Grand Teton NP: Taggart Lake

I love Taggart Lake! It is not my favorite hike, but it is definitely my favorite lake (as of August 2017 – still have lots of exploring to do yet). I got very lucky with the weather and the water was calm, perfect for getting a photo of the mirror reflection of the mountains in the lake.

I hiked out to Taggart Lake and back using the same trail. It was 3 miles round trip. From Taggart Lake there is the option of continuing on to Bradley Lake (adds about 3 miles round trip to the hike) or turning the hike into a loop by returning to the trail-head via Beaver Creek Trail (2.4 additional miles).

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Pets are not allowed on any of the hiking trails within Grand Teton National Park

The first part of the trail is wide and flat and then enters a forested area. There is a fence like structure that separates the trail from a dirt road that a construction vehicle passed by on while I was hiking.

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To the left of the fence is an unpaved road

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Further on, the trees open up and there is a corral with donkeys and horses. From looking at the park map, I believe it is the back end of the Climbers Ranch run by the American Alpine Club. Visit their website to learn more about the ranch.

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Climbers Ranch Corral

After passing by the corral, you cross the Taggart Creek and enter back into the forest, where my fellow hikers and I got a surprise.

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Bridge crossing Taggart Creek

About 100 feet off the trail, by my non expertise eye, a young Black Bear was brunching on berries. I call him young because he looked to be closer to my size (5’1″) than my grandfather’s size (6’3″), which leads me to think he is still growing. I believe he is a Black Bear because it didn’t look like he had the hump on his back like Grizzly Bears do and because black bears are not always black.

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Surprisingly, it didn’t scare me seeing the bear, but it definitely made me more alert to my surroundings and I tried to hike within earshot of a group of people. Taggart Lake Trail is a popular hike so it wasn’t too hard to do.

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At the foot of Avalanche Canyon sits Taggart Lake at an elevation of 6,902 feet

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Taggart Lake is absolutely gorgeous. There are some nice rocks to sit on and enjoy the view.

Looking back, I wish I had had the time and energy to return to the trail-head on the Beaver Creek Trail or to hike to Bradley Lake, but I enjoyed the hike and seeing Taggart Lake and the bear.

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