July 30, 2017 by Deborah W. Trotter
If you have ever been to the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, you know about the jaw-dropping view from the deck out back: Mt. Moran with its Skillet Glacier (that I’ve always thought more resembles a funky electric guitar), Jackson Lake, Willow Flats, and the rest of the jagged Teton Range piercing the sky to the south. I never get tired of it.
But it is nearly impossible to enjoy it quietly because there are always lots of other people around. If you would prefer to absorb the same view in solitude, you might be able to do so with a minimum of exertion. At the north end of the Lodge’s back patio, a well-worn trail to the top of Lunch Tree Hill will take you up a few hundred feet in a couple tenths of a mile to the spot where John D. Rockefeller, Jr., had a picnic one day and decided that what he could see must be protected for all forever. As a result of his visit, he purchased the entire Jackson Hole Valley and eventually donated it to the National Park Service so it could be added to Grand Teton National Park. (You can read a short history of the complexities of this transaction here.)
I hiked up near the middle of the day and had Lunch Tree Hill all to myself. The only other creatures I saw were two moose enjoying a quiet munch down below.
Can you see them in the marsh to the right of the road?
They were happy. I was happy. And I am happy right now, looking at these photos and remembering.
If you go up on Lunch Tree Hill for sunrise or sunset, there might be a few more people up there with you. But there is plenty of room to spread out along the top of the hill. And you might have it all to yourself. If you have the chance, find out.