Day 2: Today was all about getting a long hike in so we set off with the hopes of doing the 16-plus mile trek up to Lake Solitude via Cascade Canyon. We took the ferry across Jenny Lake and hiked up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. We didn’t know the trail between Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon was closed so we had to make the trek back down and use the Cascade Canyon horse trail to get up into the Canyon itself. The first mile was straight up hill and was a total lung-buster. Things leveled out and we were on our way. About 2.5 miles in we spotted a moose and got caught up watching him for 30 minutes. The views of the Tetons were amazing and the water through the canyon was ice cold and created some great photo ops. Midway up the canyon we ran into a bear sitting about 5 feet off the trail. We literally walked right up on top of him before realizing he was there. Denise had the bear spray ready as I snapped some great pics as we retreated and gave him his space. The bear decided to do a hike of his own and walked directly down the trail a few 100 feet. Once he was far enough away we continued on. By the time we made it to the top of Cascade Canyon we had gained 1,700 feet of elevation and were gassed. After sitting down to have lunch and chatting with some others we decided Lake Solitude would be tough and heard that the trail still had plenty of ice and snow and would be hard to do without crampons. The last shuttle across Jenny Lake left at 7 and we’d be cutting it really close so we made our back down the canyon and enjoyed the views. In total we hiked over 12 miles and our feet were feeling it. We got back to camp around 6:30 and cooked up some chicken quesadillas that reminded me of being back home. That night we took in a ranger talk based on the true events of “Night of the Grizzlies.” Was the perfect way to wrap up a long day on the trails and our own encounter with a bear. @grandtetonnps

5 months ago 1