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Nature Center Events, Summer 2017
Week of July 31 - August 6

Nature Center Events, Summer 2017

Week of July 31 - August 6


Day Hike
: Death Canyon to Teton Canyon, Idaho
Time: 6:15 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 6:15 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 19 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 4,850'     Maximum Elevation: 10,835'
Here is a hike on well-maintained trails the entire day that begins in Wyoming, traverses the Tetons and finishes in Idaho! We begin this hike from the Death Canyon parking area, and gain roughly 1,800’ in the first 4 miles to the Lower Death Canyon Patrol cabin. We’ll continue up the Static Peak Divide trail, gaining 3,025’ of elevation over the next 4 miles to the Static Peak Divide, our highest point of the hike at 10,835’. Spectacular 360 degree mountain vistas is the reward for a good bit of climbing. From the Divide we’ll drop roughly 4,325’ in 10.8 miles of gentle downhill hiking through the beautiful Basin Lakes of Alaska Basin, and down Teton Canyon to the parking area.
Bring: daypack, plenty of water, snacks, lunch; rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, sturdy hiking shoes.
Notes: 6:15 AM start from the Nature Center! Please come prepared with proper clothing, footwear and food for a full day in the mountains. Expect 8-10 hours on maintained trails, 1 hour drive home. This hike requires a shuttle vehicle to Teton Canyon.

Day Hike: 
Coyote Rock/Turpin Ridge
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Meet at the Nature Center at 9:00 AM
Description: Easy
Distance: 3.5 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 970'     Maximum Elevation: 7,650'
We will start the day at the Teton Science School in Kelly, hiking a beautiful ridge line to peak 7,670’ through mature stands of aspen and Douglas fir forest. Once on the ridge, our trail follows an old two-track trail that offers incredible vistas of the Teton Range and the Jackson valley. Coyote Rock offers a wonderful panorama of the entire Teton Range.

daypack, lunch, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen, bear spray.



Day Hike
: Coal Creek to Mesquite Pass
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 5.7 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1,995'     Maximum Elevation: 9,210'
Snow in the high country is disappearing fast, but large snow fields still exist on north facing slopes of many trails. Thus, here is a shortened version of the Coal Creek-Philips Pass Loop but still allows us to venture into some spectacular higher elevation country. We will begin this hike at the Coal Creek trailhead (7,250’) on the west side of Teton Pass, and end our hike at Mesquite Pass, a steady climb of almost 3 miles and 2,000’ of elevation. Depending on snow cover, we might venture a short way up the trail to Taylor Peak.
Bring: daypack, extra warm layer, rain shell, lunch, water bottle.
Notes: Please note early 7:30 AM departure from the Nature Center.

Notes from the Field – Maps, Compass & Navigation for Beginners
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Nature Center
Does just the thought of looking at a topographic map make you cross-eyed? Please join Murph and me for a casual and fun class for beginner’s on how to read a topographic map, use a compass, and tips on how ‘reading’ the landscape helps you to navigate wherever you are. We’ll also provide a few insights into GPS devices. Even if you are not planning a trip into the wilderness, I think you will find these topics and activities interesting and fun.

Light refreshments served.


Road CyclingDriggs, Idaho, - Targhee Ski Hill Road

Time: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Meet at Nature Center  at 8:00 AM
Description: Strenuous
Distance: 25 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 2,000'     Maximum Elevation: 8,063'
Starting from Driggs, Idaho, we’ll have a relaxing start in the first 5 miles by climbing 500’, then climb 1,500’ in the next 7 miles to the base of Targhee Ski Area at 8,063’. While this might sound a bit daunting, the scenery on the west side of the Tetons is nothing short of spectacular, and the road has a wide shoulder and maintains a steady but moderate grade. For comparison, Wilson to the top of Teton Pass is 5.5 miles and gains 2,430’ of elevation gain! Great refreshments await at Pendl’s coffee shop and bakery in Driggs upon our return.
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.


Hike: Wilson Canyon-Game Creek
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 8:30 AM
Description: Moderate
Distance: 10 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 2,210'     Maximum Elevation: 7,525'

We’ll start this hike from the trailhead located behind theLower valley Power and Light (LVPL) building, and end at the Game Creek trailhead. This trail gains almost 1,200’ of elevation in first 3 miles, levels out for a short ways, then is all downhill the last 7 miles to the Game Creek trailhead and our vehicle. We’ll hike through open meadows, thick forests of fir and aspen, with dramatic rocky outcroppings along then arrow canyon. We also hike through sections of the 2012 Wilson Canyon forest fire which burned almost 3,500 acres. This is a similar trail we take to the back side of Snow King, but we exit onto the West Fork trail about 3 miles into our hike. This is a very relaxing hike through moderate terrain that I think all will enjoy.
Bring: daypack, snack, rain jacket, warm layer, hat, sunscreen.
Notes: we will need to leave a shuttle vehicle at the Game Creek trailhead. Dogs are welcome.


Stewardship– Stream Volume measurements
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Nature Center at 9:00 AM
Conducting a ‘stream profile’ consists of using a ‘digital flow meter’ that records the average volume of water at mid-depth at every foot across the creek. This is how we come up with an average stream velocity. We will set up a standard protocol for recording at all three spring creeks. This is a great opportunity to pull on the waders, enjoy a slow quiet morning on the water, learn more about the ecology of our precious creeks and help me record meaningful data!
Bring: appropriate clothing for the morning, rain or shine!
Notes: We will provide hip waders.


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 & Murph
Resident Naturalist
3 Creek Ranch Nature Center
3 Creek Ranch Outings are reserved for club members and homeowners. 
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