Our Epic Grand Teton Backpacking Adventure: Part I

How do I possibly begin describing this trip?

Epic.  Legendary.  Awful.  Fun.  Funny.  Exhausting.  Sore.  Soar.  Beautiful.  Majestic.  Steep.  Tiring.  Awe-inspiring.  Adventurous.  Totally doing it again.  

Bron and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary this summer.  But we also knew we didn't want to spend too much money doing it.  (After all, there are plenty of places to explore right in our own "backyard"!)  Thus, the idea for a backpacking trip was born.  Neither Bron nor I had ever been backpacking before.  It sounded like something we'd enjoy, especially if we had some help from a pair of seasoned backpacking veterans.  So we pitched the idea to our good friends Aaron and Amy.  They jumped on board and before we knew it, we had a four day three night adventure in Grand Teton National Park planned and ready to execute.  Was I nervous about packing 30 lbs up a mountain and camping three nights in a row on our very first trip?  Absolutely.  Was it kinda stupid of us?  You bet!  But the trip will forever go down in memory as legendary lifetime adventure.

We began our backpacking adventure late in the afternoon on Wednesday July 29th. We booked it about eight miles up Granite Canyon when we finally stomped into our first campsite at dusk... tired and starving! Working in the dark, we hurriedly boiled water while cautiously looking over our shoulders for bears. A freeze-dried dinner never tasted so good!

I should mention, yes, there was a very real threat of bears.  We had to carry all our food in these obnoxious black canisters and were instructed to keep them away from our sleeping areas.  It was just another piece of the trip that added to the inconvenience and adventure.

Bron and Jessie fresh and ready to roll!
^^Aaron and Amy.  The best company we could ever ask for.^^
^^Awww, lovebirds.  They celebrated their 12th anniversary on our trip.^^
^^Stopping for a snack and water.  We actually didn't pack much water during the trip.  There was nearly always running water nearby, so we opted to pump it through filters.  Worked like a charm!  Nobody got sick at least.^^
^^View of our first campsite in the morning.  Ugh.  I didn't sleep well that night at all.^^

The second day felt like a death march!  Our hips were bruised and the trail led straight uphill.  (I may or may not have made Bron promise me that next summer we were going to lay on a sandy beach and just relax!  Between the bike race and the backpacking trip, he was pushing me to my physical limits!)  With aching hips and feet, we slowly trudged our way up past Marion Lake and across Death Canyon Shelf. Fortunately, views of wildflowers, the crystal clear mountain lake, and the Tetons towering in the distance were a beautiful distraction and made our trek worth the pain! Plus, there was always time for some goofing off.  Hehe.  

 ^^Seriously, those wildflowers had me swooning!  And they were EVERYWHERE.^^
 ^^See the lizard?  Hehehe.^^
 ^^Taking a breather.  Yeah, that pack is as heavy as it looks.  We learned a lot on that trip about what was necessary to bring and what wasn't.  Oh well!  We're tougher for it, right?  Haha.  Just kidding.^^
 ^^The crew (minus me) at Marion Lake.^^
 ^^Onward, that way!^^
 ^^The backside of the Grand Tetons, or some side of them anyway.^^
 ^^My handsome man.  I made sure to smooch him MORE; he carried some of my stuff up the mountain for me.^^

Finally, we arrived at Alaska Basin.  We enjoyed a little lakeside dining as the sun set behind us.  It was a stunningly beautiful place.  It was also the place where I enjoyed my best night sleep the whole trip!  Bron and I hung some hammocks up in the trees and snoozed peacefully away under a nearly full moon.  In the morning, I got to take a little polar bear dip in the mountain lake to rinse off.  It felt sooo good!

 ^^I can't believe how delicious those freeze-dried meals tasted!  We must've been hungry.  Word of warning though, they make ya gassy.  Whew!^^
 ^^Alaska Basin showing off.^^
^^I know very few "rules" when it comes to shooting the stars except that one doesn't shoot when there's a full moon. Well, there was a full moon behind me and I shot towards the sun that had just set. I like it!^^

Stay tuned for an up close and personal view of the Grand Tetons and details from days 3 and 4!


  1. What stunning pictures. You two are my two new idols. What an incredible journey. You two know how to live life to the fullest!


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