Tack­ling the Te­tons


TTrail rid­ers would be hard­pressed to find more spec­tac­u­lar scenery than Wy­oming’s Te­ton Moun­tain Range, es­pe­cially in mid-Sep­tem­ber. This range rises grace­fully 7,200 ver­ti­cal feet from a lush val­ley floor to a height of 13,770 feet above sea level. Cov­ered in white lace man­til­las, grace­ful moun­tains ad­mire their re­flec­tion in mir­rored lakes be­low.

One hun­dred mil­lion years ago, slow-mov­ing glaciers sculpted large moraines and formed lakes. Wind and wa­ter ero­sion added fin­ish­ing touches to this sub­lime mas­ter­piece.

Five dis­tinct nat­u­ral com­mu­ni­ties ex­ist in this area: alpine; for­est; sage­brush flats; wet mead­ows; and lakes and ponds. Each re­gion has its own unique plant and an­i­mal life.

Our Horse Camp

We ar­rived in the nearby town of Jack­son and made the Te­ton Fair­grounds our tem­po­rary home, since there are no eques­trian camp­grounds in Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park. Here, our horses had stalls, and we had elec­tric­ity and a con­ve­nient camp.

Fair­ground pol­icy al­lows you to ex­er­cise your horses in the large arena as long as you stay with them. A word of cau­tion: When we turned out our Mis­souri Fox Trot­ter geld­ings, Nate and Cow­boy, they spied an ob­scure open gate and charged out of the arena, head­ing for a night on the town.

For­tu­nately, they stopped to munch al­falfa in the park­ing lot, and we were able to squash their foray.

Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park of­fers trail rid­ers spec­tac­u­lar scenery, es­pe­cially in midSeptem­ber. Dis­cover the park’s top trails with our from-the-sad­dle re­port.

In­spi­ra­tion Point

On a crisp Sep­tem­ber morn­ing, we trail­ered our horses to the String Lake trail­head. To get there from the fair- grounds, we drove north on High­way 191 and into Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park, roughly 22 miles. We turned left on Te­ton Park Rd. past Jenny Lake, then turned left at North Jenny Lake Junc­tion.

The park­ing lot at the String Lake Trail­head is di­vided into three sec­tions. The first two park­ing lots are small, but the spa­cious third lot eas­ily ac­com­mo­dates horse trail­ers and even has hitch­ing rails.

Tan­gled rib­bons of sun­light crossed our path as we be­gan our jour­ney to In­spi­ra­tion Point and Cas­cade Canyon. The air held a lit­tle nip to re­mind us that win­ter wasn’t far be­hind.

We were sur­prised by the num­ber of hik­ers and back­pack­ers. The Grand Te­tons at­tract peo­ple from all over the world. Thanks to our equine good­will am­bas­sadors, we met peo­ple from New Zealand, In­dia, France, and Ger­many.

From the trail­head, we rode by a bridge and crossed a crys­tal-clear stream. Af­ter about three miles along Jenny Lake, we came to the trail that led to In­spi­ra­tion Point, a high bluff that ex­tends out into Jenny Lake.

In­spi­ra­tion Point is well-named! Its vis­ual beauty is en­hanced by the wind whispering across the lake, fra­grant pines, and clean, fresh air. Here, you know you’re in a spe­cial place.

Cas­cade Canyon

We then back­tracked a short dis­tance and headed up Cas­cade Canyon, also well-

Trail rid­ers would be hard-pressed to find more spec­tac­u­lar scenery than Wy­oming’s Te­ton Moun­tain Range, es­pe­cially in mid-Sep­tem­ber. Here, Kent Krone on Cow­boy and Char­lene Krone on Nate cross the stream be­low String Lake on the way to In­spi­ra­tion Point and Cas­cade Canyon. Inset: The en­trance to Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park.

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