Saturday, August 10, 2019

Grand Teton NP: Glacial Lakes...Part 2

Colter Bay RV Park
July 9-22
Grand Teton NP

On the way home from one of our hikes, we stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge.  Lodge ?...ummm...not like any lodge we have ever seen.  It is very elegant and grand.  They do offer lodges (cottages) near by as well as rooms on the 3rd floor.  There are restaurants (4 choices...fine dining with a view in The Mural Room, The Blue Heron Room for beer and burgers, Pioneer Grill for breakfast, lunch & dinner in a classic 1950's-style service, and Pool BBQ with music nightly) and shopping in the upper lobby.     

We were not interested in the dining or shopping, but we were wowed by the views from the 60-foot floor to ceiling windows which frame Jackson Lake and the Teton Range beautifully!

 We also made a pull-out stop at Oxbow Bend.  It is perhaps the most photographed place in the entire park.  The images of Mt. Moran reflecting in the Snake River are "famous". 

 Every drive we took, I was snapping away (thanks to Joe who kept the windshield spiffy clean) mostly with the phone. 

Teton Park Road was my favorite route.  It took us to just about every place we wanted to go.  It goes right over the Jenny Lake Dam.

  And what a treat to have it all to ourselves most mornings !
This was taken on our way to hike the Taggart Lake/Bradley Lake trail.

Glacial Lakes part 2 begins with the 4th and 5th lakes in one hike.
 Taggart Lake/Bradley Lake (July 20)

The trailhead is on Teton Park Rd.  The parking lot is big and we had no issues getting a space, but when we finished, the lot was full with vehicles parked along the sides of the road in both directions.  We hiked 7.1 miles RT on this gorgeous loop trail.  There were several highlights of the day with the first being the roaring Taggart Creek as if made it's way through a forest of spruce, fir and lodgepole pines (Oh, how I miss that evergreen smell !) and some aspen groves. 
What the way to get the day going!

What a sound...

 Another huge highlight and a first for us was a bear encounter.  For some reason, I walk in front of Joe.  As we crested an incline and turned a corner, Joe quietly said "There's a bear."  I had walked right past it !  It was a juvenile black bear...quite a sight to see.

He/she completely ignored us...

The Beaver Creek Fire in 1985 burned more than 1000 acres in the park.  It is recovering nicely...and offers outstanding views of the mountains.
The center peak is Grand Teton at 13,770 feet.
As on the other glacial lake hikes, these lakes were also gorgeous !  As were the reflections...
Bradley Lake

We did the loop in a counter-clockwise direction and reached Bradley Lake first. 
A zoom with the camera...

It is the smallest of the glacial lakes and is fed by Garnet Creek which flows off Middle Glacier.

Instead of continuing on the loop, we added a couple of miles to see where Bradley Lake begins.

Back on the loop, we veered right and climbed the moraine between the two lakes.  It was a good, steady climb before we reached the north edge of Taggart Lake

and headed back to the trailhead.

6. Phelps Lake (July 22)

Phelps Lake is the southernmost of the glacial lakes left behind by the glacier that formed Death Canyon.  It is a great choice for a quiet hike and even a better choice because it can be accessed at the Lawrence S. Rockefeller Preserve.  More on the Preserve later.  

Since this was our last day in the Tetons, we decided to do an in-out hike from the Preserve to Huckelberry Point on the Lake Creek Trail which was just over 6 miles RT. The trail however is a loop that circles the entire lake if you have time and energy. 

The trail isn't called Lake Creek for no reason.

Another gorgeous day!

Just past the bridge, we crested a hill and this time I was on my A-game!  Of course how could I miss.  A bear strolled right across the trail in front of us.  I felt quite satisfied with myself as I said, "Joe, there is a bear.".

 There is something very exciting about these sightings. My heart pounds and it takes a few seconds to compose myself so pictures are not that great.  And we don't linger for better ones !  This was our third encounter.

We slowly continued on our way (after thinking about turning around) as the bear moved on enjoying breakfast.

The forest part of the trail was green and thick...
  ...and we were very glad when we reached the clearing.

From here, we followed the trail to the juncture for Huckelberry Point, turned right and headed that direction.
It was easy to climb up that huge boulder, but how do I get down?

The views were incredible...
Looking to my left...
...and looking straight ahead.

I am so happy we decided to do these trails.  I had done a lot of research before we left.  Three of them were on our "to do" list.  It's nice to have plans and even nicer to change them sometimes !

I still have several more posts from The Tetons.  I haven't decided what to post next so stay tuned.  Until then, I'll close with a few favorite pictures.

Twinberry honeysuckle (Joe called them jelly bean bushes)

Cow parsnip

Wild roses



  1. Nice to see the lodge hasn't changed a bit....your awesome photos make me want to get back on the road again.

  2. Great pictures with the reflections on the water. We saw a young black bear neat Tagget Lake, pretty exciting ... but we only saw the one.

  3. Lovely photos, Gay. What a great day with two bear sightings!! Lucky you two. Your header photo is beautiful. You certainly but on the miles. Great job!

  4. Stunning!! Those mountains and water reflections are so beautiful. Love the pic of you on the rock.