A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Hiking the Tetons: Jackson Hole Tram

August 7, 2015
Emilie Phillips

We hadn’t quite made it to 10,000′ yet. So after our long day hiking up the mountains, we took the Jackson Hole ski tram up to Rendezvous Mountain, 10,449′. Tyson was still tired from the previous day and we expected afternoon thunderstorms, so could only do a short hike. The guidebook and the trail map did agree on which way the trails went. At the second trail junction I figured out the guidebook described ski area trails that weren’t on the map. From the top, I had seen a trail traversing a gorgeous wildflower meadow. I really wanted to go there, so we diverged from the guidebook map and headed down into granite canyon.

The west side of the ridge was mixed trees and flowers. We saw lots of flowers whose names we don’t know. There were yellow flowers that looked like Indian paint brush, purple, pink, and white flowers. All the trees were bent from avalanches, even in the woods.

About half way down we had a serious discussion about how far we could hike and still get baxk to the tram before the afternoon thunderstorms. Based on progress so far, we most likely couldn’t go all the way to the ridge with wildflowers.

I was using my telephoto zoom in hopes of catching some good animal photos, but no animals obliged. I even stopped at a rock fall listening to the pikas, but none were interested in posing for the camera.

We made it to the bottom of the valley before our designated lunch time, so we continued up into the wildflower meadow. The flowers were different than those in the woods, but equally abundant. We passed bushes full of little brown birds, but I could never spot them in time to take a photo before they flew away.

I was expecting a view at the top, but the trail switchbacked away from the point into a glen of lupines and then disappeared down into the woods. We stopped at the lupines and ate lunch.

On the way back, I again failed at photographing the birds. But this time we found several marmots.

The weather was still nice when we neared the top, so my Dad pointed out his favorite ski runs. We rested for a while on the lodge deck before riding the tram back down.

4 miles, and 1,500′ elevation by foot.