We hadn’t originally planned on driving the Fit, and it was close to needing an oil change, something that would seemed unwise to postpone for several thousand miles, so that was the first order of business for the morning. We found a Walmart that did oil changes and used the time to restock some supplies before continuing on toward Snowy Range.
We spent part of the day exploring the Snowy Range as the recommendation of one of Janet’s cousins who had recently been there. Legs were tired though, so this was a casual wander and we didn’t really plan the extent of the hike – just walking until we decided to turn back. We started kind of mid-way on the Lakes Trail between Mirror Lake and Lake Marie (by the double restroom marker on the map) and hiked toward the Medicine Bow Peak Trail. That trail did a full loop around the lakes, but we didn’t really pack anything to support being out all day (including a map of where that trail would have gone). We ended up going for a few miles until the trail split to become Medicine Bow Peak Trail and became more of a climb and less of a walk. I’m guessing that we climbed about half way up to Medicine Bow Peak, or at least I did, Janet stopped a bit earlier and I just needed to see what was around the next few bends. Remember, no trail map.
It was somewhat windy, but overall a nice day and a nice trail to hike past a number of small lakes with a nice view back once we started to climb at the end. I was curious where the loop would have taken us, since we couldn’t make out any trails on the other side of the lakes, but without a map we couldn’t find any indication of just how long or how much elevation the trail was supposed to cover. Turns out, that it did go all the way up to one of the peaks and then returned on the back-side of the peaks that we were seeing from below. Doing the entire trail would have been about twice as much climbing as we did and about three times as long as the section we did, but as a loop rather than an out-and-back, so about 1.5x the distance traveled. We probably could have made it, but it wouldn’t have been great plan.
After returning to the trailhead, we continued on to Grand Tetons National Park, arriving sometime after midnight, so finding a campsite was not going to happen, as would have been the case arriving any time after 10AM it turns out. We ended up sleeping in the car at the Jenny Lake visitor’s center to wait in line for a campground spot in the morning. Campground entry started at 8:00, but we were up, so we moved over and got in line around 7 – 7:30.