Follow this link to see a full album of our photos from the third day of our travels.
On our last day in Grand Teton National Park, blue skies returned, except for low clouds that hung out just below the peaks of each mountain in the range. We checked out of Colter Bay Village saying goodbye to the tent-cabin and its cozy woodstove. We drove to Jenny Lake where the parking lot was full of vehicles. We took the shuttle boat named for “Beaver Dick” Leigh across the lake, and then hiked up to Hidden Falls. Although a short, easy hike it does count as our first hike in Rocky Mountains.
Shuttling back across the lake, we returned to our campervan and drove north toward Yellowstone. The view of the Teton mountains looked spectacular even in the rear view mirror. We stopped for a picnic lunch by Jackson Lake for one last view of the Teton Range while eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. As we continued north we passed through hauntingly beautiful burnt regions of the forest.
After checking into Yellowstone, and passing over the Continental Divide, we stopped at West Thumb Geyser Basin. Our first set of geothermal features was located right on the edge of Yellowstone Lake, providing a stunning background to the geyser activity. We continued along the Grand Loop Road (the long way around because of a road closure) to Canyon Campground where we’d be staying the next four nights. At dusk, we once again went out wildlife spotting and saw a grazing elk and sleeping buffalo.
Follow this link to see a full album of our photos from the second day of our travels.
On a cool, overcast day with sporadic rainfall, we did a driving tour of Grand Teton National Park. Despite the clouds, the views of the Teton Range from various pullouts on the Teton Road and Jenny Lake Scenic Drive were awe-inspiring and made Susan say “WOW!” We stopped for a walk around Menors Ferry Historical District where we saw the Chapel of the Transfiguration and various historic buildings from when Bill Menor ran a ferry across the Snake River from the 1890s to 1920s, allowing tourists to pick huckleberries.
Peter was cold so we returned to Jackson where we picked up a fleece pullover on sale at one of the outdoor stores. We also had a pub lunch at an outdoor table. We returned into the national park via the narrow and partially unpaved Moose-Wilson Road which Peter learned is a place with a good reputation for wildlife spotting. Peter and Susan may have got a glimpse of a bear and Liam briefly saw a mule deer, but despite all the promises we didn’t see any moose.
As the rain got heavier we went to historic Mormon Row. The kids didn’t want to leave the car so Liam went out alone to take photos of the famous T.A. Moulton barn. As the sun set, we drove along the Oxbow Bend of the Snake River where the NPS rangers had set up warning signs for bears. We saw no bears, but did see various birds and pretty reflections in the water. Nearby we saw a grazing mule deer and a glimpse of a herd of elk. We finished the evening at the Jackson Lake Dam where our van was surrounded by an unkindness of ravens, drastically increasing our corvid risk.
Author: Kurt F. Johnson
Title: A Field Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Publication Info: Farcountry Press (2013)
A really spectacular guide book to the animals, plants, fungi, waterfalls, geysers, and even the night time sky in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. This is an excellent reference to have handy when traveling in the parks and wondering just what exactly is that!
Author: Todd Wilkinson
Title: Watching Yellowstone & Grand Teton Wildlife
Publication Info: Riverbend Publishing (2008)
This book does just what it says on the tin: tells you the best places to see wildlife in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The critters each get their own page with gorgeous photographs, a description of the animals habits, and tips on where to spot them in the park. It will be a useful tool on our visit to the parks.
Author: Don Pitcher
Title: Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Including Jackson Hole
Publication Info: Avalon Travel Publishing (2011), Edition: Fifth Edition
Summary/Review: I read a couple of travel guides to feed my daydreams of taking my kids to Yellowstone in a few years and enjoyed the armchair tour. This guide is good in that it describes not only the National Park, but offers an extensive description of fascinating places to visit in the surrounding region. This of course expands my daydreams to what would be a months long visit to Yellowstone and its environs.
Recommended books: Lost in My Own Backyard by Tim Cahill and The Rough Guide to Yellowstone & Grand Teton by Stephen Timblin.