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Nature Center Events, Summer 2017
Week of July 10 - July 16

Nature Center Events, Summer 2017

Week of July 10 - July 16


Day Hike
: Jackson Peak Summit
Time: 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 7:30 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 11 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 2,680'     Maximum Elevation: 10,741'
Jackson Peak is a true landmark in our valley and is remarkably close to downtown Jackson. One of my all-time favorite, yet challenging hikes, this trail leads us through wonderful stands of aspen, Douglas fir, open meadows and grand vistas of the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Teton Range. We will pass Goodwin Lake on our way to the summit. Remarkable views in all directions, guaranteed to be a memorable hike for all.
Bring: daypack, water bottle, lunch/snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen.
Notes: Please note the early meeting time of 7:30 AM at the Nature Center. Hiking to he summit will be weather dependent. I recommend bringing extra food. I have a water filter so we can refill water bottles along the way. This is a non-technical hike and we will travel on a hiking trail the entire day.

Day Hike: Mt. Ellie Hike, Teton Pass
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Meet at the Nature Center 9:00 AM
Description: Easy
Distance: 3.5 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 850'     Maximum Elevation: 9,279'

We will start this hike from the parking lot on Teton Pass, hike approximately 2 miles to the top of Mt. Ellie. We will follow a ridge-top trail almost the entire way through open meadows of wildflowers and forest stands of subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce. This entire hike follows a well-worn trail, and offers one of the most spectacular views of the entire Jackson Hole valley. A fantastic way start to any day!
daypack, extra warm layer, rain/wind shell, refreshments.



Day Hike
: Game Creek Trail
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 9:00 AM
Description: Easy
Distance: 6.5 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 774'     Maximum Elevation: 6,655’
This is a pleasant ‘up and back loop’ trail just minutes from 3 Creek Ranch in lowerGame Creek. We will gain about 600’ of elevation in the first 3 miles to the beaver ponds, with an easy downhill return hike.
Bring: daypack, snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.
Notes: Dogs are welcome to join us!

Day Hike – Crater Lake and the Big Rocks Trail
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Meet at the Nature Center at 7:30 AM

Description: Moderate
Distance: 4.9
 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 
1,150'     Maximum Elevation: 7,212’
We begin this hike from the parking area at the base of the Old Pass Road, just past Trail Creek Ranch. We’ll hike up almost 700’ in the first 1.5 miles to Crater Lake along the ‘History Trail’, and return down along the Crater Lake Trail. Both travel through beautiful forests and open meadows along a well-worn trail, and offer a pleasant alternative to the paved ‘old pass road’ that winds to the top of Teton Pass. Once back to the bottom, we’ll climb back up about 350’ and hike a beautiful trail around the ‘BigRocks’ trail, so named for several massive boulders, or ‘glacial erratics’ that we encounter on the trail. These glacial erratics were transported to this location on top of huge glaciers that once filled the valley to an estimated 1,500 feet above the valley floor. Great views ofMt. Glory, mature Douglas fir forests and plenty of interesting birding.
Bring: daypack, extra warm layer, rain shell, lunch, water bottle.
Notes: Anticipate possible snow near the pass, but expect fabulous wildflowers.


Day Hike
South Park Management Area
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Meet at Nature Center  at 8:00 AM
Description:  Easy
Distance: 1-3 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: negligible     Maximum Elevation: 6,000'
I hope you can join us as we scout for birds, look for the otters playing in the ponds and enjoy a relaxing morning stroll through the shaded giant cotton woods. This is a wonderful area to hike, flat terrain, minutes from 3 Creek Ranch, pleasant views of the Snake River, and Munger Mountain.
Bring: daypack, snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.
Notes: Dogs are welcome to join us!

Day Hike: 
Wind & Ice Caves
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Meet at Nature Center  at 8:00 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 7 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 2,410'     Maximum Elevation: 9,400’
This is an ‘out and back’ hike to an interesting cave in Darby Canyon, located on the west side of the Tetons. We’ll begin with a drive over Teton Pass, drive about 5 miles past Victor, Id., to Darby Canyon Road (E 300 S). The trail begins with gradual hills then begins a more sustained uphill climb through a series of switchbacks for next 1.5 miles to Wind Cave. Hiking on the West side of the Tetons offers a new perspective on the geology and story of the mountain building process that shaped this remarkable region in which we live.
Bring: As with all longer hikes with considerable elevation gain, please take the time to come prepared with sturdy hiking shoes, a daypack with an extra warm layer of clothes, quality rain gear, lunch, water, sunscreen.


Road Cycling: 3 Creek Ranch to National Museum of Wildlife Art
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 9:00 AM
Description: easy
Distance: 15.5 miles R/T
Join us for a very casual bike ride and gallery tour to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. We can spend as much time there as we’d like, but I would like to see the National Geographic Photo Arc exhibit, and the Hummingbird Art exhibit. Admission is $14.00. We will travel on a combination of bike paths and wide bike lanes the entire way.
Bring: bike, helmet, water bottles, warm layer, sunscreen.
Notes: Please stop by or give me a call if you need help preparing your bike or other cycling needs.


Day Hike: Phillips Pass
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 8 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,520'     Maximum Elevation: 8,932'
We’ll start at the trailhead to Ski Lake, accessed from Teton pass. At the 1 mile mark, we’ll bear right and follow the trail sign to Phillips Pass. We will be hiking through beautiful stands of fir, spruce, aspen and open meadows, with wonderful views throughout the entire hike. We’ll be much too early for the fireweed bloom, but this hike offers great views of the valley.
Bring: daypack, plenty of water, delicious snacks, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.
Notes: Dogs are welcome.


Office Hours
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: Nature Center
Notes: Stop by the Nature Center for a casual visit to say hello, request some help planning your next outdoor adventure, or bring your guests for a tour of the Center.

Roger Smith
Resident Naturalist
3 Creek Ranch Nature Center
Image curtesy of Roger Smith. 3 Creek Ranch Outings are reserved for club members and homeowners. 
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