Grand Teton National Park was not on my bucket list for my remaining time in the USA after my CDT thru-hike. But how did I end up in the Tetons? Do you know the feeling when your travel plans dissolve into thin air from one minute to the next?
Lost in big America after four months of wilderness, I bought a car that gave up after less than a week. I was stranded and very pleased to accept the great hospitality of an old friend of mine in Cody Wyoming. I had to make new travel plans and spontaneously decided to do a five day fall hiking tour in the Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park
The Tetons are located in western Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National Park. It takes its name from the Teton Range, which runs north-south through the park. East of the mountains is the vast plain called Jackson Hole and the large mountain lake Jackson Lake, also the smaller lakes Leigh Lake and Jenny Lake.
The region has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years, when nomadic Paleo-Indians began spending the warmer summer months there. John Colter may have been the first white man to set eyes on this area around 1808. The name of the mountains comes from the French word for breast and refers to their shape. The area was declared a national park on February 26, 1929.
What a good decision I made! The Tetons in autumn are incredibly beautiful. Warm, sunny days and cold nights transformed the grandiose Grand Teton National park mountain landscape into an unforgettable blaze of colors. The night temperatures and the already cold ground disturbed my sleep on the first night in the Tetons.
Thanks to improvisation and better planning of the tent sites, the cold wasn’t the reason for the following three sleepless nights. Wasn’t I physically tired enough after just 15 miles a day? Was the sleeping pad too worn out and too hard? Are my bones too old? Or does reentering the soon coming up daily life worry me?
No idea… in spite of everything, I did not miss the opportunity to climb Disappointment Peak on the last day and enjoy the summit of Grand Teton up close. Another unforgettable experience off the beaten tracks.