July 9-22, 2019
Grand Teton NP
To say we loved the Tetons would be an understatement. Around every turn was one jaw dropping moment after another.
I thought maybe a July visit would be crowded, and there were folks there, but we hardly ever saw them. We headed out early each morning and on our way home in the early afternoon, the parking lots were jammed and vehicles were parked along the roads for miles. While these folks were dodging crowds, we were at home playing with our pups, maybe napping, and enjoying the solitude.
Jackson Lake with Mt. Moran in the background was our front yard.
The pups enjoyed morning and evening walks.
|We saw a fox one morning...even Sally was startled!|
Grand Teton was established in 1929. The original park only included the Teton Range and the six glacial lakes at the base of the mountains. Now that seems like a plan...hike the six original lakes.
Part 1 includes the three lakes in the Cascade Canyon. Cascade Canyon lies between the Cathedral Group (Teewinot Mt., Mt. Owen, and the Grand Teton) to the south and the St. John Group (Symmetry Mt., Spire, and Rock of Ages) to the north. It is spectacular!
1. Jenny Lake (July 12)
Hiking to Hidden Falls was at the top of the hiking list so our first glacial lake was Jenny Lake, one of the most visited spots in Grand Teton NP. Jenny Lake was formed about 12,000 years ago by glaciers pushing rock debris which carved Cascade Canyon. The plan was to take the shuttle boat (a minimal fee...Its nice to be seniors!) across the lake and hike to the falls then take the lake trail back to the Visitor Center. Total was just under 5 miles RT.
As we were crossing the bridge to the boat, we were excited to see a mama moose and her baby. Seeing a moose was at the top of the list for wildlife...two "top of the list" things checked off in one day.
|Leaving the dock...|
The trail around the lake was full of views in all directions and lined with gorgeous wildflowers.
2. String Lake (July 18)
String Lake Trail is a loop around this narrow lake. We did it counter clockwise veering left at every juncture and logged in 6.7 miles. I was so excited because the morning sunlight was perfect for reflections !
Once we crossed the bridge over the Leigh Lake outlet, the trail climbed through a lodgepole pine forest...
(Lodgepole pine trees are the most common tree in the Tetons.)
3. Leigh Lake (July 21)
The last of the three lakes in Cascade Canyon is Leigh Lake. To reach the trailhead, we had to retrace our steps from the String Lake hike for about a mile. The outlet for Leigh Lake flows into String Lake. At the juncture where we turned left at the outlet bridge to loop String Lake, this day, we turned right. The trail is an in-out hike all the way to the end of Leigh Lake. It is 8.5 miles RT...mostly flat thank goodness.
The first part of the trail meanders along the bank of Leigh Lake.
Once we entered the "forest", we were delighted to experience our second bear sighting. There are no pictures. Just when Joe was about to snap his photo, I moved to the side of him, the bear looked up and made eye contact so we both began to back up very slowly and continue our hike.
We did see a very handsome buck...
We entered into a burn area that opened up to a meadow.
As with most in-out trails, the out is just as pretty as the in.
I'll close with a few pictures...
So until next time...
HAPPY TRAILS !