Day 3 – Grand Teton NP

September 23, 2006

Today, we decided to savour the splendor of the majestic Grand Teton National park. Since we had one full day in Grand Teton, we decided to see all the important places and also do some moderate hiking without tiring ourselves too much.
As always, we started our day early in the morning and we were out of our cabin at Flagg Ranch by 7 am. After having our breakfast in the Flagg Ranch cafeteria, we visited the visitor center to get some information on the places to visit/hiking trails that we can do during the Flagg Ranch
day. I would suggest every body to do some homework beforehand, so that you don’t have to spend more time on deciding what to do?. Click here to see the map of the area. Driving south from Flagg Ranch, our first destination is Colter bay. However the drive itself was breath taking. The road passes along the banks of the jackson lake, with the grand view of the Teton range.
Teton Road Jackson lake
1. Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Arts Museum.
This is the first top in our drive today. Here, you can visit the museum to view art created by native people  and get a glimpse of nineteenth-century Native American life. Videotapes about the park and its wildlife are shown throughout the day. Also there is a general store, gas available at this location. Also visit the beautiful colter bay just behind the visitor center. Colter bay
2. Willow Flats / Oxbow Bend.
Next stop is Willow Flats.Turnout, six miles south of Colter Bay for a view of extensive wet lands that provodes excellent habitat for birds, beavers, and moose. Jackson lake, and Mt. Moran the most massive peak in the Teton range, dominate the background. Located one mile east of Jackson Lake Junction, is the Oxbow Bend, another good spot to look for wildlife. Willow Flat
3. Jackson Lake Dam Overlook.
Jackson lake dam, one mile west of Jackson Lake Junction on the Teton Park Road, raises the level of Jackson Lake a maximum of 39 feet. In addition to being a reservoir, Jackson Lake is also a natural lake formed by an immense glacier that once flowed from the Yellowstone plateau. Park on the south west side of the dam and take a short walk for a peaceful view of kackson lake and Mt. Moran Jackson Dam
4. Signal Mountain Summit Road.
This 5 mile drive starts one mile south of Signal Mountain Lodge and campground. The road winds to the top of Signal Mountain, 800 fett above the valley. Summit overlooks provide a panoramic view of the entire Teton Range, Jackson Lake, and most of Jackson Hole. The road is narrow and parking at overlooks is limited. Trailers or large motor homes are not permitted. Signal Mountain view
Signal Mountain Signal Mountain
5. North Jenny Lake Junction.
Turn here for a four mile, one-way drive along the shores of beautiful Jenny Lake. This drive runs north to south. Stop at the overlook for excellent views. Jenny Lake
6. South Jenny Lake / Hidden Falls.
Stop at South Jenny Lake for a hike to Hidden Falls! This hike is five miles round trip, along the lake shore. If you prefer, you can go to the Jenny Lake Marina and take a shuttle boat across the lake. The boat costs $9.00 round-trip for adults and departs every 10-15 minutes between 8am and 6pm. Creek
We took the boat ride, which was very relaxing and then the hike to hidden falls. This is one of the best and recommended hikes, if you are planning to have a small hiking experience, at the same time enjoying the nature. The hike just to Hidden  Falls is 0.8 miles from the boat marinal. It passes through forested area with well marked trails. Stop at different points to enjoy the scenery and the streams that dot the trail.
Hidden Falls: One of the most beautiful falls in the Teton range, is also very refreshing place after a mile long hike. We spent almost half an hour  near the falls
Hidden Falls Hidden falls
Inspiration point: After Hidden Falls, we decided to continue our hike to the next point in the trail, Inspiration point. The trails becomes somewhat difficult after Hidden falls, but it is worth taking up  that extra hike. Coz the scenery from this point is really out of this world. With the Teton range to your left towering high into the sky and Jenny lake to your left makes this a wonderful experience. Inspiration point
Inspiration point Inspiration point
7. Menor’s Ferry/Chapel of the Transfiguration.
Turn off the Teton Park Road 0.5 mile north of Moose. The Menor’s Ferry Trail, less than 0.5 mile long, affords a look at homesteading and pioneer life in Jackson Hole.Visit Bill Menor’s cabin country store. View a replica of the ferry that he built. The altar window of the Chapel of the Transfiguration frames the tallest Teton park.
8. Antelope Flats Loop.
Turn north at Moose Junction and look for Antelope Flats Road, one mile ahead on the right. Follow this side road along old ranches and abandoned hayfields. Bisons and antelopes are abundant. Also you get some spectacular view of the Teton Range. Glacier sculpt
9. Snake River Overlook.
Stop here at this large turnout for grand views of the Teton Range. This is where Ansel Adams took his spectacular photos of the mountains and the snake river. Snake River View
10. Cunningham Cabin Historic Site.
Take a self guided walk through an old sod-roofed homestead cabin. Look for badgers and coyotes hunting in the nearby meadows.
These are some of the important places you must not miss on your day long drive of the Tetons.If you have extra time to spend in the Tetons, the you should also consider one of these activities.Ranger-led Activities: During summer, join a ranger for a visitor center talk, museum tour, stroll, hike, or evening programs. Attend these activities to learn more about the natural and human history of the park and parkway.Take a Hike: Over 250 miles of hiking trails in the park and parkway range from level and easy trail on the valley floor to steep, arduous trails in the mountains. At visitor centers, ask aranger for recommended hikes and look at, or purchase, maps and trail guides. Also there are lot of private agencies offering rock climbing, mountain hikes accompanied by professional coaches.Raft Trips on the snake River: Park and parkway concessionaires operate trips on the snake river daily in summer. Watch for Moose along the banks and bald eagles and American White pelicans soaring above.Horseback Riding: Park concessionaires offer horse back rides at Colter Bay, Jackson Lake Lodge, and Flagg Ranch.
By the time we finished our last driving attractions, the sun was setting creating a very beautiful ambience. We decided to drive back to our cabin at Flagg Ranch, stopping at as many places as possible to savour the setting sun amongst the Teton Monsters.
Evening view Evening sky