We decided to go hiking at Grand Teton NP our first day. I had made up a list of things to do each day, but I don’t think we managed to fit them all in. I have a bad habit of overplanning trips to begin with, and I underestimated the travel times and distances to get around the parks, something everyone warns about but I went ahead and did anyway.
After a meager free breakfast at the motel, we took off for Grand Teton. We stopped many, many times on the way to Jenny Lake to get photos.
I had decided to do the Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point trail, because it was said to be scenic and it was of moderate difficulty. When we got to the trailhead, I missed the little map dispenser. So we were without a map, but there were plenty of people on the trail.
We followed the trail around Jenny Lake
After Moose Lake there was a fork in the road. We asked some French hikers ahead of us which way they were going.
“We’re taking the high trail,” they answered. “It’s a little more difficult, but there are gorgeous views.”
We decided to follow them. And that was a mistake. Never trust French hikers! Especially ones with fancy gear and equipment! They will say the trail is not that bad, but they are lying.
We did get some excellent views. And after the French hikers quickly got ahead of us, there was no one else on the trail.
But we added 1,000 feet of elevation to the hike, and more time than we had planned on. And after the meager breakfast, we started to get hungry and our water supplies were running low.
This was okay, I thought. Instead of hiking back from Inspiration Point, we could take the ferry back across the lake.
We got to Hidden Falls, where we reunited with scores of hikers. Here, and in Yellowstone, we ran across travelers from all nationalities. We chatted briefly with a Japanese hiker going up to Inspiration Point, who I remember most because he kept exclaiming, “Oh my God!” at the incredible views.
The trail up to Inspiration Point was supposed to be the brief, strenuous part of the hike, but we had already covered strenuous back on the horse trail.
After resting and taking many more photos, we hiked down and went looking for the boat launch…only to find that it had closed early for the season. We couldn’t see the trailhead across the lake, so after a short debate over whether it would be quickest to go all the way around the lake or go back on the trail we were supposed to have taken, we turned around. I was so hungry and dispirited that I almost ran across a family of deer without even noticing them, until Mike pointed them out to me.
The trail we should have taken was nice and easy, running along the lakeshore, and there were still plenty of people on it in the mid-afternoon. It didn’t take us too long to get back to the boat launch on the other side, where there was a sign explaining that the lake was at dangerously low levels and so they had closed the ferry service early, a sign I didn’t even think to look for on the way there. Sweaty, hungry, and exhausted, we limped back to the trailhead. Our spirits were lifted by a huckleberry slushie purchased at the Jenny Lake store. It turns out huckleberries are delicious! Who knew?
We drove back into town for lunch but the place was forgettable so I won’t bother linking to it. And then we rested and planned what we could do that didn’t involve hiking for the foreseeable future.