ft. elevation gain to Inspiration Point). Then continue around Jenny Lake on the Jenny Lake Trail to the String Lake Picnic area where you will meet the bus. Total (4.2 miles) hike time would be about 3 to 3 ½ hours with an elevation change of about 450 feet. The second group would start at the String Lake Picnic area and either take the 325 ft. elevation change 3.7 mile trail around String Lake or a shorter nearly flat 1.8 mile round trip hike past the shore of String Lake to Leigh Lake and return without going around Jenny Lake, ending up to meet the bus back at the String Lake Picnic area. Total hike time would be 2 to 3 hours for the hike around String Lake and 1 ½ to 2 hours for the shorter Leigh Lake hike. Never hike alone, but always be with a buddy or in a small group. The bus will then bring the group to Colter Bay Vistor Center.
Option 4: Historical Tour
Those who select this option will visit four historical sites, each with the possibility of a short stroll and views of the majestic Tetons. The first stop would be at Menor’s Ferry and Historic District for a short walk to Menor Cabin and Store, the Ferry and the Maude Nobel’s cabin. The second stop would be at the nearby Murie Ranch, National Historic Site, the home of naturalist brothers Olaus and Adolf who greatly influenced the development of our concepts of wilderness and wildlife management in the last century. The bus would then travel 5 miles to the Mormon Row Historic District, settled in the 1890’s. A 14 mile bus ride would then take you to the Cunningham Cabin site, a homestead cabin from about 1890. Short walks are possible at each site. The bus will then travel 16 miles to the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
At 5:30 PM the Park Service will treat us with a Fireside about the Park in the outdoor amphitheater next to the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
From 6:30-8:30 PM you will be free to have dinner on your own. Information on restaurants in the Colter Bay area, at Jackson Lake Lodge and Signal Mountain Lodge, all within 10 miles of the Colter Bay Visitor Center, will be provided. Buses will take groups interested in one of these locations to and from the location for dinner, with a return to the Night Sky Program site, just north of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. The night sky program will begin at 8:30 PM, and buses at the site will return on a staggered schedule as they are full to the Snow King Hotel.
Local Restaurant Options:
Colter Bay Village: Ranch House, Ranch House Bar, General Store Deli
Jackson Lake Lodge: Mural Room, Pioneer Grill
Signal Mountain Lodge: Peaks Restaurant and Trapper Grill/Trapper Bar