Monday, August 19, 2019

Grand Teton NP: Three More Hikes

Colter Bay RV Campground
July 9-22
Grand Teton NP

Although this is the last post for our visit to the Tetons, I could go on and on.  Joe and I both enjoyed our time there as much as if not more than any other place we have gone.  Not only was the scenery breathtaking, there was wildlife, wildflowers, hiking, and history all within a 30 minute drive.  Unlike a lot of National Parks where you might drive for an hour or more to a destination, everything we wanted to see and do was close enough to enjoy.  

Three more hikes Joe and I enjoyed:

1. Swan Lake/Heron Pond Loop (July 10)
Swan Lake/Heron Pond Loop trail is accessed from Colter Bay making it a great first hike in the Tetons.  The loop from the trailhead is 3.3 miles, but we totaled 5.5 as we started from home.  The mostly level trail begins on an old service road with views of Mt Moran (12,605 ft.) and Jackson Lake.
Jackson Lake with Mt. Moran in the background...

At the first juncture, Joe and I veered left  in a counterclockwise direction.  
Never have I seen so many lily pads...

A spur trail along Swan Lake...

If you squint your eyes, you can see an otter...
This cutie was determined to swim away from his mama...

The trail wandered through a pine forest and meadow to reach Heron Lake.  And being our first hike, we were bear ready !

The wildflowers were colorful and plentiful...

Heron Pond was quite scenic.

Much to my delight a gaggle of geese was visiting Heron Pond too and some of them were close to shore.

Just as we were about to leave, a few American 
White Pelicans swooped in.  They were pretty far away...

After working up an appetite, we enjoyed the pizza at the Cafe Court Pizzeria at Colter Bay before walking home.  Made to order and yummy !

2. Death Canyon Trail (July 15) 

Death Canyon Trail system is a popular backpacking/overnight trail.  It's one of those strenuous hikes that goes on and on for miles and miles.  

We didn't do that, but chose instead to hike to the Phelps Lake Campground for a hike just under 6 miles RT.  It wasn't a flat hike and we were definitely "feeling" it.  The trail starts out as a steady climb through a lodgepole pine forest and a few aspen groves.    

We reached the Phelps Lake overlook at about a mile.

From the overlook it was all down hill and you know exactly what we were thinking...what goes down has to go up !
And we didn't have this view on the return uphill.

We were getting closer and closer to the lake, but after a left hand turn that took us through a meadow we soon found ourselves in a dark, forest full of aggravating and very thirsty mosquitoes.  That is where we turned around !
Well, it seemed dark and scary at the time. 

A few pretty things to focus on rather than the up climb...

3. Top of the World (July 16)
One of the funnest days we had was the hike we took at the top of Rendevous Mountain.  Rendevous Mt. is Jackson Hole Ski Resort.  It is enjoyed year round by skiers and hikers.  So how do you reach the 10,450 summit?  You can hike or you can take the tram.  

We chose the tram because in just 12 minutes, the Aerial Tram glides skyward 4,139 feet. 

 At half way, as we were going up, we met the other tram coming down.

Looking up...

Looking down...

Our choice for a hike was Top of the World.

Top of the World is a short 2 mile hike packed full of gorgeous vistas... 

...and when we were there, packed full of alpine wildflowers. Only a few inches tall these delicate, yet strong flowers have a short growing time and spread so much joy...well at least to us !  A few of many pictures I took...

There was even wildlife at over 10,000 feet !

Another great reason to take the tram to the summit is Corbet's Cabin (built in the 1960s).  It is nothing fancy or big, but full of character, smiling folks, scenic views, and best of all...waffles. 

The speciality is light, crispy, warm delicious waffles made to order.  I had mine topped with brown sugar and butter.  They are served sandwich style wrapped in tin foil.  Still makes my mouth water !

Our adventure to Rendezvous Mountain will definitely be repeated if we ever find ourselves back in The Tetons.

This sums up our adventures and activities for The Tetons.  I have said it before and I will say it again, it was a wonderful 13 days.  I will close with a few more of hundreds of pictures I have. 
Heron Pond

Top of the World

Top of the World

Death Canyon

Top of the World

Rendevous Mountain Summit

Until next time...


P.S.  Don't forget to visit Oxbow Bend at sunset.
We didn't see a moose there, but you might!

And also check out River Road 

and Antelope Flats Road.

Up next, a quick trip to Yellowstone.


  1. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!! While we won't hike these trails, the area you've so beautifully captured is really calling to me. The incredible majesty of those mountains is just wow! That mushroom looks like a science experiment, at least I think it's a mushroom :-)

  2. Check in with the Teton visitors center in Moose,I'll bet they'd be interested in sharing your blog stories and fabulous pictures.

  3. Beautiful country and great pictures! We really need to go back.

  4. Couldn't agree with you more, we also felt the Tetons was a highlight of our time on the road. Stunning beauty and so much wildlife!

  5. Wow! Your photos are great as usual. Who would have thought you would find waffles at the summit!

  6. Yes, we definitely need to return and spend more time in Tetons. Hiking to Phelps Lake just gave us a tiny taste. Your blogs and photos are calling our names. Hiking the lake with those snow capped mountains in the background was beautiful. And the Top of the World!!! Thanks for taking us along and spur me on to return soon.

  7. Thanks for taking us along on your hike, enjoyed your pictures.

  8. Many excellent shots but the first one is spectacular. I remember riding that tram way back in our skiing days.

  9. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, my kind of hike and thank you for taking me with you, Gay! Oh the flowers, the snowcapped Tetons and the wildlife!
    - MonaLiza