Hiking Grand Tetons ‘a trip of a lifetime’

Beyond the crystal clear lakes, past the pastel blooms, up the rock-strewn trails and over the snow-blanketed hillsides lie the canyons and campsites of the Grand Tetons National Park.

With each step up the mountain while sporting a 40-pound backpack, a new vista of rushing waters and plunging waterfalls dashes into view. Run-ins with deer, elk, moose and marmots are not out of the question.

After several miles hiking each day, the laborious trek yields its reward. Campsites look out onto snow-covered peaks, water spews down mountainsides behind melted pockets of snow and streams billow by with roaring waters, their icy beginnings still clutching the banks near brightly colored overnight abodes.

This is hiking at its best. Getting in shape months ahead of time by breaking in boots, pounding away on stair climbers or inclines at the gym and assembling proper gear are paramount to enjoying the trip.

Water is easy to find from all the streams pouring through mountain folds, and with a proper filtration system, keeping bottles filled is not a problem. Water plunging down the mountainside and peeking out occasionally behind the snow while camping at about 8,500 feet makes for the most amazing views of any camping expedition ever. Soaking it all in is refreshing.

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