Though our beloved pets are not allowed in Teton National Park, like most of our countries National Parks, we made the most of this awesome and beautiful landscape! Just a short, bumpy, ride outside of the tourist chaos in downtown Jackson there is a picturesque campground sitting atop a hill with outstanding panoramic views known as Curtis Canyon Campground! Check out the video here for some shots of the hike!
Note, the drive up to the campsite is a bit of a rollercoaster. Be prepared to have everything in your vehicle shift and to get some solid aggression on those shock pads. If rainy and/or wet you I suspect would absolutely need four wheel drive. For those able and willing for the couple mile but 20 min trek you will be rewarded with a scenic and literally off the beaten road campsite. Every site was nestled in trees and for the two at the end they sat at the cusps of an insane valley where the light poured in and onto all the gorgeous vegetation. We arrived early, first come first serve sites, and were lucky enough to get a piece of land right at the foot of a hill overlooking the Tetons. For those that do not quite make it to a site there is dispersed camping beyond the site but the roads get impassable without four wheel drive We sat out staring in awe at the beauty before us. The sunset faded into a canopy of bright stars beyond our eyes visibility.
We have found that outside National Parks there are National Forests - and these often do allow our beloved dogters to enjoy nature as we do! Right up from our campground in Curtis Canyon of Bridger-Teton National Forest was a highly rated Goodwin Lake Trailhead. We drove as far as we felt comfortable given the increasingly challenging terrain and depth of road holes and ultimately added a mere 2 miles to our hike to get to the trailhead. Once there, the trail was very well marked and began in an enchanting arena of chest high flora and sun. The trail twists, turns, and climbs up in the Gros Ventre Wilderness for a worthwhile but heavy 6.2 mile roundtrip ( plus wherever you're able to park your car)..
Beautiful outcroppings and pockets of snow greet you about half way in your trek up and eventually for those willing to step out the incline you meet an incredible and secluded lake- albeit chilly but totally swimmable after the hike up.
We toted around the National Forest area and enjoyed the seclusion from otherwise heavily packed sister hikes in the neighboring National Park. It is imperative to note that this is deep bear country and hikers should carry the appropriate safety devices like bear spray and whistles, make lots of noise, and be very attentive to your surroundings ( that's not hard given the spectacular scenery that it is right?!) Also education on what to do if you do encounter a native bear in their environment.
Jackson, WY was very crowded. Kind of expected in mid summer though right? Downtown there was an open bouldering park and tons of great food choices. We checked out a cute cafe for our last morning on the way out and we're not disappointed; Persephone Cafe Croque Madame, Seeded Avocado Bowl with some house coffees.
Happy Adventures! Check out lifesachase on instagram for more and figment_of_imaginaussie!
- With love & grattitude