Sunday, May 20, 2012

Delta Lake Hike.. again. :)

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:

video

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:


video

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)

Once we were safely on that ridge it was a pretty good hike. Somewhat strenuous at times with quick elevation gain and some mud here and there that I always seemed to hit in the wrong way. But we did end up making it to overlook Delta Lake where I expected we would. We were overlooking the lake from about 50 feet above. There was a very small section that wasn't iced over, but most of it still had some snow. The weather had started picking up with some dark clouds coming our way, so we didn't stop much longer than to eat a quick snack and start heading back before getting rained on. Here's a video and couple photos I took while up there:
video

The Grand.

Delta Lake with its small opening of pretty water.

The hike down was fairly straightforward. We decided to continue down the ridge we were on instead of crossing through the snow we came through before. It worked out well. We went down the rock, crossed through scree fields (small rocks and whatnot), crossed over streams, and finally cut back to the trail. We beat the rain just barely, as it started coming down right when we reached the car (after some running of the last bit of the trail). Overall it was a great experience, I love finding new ways to hike familiar places! :)


Thanks for stopping by!



2 comments:

  1. Great photos, Derrick! I really like the color in the one with the elk. Is Delta Lake still your favorite?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Alyssa! Delta Lake is probably still my favorite, though Hurricane Pass gives it a run for its money! :)

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