TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Have you visited another National Park, you would like to share, although most are Glacier Fanatics, we love to visit any National Park, let us know about your experience here!

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Table Mountain

The hike to Table Mountain also starts at the end of the Teton Canyon Road in Caribou-Targhee National Forest. But the trail ends inside the park (or at the park boundary at least, though I didn't see any signs indicating this). There are two routes up. One is called the Face Trail, and I avoided it because I read it was pretty steep. I took the North Teton Trail (also called the Huckleberry trail) both ways, even though it's longer.

I hiked to Table Mountain on August 15th. Flowers were past peak, but still nice in spots.

Started early enough to catch sunrise on the drive.
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First glimpse of the Grand, and I'm finally sure of my destination.
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Looks pretty easy from here on out. But it's a lie! It's so steep, but worth it.
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Looking south on the way up. Battleship Mountain.
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Random scree section.
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Getting closer. I was worried there would be a big scramble at the end and I wouldn't make it, but as I got closer it looked more doable, and ended up being not that bad.
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Looking back at the trailhead from the "scramble".
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A few steps from the top. What's over there?
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First view.
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Cascade Canyon.
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Love this little lake. Paintbrush divide in the distance.
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Looking towards Hurricane Pass. Schoolroom Glacier is mostly hidden by the rocky ridge in the middle of the photo - you can just see the top.
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About to head back down - you can see most of the trail down the canyon.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Oxbow Bend Overlook

There is a short connector trail between Christian Ponds and Emma Matilda Lake called the Oxbow Bend Overlook trail, which gives you an overview of Oxbow Bend from above. I don't think many people know about it or take the trail.

I hiked it on a rainy August 7th.

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And here are some shots of Oxbow Bend at "ground level". It's a popular photography spot.

April 28th (mid-day and sunset)

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Beavers!
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May 19th (a slightly smokey day)
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June 1st
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September 3rd

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October 11th

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

A note on smoke.

We lucked out in 2023. As you might have noticed, it was a mostly smoke-free summer, and I am so grateful. 2021 was pretty bad in Yellowstone, and it was nice to not have a repeat of that.

Possibly the worst day - May 18th - We started with a beautifully clear morning, and by 5pm, you could barely see the mountains.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Spaulding Bay Road

I don't remember why, but on August 11th I needed something easy and nearby, so I decided to walk the Spaulding Bay road. You can drive the unpaved road, but I tried it earlier in the season and was not comfortable taking my small car to the end.

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by Selkie »

So many out-of-the-way hikes hiding in plain sight! I had no idea ...
The photo of the Oxbow itself is breathtaking.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Hermitage Point

This is a 10-mile, not-too-difficult hike leaving from Colter Bay. It takes you out to yet another vantage point on Jackson Lake. Lots of bird-watching opportunities here.

I hike it twice, on June 7th (counterclockwise) and October 4th (clockwise). I don't think I had a preference for direction, though it wasn't quite a fair comparison because it was so cloudy in October.

The trail starts by Heron Pond, and spends a good amount of time in the woods until you start to see views peek through.
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Pelicans changing lakes.
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October was more moody.

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The lake level was lower, which meant more exploring along the shore.
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Waterfalls Canyon again.
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Goose butts.
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I saw another Great Grey!

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Heron Pond and Swan Lake

A short/easy loop out of Colter Bay (you pass by one or both on the Hermitage Point hike). Great for birds.

I tried to hike the loop on May 12th but didn't make it because of snow (probably was possible in snowshoes, but I didn't have any). The loop was easily accessible by May 23rd.

Jackson Overlook on a short side trail before you reach the pond.
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Heron Pond
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June 7th

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Swan Lake

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September 16th

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October 4th

Swans in Heron Pond
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Willow Flats

The Willow Flats trail is an old wagon road that starts at the Willow Flats overlook, and takes you behind Jackson Lake Lodge. You can take it all the way to Colter Bay, though I'm not sure why you'd want to.

I hike it on July 20th, right after it had opened from a seasonal bear closure. I will admit - I was pretty scared of encountering a grizzly on this hike. I heard some people up above at JLL who were looking at a bear as I hiked below, but I never saw it (it seemed like it was in the distance in the opposite direction, which is why I didn't abandon the hike). Area is also known for moose.

There were some nice flowers in July, and I was excited to see my first fireweed of the season.

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You can really tell it was a wagon road.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Lunch Tree Hill

This is a short trail up a small hill that you can access from Jackson Lake Lodge - probably a nice place to watch sunrise or sunset, but I never made it out for either!

I did hike it on July 9th, and did a little exploring in the area to turn it into a 2 mile loop.

You can see the Willow Flats trail below. And I always find it amusing that the Jackson Lake Lodge is not actually ON Jackson Lake.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Cascade Canyon and Lake Solitude

I hate to say it, but Cascade Canyon is famous for a reason.

