#2 – Crow’s Nest
We all have spring fever here at Dry Ridge Outfitters! Springbeauties are blooming as fast as the snow melts, the horses are fattening on green grass, and Kevin and I are itching to saddle up for a ride into the backcountry.
One of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails is the Crow’s Nest. The trail gradually gains Dry Ridge, known for its abundant wildflower meadows and quiet aspen groves. One of the early wildflowers to bloom along the trail is Arrowleaf Balsamroot; the bright yellow flowers create a striking landscape against the blue sky.
The open slope offers panoramic views of the west side of the Teton range. The ridge lies between Badger Canyon to the north, and North Leigh Canyon to the south. When I’m riding to the Crow’s Nest, I feel like I’m looking right down the spine of the Tetons.
We stop about 1000 feet below the peak of the Crow’s Nest and picnic. It’s a good place to rest on a log and savor the breathtaking views of the Teton range. Depending on your riding ability, the return trip can loop down into Badger Canyon below the headwaters of Badger Creek. You might catch a glimpse of a moose snacking on the leaves and twigs of a willow bush (What Moose Eat!). Finally, we climb the Bear Walk Trail back onto Dry Ridge.
Depending on the year, Kevin and I start riding to the Crow’s Nest in late June or early July. Check back soon to read about more of our favorite horseback riding trails in the Grand Tetons.
Natural History On Horseback
The Western Springbeauty (Claytonia lanceolata) is a rich food source in spring. Deer, elk, and sheep graze on the leaves and flowers. The tubers are prized by grizzly bears. Raw, the tubers taste a little like a radish, cooked they taste a little like a boiled potato. The wildflowers were also a source of food for Native Americans. Read about Sacagawea’s ‘parcel of roots’ given to Meriwether Lewis on the banks of Hungry Creek.