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Spencer Rudy

The Golden Canyon section of the trial is pretty popular and fairly crowded, but once we passed the junction to turn the hike into a loop, we only saw a few other people. I've heard people say that the Gower Gulch side of the loop isn't worth it, but I disagree with that. I actually though that the opposite was true, that Gower Gulch was better than Golden Canyon. The best part of the hike is the steepest, which takes you up to a vantage point of the badlands before dropping back down to connect to the Gower Gulch trail.

This trail is short and can be crowded, but is well worth it. The dirt road that leads to the parking area is passable in a sedan. For me, the best part of the hike was after the natural bridge. The canyon narrows more and offers some interesting colors and textures. We stopped and turned around at the 15 foot tall rock wall, but hopefully sometime I'll head back and keep heading up the canyon after that point.

We went to the dunes for sunset and sunrise a couple of days apart. There were great colors at both times, and by visiting in the winter we had great weather. The dunes are a little far from the Furnace Creek area, so make sure you head over early to get there in time for sunset.

This hike has incredible views throughout, and is much more isolated than the nearby High Dune. We had the trail to ourselves even though the park was full of visitors. It is a little strenuous hiking so far through the sand, but the views from Star Dune are 100% worth it. Make sure to hike as far along the riverbed as you can before starting to hike up the dunes; you will save energy by avoiding having to go up and down too much. We started hiking up toward the dunes at a wooden pole in the riverbed, and that was perfect for us.

The hike to these ruins is very cool. It is helpful to swing by the visitor center on the way in and ask a ranger about how to get to the trail and what to look for. The trail wasn't hard to follow, and the ruins were in good shape.

This hike is a really cool place to go in and explore. There are small arrows that help direct you around the maze, but some of the coolest views are down different paths. We went early on the morning and there wasn't anyone else there. Very cool hike.

When we went late in the fall, we saw about 6 other people the entire hike, and no one once we got into the canyon. The dirt road up to the trailhead is 4 wheel drive recommended (and closed in the winter), but you can make it about half up and stop at a parking area for the dude ranch without 4wd. Just adds a little more distance to the hike. In winter, you have to hike in a mile to get to the trailhead. Beautiful views in the canyon, not too strenuous, and we saw 3 moose right on the trail, so keep an eye open for wildlife. Overall a great day hike.

This is one of the best places in the park to get photographs. The still waters created by the beaver dams gives you incredible reflections of the Tetons. There will be lots of other photographers, but it is very worth it.

This is, without a doubt, the best place I have ever camped. You get incredible panoramic views of the Tetons, and it is free. It's a good place to watch sunrise and sunset. The dirt road up is easily doable; we made it up with no problem in a little Toyota Corolla despite the road being a little muddy.

Great hike past beautiful waterfalls. This is one of my favorite hikes. The bridges spanning the falls look great and the trail is in good condition. The trail leading back from above the gorge is a nice change of scenery, a forest of red pines. I can't wait to go back with my new camera.