After Labor Day, we drove up to the Grand Tetons, on the way to Yellowstone. We were traveling with our friend Beverly Gholson. We arose at sunrise at the cabin near Boulder, Colorado. We drove up through Wyoming past the Wind River Range before arriving at the Totons. Our home for the visit was an historic log cabin at Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park. These cabins were relocated here from earlier lodges that have been removed from the park.
Our first day in the park, we rose early, and were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. We drove down to Jenny Lake and hiked up to Hidden Falls. We took a side trail to find the Moose Ponds, but made a wrong turn. Beverly suggested we follow the game trails and try to find the ponds. We came upon the trail, and found a mother moose with her young, feeding at the pond.
From there, we decided to follow game trails and find our way back to the Jenny Lake Trail. After climbing a steep draw, we came across the Horse Trail, which ended up near Hidden Falls, but took the high route. We found ourselves 500-700 feet above the lake.
We happened upon a Pine Marten hunting in a rock field along the Horse Trail. We got to the falls and were rewarded with a beautiful spot. We took the main trail back to the car. As we returned, clouds set in and the Tetons had a different beauty. We had another beautiful sunset at the Jackson Lake Lodge. The next morning, we took off for Yellowstone. Take a look at the video here, and the photos below:
There are still hundreds of fires burning, we hope the parks aren't full of smoke.
You can see the impact of the smoke in the air.
We arrive at our Colter Bay Cabin on Jackson Lake just before sunset.
After a beautiful sunrise, smoke moved in from the south as the morning progressed.
As we head into the mountains, clouds gathered.
We took a fork in the trail, thinking it was the path to the Moose Ponds. Made a wrong turn, and we kept on going. Beverly suggested we take off on a game trail and try to find our way.
Indeed the game trails led to the Moose Pond, and we found a mother with a yearling.
After scrambling up a draw, hiking through the woods on the faintest of trails, we finally crossed a Horse Trail that ran parallel to the Jenny Lake Trail, but on high ground. By now, we were 500 feet above the lake, and stunbled upon a Pine Marten hinting in a rock field.
He stopped to give us a look, before scrambling after whatever squirrel he was chasing. I managed to grab the camera and get a few quick shots. My third sighting, and first photos of a Pine Marten.
You can see his brown body, copper patch under his neck, and puffy brown tail.
Martens move like a cat, but are in the same family as weasels, minks and other mustelids.
The Horse Trail came back to the main trail just below Hidden Falls. We were thankful for our cross country route, because we only saw three other hikers, and still found our waterfall.
We saw many Osprey hunting the Wind River and in the Grand Tetons
We descended and returned by the lake on the main Jenny Lake Trail.
As we hiked out, the clouds stacked up and started raining.
We could hardly see the galcier shown on the sign where we stopped.
All the Teton Glaciers are in retreat
We went in the new Visitor Center at the Moose Entrance, and were quite impressed.
Great perspective in the diorama of the Tetons erupting out of the plains.
We see both these tracks in the snow around our cabin in winter.