Variable weather with additional snow sums up the month of April. The Tetons are a snowy white as old man winter blankets the upper peaks. At 9500 feet, 600 inches of total snowfall was reported mid-month and snow depth is around 12 feet so who knows when the trails will be snow free? Fortunately, the valley is green so animals are migrating and herbivores are taking advantage of fresh green shoots. Weather dances each day with a bit of sun, a bit of rain and a bit of snow. The first week of May comes with sun and sixty degrees! It’s a vibrant time!
Valley life in Jackson ebbs and flows with the busy tourist season. Summers are busier than winters and each year, millions of people, visit Grand Teton, Yellowstone and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Majority of these visitors come during peak season so fall and spring are quieter months and a great time to visit to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
The months of April and November are considered off season. The valley quiets. Traffic slows. Seasons change. For many of us, it means VACATION! Time to travel and take a break. The entire staff with The Hole Hiking Experience journeys to new places and old favorites. A spring or fall trip to Utah is a welcome break with hiking, biking, and boating options. We take time to rejuvenate our spirits and replenish our well of hospitality. It’s the way of life in our small valley and a welcome break each year.
As the founder of Hole Hiking Experience, a biologist, a hiker, a nature lover, and an advocate for wild places, I fell in love with the country of Bhutan in 2010. While trekking to gaze at 8000 meter peaks, life stilled and the journey to Jomolari and Jinchu Drake reset my life and my spirit.
I continue to trek and explore all over the world but Bhutan is a favorite. Each trip is different as I discover more about the country and myself. The country is incomparable since nature, the people, and the cultural traditions are protected and respected. The Buddhist precept of non-harming emanates in the country with decisions of growth and change. Bhutan has a strong family tradition and the people honor deities and spirits with daily meditations, offerings and acceptance. Good governance is a foundation and decisions assess the needs of the people and balance the power of a monarchy, a parliament and a strong monk body. The abbot, who is the leader of the monk community, is equal in power to the king. No one force is above others. Nature is honored and protected. How great is that?? The country flows with synergy. People smile and are inquisitive. It’s a journey like no other.
Part of me stayed on the Bhutanese trails after my 2010 visit. I follow the dharma, Buddha’s teachings, and being in a country that acknowledges suffering, it’s causes and the pursuit of inner freedom/happiness is refreshing. The Bhutanese people are compassionate and caring. I return as often as I can: to hike a new trail, to see nature in all her glory, to visit a monastery, to grow and change in a positive way.
This spring, I went to see the blooming rhododendrons. I plan the trips with Kinlay, my Bhutanese business partner. This itinerary included all the highlights but the magic was tea with the lama at Cheri Goempa, the wild windy day, the 30-foot blooming Rhododendron trees, visiting old friends, and sharing a country that lives in my heart. It was awesome! The group was great and being held with compassion and mutual respect is Bhutan. Heartfelt appreciation within this Himalayan county and people’s respect for the government makes the visit so special. If you are interested in a synergistic adventure, let me know. Check out Bhutan Himalayan Experience– a web site that I created with Kinlay to promote Bhutan and the fun adventures that await you. I share Bhutan because it makes my heart happy so I create personal itineraries at no additional cost. It’s my way to give back and share a visit to a country that just might change your life.
Here’s to a great summer! Our summer hiking season begins May 8 so check out the options www.holehike.com and join us to discover Jackson and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem!
What’s in the woods
4/2- buttercups- Wilson, WY
4/9-4/21- Bhutan- rhododendrons, kingfishers, dippers, mountains, and much more
4/24- rainy and cool
4/29- Grand Teton Park/Antelope Flats- herds of elk, bison, kestrals, bluebird, osprey, red tail hawk
Winter trail closures end on May 1 so trail access is no longer restricted. That said, snow level is low so places to explore are a bit limited. Roads also open in Grand Teton Park making May the month to look for animals! Grizzlies have been seen near Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton Park. Make sure to give all animals lots of room. Bears and wolves need 100 yards. If you want to explore, trails in the Gros Ventre or Snake River Ranges will melt before the Tetons. Hard to say when access with change since temperature dependent. Maybe a bike ride on the bike paths or one last ski before summer hiking begins. Have fun and be prepared. It’s time to carry bear spray.