After spending our last morning at Yellowstone, we made our way south to its neighbor park, Grand Teton. The Teton mountain range is a cathedral of jagged peaks and narrow valleys that sit above gleaming lakes. We spent five nights at the Colter Bay Campground in this mountain dreamland and found it hard to leave when the time came.
Our first couple of days were plagued with overcast and rainy weather so we spent the first day and a half getting caught up on work and blog articles in Colter Bay Village.
Taggart & Bradley Lake Hike
On our second full day at the park we awoke to sunny skies and quickly ate breakfast then headed for the trails. On our drive over to the trailhead, we got our first good glimpse of the Tetons and were both overtaken with their natural beauty.
Upon arrival to the Taggart Lake trailhead, we prepared our day packs then hit the trail. The Taggart Lake trail is a 4 mile loop that connects to a 2 mile loop to Bradley Lake. We went counter-clockwise around hitting Bradley Lake first.
After stopping for a quick snack on the shores of Bradley Lake, we continued down the trail to Taggart Lake. After completing the hike we spent the rest of the day driving around the park stopping at the many overlooks along the way.
Cascade Canyon Hike
The following morning we got up and got out of our campsite early in effort to beat the crowds to the Jenny Lake Area. After a quick breakfast, we grabbed the packs then hopped on the Jenny Lake water taxi. We planned to take the boat across the lake, hike though Cascade Canyon then, hike back around Jenny Lake from the Cascade Canyon trailhead, totaling about 12 miles.
We were told we could spot much wildlife on this trail and before we even got of the boat, one of the passengers spotted a Black Bear near the shore about 50 yards from the dock! Luckily the trailhead was in the opposite direction and we hastily began our hike to the canyon. Shortly after beginning the hike, we passed Hidden Falls and stopped for a quick overlook then made our way up to an overlook of Jenny Lake called “Inspiration Point”.
After Inspiration Point, the trail leveled out and led into Cascade Canyon. While walking through the canyon we had views of the towering peaks on either side. We even had a close encounter with a Moose Cow that was 20 yards off of the trail. She was just doing her thing while we cautiously passed by.
As we continued another three miles down the trail, the views just kept getting better and better. The trail eventually ended at an intersection where you can either go left or right to continue up into the mountains. We decided to stick to our plan and head back the way we came toward Jenny Lake.
String, Leigh, Bearpaw, & Trapper Lakes
We tried to hike to these lakes the previous day but the trailhead parking lot had reached capacity. Determined to beat the crowds, we arrived at the parking lot early the following morning and hopped on the trail. During this hike, we had continuous lake views as the trail follows the String and Leigh Lake shorelines the bulk of the way.
Once we passed Leigh Lake, we hiked another mile to Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes. These lakes were much smaller but equally scenic and much more peaceful. We had a snack and returned the way we came.
Since this was our last day at the park, we took our time hiking back so we could take in the beauty of the lakes and the Grand Teton range one last time. We found a beach area along Leigh Lake and stopped to sit on the rocks and dip our feet in the freezing water!
DANG! Grand Teton blew us both away and leaving this park was not easy. This is definitely one of the top 5 best destinations to date and won’t be the last time we visit. This is another bucket list park we strongly recommend you visit. Until next time!
-Alan and Ashby