May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm #1289462
Circumstances have aligned such that I will have time to do some dayhikes in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone areas in the last week of May (coming up soon!). This is a family situation so no overnights or 'serious' treks are possible.
I have Bill Schneider's "Hiking Grand Teton" and Don Pitcher's "Yellowstone & Grand Teton" books.
I expect we will want to hike more in Teton than Yellowstone but I need to have my bases covered.
1) Are the Nat Geo trail maps the best option? They are 1:63,360 for the 4 Yellowstone areas and down to 1:30-something- for Teton. I have seen the Nat Geo trail maps for my home area and they kinda suck. I have a strong landnav background and am used to making my own 1:24k or 1:25k maps on the computer for my home areas, but I don't have the basemaps (or GPS tracks) for out West. I also don't know yet where I'll hike. What's a good source for the best landnav data? Surely someone has uploaded the GPS tracks for the major trails.
2) What are the kind of conditions to expect at that time of year? Again, this won't be a serious trek up to the higher altitudes, but I realize things can get squirrelly fast out there. I am from the SouthEast so I am used to having it pretty easy regarding weather and altitude.May 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm #1873708
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Weather–expect freezing nights and light snowfall in storms, through June. At higher elevations, throughout the summer.
Snow conditions on trails–might be quite a bit still in early June. Check the park websites (nps.gov) and perhaps call the rangers. I haven't been there earlier than mid-June. By that time the lower elevation trails were fine. It appears that the meltout in that part of Wyoming (I've been watching snotel sites in the Wind Rivers) is earlier than usual this (and a lot earlier than last year!) so early June may not be an issue. But check with the rangers.
Your maps should be fine for on-trail hiking. If you plan to go off-trail, you want the equivalent of 7-minute topographic maps. The Teton lower elevation trails are so clear it would be impossible to get lost without a map! I don't know about Yellowstone.May 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm #1873837
It looks like going west up Cascade Canyon would be a nice foray. Any idea where the snow level would be along there in late May?
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