Our next outdoor adventure laid in Grand Teton National Park. Again, the weather was hotter than we anticipated but we couldn’t wait to see the mountains. I had been to Grand Teton as a child, but was excited to refresh my memory since all I really remember is missing the boat for a trout cruise. Is this even a real memory or childhood distortion? Probably the latter.
We arrived in Jackson Hole around dinner time after a great road trip featuring stops at Craters of the Moon and ERB-1. Jackson Hole was a town that, while nice, was hard for me to wrap my mind around. I don’t quite understand the “posh cowboy” lifestyle brand but trust me, Jackson Hole has it in spades. The main town square has four arches made of elk horns, apparently gathered from horns shed by the elk on the nearby preserve. I don’t know if I quite believe that, but since what I know about elk preserves could fit on the head of a pin, I’ll go with it!
We had a really delicious trout dinner at Local Restaurant & Bar, which I’m sure was a lot more than what my parents paid in the ’80s. Then, we went to Moo’s Ice Cream for dessert which had such ridiculous prices, we almost left. But I caved and had huckleberry ice cream. It was tasty, but really, the whole trip highlighted that inflation was real. Less kindly, I wonder how much price gouging was going on but it’s hard to tell in places that rely a lot on tourist business compressed into the fraction of the year that has nice weather. IDK.
After dinner, we headed into the national park. We were staying towards the North End of the park in Coulter Bay Village. I had booked most of the trip in May, two months prior to our trip. Since a lot of guides recommend booking 9-12 months in advance, I felt pretty lucky to have gotten a spot at all! Coulter Bay was nice and we settled in for the night.
The next day, we headed South towards Jenny Lake. We took the boat across and then hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. We hiked a bit beyond Inspiration Point, then hooked a right to take a (horse?) trail back down to the lake. It was nice to go on that trail because there were far fewer hikers. Jenny Lake is quite popular so it’s nice to get away from the crowds for a small portion of the hike. Initially, I had wanted to hike up Valhallo Canyon but it was too hot. I mean, we would have been ok but it would have been more of a slog than a fun hike and who wants that?!
Both “Hidden” Falls and Inspiration Point were really beautiful. Relatively speaking, there were a lot of people but honestly, it’s great to see that many people out enjoying a national park. It really wasn’t that bad.
We had a snack up on Inspiration Point and our cute lil’ BFF joined us. Look at the picture above on the right- you can see our new friend by SMS’ left hand! Don’t worry, we didn’t feed it!
After our snack, we headed down the horse trail and then started along the shore trail of Jenny Lake. We actually saw a young-ish Grizzly along the way totally noshing out on the underbrush. So many people walked by like absolute morons (ourselves included) but the bear paid us no attention (thank god). A little further down the trail, we came upon the Moose Lake overlook where we saw mooses (meese? hahah, no). We saw two adults and one young one. So cool!
After our hike, we went to Jackson Bay Lodge for lunch. It was a little late and Jenny Lake really doesn’t have any casual options. Apparently, Jenny Lake has a super fancy dining option for dinner but we were a little early for that (and also, not really interested). Jackson Bay had a nice bar where we could grab a beer and burger in a casual place for a reasonable-ish price. Perfect.
The next day, I woke up early to see the sunrise over the Tetons. SMS slept in. Haha, we are pretty opposite on the morning person/night owl spectrum. But we both get to do what we want on vacation so it works out! I drove South to get some nice sunrise views. Then I drove back, picked up some oatmeal, and we ate prior to heading up John D. Rockefeller Parkway to Yellowstone! Hooray!