Day 11: Autumn slept great so we leisurely rolled out of the tent, ate breakfast, and prepared for the day. It would be our second and last day of our short visit to Grand Teton National Park. We decided a nice morning bike ride through the valley, followed by a ranger program, and hike along Jenny Lake would be a great day.
We brought our bikes and a double-wide bike trailer on this trip so we could enjoy the national parks from a different perspective. Glacier offered a few trails, Yellowstone was terrible, but Grand Teton was…well…grand! The park has a paved bike path from Jenny Lake to the south entrance (with plans to connect to Jackson Hole). We loaded the kids in the trailer and enjoyed a 13 mile ride. The views of the Tetons were great and the weather was perfect. A highlight of our ride was viewing a mother and baby moose in a nearby creek. At first we and a few others saw the moose but within minutes the crowds gathered. We took off after about 10 minutes of enjoying the public display of awesomeness.
We went back to camp to allow the kids to run around and grab a snack before we made our way for a ranger talk at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.
The ranger program was about climbing in the Tetons. It focused a bit on history of climbing in the Tetons and showed some of the gear used for climbing. The talk was okay but could have improved if a ranger who actually climbed was presenting the program. I thought Ethan would’ve enjoyed the talk but he kind of lost interest during the history part. He did enjoy the hammer for nailing in pitons and kept demonstrating it’s use to me.
After the talk we did a leisure stroll around part of Jenny Lake before turning in Ethan’s Junior Ranger activity packet at the visitor center. Ethan was offered a badge and patch for completing his activities. He was pretty excited to receive his third Junior Ranger badge/sticker. This trip is the first time I’ve seen what the program offers and think it’s a well worthwhile activity for any parent visiting a national park. When I was a wildland firefighter at Lassen Volcanic National Park, there was a Junior Wildland Firefighter program that offered a lot of hand-on activities. I think these type of programs only benefit children and adults as they continue to educate them about the importance of national parks.
After dinner we enjoyed a drive to the park’s highest drivable point called Signal Mountain. Breathtaking views of the east valley were a plenty. Do this drive if you have time.
Prior to turning in for the night we packed up most of our camp. We knew we would have a big drive of driving to Boise tomorrow and wanted to arrive as early as possible to allow the kids time to swim and relax at our hotel.