3 ways to escape the crowds this July 4th

(Jackson, Wyo.) - It will be a busy weekend here in Jackson Hole. At the height of tourist season, and with a parade, fireworks, and live music happening, be sure to expect crowds in and around town. If you are looking for something a little more calm this weekend, here are some ways to escape the crowds. According to Mary Cernicek, Public Affairs Officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, here are a few of the best kept secrets of the forest. All are within 1 - 3 hours from Jackson. *1. Cliff Creek Trail to the Scenic Cliff Creek Falls * According to Cernicek, at about 6,900 feet in elevation, this easy to moderate hike takes you into some beautiful country on the Big Piney Ranger District. The falls are about 6-miles down the trail. "There are a few shallow creek crossings necessary on this excursion, but they are easy. Just wear hiking sandals or something you can slip off," she added. This is also a good mountain bike ride, according to Mountain Bike the Tetons . *Directions* Directions from US Hwy. 191-189, Hoback Canyon: Turn south about 4 miles west of the Hoback Guard Station onto Forest Road # 30530. Continue south to where the road turns and becomes Sandy Marshall Road. Turn west, ford Cliff Creek and continue about 3/4 mile south to the trailhead. *2. Little Granite Creek Abandoned Coal Mine* "Take a trip into the past to see the remains of an abandoned coal mine. Those with an appreciation for geology will surely find these ebony deposits of coal peppered around the landscape a true find that is rarely visited by crowds," said Cernicek. According to Cernicek, this hike is suitable for horseback or foot travel and is an easy hike. *Directions* From Jackson, head south to Hoback Junction. At Hoback, take a left towards Pinedale on 189/191. Go approximately 11 miles south and until you see a large sign on the left for Granite Cr Recreation Area and Hot Springs, take a left here. Take this dirt road to the fork with Little Granite Creek at the bridge. Follow Little Granite to the parking area. From there travel east. Make a shallow crossing through the creek and make your way up the draw. In less than a mile you will start to see pieces of coal about the landscape and then find the historical remains of this former operation. *3. Lake Alice* "This is an amazing, little known oasis on the Kemmerer Ranger District and perfect for those wishing to escape the crowds," said Cernicek. Lake Alice also has a Campground -- a tiny one -- with only 9 campsites. It is an easy 1.5 mile hike east from the Hobble Creek Campground. The 3-mile long lake is located at 7,745 feet elevation. Lake Alice is the largest natural lake found in the western portion of the Bridger-Teton and was formed thousands of years ago by a large landslide. The earth and debris blocked Poker Creek forming this lake which is home to the pure strain of Bonneville cutthroat trout, Visitors can still see the mountainside scar from the landslide today. *Directions* The nearest city is Cokeville, Wyoming about 34 miles. Travel to Hobble Creek campground and the lake is 1.5 mile hike from there. Follow Smith's Fork Road (County Road 232) north to the end of the pavement. Take the right fork up the the Forest Boundary where it becomes Forest Road 10062. Follow to Forest Road 10066 and turn left. Follow to 10193, turn left and follow to the campground. It is a fairly steep climb to the lake. A high clearance vehicle is recommend end to access the Hobble Creek area. The Hobble Creek Trailhead is located at the end of Forest Road #10193. The Trailhead provides access up Hobble Creek and connects with the historic Lander Cutoff Trail and La Barge Creek. Staying in town? Check out Your Ultimate guide to Independence Day in Jackson Hole . *Feature Photo: Cliff Creek Falls. h/t Mountain Bike the Tetons . * #buckrail #news