Sprout, in contrast to her cranky parents after a rough night in the tent, was in good spirits to hike. After a relatively quick breakfast of yogurt and strawberries, we stopped at the Moose Junction visitors center to stamp Sprout’s National Parks Passport, fill our Camelbacks, and check in with the rangers about the Jenny Lake parking situation (the Park Newspaper stated that parking was limited due to construction). Despite the ranger’s assurances about finding a parking spot, when we arrived at Jenny Lake, cars were parked in the shoulders out the entrance. We parked at the loading zone by the trailhead temporarily so that Jacqui and Sprout could get started while Aaron parked the car.
Our plan was to hike around Jenny Lake to Inspiration Point, an overlook above the lake at the mouth of Cascade Canyon. We expected we would have extra time to venture into the canyon before we had to be back to meet our friend at 3pm. We intended to take the Jenny Lake shuttle boat on our return trip (fee required). But, as is typically the case these days, Sprout wanted to hike and we underestimated the time we would take on the lake trail. It’s a good thing it is a gorgeous trail to spend time on, with great views of the Tetons towering over the water and plenty of shade. Sprout hiked about two miles on her own here, which is a new record for her. Usually we have to scoop her up after 30 minutes because she goes into an infinite loop of rock collecting and dust rolling, but she stayed pretty directed today. The only time we had to scoop her up against her will was when a mama black bear and two cubs were spotted on the trail. Fortunately, there were many people on the trail, and we didn’t directly stumble into the bears. However, Sprout did catch a glimpse of the mama clambering over a rock.
The climb to Inspiration Point on the far side of the lake was too difficult for Sprout, but she enjoyed the views of the tumultuous Cascade Creek as we hiked up. We ate our lunch among conditioned chipmunks on top of Inspiration Point – one even hopped onto Sprout’s blanket next to her to see what she would drop which amused and scared her a little. It was a good opportunity to remind her not to feed wildlife. We only had a few minutes left to explore the canyon before we had to catch the boat, and Sprout was past due to nap. On Papa’s back, she would fall right to sleep, so we took a few minutes to soak in the exquisite views of Grand Teton from the canyon floor. Aside from certain places in Alaska, it’s hard to remember any sight as stunning as this, and we wished we had more time to make our way up the canyon. Fortunately, at only 3.5 hours from Logan, we hope we will travel this way again soon.