Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jackson Hole Vacation - Jenny Lake and Colter Bay Hiking

Helloooo from Wyoming!  We are having the most fantastic time here in Jackson - everything is more beautiful than you can imagine.  So far we've gone hiking several times, covered almost all of Yellowstone National Park, and taken a rafting trip down the Snake River.  Today I'm going to share one of the hiking trips, to Jenny Lake and Colter Bay.

Jenny Lake is located in the Grand Teton National Park.  The lake itself is beautiful to look at, but what's most fantastic about this location is the hiking.  You start by taking a boat across the lake to the trailheads. There are three main destinations once you start the hike - the Hidden Falls (about a mile hike), Inspiration Point (another half mile UP), and Cascade Canyon (3 more miles).  The nice thing about this hike is that it gets more difficult as you go, so if you want a simple climb, stop at the falls!  (Trails ranked moderate to difficult.)

One of the key tips we heard is to GO EARLY.  There are far fewer people on the mountain around 8am, which is nice since most of the paths are only wide enough for one person.  On our way back down there was a good bit of stopping and waiting for others to pass.
Mom, Dad, and Mark taking the boat over

jenny lake  tetons
Travis and me


Mark and me at the lower falls

Once we had a chance to take in the waterfall, we began the trek to Inspiration Point!

Super steep!
Part of the trail

Silly parents...

The hike is really one of those places you feel the need to take a picture around every bend because it just keeps getting better and better.  Inspiration point is 7200 feet high - not a bad view!

At this point, most people turn around and make their way back down the mountain.  I'm SO glad we decided to go on, because Cascade Canyon was by far my favorite part of the hike.  You were literally hiking through a canyon with HUGE mountains on all sides of you.

We found some fun rocks...

One of the most beautiful places ever!

Mountains, mountains, everywhere!

If you take a trip to Jackson/Yellowstone, this is definitely a must.

Once we took the boat back to our car, we decided we hadn't had enough (8 miles up/down is nothin'...right?), so we decided to go to Colter Bay and do another short, 2 mile trail.  The trail we did was deceivingly called the Lake Shore Trail.  We assumed it would be water views the entire time, but really you were in the forest for 1.5 of those miles.  It does, however, have great views of the Tetons.

Once we finished the trail, we turned a corner and heard a big commotion down the way.  As we looked to our left, we realized what was going on!  A bear was making his way through the woods and up the path.  I was pretty freaked out about running into a bear while we were hiking through the middle of nowhere, so I was happy to get to see one when there were 20 people between me and it.  :)

Next up...Yellowstone National Park!


  1. Lauren, THe is so exciting. Thank you for posting all of these beautiful pictures. Did you know that I lived in Wyoming in the mid 50's. My deceased husband was in the Air Force stationed at Francis E Warren AFB in Cheyenne. I loved it there. The weather, even the cold and the snow was so wonderful. Sherrie was born there and her twin sister is buried on FEW AFB. The people that I worked for in Durham traveled there and took a picture of the grave for me as I have never had the opportunity to go back. You have brought back wonderful memories of how I loved that state. It is truly beautiful. I know that you are building some wonderful memories and it is so awesome that your parents and Mark were with you. I love all of you. Faye Downs