Hike Around Jenny Lake
Okay, so I am still working on catching up on my posts with my pics from hikes we did right before my knee surgery.
We’ve had some very busy bears in our area up here this summer. There is one bear, named 399, that had triplets a few years back and raised them here. She has now had her second set of triplets this year! I have had a tough time getting pictures of her and her cubs though. I was lucky enough to hang out and watch her one afternoon, but she and her cubs were so far away that I still couldn’t get photos like I wanted. They refused to cooperate! At least 399, looked up briefly at one point, even if the little ones wouldn’t.
In addition to 399 hanging out with her three cubs, a daughter from her first set of triplets, named 610, is also running around this summer with her two cubs!! Good photos of them have also eluded me so far, but I’ve gotten glimpses of them on a few occasions. On our way to take a hike, we saw these Elk running around like crazy! And then we got a look at what was causing all the commotion! It was 610 running after them!!
After she took off into the willows with her cubs in tow, we went on with our plans and headed out for our hike. We decided on a hike we’ve never done before, around Jenny Lake. The trailhead starts by crossing over the String Lake Outlet Creek. The trail continued along the edges of the creek, which is running higher than we’ve ever seen because of the snow melt.
We finally arrived at the outlet into Jenny Lake. This is the second largest lake in the park. The trail continued along the edges of the lake with incredible views of the mountains above. All of a sudden, we got a special treat in front of us on the trail. We met up with this Mama and Baby Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris). Aren’t they so cute??!!
Further up the trail, we ran into more and more Marmots, but I’ve never seen one quite this dark! We continued our hike through a Lodgepole Pine forest with amazing views above the trees of the Tetons!!Further along, we could see glimpses of Ribbon Cascade above us as it drained out of Hanging Canyon.
One way to get to this side of the lake, if you don’t want to hike, is to take the Shuttle Boat that crosses numerous times daily. Cascade Creek comes down through Cascade Canyon and over Hidden Falls and then down into the lake. We’ve never, ever seen it running this fast and full!!!!! It was really just insane!!!!
As we climbed up the trail a bit heading towards Hidden Falls, all of a sudden you could still see the creek below, but could also see through the trees out to Jenny Lake!!! We had heard before that there were a couple of the bridges that were out due to avalanches earlier in the spring and ice coming down the creek. Not sure exactly which did the damage to this bridge, but it definitely wasn’t in any kind of condition to be used!!
After leaving the falls area, the trail continued along the shores of Jenny Lake. This lake was formed about 12,000 years ago by glaciers pushing rock down Cascade Canyon, forming a terminal moraine which now holds the water in the lake. Jenny Lake is estimated to be about 260 feet deep and it encompasses approximately 226 acres. We continued along the western side of the lake, which allowed some incredible views of the Grand Teton (13,770 feet) towering above us. We found a very cool place to stop and enjoy our lunch off of the trail where we had beautiful views of Broken Falls.
And below us was a Moose Pond. I looked and looked through the binoculars too, but unfortunately saw no Moose hanging out. Oh well, still a pretty incredible view while eating!!!! After a while we arrived at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center area, which is also where the Shuttle Boats leave from to take you across. Robert Reimer took over the Jenny Lake Boat Concession in 1935, and then two years later built this personal cabin along Cottonwood Creek.As we continued our hike along the east side of the lake, we got some better views of Ribbon Falls on the other side.
We also had some amazing views across Jenny Lake over to Cascade Canyon. The lake was named by members of the Hayden Expedition of 1872. Fur trapper “Beaver Dick” Leigh and his Shoshone wife, Jenny, assisted the explorers so much that they broke from tradition of naming landmarks after their own team members and named Leigh and Jenny Lakes in their honor.
We finished our hike by hiking back up the east side of the String Lake outlet and back to where we’d parked the truck at the Leigh Lake Trailhead. And then, much to our surprise, on the way back home, 399 was hanging out again with her cubs!! I was able to even get a bit of a better photo of them all too. Although, I’m still going to try for better over the rest of the summer!! They certainly are adorable!!! Well, hope you enjoyed virtually coming along with us on our hike!! More still to come! Happy Trails!