Summer and fall in Jackson Hole are a great time to get out there and explore the local hiking trails- what better way to see the beautiful scenery, enjoy your family/friends and get some exercise. I am Julie from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Resort Lodging Sales and Marketing team, and in addition to riding horses, (you may have read my other story Get Local- Horseback Riding in Jackson Hole), I really like to hike.
Since moving to Jackson almost 20 years ago, I have explored the local hikes of various levels; and since becoming a mom, I now get to share my love of hiking with my girls. So far, Avery (8) and Hannah (5), have enjoyed the introduction to local hikes and we have found it to be a great family activity.
We have even discovered that some of the best Jackson Hole hikes can be found right outside my office in Teton Village at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. These trails are easy to access, fun to explore and best of all- you are close to modern amenities like stores, restaurants and ski lifts to add a destination and fun activity at the beginning or end of the hike! Who doesn’t love a waffle to start the hike and a glass of wine to finish it?!
Yesterday we decided to check out the Cirque trail that connects the top of the Aerial Tram to the top of the Bridger Gondola in Teton Village. For those of you that have skied/snowboarded at Jackson Hole, this trail passes through the well-known Cirque Trail (Cirque, the French word meaning circus, describes a concave, theater formation often surrounded by cliffs) offering great terrain and vistas. This hike is 1.2 miles and takes about an hour or so, depending on your pace. It is an easy hike for an afternoon or morning. The afternoon is especially appealing because during the summer season you can finish you hike with a visit to The Deck before heading to the base of the gondola. You can start out on the tram, grab a waffle and head down to the Gondola with some of the best scenery around. Conversely, for the more adventurous, or older kids, you can take the Gondola up and then hike up to the top of the tram!
As you view the wildflowers and rock formations on the single track trail, you are taken by the peace and serenity of being so far up the mountain in this incredible alpine environment. Wildlife sightings are common and the views of surrounding landscape and mountains keep kids interested and excited about the hike. There are even great spots to stop for snacks and rest, also important components in family hikes. We packed a backpack of goodies, sunscreen, water and a raincoat- just in case. We like to keep it simple!
Other favorite trails in Teton Village include the Wildflower Trail that connects the base area to the top of the gondola. I like this trail because you can take a short hike and return to the base area after an hour of so or you can hike to the gondola deck when it is operating during the summer season. The new Casper Ridge Trail provides a nice hike around the top of the gondola and it is great option for a couple of hours. The Valley Trail is a shady option in the base area traversing trails on the border with Grand Teton National Park. These are all great family options. There are many other options for longer hikes in and around Teton Village, so check them out if that is more suitable for you.
We are lucky to live here and have this at our back door, but I hope locals and visitors alike can also experience hiking in Teton Village. This is a great way to touch nature and earn a milkshake!
“In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.” –John Muir