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Trip Report Grand Teton National Park w/ Teens

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We stayed for a week with 11 of us in a house in The Aspens (10 yr - 75 yr, with 14, 16, 19 and 20 yr olds too), which is between Jackson and Teton Village. It was a perfect location, bike-able to Wilson and Teton Village and out of the fray of Jackson in August!

It was an amazing week ...

Bike Tour on Day 1 out to Antelope Flats was not the highlight of the trip at all. My gang loves to bike but this tour was absolutely not worth the money! Grand Teton Mountain Bike was the company and this was $800 wasted on a poor guide that did not seem at all to care about the group.

That evening we had booked Teton Science School for a 4-hour guided jeep tour and this was possibly the highlight for the whole group. We saw lots of bison, some pronghorns, a few moose and got great hands-on lessons from Matt, our guide. Half of our gang are real outdoorsy people who hunt and fish a lot -- Matt did not talk down to anyone and met us where we were. Cannot recommend more highly.

We saw quite a few moose in our neighborhood.

Hiked out to Phelps Lake (8 mi loop) and most of the guys jumped into the lake from the huge rock --- another highlight. The Lawrence Rockefeller Preserve was stunning (and Phelps lake was here). The 70-somethings didnt do any of the hiking.

Spent a half-day out at Jackson Lodge -- took my mom in a very small loop trail and saw bear scat and had lunch at the Lodge, which was lovely. It was hazy nearly our entire stay from forest fires but you can still appreciate the beauty of the Tetons.

We went to the Jackson Hole Rodeo, which paled in comparison to the Salinas Rodeo we had visited a few weeks earlier. It is very touristy and for someone who has never seen a rodeo, entertaining. I went to the University of Virginia for college and we met 5 other Wahoos at the rodeo, of all places.

Had amazing sandwiches one day at The Butcher in town ... that was the fay we did some shopping.

Had dinner at the Stagecoach in Wilson, which I had visited back in 1990 (ish) when I went out with a girlfriend of mine.

Probably the best thing we did for the entire group was go horseback riding. We found an outfitter that was less reviewed - http://www.fishjacksonwyo.com/ - but the reviews were great. And they were more affordable than the big outfitters. We drove about 30 min south of Jackson into the Bridger Teton and found the horses - no barn just a corral and little hut where the woman coordinating it all stood. I admit I was a bit hesitant but that was soon wiped away. My niece is a barrel racer and I grew up riding but my DH had never been on a horse. The horses here were big and gentle - my 14 yr old got the best looking Quarterhorse named Joe Dirt but the rest were gentle mixed breeds with lots of Percheron-type breeding. The climb up went through aspen groves, fields of wildflowers and by a lake where we saw a moose. When we landed on the plateau up above, you felt you were on top of the world. Our guides were pleasant and easy to talk to. Our 2-hr ride lasted 3 hours and we all sailed home happy as can be!

On the last day, the rest of the family took off for parts back east and our 4 hit Jenny Lake at 7 for the ferry across. We were hiking Lake Solitude, which was DH's dream for the week. Taking the ferry saved 2 miles so our total hike was 14 miles, with a gain of 2900 ft in elevation. My 16 yr old and I had the bear spray in hand the whole time ... but we only saw moose. This hike is stunning - through forests but mostly on open trails and at a few points, you are hiking on a trail through what looks like an old rock slide. Lots of snow in the upper reaches ... you're basically hiking through a canyon behind the Grand Teton so the views back are stunning. The lake at the top of the hike is glacier fed and freezing. Starting early allowed us to avoid crowds until we were probably half way back down the hike. It was probably a 6 hr experience and for the last 1/4 mile or so, I was panting hard from the altitude, but not about to give up!

It was an impressive and tiring way to spend our last day in GTNP.

Off to Bozeman for the last few days of our month long adventure.

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