Wyoming Day 6 (Phelps Lake Hiking)

Day six is our last full day here in Wyoming. I was so tired today that I just wanted to lie down on the beach and just take a long nap. But that wouldn’t be very productive and I had to make the most of my day. At least we had visited all the “must-see” places and gone everywhere we wanted to go to. Today we decided to take it easy and just go hiking around the Tetons.

For breakfast, instead of doing the usual buffet, I ordered an omelet with all the vegetables (mushroom, peppers, onions, spinach, and jalepeños) and smoked ham. I just couldn’t take any more of the buffet as good as it tasted the first day. The omelet came with a bunch of toast and breakfast potatoes. It was very fresh and hot. It was much welcomed to the morning breakfast routine.

Now we’re talking. Does that look great or what?!? 🙂

After breakfast, we set off on our day to hike Death Canyon to the Phelp’s Lake overlook. By this time it was about 11 am, and it was getting quite hot as there were still no clouds in the sky. The Death Canyon trailhead is a little bit off Moose-Wilson Rd. There’s a turn off and a small parking lot before you get to an all gravel road which is recommended for 4×4 vehicles. Since we didn’t want to take the Prius all the way up the uneven road, we parked and walked the remaining 1 mile.

The entire hike up to the top from where we parked is a deceiving 2 miles. The first mile is an uphill gravel road primarily in the sun and the second part from the trailhead gets quite steep and a lot of it is in the sun. It was also quite tiring to lug 10-12 lbs of camera gear up to the mountain. I stupidly decided to bring my 70-200mm F/2.8 IS zoom lens along for the day since the previous two days when I neglected to bring it, we saw moose. I wouldn’t get burned today! At least not by not having it, but punished another way for carrying it. Another part of what made it so difficult were the many swarms of flies and mosquitoes that would just circle you as you walked. I don’t know if it was the sunscreen or if they were always like this, but it was really annoying.

A bit hazy today

It was a long way up, but when we finally got to the top, I was reminded why I brought all my gear up! The view overlooking the lake was pretty nice. I say pretty nice because it wasn’t the best lake of the trip (Taggart was), but it was rewarding nonetheless. Having made the ~400 ft climb, we were quite high up and could see pretty far. As I got a few shots, I turned to see a marmot sitting on a rock observing everyone at the overlook. He seemed quite curious but remained still, watching the entire time as several photographers snapped their pictures. He (she?) was a cute little fellow. I think it was a yellow-bellied marmot, but these turned out to be my favorite wildlife pictures of the trip. The shade provided good lighting and the subject was close enough to fill the frame and behaved so well!

Eying me suspiciously at first.

Too tired to continue the steep trek down to Phelps Lake, we turned around to go back down the mountain. As we were leaving, a couple showed us some pictures of a brown black mama bear (I kid you not) and her two cubs that they had taken coming up just to the side of the trail. So as we were walking down, we kept looking and looking for the black bears, but we never saw them. And the people that had passed us asked us if we had seen them because they hadn’t either.

Nope, no bears here.

One of the things I did see going down though was a live tree trunk filled with holes. The tree was living too! It was like an entire multistory hotel for little baby birds. Several mother birds would bring back food and drop it off to the loud-chirping tree and then be off to fetch more food. It was quite an interesting sight.

The loudest tree you’ve ever heard!

The smallest bird you’ve ever seen, a wren!

Way too heavy to carry up on a steep hike. Worthwhile today though.

The walk down was much quicker, easier, and less tiring. Before I knew it, we were at the base and then at our car. It was about 2 o’clock or so and we decided to have lunch under the shade in the car. Our last stop for the day on the way back to the hotel was the Granite Canyon Trail. It was a short drive on the way back and we stopped to take a few pictures. It was nothing too incredible and we were too tired/lazy to do another hike.

Nope, still no bears.

When we got back to the hotel, it was about 5ish, so we started packing and I showered before going out to an early dinner. The place we wanted to go was called Trio (named after their 3 chefs). It’s this upscale, modern seafood restaurant in the middle of Jackson. We tried to make reservations but they were already full for the evening and only had some seats at the counter which you could not reserve. Luckily when we got there, they still had a few seats left next to the pizza oven.

The restaurant is pretty fancy and modern looking. It’s a dark and very festive (loud) inside. It reminds me of some place you’d see on TV in New York or something. I ordered the pepperoni pizza and my mom got a lobster salad and sweet potato fries. For dessert we got a peach and blueberry and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It was all very good and was one of the best meals of the trip.

Trio, small, busy little restaurant.

Lobster Salad

Sweet potato fries

Peperoni pizza

Blueberry and peach cobbler

After dinner, we walked around the town a little bit and then drove back to finish packing and sleep. Our flight was in the morning and we had to drop of the car and check out very early.

Back at the hotel, I walked around and took a few pictures of the cute wood sculpture carvings and the pool:



These three were on the mantle above the fireplace in the bar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *