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A Week of Roaming the Grand Tetons

A few weeks ago I got the chance to stash my Brooks running sneakers for some hiking shoes as I headed West to the Jenny Lake Lodge nestled in the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. As a self-professed cardio queen, I was excited to tackle mountains instead of asphalt for four days of trekking. And trek we did! With tons of hiking trails ranging from 2 miles to 19 I definitely got a glimpse into what life in the mountains is really like.

After arriving in the afternoon, I got a chance to meet with some of the super friendly staffers that work for the Grand Teton Lodging Company. We took a short hike (though as my first hike ever, it felt like it lasted days!) around String Lake, with sights that looked like they fell right off a postcard. I was a bit panicked starting out, as one of my hiking materials was an actual can of bear spray (!) but within minutes I was too busy checking out the view to worry about anything else. This may explain why the above-mentioned staffers are so friendly. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re looking at this every day:

Mountains make people happy. Trust me on this one.

After checking into my adorable cabin, complete with hand-made quilts, down comforters and a bathroom nicer than the one in my apartment. This place is the definition of “glamping”– no sharing your bed with forest critters, just the way I like it! I realized something else Westerners and I have in common, we love to eat! Dinner at the Jenny Lake Lodge consists of a delicious five-course meal that rotates every night of the week, so you’re never eating the same thing twice during your stay. So much for hoping to lose a few pounds during this trip!

The rest of the week consisted of scouring the grounds for wildlife (there is a ton!), everything from bald eagles to elk and yes–bears, though luckily I didn’t need my bear spray, bike rides around the park and even a horseback ride around Jenny Lake, scaling mountains and dodging trees all with this guy:


Meet my ride for the day, Paintbrush!

Fun fact: Horses are easier to handle then cars in my opinion. I think I had to pull on Paintbrush’s reigns maybe once, and only because I wanted to feel like I was doing something productive. These horses know the trails so well they do it almost completely unguided.

The last day I took a hike up to Inspiration Point. The 6-mile hike took around 3 hours, and I burned close to 1200 calories! It was much more challenging than any run I’ve ever done, except perhaps a marathon, but the view at the top was well worth it:

The top of Inspiration Point

A beach lover all my life, I’ve never thought to book a mountain vacation, but after this stay I can’t wait to go again. And since the lodge is open from May through October, you’re guaranteed amazing weather during your stay, especially as the season shifts and the foliage starts to change. In just four days I was less stressed, more chipper and if I can say so myself, my butt has never looked better after tackling all those hills!

For more information on Jenny Lake Lodge, as well as the other resorts in the Grand Teton National Park, visit

 More from FITNESS: Hiking Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go