Following our 10 mile hike the previous day around the Hermitage Trail we decided to take things a little easier on our second day in the Grand Tetons National Park. We set off from our apartment along the Moose Wilson Road towards the park. It was at a pull off along here that we saw our first pair of moose down by the river. They had drawn in quite a crowd to see them grazing along the banks. We then continued on our drive towards Jenny Lake Visitor centre.
We parked at the centre and then set off on a hike around the edge of the lake towards Inspiration Point on the Jenny Lake Trail. At the southernmost tip of Jenny Lake another trail turns off to the left on the Moose Ponds loop. We took this turning and as soon as the path opened up to see the ponds below us in the valley we were able to see 4 or 5 moose below us, some of them grazing in the long grasses, others wallowing in the ponds themselves. We spent some time watching them go about their lives before continuing around the loop. Some of the hikers going the opposite direction said they had spotted a bull on their travels but unfortunately we didn’t come across this at any point but we were still feeling so lucky to have seen so many of these weird but wonderful creatures already today.
Once the circular trail had brought us back to the main route around the lake we continued on our original path upwards onto the mountainous side of the lake. We saw some mule deer along here as well as views back across the valley to the east of the park. In the distance we could see smoke rising from another valley where sadly there was a fire in full flow. The path was at times steep through thick wooded coverage and at others opened out as it clung to the edge of the mountains with the lake far below.
At the far end of our route we reached Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. This area was relatively crowded compared to the rest of the trail mainly due to the fact there was a boat that carried people across from the visitor centre to the short hike up to these points. The waterfall was particularly busy, they are approximately 100 feet tall and are rather lovely if not the most impressive I’ve ever seen. Inspiration Point was great as a view point although I preferred an area, just before we reached the hordes, on the trail itself where it was much quieter and the outlook was just as amazing.
We then made our way down towards the ferry and caught this back across to the visitor centre which was another great way to experience the scenery around us. Our route around the southern edge of Jenny Lake with the detour to Moose ponds was 5.59miles and although it was steep in places was generally not too strenuous for anyone who likes walking, this also means that it is quite a popular hike and did not feel as isolated as the day before.
In the afternoon we made our way into the town of Jackson further south outside the park. Here we were able to grab some lunch and then wander around some of the shops. The city of Jackson is home to just over 10,000 people and the architecture is lovely with lots of wooden buildings, many with local animals carved into the pillars. It was a delightful place to meander around for the afternoon before heading back to our apartment in Teton Village to cook our own meal that night.
Where have you found a good place for spotting wild moose? What are your favourite activities around Jenny Lake?