After a quick shuttle boat ride across Jenny Lake, we started our hike up to Inspiration Point. The trail goes through Cascade Canyon, and we got to cross the mini-rapids of the creek several times. Going up through the forest, we had glimpses of the Teton mountains high above us, and the lake down below.
At some points the trail was wide and gently sloped, but other parts were very rocky and steep.
Another hiker on the trail had jingle bells attached to her pack, our B&B caretaker had given us bear spray when we headed out that morning, and the hand stamps from the shuttle boat said “be bear aware.” I was pretty relaxed about the situation, except for a few outbursts of clapping and yelling “Hey bear!” (Ok, so it was more like a handful of outbursts.) (Ok, ok, more like regular intervals up and down the trail.) But, hey, being paranoid works! No bear sightings!
We reached the dock just in time to catch the last shuttle boat, and enjoyed a nice sunset ride across the lake.
Our 10-mile float trip down the Snake River was just beautiful. This part of the river is inside Grand Teton National Park, so we got to learn about the surrounding forests as well as the ecology of the river. We saw a deer with its fawn, and a couple of bald eagles.
If you don’t go to the rodeo while visiting Jackson Hole, you are missing out on a really fun night. The determination of the cowboys is impressive, and the cowgirls are very skilled—and fast!—riders.
The rodeo began with bull riding, followed by calf roping. In the partner calf roping, one rider has to lasso the head of the calf, and their partner has to lasso both back legs.
The cowgirls competed in barrel racing, riding in a cloverleaf pattern around the arena.
The last events of the rodeo were saddle bronc riding and more bull riding. It’s amazing how long 8 seconds can seem.
The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram takes you up about 4000 ft to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in 12 minutes. As you might guess, the views are amazing! The mountain is part of a ski resort, and there are trails running down on all sides. We walked a couple of trails that looped around the summit, which is at 10,000 feet! It was windy and about 10 degrees cooler than the base.
In the winter, people ski down this! Like, right off the rocks on the left!
While on the trails, we came across a deer and a marmot. The marmot moves pretty fast!
We also took a ride on the Bridger Gondola (up a different mountain) at the resort. This one passed over some mountain biking trails, and it was fun to watch the riders jumping and doing tricks.
Geysers, hot springs, mudpots. Osprey, coyote, moose. Upper Geyser Basin, Lower Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin. The Continental Divide! And that’s all in one day! The landscapes are so pretty and strange, and often make you feel like you’re visiting another planet.
The drive from Rapid City to Jackson was very pretty. We went through bursts of tall evergreens and flat grasslands. We passed long coal trains, lots of cattle, ranches, and large groupings of strange rock formations.
We arrived in the Jackson Hole area in the early evening, and were wowed by our first view of the Tetons, from a scenic overlook with warnings of bear sightings! (Yes, I was in full Parent Trap mode.) We also encountered a local traffic jam — a large group traveling through the area on horseback!