For the summer of 2017, I’m on the move yet again! This time to Grand Teton National Park in the northwestern corner of Wyoming. I’ll be spending this summer working for Signal Mountain Lodge, an eco-resort located inside the national park itself. Along with working as a Front Desk Supervisor, you know I’ll be out hitting the trails and exploring this wonderful wild area. Per usual, I’m going to stick to my Micro-Adventure theme, but for this area, I’m going to call them GTNP (Grand Teton National Park) Microadventures.
A great day hike for the hiker looking to put in some miles, and yet not get lots of elevation gain, Hermitage Point Trail is a great introduction to the nearly the 7,000 elevation of the area. The round trip is 9.3 miles, and boasts an elevation gain of 50 feet. Filled with undulating hills, a large diversity of wildflowers and other fauna along with mountain views over Heron Pond and Swan Lake, this is one of my favorite day hikes.
The trails starts from the east side of the Colter Bay Visitor Center parking lot (when you drive in, you will see the Colter Bay Visitor Center straight ahead, take a left and follow the parking lot till it ends at the Hermitage Point Trail-head), and follows the bank of Jackson Lake on and off for about a mile until you come to the Heron Pond. One of the cool features of this hike is the fact that the hiker can choose how far he/she wants to go.
If a nearly 10-mile day hike isn’t for you, spend your time at Heron Pond, Swan Lake, or at the Jackson Lake Overlook. Should you decide to head all the way to the end, and view the mountains from the peninsula, make the trek to Hermitage Point. The signage here is spectacular, especially when you grab a trail map (and donate $1.00) from the trail-head. On your way to the point, you will have the opportunity to see all kinds of terrain, from alpine forests and marshy lowlands, to high desert. While wildlife spottings are not guaranteed, I’d say that you’ll probably see a large variety of birds. Each time I’ve gone, I always see some Dusky Grouse (both male and female), along with Mountain Blue Birds, Western Tanager, Osprey, Bald Eagles, and the ever elusive Sandhill Crane.
I’ve honestly done every loop around Hermitage Point and never had any problems locating myself on the trail-map. This is a hike that I would recommend to anyone, because how often do you get these views? (:
Hope you enjoyed, and #maketrails