We were glad to have taken a day to rest up, and on day 7 of our road trip, we set off for another beautiful hike in Grand Teton National Park, this time to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes.
It was a 4.8 mile hike up to the lakes, and we got an early start to try and beat some of the heat. It was a steep hike full of switchbacks to the top.
A guy was beginning a trail run around the same time we started hiking, so he was a ways ahead of us. About a mile in to the hike, he came running back past us, heading for the parking lot. We asked him how the trail was up ahead, and he said it was great, but he’d seen a bear, so he turned around. At this point I got a little worried – all of the hikes in the Tetons warn you to carry bear bells to warn them of where you are, and to have bear spray in case they get too close. I made J jingle our bear bell and we talked really loudly to let the bear know where we were. About a quarter mile further we all of a sudden saw this guy off to our right! Luckily he seemed to have no interest in us, so we snapped a couple pictures and continued on. It was pretty exciting!!
There were lots of beautiful wildflowers along the trail.
And we had a great view of Bradley and Taggart Lakes as we climbed the switchbacks.
Here’s the view of Jenny and Jackson Lakes, in the other direction.
Finally we reached Surprise Lake.
And little further up the trail was Amphitheater Lake. We sat here on these logs and ate our lunch, staring up at Grand Teton! The point off to the right is Mt. Owen.
Our guidebook described another short trail “for adventurous hikers” that headed up from the lake for more great views. “Of course we are adventurous hikers!” we thought! So we headed up the trail, but quickly determined we are not that adventurous. We made it a short way up before the trail became too narrow and too steep, so we decided to stop and snap a couple pictures and head back down before it got too terrifying. I do love this picture we got with Teewinot Mountain in the background!
Panoramic shot of the lake. Grand Teton on the left, Mt. Owen peeking out slightly to the right of that (it’s the one with the horizontal stripe of snow near the peak), and Teewinot Mountain on the right.
I’m glad we got an early start because it was getting pretty hot by the time we hiked back down. Many other hikers were struggling with the heat, and I was glad we were heading down instead of up!
We stopped at the Visitor Center on our way back to the campsite and loved seeing this view of the spot we’d just been! Grand Teton on the left, Mt. Owen (with the stripe of snow) in the middle, and Teewinot Mountain on the right. Pretty cool that we’d just been up so close to them!
We decided to break from our usual brats for dinner, and J cooked some delicious steak and corn!
Another bit of excitement this day was that we finally got to take showers after three days without! There was only one campground in the park that had showers, and we’d shown up about fifteen minutes late the night before. So a steak dinner and a shower – I was feeling like a whole new person!
We loved our time in Grand Teton National Park and will definitely be back! The next morning we headed up to Yellowstone National Park, just 45 minutes north of the Tetons.
Road Trip Recap:
Day 1: Indiana to South Dakota
Day 2: Across South Dakota: Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway, and Crazy Horse
Day 3: Wind Cave National Park, Devils Tower, and across Wyoming
Day 4: Grand Teton National Park
Day 5: Cascade Canyon
Day 6: Jackson Hole