2021.06.17 Jackson Hole & Granite Hot Springs

Spent the morning in Driggs, Idaho.  I woke up a few hours earlier than the rest of the group, so I took a walk down the main drag.

Driggs Idaho
Oriental Poppies appear to grow natural throughout Idaho. Large & gorgeous flowers.
Poppy up close
Old Buildings in Driggs. There were two Sotheby Real Estate offices at this intersection.

After check-out, we stopped at a thrift store down the street from our motel.  Stephanie and Marissa walked out with their arms full of purchases.  Guess who is hauling home a lamp from Idaho?

Lucky Dog Thrift Store
Spud Drive In Theatre. Nice marketing!

Before we crossed the mountain pass into Wyoming, we pulled off the road to drive through the Mike Harris campground.  We camped there one night on our trip in 2012.  It’s fun to revisit these places.

Once in Jackson, we took some time to drive through the residential parts of the town.  Turns out Jackson is a real town for real people, it just so happens to have a ski lift at the edge of town.

Jackson has free street parking everywhere, but of course it is hard to come by.  We managed to grab a spot and start exploring on our feet.  After some light souvenir shopping, we set out in search of lunch.  This took us through the square again.  It was a pleasant day and the square was bustling. 

Jackson Hole square. One lady is resting against her suitcase.
Fresh Lemonade

Two little boys had a lemonade stand in the square so we stopped to get a glass.  We asked the boy who signed his cowboy hat.  “Professional bull riders.  From when I lived in Australia.”  He had a slight Aussie accent.  Classic Jackson Hole lemonade stand!

Lunch was at a Mexican food joint called Hatch.  Nice environment and good food.  We left content.

Lunch at Hatch
Passed this stand providing free poems. More classic Jackson Hole!

We headed south out of Jackson Hole towards our next stop: Granite Hot Springs.  Stephanie discovered this place last night.  It is operated by the USDA in a national forest.  And it was on our way!  Part of the charm of this hot spring is a drive on dirt roads of about 10 miles.  The dirt road followed along a roaring creek, and there were many folks out camping alongside the water in tents, vans, and RVs.

Road to the hot spring
Short walk from the parking lot
Granite Hot Springs

The Granite Hot Springs is a pretty rustic experience.  It was $8 each (cash or check only).  When we arrived, there were only 7 people there.  By the time we left, the crowd grew to maybe 20 – 25 people. 

We met some people as we were walking up to the spring and we asked them how it was.  “It was hot” was the pretty standard reply.  It was definitely a hot spring, but not so hot you could not stay in for quite a while.  It was a cool experience. 

Granite Hot Springs
Granite Hot Springs
Soaking up the heat
Hot Spring Views
Spring feeding the pool
Hot Springs office, changing room, and concession stand

We spent more than an hour in the pool and felt like we had soaked plenty.  We even had a nice conversation with the grizzy man who ran the pool. He lives there on-site, year-round.  He uses a snowmobile and sled to get supplies during the winter.  He showed us pictures on his phone of visitors snow skiing into the pool in the dead of winter.

Less than a mile from the hot spring was an amazing cascade.  Even in Yellowstone, this feature would deserve a pull-out.

Granite Cascade (I made up this name)

From the hot springs, it was about 90 minutes to our destination for the evening, Pinedale, Wyoming.  We checked into the Gannett Peak Lodge around 7:30, and was told we were the last unit to check in.  Guess that is why we were issued Room #1.  In the summertime if you arrive after 9:30 and the office is closed, you’ll find your room key attached to the bulletin board at the office.  Pinedale: home to low crime!

Gannett Peak Lodge

The clerk suggested we try the Wind River Brewing Company for dinner, and we obliged.  We sat outside on their patio and had to wear our jackets and hoodies.  It cools off quite nicely in the evening. 

After dinner, we hit the local supermarket for some ice cream pints and enjoyed dessert back in the room.  We put the wraps on a low-impact day in Idaho and Wyoming and said goodnight to Pinedale.

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