It's still just April, and spring wildflowers in the Rockies are still quite a ways off. That doesn't mean you can't virtually enjoy the summer with a walk around String Lake at Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming.
This eHike just released by the park staff takes you on a nice hike around the lake in a series of 17 still photos. At each photo stop, you learn a little about the trail and the surrounding forest and geology.
On some of the photos you'll find numbers that, if you place your cursor over them, reveal small insights into the setting. For instance, place your cursor over No. 1 on slide six and you'll learn that the little field of ice on Mount Moran that rises above String Lake is the Falling Ice Glacier, a remnant of the Little Ice Age that lasted from 1400-1850.
Also watch for symbols, such as a movie camera or headphones, on the tool bar beneath the photos, as these indicate when there's a short video or audio track that accompanies the photo. Slide four, for example, is accompanied by a short podcast of bears vocalizing.
In short, this virtual field trip provides an introduction to the features that make up String Lake and its mix of natural habitats. The tour introduces you to the various elements—earth, wind, water and fire— that form the physical environment of the String Lake area. It also explains the role these forces have played in the creation of today’s landscape.
From your keyboard you can control images and sounds at each stop along the tour.
“eHikes are becoming a useful and beneficial tool for providing park information to visitors before they can arrive in person,” said Vickie Mates, Grand Teton’s chief of interpretation and partnerships. “We hope children and adults alike enjoy this virtual journey around String Lake, and we hope each viewer is tempted to make an actual visit to experience first-hand the captivating Teton landscape and wildlife.”
“The String Lake eHike is the first of what we hope to be a series of web-based, interactive programs that help orient visitors to Grand Teton National Park,” she added.