Today’s hike: Taggart Lake-Beaver Creek loop
Today, we hiked to Taggart Lake, one of the pristine glacial lakes in Grand Teton National Park.
The lake, at 6,902 feet, was formed by a glacier that flowed out of Avalanche Canyon, scooping out the basin and forming lateral moraines, or piles of rock and soil, along its sides. When the glacier retreated, water was trapped within the moraines.
From the trailhead, the path climbs next to a creek, through sagebrush flats and a recently burned area, for about two miles to reach the lake.
We sat on a rock soaking in the views of the Tetons, formed along a fault that continues to push the mountains skyward and drop the valley, Jackson Hole, down. It makes the mountains rise dramatically directly from the park’s floor, with no foothills. We watched tiny fish swim in the clear waters of the lake, its surface rippling with the breeze.
We continued south along the lake’s edge, up and over the moraine and through forests of Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, Engleman spruce and subalpine fir. Profuse wildflowers bloomed along the trail and across the alpine meadows.
We returned along Beaver Creek Trail, accompanied by the sound of gurgling water.
Total distance: 3.9 miles, 500 feet climbing.