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Nature Center Events, Summer 2017
Week of July 17 - July 23

Nature Center Events, Summer 2017

Week of July 17 - July 23


Day Hike
: Table Mountain
Time: 6:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 6:30 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 12.4 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 4,150'     Maximum Elevation: 11,106’
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photograph taken from the top of Table Mountain in July 1872 by William Jackson helped create the need to protect the Grand Tetons and surrounding lands in the public trust. I also cannot imagine the work this group of early explorers put into hauling all that equipment up there! We’ll start this hike in Teton Canyon, located just off the Alta Road on the westside of the Tetons. We can expect spectacular scenery as we ascend through several ecological life zones, ending above timber line with spectacular mountain vistas throughout the day. I regard the close-up views of the immense west face of the Grand Teton, Cascade Canyon, Alaska Basin and surrounding mountain landscapes to be some of the most memorable in the entire range.
Bring: daypack, extra warm layer, rain shell, sturdy hiking shoes, lightweight wool socks, extra food, lunch, water. I carry a water purifier.
Notes: Please note the early meeting time of 6:30 AM from the Nature Center. Hiking to the summit will be weather dependent. This is a non-technical hike and we will travel on a well maintained hiking trail the entire day. Could be windy on the summit.



Day Hike
: Cache Divide and back
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 8.4 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,225'     Maximum Elevation: 7,418'
This is an up-and-back hike to the Cache-Game Divide. Cache Creek is a popular hiking trail just minutes from tow and follows a two-track road and a well-maintained trail. We’ll begin at the Cache Creek trailhead, maintaining a very easy and gradual uphill gain of only 1,000 feet in the first 3.7 miles. We then cross over Cache Creek, and climb a short steep section of trail, gaining 225’ feet to the pass between Cache and Game Creek. From the pass, we’ll return back down the way we came to the Cache Creek trailhead. This is a very casual and enjoyable hike close to town. 
Bring: daypack, snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.
Notes: Dogs are welcome.

Notes from the Field: 'Evolution of the Tetons’ with Dr. Keith Watt
Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Meet at the Nature Center at 3:30 PM

Description: Please join our guest Dr. Keith Watts, Geologist, for an entertaining talk on the Evolution of the Tetons. In just an hours’ time, Keith will take us on a journey starting some 2.5 billion years ago all the way to the magnificent Teton landscape we see today, not to mention a few geologic events in between! This is a great opportunity to learn about our local geology in an easy to understand manner taught by one of the best geology professors I’ve been fortunate to know.
Notes: Light refreshments served. RSVP appreciated.


Day Hike
Sleeping Indian
Time: 6:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Location: Meet at Nature Center  at 6:30 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 10.9 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 4,300     Maximum Elevation: 11,239'
Although strenuous, this is one the best designed hiking trails I have been on and travels through beautiful open meadows, stands of timber, and offers the most spectacular 360 degree views of this remarkable region. This is guaranteed to be a memorable hike for all. We start this hike after an easy drive to the east side of the National Elk Refuge. I estimate 3-4 hours to get to the top, 6-6.5 hours roundtrip. We will keep a leisurely pace all day.
Bring: daypack, water bottle, lunch/snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, hiking poles if you have them.
Notes: Please note the early meeting time of 6:30 AM from the Nature Center. Hiking to the summit will be weather dependent. Bring a minimum of two water bottles, or aCamelBack water bag. This is a non-technical hike and we will travel on a well maintained hiking trail the entire day.


Road Cycling: 3 Creek Ranch-Red Top Meadows
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:00 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 41 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,313'     Maximum Elevation: 6,594'

With the new bike completed along HW 22, we will ride the first 8.2 miles along the bike path to Nora’s at the junction of Fall Creek Road and HW 22. From Nora’s we will ride the remaining 12.3 miles on the shoulder of Fall Creek Road, but we can expect minimal vehicle traffic and motorists are aware of cyclists on the road. We’ll start on gentle rolling hills and easy flats. At the 4.5 mile mark we encounter a short but steep (150’) hill, then travel along beautiful flats for another 4 miles to the base of Red Top hill. The last 2.5 miles to the top of Red Top Meadows is a challenging climb of roughly 525’. Although this is a‘down and back’ ride, the varied terrain and beautiful scenery makes this ride my favorite ride in the valley.
Bring: bike, helmet, two water bottles, food, sunscreen
Notes: Restrooms, refreshments and water at the Exxon station in Wilson. Please stop by or give me a call if you need help preparing your bike or other cycling needs.

Day Hike
: Ski Lake Ridgeline
Time: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 7.3 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,880'     Maximum Elevation: 9,710’
This is a very enjoyable hike along a well-traveled trail to the ridgeline above Ski Lake. The trailhead starts half-way up Teton Pass at the ‘Phillips Pass’ sign, with a parking area on both sides of the road. After an easy 2.5 mile hike to the lake, and depending on the snow line, we’ll gain another 980’ of elevation in 1.5 miles to a beautiful ridgeline that offers expansive views of the valley. Abundant wildflowers this time of year as well.
Bring: daypack, food, rain jacket, sunscreen, bear spray.
Notes: Dogs are welcome to join us!


Day Hike: Shoal Falls
Time: 7:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 7:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 10 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,000'     Maximum Elevation: 8,200’
This is an amazing hike with great views of the Gros Ventre Range, ending at beautiful Shoal Falls. This is a shorter and far easier variation on the standard Granite Creek approach. We drive south to Hoback Junction then roughly 18 miles up the Hoback, turn left on Dell Cr. Road for 3.5 miles, left on Riling Draw road for another 3.5 miles to the small parking area next to the creek. We’ll follow the well-maintained trail for roughly five miles to Shoal Falls. After the first mile the views open up and the trail becomes surrounded by the highest peaks of the Gros Ventre Mountains.
Bring: daypack, lunch, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, bear spray.
Notes: Dogs are welcome. We will travel on a well-maintained trail. This is a slightly longer drive than normal but is well worth it as the route shaves 2,000’ of elevation and 5 miles off the standard approach.


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
3 Creek Ranch Outings are reserved for club members and homeowners. 
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