Skywatch Friday – Hiking the Grand Tetons National Park to Taggert and Bradley Lakes

I am doing the hiking posts backwards of our trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks earlier in October. Our first hike was actually to Taggert and Bradley Lakes of the Grand Tetons National Park. We have been looking forward to this trip for a long time and with our son away in college and doing well we had our opportunity so off we flew to Jackson, Wyoming.

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My bride Heather

Our first morning, right after breakfast, we packed our stuff up and went to see the National Park office just inside Jackson. I had a list of places we wanted to see and the person we talked to knew all about them and gave us all sorts of information that came in handy. My first pro-tip and Heather and I have done this a log is always stop at the Ranger Station, Visitor Center, or whatever and talk to a ranger. They have always been very helpful.

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Pro tip number two is don’t act like a know it all. My sister actually took me on a hike to Taggert Lake last year but I didn’t say anything because I have found that doing that tends to shut the person up you are talking to and when I didn’t want to happen. It’s hard to learn anything while your mouth is moving. Yes sure, did I hear some repetitive stuff, yes I did (mainly because my sister had done a lot of research.)

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I asked the Ranger if bear spray was recommended, and as expected I heard an emphatic yes. We talked about renting it and she gave us directions to a place within walking distance of where we were. So after talking with her, we packed up the maps and other info she gave us, walked over and got our bear spray and headed off to the trailhead.

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And off we went. Lots less people than what I remember and we were pretty excited. Our heads were on a swivel though looking and listening for bears.

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And what a great hike it was. Through quaking aspen groves turning golden and along Taggert Creek. Creeks up in the mountains make music as they flow and they have their own great aroma. And above it all were the majestic Tetons. I have never tired of looking at them.

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We eventually got to Taggert Lake and like last year I was just floored with how crystal clear, calm, and beautiful it is

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The Ranger had suggested that if we felt like it (we are obviously low altitude flatlanders I guess) to go over the ridge to Bradley Lake. So off we went. And getting over the ridge was exhausting. They say the Tetons are still growing. While I think the ridge was growing about fifty feet a minute as we went up. We eventually got up and over and went down to the lake. Another beautiful lake, oh hum. How many beautiful lakes can a National Park have?

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Spectacular views of the mountains.

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And then we hiked out. We were on the shady side of the slope so it was still snowy from earlier in the week.

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Every once in a while on the way out I would stop and take a photo of the mountains behind us.

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It always seems that the hike back to the trailhead seems a lot further than the hike in. We were tired and a little thirsty and hungry. We packed in a water and snacks. That is pro tip three. Always take water and snacks with you, especially if you are low altitude flatlanders like us.

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We passed some Park Service stables and corrals. We were interested in horseback riding opportunities but they are none this late in the season.

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The first day was the best weather day of our trip. It got steadily colder as the week went on but hey we knew that we would run into that but we still had some great adventures and I haven’t told them all to you yet.

Five and a half miles and three hours and one great day.

Have you ever visited the Grand Tetons National Park?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

20 thoughts on “Skywatch Friday – Hiking the Grand Tetons National Park to Taggert and Bradley Lakes

  1. Angie

    We have visited the Tetons, but it was MANY years ago with our kids. If I went, I would go in the shoulder season as you have, to avoid the crowds. GORGEOUS pictures. It is hard not to take one every few steps, right? Glad you didn’t run into any bears! (and I loved your comment about “you can’t learn anything when your mouth is moving.”)

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  2. Peter B.

    Beautiful photos, and it takes me back. I remember visiting the Tetons and being so anxious to go out exploring. We didn’t follow pro tip #1, and my son and I went out late afternoon on the first trail we could find. Hiking back and getting dark, I remember thinking “I wonder if there are any bears in this area??” Lucky for us, we didn’t come across any.

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  3. junieper2/Jesh StG

    Gorgeous – love raw nature like this! My favorite of all your captures are the bed of rocks:) I also love that you call Heather after so many years “My bride.” It tells me about your relationship. Have a great weekend!

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  4. Eileen

    Hello, I just love the views of the Tetons. I probably said it before, it is my favorite park. Great hike and photos. Thanks for hosting. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend ahead.

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  5. Sallie

    I loved this post! Beautiful country, beautiful pictures, beautiful memories (for me too, although it’s been too long). Agree with you about always stopping at the Visitor Center and about the Rangers. And about not being a know-it -all, but that is very easy for me, because I know nothing much (and if I ever did I’ve forgotten it). And I’m pretty sure the places we hike when we visit our Colorado “kids” are growing steeper and higher by the minute. We usually stop there on our way home from Florida, so the altitude is a huge change. Looking forward to more about your trip!

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  6. Gaelyn

    You are my kind of visitor, but then you’ve had good teachers. Considering you are, in shape, flatlanders you hiked great. I haven’t visited the Tetons. OMW those mountains and lakes are gorgeous!

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