Early Summer in the Tetons

July 3rd, 2017 by Chip Phillips

If you don’t know it yet, I really like visiting Grand Teton National Park.  It is somewhat close to where I live, a 9 hr drive, and I have been lucky enough to be able to make it out there every year since I started out with my photography.  We usually stay in the National Forest in our little [email protected] travel trailer.  For the first couple of days we had some nice eventful spring like weather, but a few days into the trip snow was in the forecast.  It ended up snowing about an inch where we were camping and I was able to shoot the image above just as the broke for a brief period that evening.

The above image is an iPhone shot of our campsite during the snow storm.  If you look closely you can see little David with his hat on peaking out the window.

 

 

Even with my now 3 year old son, I have also made it out into the backcountry on almost every trip.  This year we headed down there a little bit earlier than usual because of a busy late summer, so backpacking opportunities were somewhat limited.  I packed my little 9 foot Zodiac inflatable boat with an 8HP outboard motor with the hopes of doing some boat camping, and that is just what we did.  The boat is just barely big enough for the 3 of us with all of our camping and camera gear so we set out to Elk Island from Colter Bay for the night.

When we rounded the corner into the bay with our campsite, we were very happy to be greeted by a lush meadow of peak lupine.  Our tent was nestled in the middle and we had an excellent view of the lake. I was able to do a little fishing and catch both a sunset and sunrise the next morning.

 

The very next day, we returned to Colter Bay, packed up the boat, and headed to the Leigh Lake trailhead for some backpacking.  This is a very easy 5 mile round trip hike and one of our favorite hikes in the park.  The campsites are beautiful and right on the lake.  We huddled in the tent for a very powerful afternoon thunderstorm and then did a little swimming before dinner and bed.  The next morning I looked out the tent before sunrise and saw fog and glassy reflections so needless to say, I was very inspired to get out of bed and shoot!  The sunrise was beautiful and the nice conditions lasted for about an hour.  The above image was shot just as the light started hitting the peaks and the heavy fog cleared.

I always need to fit a swim in pretty much wherever I am.  This is me taking a quick dip just before hiking back.

Here is our little backpacker, who only hiked a total of .5 miles down the trail before begging to be carried back by mom (I had all of our gear in my pack so not an option for me :0