Two Beautiful Lakes in the Tetons!

Again, another hike we did before my knee surgery was a hike we’ve now done every time that we’ve been here in the park.  We hiked up to Bradley and Taggart Lakes.  The morning was another amazing day!!!  Blue skies all around and waterfalls full of snow melt coming down the mountains!!!  IMG_5820Before we even walked more than a few feet up the trail, we all of a sudden saw this female Moose running, literally, across the open space in front of us!!  We couldn’t figure out what had caused her to run instead of walk, but it was fun to watch!  IMG_5831

Near the beginning of the hike, the trail crosses over Taggart Creek.  Towering above the trees, you can see the top of Grand Teton.  IMG_5837





Like so many of the other creeks and rivers in the area, it was swollen with so much more water than any other typical year!! 
IMG_5839To say that the views along the trail are amazing and beautiful just seems like such an understatement!!  IMG_5845
As we continued further along, we decided to take the loop hike in the opposite direction than we ever had before just to change things around a bit.  Avalanche Canyon still stood up on the other side of the lakes with Shoshoko Falls coming down like crazy!!  So incredible!!!  IMG_5848



When we got to this boulder along the side of the trail, it looked like the perfect place to get a good photo of Sal.  What do you think?  IMG_5851Continuing further along the trail, we got to the top of a hill, where we got our first glimpse of Taggart Lake through the trees.  IMG_5856
After a while longer, we finally hit the shores of Bradley Lake (elevation 7022).  Above it is the beautiful Garnet CanyonIMG_5862



We spent quite a bit of time at the lakeshore talking with a family that was visiting the park from New Jersey.  They were quite entertaining and were having a fantastic time!  I love hearing about how other people enjoy the park and get their perspective.  Afterwards, we hiked further along the shores down to the narrow neck of Bradley Lake where the views were still stunning!!  IMG_5871
Looking the other directions, away from the mountains, the rest of the lake sits off to itself.  Every other time we’ve been here, this area has been more of a swamp, than a lake.  But on this day, it was still full with all the water from above and incredible reflections from the sky!  IMG_5879


Turning around and heading back along Bradley’s shores, we kept hiking towards Taggart Lake.   As we walked, I kept looking up at Garnet Canyon, when I realized that we could see Bannock Falls up above.  We did the hike into Garnet Canyon last year and it was beyond incredible!!!!!  IMG_5887




The trail took us up and over the glacial moraine that separates the two lakes.  Between the trees, and above the Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) flowers below! 







IMG_5901 

IMG_5896From the top of the moraine, before we descended, we could see Taggart Lake again.  IMG_5905The other views along the ridge top were so beautiful!  This whole area still just amazes me!!!!  IMG_5916
We also got a better look up into Avalanche Canyon with Shoshoko Falls on the right side.  I think I want to try to hike up into this trailless ravine that goes between two 11,000 foot peaks (Mt. Wister and Nez Perce) later this summer!  IMG_5919
IMG_5930After a while longer, we arrived along the shores of Taggart Lake (elevation 6902).  IMG_5932



Some of the views along its shores include a magnificent reflection of the mountains above its waters!!  IMG_5939


All the way down at the other end of the lake, while standing on the bridge that spans over the lake’s outlet stream, we got this nice reflection of the amazing Grand Teton (13,770 feet) itself!!  IMG_5947Both lakes were named after members of Hayden’s 1972 expedition to this area.  Frank Bradley, chief geologist for the expedition, drowned while trying to find a ford across the Snake River.  W.R. Taggart was an assistant geologist for the same expedition.  He first visited Jackson Hole in 1860 as a member of a survey for the U.S. Army Engineers led by Capt. W.F. Raynolds. 
After hanging out here for a while and eating lunch along the water, we took one last look across the lake, and headed back towards the parking lot.  IMG_5960Hope you enjoyed coming along on another of our great hikes!  Still have more adventures to come so check back again!!!  Happy Trails!

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