So, today was our last day here at the Grand Tetons. We’ve seen so many wonderful things and most of this is thanks to Shaun who works here at our hotel. When we first arrived he took the time to mark out a map for us showing all the best places to visit and photograph.
It was our intention to visit Phelps Lake on Death Canyon Road today (Shaun told us not worry about the name!) but when we arrived we saw a sign that said 4×4 vehicles recommended and sure enough when we set off down the road it was full of pot holes and was in the most dreadful state. It was a totally wooded area and we noted that there was no one else were around it was just us. This made us a little uneasy given the prevalence of bears in the area so eventually decided to give it a miss!
After our hike yesterday, today we were fully prepared for anything! We had our hiking shoes on, had purchased ‘bear bells’ and walking sticks and boy were we pleased we bought those sticks.
So, fully equipped we set out to see String and Leigh Lakes instead. It’s been a bright beautiful sunny day but up in the Lakes there’s still tons of snow. We were told that this was due to the snows coming late this year.
As soon as we set out it was obvious this hike was going to be more challenging than yesterday’s. Beside the very deep snow a lot of the trail was flooded. We were glad of our walking sticks to get us over the snow. Our ‘bear bells’ were jingling nicely but we still yelled out now and again just to make sure that any critters present would be aware of us.
Poor Si managed to scrape his leg on a tree branch and it was at this point that my handy medical kit that I always carry on holiday and especially when we are out hiking, came into it’s own. Nurse Sandra to the rescue, moping up blood, cleaning the wound and dressing it. I think I’ve found a new profession!!! The patient will live!
We saw this family out in a canoe on the lake. There were two babies on board as well as a young boy!
Sadly, after a while, due to the large amounts of snow the trail became hidden and it wasn’t clear which way to go so we decided to abandon the hike and go and have lunch instead, but what we did manage to see of the lake was beautiful and hopefully one day we will return and complete the hike.
On the way back to the car we were fortunate to see two yellow-bellied Marmots.
After a great lunch, again at the Trapper Grill and served again by Kevin, of soup, sandwiches and apple pie, we drove to the summit of Signal Mountain. The road to the summit is a very narrow one so a bit hairy at times when traffic was coming the other way but we eventually made it to the top okay.
Signal Mountain is an isolated summit standing 7,720 feet (2,350 m) above sea level. The next closest higher summit is more than 10 miles (16 km) distant, and this isolation provides sweeping views of the Teton Range, much of the northern Jackson Hole area as well as the Snake River. Though located adjacent to the Tetons, Signal Mountain was not formed in the same manner or period. The mountain originally was formed by volcanic ashfall from one of the eruptions of the Yellowstone hotspot. The peak is also partially a glacial moraine formed by a receding glacier that came south out of the Yellowstone icecap. This same glacier also created neighbouring Jackson Lake.
The views as you will see from the photos, were magnificent.
On the way back to our hotel we stopped off at Jenny Lake where a lady was meditating in the sun overlooking the lake. Whatever rocks your boat!!
Tomorrow we move on to the Rocky Mountain National Park. It will be a long drive of eight hours so an early start will be in order!
See you there!