A week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, page 4

Page 1: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mud Volcano, and Yellowstone Lake.
Page 2: The north loop, Tower Falls, and Mammoth Hot Springs
Page 3: Geyser basins and Firehole Canyon
Page 4: Grand Teton

Thursday, September 4

We spent much of today moving camp from Yellowstone south to Grand Teton National Park. It seemed odd to spend all morning moving, but the two campsites are more than 80 miles apart, and we drove an additional 24 miles because the campground that we had hoped to camp at (farther down the road) was already full. Fortunately, the drive was fun. We paused to visit Black Sand Geyser Basin, since we didn't take time to see it yesterday. It had more pools, springs, and geysers. The small, constant geysers are fun to watch.

We're camped at the Signal Mountain campground now. After setting up camp we drove to the top of Signal Mountain and walked up to a couple overlooks. They gave us a good view of both the Teton mountain range and Jackson Lake. The Tetons look dramatic because there are no foothills to block the view. The Tetons were formed by glaciers that cut apart the original high canyon wall and dumped the debris in the Snake River canyon. Jackson Lake is man-made, formed by a dam on the Snake River just north of our campground. We waded into the water a little bit, but not for long, because it was cold. The cold didn't bother three children nearby - they splashed and swam in the water for half an hour or more.

A view of the Tetons and Jackson Lake from Signal Mountain.

Wading in Jackson Lake.

Friday, September 5

We hiked into the Tetons today. This morning the sky was overcast and we felt an occaisional drizzle, but the day gradually warmed and the clouds broke apart. We started by hiking around Jenny Lake and then hiked up Cascade Canyon. Jenny Lake is a natural lake formed at the base of the Tetons by glacial debris that traps runoff water there. The water is clear and few boats use the lake because there's a motor size limit of 8 h.p. It's a nice lake to look down on from the mountains.

The mountains around Cascade Canyon are so steep and tall that we had trouble getting good photographs of them. On several of the nearly vertical rock faces we saw groups of rock climbers. They looked like tiny dots in vertical lines. From what I can see, there is no way to climb the major mountains without technical climbing gear.

We turned around and headed back towards the trailhead after reaching a fork in the creek about 6.6 miles up the trail. Kathy liked the return hike because we saw a bull moose up close for the first time of the trip. He was about 15 to 20 yards from us. We also saw many pikas. They live among the big boulders and make chirping noises. We saw one storing up food for winter - he gnawed off small leafy twigs from a tree then hid them in the rocks a few yards away.

Kathy in front of Jenny Lake. It was lightly raining at the beginning of our hike.

Hidden Falls on Cascade Creek.

Mountains along the Cascade Canyon trail

These mountains are even steeper than they look since I pointed the camera upward to take the picture. The rock face on the left is essentially vertical.

A moose grazing near the creek. He came much closer us, but this is my best picture of him.

A pika chirping near one of the boulder fields.

Overlooking Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point. The boat on the lake is a ferry. The ferry could have made our hike several miles shorter but we chose not to use it.

A panoramic picture of the Tetons. This picture is extra wide so you may need to scroll your browser window to see all of it.

Saturday, September 6

We had hoped to go on a long bike ride today and then return home tomorrow, but due to rain we decided to return home today. It was raining when we woke up, and the rain continued all morning while we packed up camp. We can't complain much since we've had fairly good weather until now. Going home a day early will give us a chance to finish some yardwork and house painting before going back to work on Monday. We've had a great week.


Page 1: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mud Volcano, and Yellowstone Lake.
Page 2: The north loop, Tower Falls, and Mammoth Hot Springs
Page 3: Geyser basins and Firehole Canyon
Page 4: Grand Teton