(Ron Writing) We awoke to a beautiful sunny day and the morning sun made Slide Lake look even better than yesterday afternoon. After a leisurely breakfast we headed back down Gros Ventre Canyon, took Antelope Flats Rd. back to US-26 and on to Moose Junction. We then took Teton Park Road north. This road runs right along the base of the Tetons and allows the best close-up views available from a vehicle.
We stopped at Cottonwood Creek for lunch while we enjoyed the view from our dining room window. Living in a house with wheels means you’re able to select your views and we know homeowners who have paid a great deal of money for views that are inferior to those we experience almost daily. What a life!
After lunch we continued a short distance north to Jenny Lake. This lake and its backdrop of mountains is probably the most popular single spot in the park. There is a campground on the east shore of the lake and it’s the most popular campground in the park. It generally fills-up by 11 AM each morning. We stayed in the Jenny Lake Campground about 20 years ago when we were camping with our VW Westfalia pop-top but the campground is basically limited to tent camping so that isn’t an option on this trip.
Since the weather was perfect and the day was young we decided to take a hike on the trail around Jenny Lake. We went clockwise from the visitors center. The first part of the hike has great views of the nearby peaks of the Tetons and after about 3 miles we arrived at Cascade Canyon. A short hike up the canyon brought us to Hidden Falls. This is a beautiful 80’ waterfall that was still gushing with a heavy flow of water. Cascade Creek continues over a series of cascades and then flows into Jenny Lake. It was a beautiful site and a fun hike.
Leaving Cascade Creek we took a short hike up to Inspiration Point where there is a nice view of the lake. Then we hiked on around to the north side of the lake where there is a cascade of water flowing into Jenny Lake from String Lake. We then hiked back to the visitors center along the east side of the lake through mostly forested land.
There were many people at Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point but very few hikers on the trails. That’s because about 90% of the people take a ferry across the lake. It runs directly from the visitors center to a dock near the mouth of Cascade Creek. Those folks didn’t get nearly the exercise we did today. Of course they probably don’t have the sore muscles we have tonight either! Our hike today totaled a little over 8 miles. The trail doesn’t have much elevation change but at about 7,000’ the air’s getting a little thin and it feels like a good workout.
We got back to Da Honu at 5:30 PM and drove north on Teton Park Road to the Signal Mountain Campground on the east side of Jackson Lake. This campground was already full so we continued north to Colter Bay Campground. There were still sites available there in the very large campground. The campground has several loops and the sites are sort of like parallel parking spots on the side of the loop roads – not our favorite set-up but we have a nice place to spend the night ($18, no hookups).
We enjoyed a delicious manicotti dinner that Elena had in the freezer. We’re going to sleep really good tonight!