Grand Teton National Park Rangers to Offer Moonlit Snowshoe Hikes

If the weather cooperates, once the sun goes down on the Tetons this Saturday the full moon will illuminate the park's landscape, making it perfect for a snowshoe hike. NPS photo.

While rangers in Glacier National Park will be leading moonlit tours on cross-country skis, those in Grand Teton National Park will be using snowshoes to explore their park under the full moon.

The Grand Teton excursion is scheduled for this coming Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. The hike will start at the Taggart Lake Trailhead, which lies 3 miles north of the Moose Entrance Station.

For thousands of years, people have used snowshoes as a means of winter travel, according to park officials. "This activity is an excellent opportunity for beginning and casual snowshoe walkers to experience the pleasure of a winter trek in the company of others. The snowshoe walk will traverse a level, three-mile roundtrip distance along the snow-covered Teton Park Road," they say. "The two-hour-long excursion does not require previous snowshoeing experience, and snowshoes are provided for anyone without their own."

Reservations are required; call 307-739-3399 to reserve a spot.

Those attending should wear warm layered clothing and sturdy insulated boots, and bring along an energy snack and water. Although headlamps or flashlights will not be needed, these items are recommended as essential safety equipment for any outdoor trek.

The snowshoe walk begins at twilight, a special time of day because of the exceptional quality of light. As the full moon rises on the eastern horizon, the open sagebrush meadows and towering Teton peaks will be bathed in a soft glow, creating a magical scene.

Comments

I'm really glad to see increased NPS focus systemwide on promoting interpretive activities to entice the visitor to experience the park by night. A hike on fresh snow by the full moon can be exhilarating, if not surprising. It will produce a life-long memory.

Owen Hoffman
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

I have been to The Tetons, in the winter and a with a full moon. We were there for 2 weeks last year. Its magical. I don't know how else to describe it. My husband and I travel alot and I must say that Teton National Park is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. We will visit the park again.

Nighttime excursions seem to be popular at some NPS units. I understand that Bryce Canyon NP even has nighttime walks where one is encouraged not to use lighting in order to get the eyes to adjust to the darkness. Fort Point NHS has candlelight tours. Yosemite NP has similar full moon snowshoe walks at Badger Pass. Those are concessionaire led, unlike their daily 10:30 AM ranger led snowshoe walks.

http://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/fullmoonhikes.htm
http://www.nps.gov/fopo/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm
http://www.yosemitepark.com/Activities_EveningPrograms_FullMoonSnowshoeWalks.aspx

John Muir National Historic Site (Martinez, CA) offers moonlit tours on Mount Wanda.