Yellowstone Day 13 (Tetons Day2)
Today was a one-event day. We planned on hiking up Cascade Canyon and had hoped to take the boat across Jenny Lake to cut off 4 miles. The water level was too low, so we adjusted and got ready for a 14 mile day. While getting ready, we watched a moose cow eating willows behind our condo and we listened to her calf run in circles at full speed through the marsh. We couldn’t see the calf, but it was very easy to hear!
The skies were much clearer and we were hoping the wildfire smoke wouldn’t hinder our views. We started around Jenny Lake with many other people, stopping at Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The view from there was hazy to the East and not very inspirational. The number of people quickly dwindled as we left Inspiration Point and started up Cascade Canyon. This is an amazing hike. The Grand Tetons on your left, some other ridge is on your right and the views are incredible. I’m used to looking down at views and my neck was sore from look up and around all day. The trail goes along a glacier-fed creek with some wonderful slow spots. We found an ideal lunch spot; in the shade, next to the water, with a small reflecting pond in front of us. After lunch we found Pikas! They are very small, loud, and cute. We hike all the way up the canyon until the trail split into the North Forth & South Fork canyons. The North Fork to Cascade Canyon is the most popular backpacking loop in the park, and I really hope to get back there to hike it. All the canyon trails into the Tetons look equally awesome. The trees were covered in what looked like Spanish Moss; later when I remembered to ask a ranger I found it is called Old Man's Beard (among other common names.)
Heading back down we stopped at Hidden Falls again, then the slog back to the car. There were many fewer people at 5pm versus 10am. The sun was setting over Grand Teton when we were in the parking lot and made those cools light rays from the peak. I don’t know what they are called; maybe some form of crepuscular rays. After a long day on our feet we headed over to Dornan’s in Moose Junction to sit on their outdoor deck for sunset (as you drive around the mts, you can get multiple sunsets). While sitting there we watched a bull moose graze among the sagebrush, a fox chase ground squirrels, and a family of mule deer – one of whom chased the fox!