On the following day, Claudia and I needed to head back to our previous campground in West Yellowstone in order to pick up a package that contained replacement springs for the shade in our dining room window. The package was supposed to arrive while we were in West Yellowstone but was delayed during shipping. Rather than try forwarding the package to another campground we decided to make a day of it and head back to West Yellowstone by way of the much longer South Entrance route that also took us along a drive through Grand Teton National Park. We were fortunate that we had no smoke clouding our view along with bright sunshine so we were able to get some great pictures and enjoyed stopping at many of the overlooks along the way. After about five hours, we did arrive back in West Yellowstone to pick up the package. We then began the trip back to our campground in Victor, Idaho, this time taking the more direct route. The entire drive took 7 ½ hours and covered 255 miles. It was a long drive for sure but the views and the fact that we got our package made the trip worthwhile.
We spent a good part of the next day repairing and reinstalling the dining room shade. It turned out to be a bigger project than planned but we were able to complete it and the shade is now as good as new.
Claudia and I spent the next two days traveling into Grand Teton National Park. On the first day our intention was to take a hike around Jenny Lake. Jenny Lake's green forest vegetation along the shores and nearly two square miles of pristine mountain water make it a popular destination for hikers so we were looking forward to it. Unfortunately the parking area was full so we chose instead to take a drive through and around the park along a different route from our previous trip stopping at many scenic spots we hadn’t been to before. We also took a drive up Signal Mountain for a beautiful view of Jackson Hole from 7,727 feet.
We headed out at 8am the next day, an hour earlier than the day before but still barely found a parking spot in the Jenny Lake parking area. We did find one however and took the two mile hike around the left side of Jenny Lake (through bear country) stopping at many of the beautiful spots that overlook the lake, the valley and the mountains. We heard that hiking around Jenny Lake gives you unique views of the Tetons without the demanding climbs typically required to explore the backcountry. Nevertheless, we did have plenty of climbing on this hike and lucky for us, no bears. We also took another short hike to Hidden Falls, a gorgeous area along a cascading creek before heading down to the boat launch for a ride back to the parking area. Following our hike we stopped to enjoy a picnic lunch sitting in an overlook with a grand view of the mountains before us.
Although the quaint little town of Jackson itself had lots of traffic and you couldn’t really get anywhere without taking a drive through there, the Jackson Hole valley was quite beautiful. The highlight of the area however was the Grand Tetons. It was a wonderful visit and Grand Teton National park will remain one of our favorite parks.