June 3rd my goal was to hike as far as I could go - I made it all the way to the fork without encountering much snow.

On the way to Inspiration Point.
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Inspiration Point (love the ribbon of Cascade Creek, which really flows in the early summer).
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My favorite puddle.
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See, another puddle shot on the way back (in the rain).
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June 21st I made it to Lake Solitude - there was a decent amount of snow for the last 2? miles.

The shuttle was running, so I used it to cut down the mileage.
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Inspiration Point in the morning and afternoon.
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Puddle!
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A marten on the trail!
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I had a woman ask me on the trail "How much further to the cascade". Umm, there have been cascades all along the trail? I don't know for sure, but I always assumed that Cascade Canyon was so called because of all the pretty water cascading down the length of the trail.
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Heading up the North Fork of Cascade Canyon.
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Glacier Lilies!
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There's the snow.
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Lake Solitude
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A pretty nice snow hat.
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I saw at least 3 moose on these two hikes. I see moose in some part of Cascade Canyon almost every time I hike it.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls is a short detour off the Jenny Lake trail, so I stopped there on several different hikes. Here is possibly a photo from each time I saw them. The falls certainly lack a little oomph in October.

May 20th
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June 3rd
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June 21st
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August 1st
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August 23rd
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October 7th
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

South Landing

South Landing is a backcountry site on Jackson Lake. There is a short trail from a small parking area on the inner park road, and also a trail from the Signal Mountain boat dock. The trail from the boat dock follows the lake, and is a fairly pleasant 1.5 miles, but does have some rolling elevation gain.

May 30th

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June 6th

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June 25th

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July 28th

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August 21st

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September 14th

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October 9th

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Flagg Canyon and Polecat Creek Loop

These trails are technically in the John. D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway (quite the mouthful), but show up on GTNP's map, so I felt compelled to hike them. You can combine them for a 10-ish mile hike. The trails are nice, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you are staying at Headwaters and want a hike that starts at your doorstep.

I hiked the trails on a rainy September 13th.

Flagg Canyon follows the Snake River up to the Yellowstone border.

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You spend a decent amount of time in a recent burn area (2016?).
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The canyon is neat.

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The Polecat Creek Loop takes you to Huckleberry Hot Springs, which are a neat feature. I arrived to a couple getting out of the hot springs - I have a suspicion that if I had arrived any earlier, I would have seen them naked...

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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Jenny Lake Loop

There is a trail that goes all the way around Jenny Lake. It's not flat, but not too difficult, just be prepared for rolling elevation changes. You can access the trail from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center area or String Lake. I don't really have a preference for direction of the hike or start point.

May 20th (clockwise, starting from the Visitor Center)

There was still some snow on portions of the trail, but not difficult to cross.
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June 24th (not a full loop, just a stroll along the "populated" areas near the visitor center)

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July 27th (partial loop, starting from String Lake parking)

Not a promising view from the bridge.
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Storm pushing through.
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September 23rd (counterclockwise, starting from String Lake parking)

Every time I try to hike this it's cloudy!
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October 7th (counterclockwise from the Visitor Center)

It was not supposed to be this foggy!
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It's starting to clear as I approach the west side of the lake.
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Took a quick detour up into Cascade Canyon.
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View from the horse trail.
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Re: TR: Summer in Grand Teton National Park, 2023

Post by al_in_al »

Paintbrush Canyon and Holly Lake

In addition to the Paintbrush Divide Loops, I also hiked up Paintbrush Canyon twice to explore around Holly Lake.

My first attempt was June 28th.

The day was looking good from the Mt. Moran Turnout
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The fog was clearing quickly on the hike around String Lake.
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Bear! Still on the String Lake Loop section of trail.
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After some wooded mileage, the views start to open up.
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I like the spring cascades. There was a lot of water on the trail in June.
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Some lingering snow in the scree section. I was amused that the only snow left in this area was only ON the trail.
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Views kick into gear on the switchbacks.
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Leigh Lake and Jackson Lake.
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More serious snow before the Holly Lake trail junction.
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I couldn't tell exactly where the trail was, so I climbed up on a boulder to eat lunch and called it a day.
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On July 18th I made a 2nd attempt for Holly Lake. I wasn't trying to do the Paintbrush Divide Loop because I wasn't sure of the snow conditions near the top.

Nice start at the bridge.
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Not a bad time for wildflowers.
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After the trail split, you come to what I call Holly Pond (it appears unnamed). It's not Holly Lake, you've still got more hiking to do.
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This is Holly Lake.
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I also hiked above Holly Lake because I knew from a previous hike there was a nice view there.
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The new-to-me hike down the non-Holly Lake side of the small loop was pretty amazing in July. Better than on my later hikes.
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