After seeing fireworks the the previous night at the beautiful ski-resort lodge area of Teton Village, we spent this July 4th taking the hike to Inspiration Point around Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons.
On the way, we saw yet another moose crossing the Snake River.
We also saw a sadly injured butterfly in the parking area at Jenny Lake that was huge (probably 4 inches across at least) and beautiful..
We started the trail walking West around Jenny Lake, the second largest lake in the park, with some magnificent views yet again of the mountains and lake.
The start of the trail was fairly leisurely and pretty clear of bugs compared to other hikes we’ve done in the park. Early on, there was a shuttle boat taking visitors on a scenic cruise across the lake, but given the crowds, we decided to take the trail on foot.
Along the trail, we passed over Cascade Canyon Creek and up towards Hidden Falls, which falls from 200 feet high.
The trail got a little more strenuous from here, climbing steeper inclines on narrower paths leading up to Inspiration Point, a point where hikers can get sweeping, high up views of Jenny Lake. Right before reaching the top, I had a bit of a rough patch getting over a narrow, steep, rocky patch of the trail in which there was a very steep dropoff and no handrails. I have actively been dealing with anxiety around heights lately, but was proud of myself for making it through, even if I did have to cling to the rocks, take my time with it, and do some breathing exercises once I got to the top. Everyone on the trails was very kind about it also, one person even offering if I wanted to lean on him as I went down. And the views were beautiful once we got there…
We sat and ate our lunches up there, and made some friends with some large chipmunks that seemed like they were fed by visitors often. They were definitely not shy around people, walking right up to everyone, even touching their hands when they held them out, looking for food! It’s no wonder people feed give in and feed them since they are so darn cute…
Once we were past the rocky, steep part at the top, the way back on the six mile round trip was much easier than the way there given that a lot of the trail was downhill from here.
Once we reached the end, we took a short walk around towards the other side of Jenny Lake.
We then headed into the gift shop for me to buy a mug I had been eyeing for a few days and went back to the campground to build a campfire and enjoy the rest of Independence Day. We feel like we appreciate the 4th of July holiday more than ever this year as we explore our beautiful, vast country and feel what it is like to truly be free for a time.