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681 To the Tetons 2012-07-22

Old Fall River Road, the Ute Trail

After our day on Mount Meeker, some friends from Tennessee joined us in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since they had just arrived and had been living at 500 foot elevation, we decided to go on a day hike.

We drove Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitors Center and then shuttled a car to Milner Pass - about four miles away. The trail was first used by the Utes and then later was improved to become the Old Fall River Road on the west side of the Continental Divide. After the new Trail Ridge Road was constructed, the old road reverted to trail status.

Last year, during an unusually snowy year, we had tried to walk the trail, but the deep snow made following the exact path very difficult. Jon was very curious as to exactly where they had walked as they had tried to follow the snowy path.

Without snow, the trail was easy. After a three mile gentle descent, the trail reached the junction with the Mount Ida Trail. From the Ida Junction the trail descends sharply to Poudre Lake. Great views kept the hike interesting. Though we had hiked to Mount Ida a couple of times, it was our first time to hike the Ute Trail. It was enjoyable.

The rain had definitely come to Colorado. Checking the long range weather forecast, the chances of rain were high each day. So, doing research, we found that the Tetons weather was clearing and expected to be clear for the next week or so. We all said, why not, let's go to the Tetons.

Starting the next morning, we broke camp and were off and driving. It was a long, five hundred mile side trip, but indeed worthy. Crossing the pass the Tetons finally came into view. Wow, once again.

As it was afternoon, we went to Jenny Lake Campground, not to look for a site, but to see if anyone was leaving the next morning. We talked to a camper and found out when he was leaving. With a site procured, we then drove to the Gros Ventre Campground and found a site for the night.

At 0530 the next morning, we went to Jenny Lake Campground, Richard, the camper we had talked to the day before was already gone, and soon we occupied our new campsite. It was a very easy transition. Returning to Gros Ventre Campground we took down our tent and headed back to our new site at Jenny Lake in the heart of the Tetons.

On the way to Jenny Lake, we stopped in Moose, WY and had a big breakfast at Dornans. While sitting there, we looked at over the Tetons. We were happy to have made the drive.

View from the table at Dornans

Happy Teton Trails


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