I think people tend to forget Rexburg is a mountain town. Though not exactly nestled within a tight valley in the mountains, Rexburg is surrounded on 3 sides by multiple mountain ranges including the prominent Tetons to the east. For instance, on Main Street in the historic downtown Rexburg, as you head east you'll see Mt. Moran boldly framed by the the shops and businesses of the town. As you head to the hill and look out over the college campus, the Lemhi Range to the west, and Island park to the north stand boldly against the distant horizons. Kelly Mountain and Swan Valley's peaks poke out above the potato fields in the rolling hills south of the temple.
R-Mountain is the prime hiking location to see the surrounding landscape including the St. Anthony Sand Dunes and Henry's Fork of the Snake River in the valley. Moose and deer frequent the local water shed surrounding this not-so-ancient volcano. Rattle snakes sun themselves on the black rocks during the warmer months. Eagles, Falcons, and Hawks soar high above searching for fish and rodents. Though nearly barren, the volcano offers a truly remarkable and peaceful hiking experience especially on calm days or nights. This volcano is quite unique. Having erupted into the Snake River, the eruption turned explosive as super heated rock met the crisp cool water of the Snake River. Today, river rocks, smooth and wildly out of place amongst the dark volcanic rock, can be found welded into the top of the volcano. Evidence of a violent past as molten rock met rushing waters.
I chose to edit the photos below to black and white, I like the nostalgia I feel as I look at them. I have come to know and love this wide mountain valley over the past 3 years. I feel at home, at peace, as I look out over its dramatic landscape. Enjoy a few shots from my hike this weekend!