There were quite a lot of US national parks on our dream list. Grand Canyon. Yosemite. Glacier. Yellowstone. Mount Rainier. Olympic. Crater Lake. Grand Teton was not one of them. We’ve never even heard about it until we started to plan our 2 weeks national parks road trip in the US last summer. As Grand Teton National Park was on our way to Yellowstone and we’ve seen some nice pictures about it, we thought we could spend a day there. Moreover, it has mountains, pretty high mountains. Our thing.
We spent the night in a lovely lodge in the town of Jackson. It felt like we are in the middle of nowhere and that was more or less true. We were on a wild plateau above 1000 meters. We were excited to head north early in the morning and we already enjoyed the drive itself. This was the scene where you imagine wild horses running. But it was just us, the long road, the endless plateau and the wind.
And after one of the many curves the dramatic peaks of Grand Teton have suddenly appeared: 7000-13000 feet (2100-3900 meters) peaks towering above the plateau. It was July and they were still covered with snow. It was true love from the first moment we’ve seen that view. Well, this one:
By the time we have arrived to Jenny Lake Visitor Center’s parking lot our feet were itching to get out and explore this paradise. We had a hike in mind, one what we found after about 5 minutes of googling: Cascade Canyon. It starts from Jenny Lake and it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful start than crystal clear Jenny Lake reflecting the snowcapped high peaks of Grand Teton. You can’t just leave such a fairy tale scene so quickly, so we decided to have breakfast right there on the lakeshore.
It took another hour to actually get to Cascade Canyon Trailhead in the end because first we walked around Jenny Lake and took a short detour to Hidden Falls. We were already fascinated by Grand Teton!
Hiking in Cascade Canyon
Then came the hike through Cascade Canyon. Clear magically green creek. Snowcapped peaks towering above us. Waterfalls and wildflowers everywhere. July felt like lively spring there. Oh, but stop ranting… we’ve actually already written a whole post with all the details about this hike – read it here!
Maybe there’s a reason why Cascade Canyon is such a popular hike. Or maybe all of the hikes in Grand Teton are this beautiful. Anyway, it was already late afternoon when we got back to Jenny Lake – tired, but happy (and this time not so dirty). We were so sorry to have only one day in this park. But thanks to you, long summer days we still had a couple of hours to drive around until sunset.
The drive along Jackson Lake
We drove back to the main road and headed to Jackson Lake, the largest one in Grand Teton. It was our way to Yellowstone anyway. But we didn’t think much about Yellowstone as those amazing peaks reflecting in Jackson Lake in the late afternoon sun distracted us. We made several short stops and a longer one, too, at Colter Bay Visitor Center where we had our dinner (I mean, some energy bars) on the lakeshore.
We were sitting there with our tired feet in the cold water of the lake. It was quiet. And beautiful. And serene. A bittersweet goodbye with a glimmer of hope that one day we will come back. We will!
Have you heard about Grand Teton? Does it look like a place for you?
Disclosure: We paid for this trip ourselves and our hotel stay was not sponsored either. However affiliate links are used in this post, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you are ready to book your trip and would like to support this website in some way, here’s your chance. Thank you! 🙂