Closing Signal Mountain

By October 11, 2019 January 20th, 2020 Campsites, Excursions

With the weather turning warmish, we descended off the mesa and into GTNP proper, making the 20 miles in to Signal Mountain Campground.  The whole shebang was set to close in two days, lodge and all, but we were determined to make the most of it…

Snowstorms and sunshine both fall on the Elk Refuge outside Jackson, visible on our drive into the park.

We found the campground nearly empty, and half price bison bars at the convenience store.  With Jackson lake a stone’s throw from our campsite and the sun sinking fast, I skittered down the cliff to the water’s edge, again with a fishing pole and a plan.

I caught this bohunker and brought him to shore.  Any idea what kind of fish this is?

The night was icy but the day broke crisp and clear, so we set up a less-travelled path to a series of high mountain lakes.  Without the dog, of course.

Rebecca in her fall splendor.  Very fitting as the brave and bruised girl fell multiple times on this hike…

A look upslope at the jut we later christened upon crossing as Lunchtime Rock.

The view of Jenny Lake, up the trail some 1200′.  This is where things started to really get vertical.

Arrowhead Pool, some 4oo’ below, falls off  icicly cliffs to the valley below.  Still 1000′ vertical to make on the hike and at this point, it was a scramble.

Still a ways to go, but here the footing got dicey.  Fortunately we had a lone hiker in front of use in whose tread we could step.

Off trail for sure.  We ended up 400′ above the lake, invisible in the crags below.  Another 400′ up and in the bowl just beyond lay Lake of the Crags.  I saw The Lone Footprinter on the way down and he relayed that path was “treacherous”.

The rule applied of half the time to descend.  We jogged and surfed our way to this point, where we could see Jackson Lake, some 12 miles distant. Our campground, Signal Mountain, lay in the closest cove.  From here, it was another 1.5 hours down-hiking, and a 30 minute drive back to a trailer made warm with an awesome fish dinner!