In our visit to Grand Teton National Park, our big goal was to backpack a few days on the Teton Crest Trail. Still acclimating to the high altitudes and with a goal of also trying to conserve energy before the big trek, we picked this easy and scenic hike to Taggart Lake.
We started off fairly early and went for a drive along Moose Wilson road to start the day. On the side of the road, we were lucky enough to see a moose grazing in a clearing and we were so glad to start our day with such a fortuitous sighting! We stopped by the Jenny Lake Ranger Station to drop off a car for our return trip on the Teton Crest Trail and we were also able to swap out some of our backpacking permits for our trip so we had better camping options.
We then made our way to the Taggart Lake trailhead and parked to start our hike. The hike is 3.3 miles with only 300 feet of elevation gain. The hike is well traveled and in good condition, so most people will find this to be an easy, family hike with a big payoff.
The trail starts off with an open field view. We veered to the right at the first junction. Just about two tenths of a mile along the hike on the gravel road, we saw a black bear far off in the distant. We headed the opposite way to the right to start the main part of the hike. Shortly after that, the trail ducks more into woods and we crossed over a footbridge over a roaring creek.
After a short distance, the trail then begins a slight climb as you hike along the Taggart Creek. About a mile into the hike, the trail then opens up again into a larger field where we had great views of the Tetons. After a short distance, we came upon the junction with the Bradley Lake Trail, but stayed on the Taggart Lake Trail.
The trail stayed fairly flat from this point and in another half mile, we reached the edge of Taggart Lake. The day had been cloudy and a bit drizzly, but it made for nice reflections on the lake of the Tetons in front of us. There were a few different angles and rocks to spread out on, but this is a popular hike and you may not get the best solitude on a busy weekend. The lake was still and quite scenic and it just begged us to pause, relax, and take in the beauty of the reflections and the looming mountain backdrop.
After taking a ton of pictures, we made our way back and drove into Jackson Hole. We had lunch at Merry Little Piglets, which served delicious Tex-Mex food in a fun, decorated atmosphere. We then stopped by to get some groceries for our upcoming backpacking trip and made it back to our hotel to load our backpacks for the next day.