We arrived at Jenny Lake around 11am and the parking lot was so jammed that we had to park on the access road.
We went to get a bite to eat before leaving the Jenny Lake center for our hike and had to wait on line for 20 minutes. They were letting 6 people in the store at a time and the line was 15 deep. So, that took a while but, we got some food and sat, on a bench, in the shade to eat.
The crew doesn’t move so well unless we feed them well.
After lunch we went to the boat launch, to get across the lake, to the hiking trails. They have a fleet of roughly 5 boats that take hikers across the lake to a trailhead. Because of Coronavirus the boats were half full and they sat family’s together as much as possible. Our boat to the trail was just the 5 of us which was awesome.
The trails were wide and well kept which made the hike very cool but, Caitlin and Sydney were immediately tired after walking about 1500 feet.
If you have kids you know how this works. It takes you hours to get where you are going and once you finally get there the kids are done and want to go home.
There are 26 miles of hiking trails at Jenny Lake and we told the girls that we were taking 2 reasonable hikes and they had to do them. They didn’t like that answer much and they moaned a lot.
Our first destination was Hidden Falls which was only about 3/4 mile up the trail. Their wasn’t much hiking and the falls was incredible. It was about 4 falls combined into one that fell roughly 80 feet. When we reached the base of the falls there was an incredibly cool breeze that hits your body and cools you down from the hot day.
After spending some time at the falls we continued up the trail to Inspiration Point. The trail up the mountain elevated us about 500 feet and was cut directly into the side of the mountain.
It reminded me of the trails into the grand canyon. When you look over the trail edge it drops about 200 feet. Passing people on the trail felt slightly scary because you needed to walk along the outer edge of a cliff.
After hiking for about 20-30 minutes we reached Inspiration Point. I had to carry Sydney for a short period of time but, we made it.
From the Inspiration Point you could see all of Jenny Lake speadout below you and rows of mountain’s extending into the distance. It was worth the hike to see this view.
As we decended the mountian, the weather started to change from a beautiful hot day to a dark and cloudy afternoon. The sky changed to rain clouds and as we waited to get on the boat, back to the Jenny Lake Center, the rain began to fall.
It started out as a light rain but, that didn’t last long. It quickly turned into a heaver rain and then a full out hail storm! The hail was painful and the boat arrived as it started to fall. So, we ran for the boat and grabbed a seat in the covered section. Others weren’t as lucky as us and due to the Coronavirus, we didn’t have enough room to take everyone waiting on line. Some were left online in a hail storm wearing shorts and t-shirts. Ouch.
We made it back across the lake and it hadn’t rained there yet. We got off the boat and hightailed it to the Jeep before we had to live through that again. We even closed up the top on a Jeep we saw getting wet as the rain began to fall. Jeep owners need to stay together.
One of Jenn’s business friends “Jen” was staying in the Colter Bay campground this week and just arrived in Grand Teton today.
So, just to be clear, my wife Jenn had a friend named Jenny who lives in Jackson Hole and another friend named Jen who is pass through the area in her RV. So, we have 3 Jennifer’s and the conversations about our plans each day are nothing if not confusing. Which Jennifer we will be seeing today?
We made a point to meet up with her, her husband Ryan and their kids in the afternoon today. The lack of cell signal meant that we actually had to go to their campsite without a conversation about what we were doing.
Remember those days, before cell phones?
We put our feet in at the lake together and then decided to go back to our campsite and hang out for the 4th. We had a much bigger site with a firepit and space to spread out. Plus, we had cornhole setup at our site and they wanted to check out our rig. We needed a little friendly cornhole competition to keep things real.
All in all we had a great day and surprisingly we didn’t see or hear a single firework all day. Welcome to the national parks!
Can you feel how tired we were?