We always go camping for my daughter’s birthday in early September.
And we were back in Grand Teton National Park for our third camping trip in the park, and fifth trip to the vicinity this year (one ski trip and one camping on the Driggs side).
See our prior camping trips to GTNP here: Grand Teton National Park #1 and #2
We had a little more time this trip. We were there from Thursday evening through Tuesday. So, that gave us a bit more time to explore. We also, I think, were just generally in a more laid back mood. We had no major hikes or destinations in mind. The crowd was decidedly older and maybe more mellow given that school was back in session for families with kids.
We drove in kind of late. But gorgeous drive in. Saw a bison herd pretty close to the road near Elk Ranch Flats.
We reserved a site at the Lizard Creek campground, which is the northernmost campground in Grand Teton National Park. We liked Signal Mountain Campground a bit better, although this was a good spot. I’d recommend a site closer to the middle of the campground – we were very exposed to the wind.
Not much water in Jackson Lake was kind of a let down:
In the vein of a more relaxed trip, Day #2 turned into a spontaneous trip up to Yellowstone N.P. I had loosely planned to venture into the south end of the park. But we actually ended up driving up to West Thumb. We had seen this area during our winter trip (incredible) back in 2017 and it was cool to see it in the summer.
On the drive back to our campground, in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway stretch, we had this siting:
Happy Birthday kiddo!
We celebrated our daughter’s birthday. Then, we drove north again into the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway area. We did a short hike to a natural hot spring – there are two – and we went to Polecat Hot Springs. Totally worth it.
Then another short hike over to the river.
It’s that time of year, and the elk are bugling. Amazing.
We hiked this day. About nine miles. A really nice, pretty flat hike, to BearPaw Lake.
Very nice hike. I’d rate it easy. Left from the northern end of Jenny Lake, which is a pretty popular trailhead, but the hike itself was not heavily trafficked. Hiked right up to the base of Mt. Moran. If you rate your hikes partly on how few other hikers you see, this is a good one to check out.
Watch out for this guy:
Packed up camp and on the way to our new site, sited a black wolf. First wolf siting. Lots of #poopedmypants moments on this trip.
And then we did some touristy things.
And learned some stuff about geology.
And skipped rocks.
And then home, until the next time.
All members of the party accounted for…
Check out a few prior adventures: