Day 1 – Surprise and Ampitheatre Lakes trail

Grand Teton National Park


Brandi, Christi, Lisa, Julie and I

We flew into Jackson Hole and are staying at Colter Bay in the Tent Village. Julie drove her big Winnebago to the trailhead. Her husband John was going to sit in it while we hiked. She parked at the trailhead of Lupine Meadows, got our stuff and headed up. Our first group shot headed up the trail head. We hiked together for a while then got separated.

Up was the word of the day! We began at 6500 Ft and Ended at 9965 ft. The first mile or so was a steady incline. No switchbacks. It crossed a couple bridges. All of the views were pretty much the same. All were all to the left and over some small lakes.

We came across a couple of marmots hanging out on the trail. They were not scared and rather friendly.

Then at the first switchback there were a couple people standing around and yep a bear on the trail. Since this is grizzly country I asked if it was one. No one knew. It was a black Bear – only Brown. haha. He was about 15 feet off the trail. Brandi decided there were strength in numbers and we could walk by so we did. It didn’t disturb that bear one bit! Soon after everyone else followed.

The next couple miles we’re huge switchbacks. Lots of flowers lots of views. At about 8000 ft the trail became snow. It wasn’t cold. I was wearing a tank top. Snow is much harder to hike on. We did not put on any micro spikes which would make it easier. Still 2000 ft elevation to go all in the snow. Some areas were deeper than others. At one point I went through the snow drift up to my butt.

The altitude was getting to me I think. I was a little dizzy. We sat down and had some lunch. It was Lisa, Brandi and me. Christi was behind us because she was bird watching and Julie was behind her.

We arrived at Surprise Lake. It was beautiful. Frozen, snowy at the top.

We hung out a bit. Brandi and Lisa went on to the Amphitheatre Lake and I stayed behind. Christi arrived then left to go to the Amp lake. Then Julie arrived. Brandi came back then Julie, Brandi and I started up to the Amp lake but Julie changed her mind and we decided to head back down.

The trail was covered with snow and there were footprints everywhere. We were off trail short cutting it downward and Julie fell and landed on more than one rock. She was hurt pretty bad but insisted she could make it down. A man and women helped us until we got off the snow. Julie sent Brandi and Christi down to let John know she was ok and she would be late getting back. After we got on dry land she just booked down the trail and insisting she carry her own pack that Lisa and I were carrying! When we arrived at the trailhead Brandi said we were only 30 min behind her.

Luckily she had something to take for the pain. She was the only one to drive the Winnebago.

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