Yep, third time now that I’ve hiked up to Delta Lake. This time was a little different though. It’s spring time here in Jackson, but there’s still plenty of snow up in the mountains. 🙂 But Josh Stafford and I have been wanting to know when Delta Lake will be open with its milky turquoise-blue water. So this week we started decided to try it with our good buddy (and now fellow staff member) Steven.
Here’s some elk we saw right by the parking lot:
|Taken with iPhone, Elk with the Tetons in the background.
We got to the trailhead and started hiking at about 7:45am. For about half the hike we ran into very little snow at all. On the way we saw a couple sage grouse. One male was drumming right off the trail:
Then we hit the switchback where we usually start going off trail to Delta Lake, and found ourselves hiking on top of about 2-3 feet of snow on top of a boulder field. Not usually the safest idea, but we were careful to take our time and make footholds in the snow so we didn’t slide to very high amounts of pain. 🙂
So we made our way slowly across this snowfield when we finally reached about midpoint in the valley. Here we stopped and observed our surroundings and the trail ahead that we knew we’d have to cross. As we looked around I noticed that the ridge of rock on the other side of the valley was quite open and dry, without much snow. It looked like we could easily make our way down and across to that ridge where we could start hiking in a much quicker and safer fashion. So we tried it, and we were all extremely glad we did. Here’s a video and a couple photos of the valley once we reached safe rock:
|Looking down the valley (the trail coming up is off to the right of this photo)
|Looking up the valley, with the Grand peaking out up top. (ridge of rock that we chose as our path is on the right)
|Delta Lake with its small opening of pretty water.