The Greatest American Invention

Barker-Ewing, Environment, Hiking & Climbing, National Parks

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Families are important. Vacations are important. Our National Parks are important. And taking our families on vacations to National Parks might be the most important thing we do. As a culture, Americans enjoy a “love/hate” relationship with our jobs. We value hard work and industry to the point that we as individuals feel diminished when we step away from gainful employment. For some, there is a perceived threat that our value as an employee drops when we take a break and a co-worker does not. It’s a dilemma – but there is scientific evidence that taking time off to recharge and rest helps us approach our work with energy, efficiency and creativity.

And it’s not just vacations we need. We also can help recover from the demands of work by spending time outdoors, preferably in a natural setting. Over the last few years, studies have shown that something as simple as a walk in the woods can improve memory and performance. Time spent in forest settings improves mental and physical energy, relieves stress and reduces inflammation. When woodland walkers return to work, they feel better, perform better, and even exhibit calm during their commutes. …continue reading The Greatest American Invention

Unidentified Flying Objects

Barker-Ewing, Environment, Hiking & Climbing, Rafting, Wildlife

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Green-tailed_TowheeAs we navigate our stretch of the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, Barker-Ewing guides are constantly on the lookout for wildlife. Moose, Mule Deer, and Elk make their homes in the spruce and cottonwood forests along the riverbank and are relatively easy to spot. I’ve frequently had Pronghorn Antelope, Bison, Otters and Beaver swim the river within sight of my boat, and I’ve been lucky to spot Grizzly and Black Bears about once a season.

Bald Eagles, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks, Sand Hill Cranes, Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, Mergansers, Ravens, all make appearances along the river, and are easy to identify. But we often float past smaller birds that pose an identification challenge. Luckily, we’ve got many resources in the Barker-Ewing boathouse to help us assign names to these UFOs.

…continue reading Unidentified Flying Objects

It’s tick season!

Barker-Ewing, Hiking & Climbing, Jackson Hole, Rafting, Wildlife

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images-1It’s tick season!

This time of year, we welcome visitors from all around the country to beautiful Jackson Hole. And for those of you from the East Coast, the thought of “tick season” might be truly scary.

The good news: our Barker-Ewing scenic raft trips don’t travel through tick habitat, so we’re extremely unlikely to encounter them on the river. But many folks who float with us will also be hiking or biking in the woods around our valley, and should pay special attention to tick prevention. …continue reading It’s tick season!

Happy Locals Hike Snow King

Hiking & Climbing

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Last week was sunny and gorgeous (unlike today’s random rain), so on my day off from Barker-Ewing, I decided to go for a hike up the “town hill” – Snow King Mountain.  Here we call it a hill, though I suppose it isn’t, since it rises 1,771 feet above town.

It’s mid-summer, which can get a little crazy around town. Which is understandable when you are the gateway to Grand Teton National Park AND Yellowstone.  The narrow streets of Jackson seem to be bursting at their seams with all the traffic passing through.

So anyways, I was in town early and decided to hike up Snow King.  And what a welcome relief it was.  Town looked quaint and even peaceful, from 8,005 feet. You could see Flat Creek as it meanders through the Elk Refuge towards town, and the Tetons in the distance.  And everyone I encountered on the trail was so NICE!

Seriously, nearly every single person I passed along the way made an effort to smile, or caught their breath enough to say “Hi.”  From 7 years to 70, all kinds of folks were making their way to the summit, and all seemed to appreciate the respite from the city pavement as much as I did.  If you want to be surrounded by happy, relaxed people, hike Snow King.

~Laura, Barker-Ewing Office 

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Wildly Scenic is a blog by Barker-Ewing employees and fellow river enthusiasts.

Established in 1963, Barker-Ewing Float Trips has been sharing the beauty and wonder of Grand Teton National Park with visitors from around the world for over 40 years, floating beneath the Tetons on the headwaters of the Snake River.

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