Grand Teton National Park
“Irrespective of hour or season, whether viewed on clear days or stormy, the Tetons are so surpassingly beautiful that one is likely to gaze silently upon them, conscious of the futility of speech.” Fritiof Fryxell, 1938
Located in the northwest corner of Wyoming sits Teton National Park in all her glory. We fell in love with this place as soon as we entered the park. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular and is a feast for the eyes as you drive through it. The colors of the landscape encompass the display set forth in the paint isle of a hardware store of thousands of tiny paint chips, but in hues that only nature can exhibit. Turnouts are strategically placed throughout the park to give the visitor the most beneficial place for photographs and, yeah, we took a few. A FEW!!
We were headed for the Gros Ventre campground that is closest to the entrance and the town of Jackson (for groceries), but the campground is located outside the main entrance and in our hurry and confusion we missed it entirely. Truth be told this was the hint of a moment, and moments to come, that a certain someone’s navigational skills were revealed in all their glory. Shocking, we know. Fortunately we found a site open at Signal Mountain campground situated on Lake Jackson with full view of the Teton Range. The campground was filling up by midafternoon in early June, but the more days we stayed we noticed that it would fill by midmorning if not sooner. If you want to camp at Signal Mountain campground, and we highly recommend that you do, get there early as it is first come, first serve.
We stayed a week at our first site all the while scouting around for the site with the best view of the mountains and decided to locate to a sunnier site in order to use the solar panels to charge our batteries. When it became overcast for several days in a row the last of the power in the batteries faded and we were forced into a site with electricity to recharge. We can’t fathom the pricing of these sites as a regular site is $22 and an electric site is $45 – that is nearly $700 for electricity if you stayed a month? We stayed one night and plugged in not just the trailer, but every phone, iPod, laptop, Wi-Fi device that needed a charge and were back in business. We then moved back to the $22 cheap seats for five more days. Reducing costs for lodging allows extra money for other more important things. You get the picture.
These weeks were amazing as we were thirty miles away from Jackson/Jackson Hole that is a destination within itself. Besides offering us all of the conveniences that we are used to, the scenery is absolutely fabulous and the town itself is a jewel. The downtown area has a beautiful square with all four-corner entrances decorated with massive antler arches. Jackson Hole is also a winter destination with a ski resort.
All in all we spent 16 nights in Grand Teton enjoying a number of hikes including Jenny Lake up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point to enjoy the views (this is the park’s most popular hike and in turn had the most hikers on the trail). On the Two Ocean Lake trail we hoped (at least one of us more than the other) to see a bear in the wild but were instead thrilled to find a beaver tending to his humble abode and we watched silently as the minutes passed by and eventually the mosquitos chased us on our way. We hiked our campground daily as it sits on Lake Jackson with some of the most amazing views in the park, particularly at sunset, and dug our bikes out of the back of the camper for the first time. Skyler found her own piece of paradise in the shade tent we purchased to evade mosquitos and she soon commandeered it as her own spot to view wildlife and enjoy morning and afternoon naps as the mood took her. Spotted in the wild: birds, mule deer, fox, bison and pronghorn (which we have dubbed “Jackalopes” because we find it funny and we are easily entertained). We could have stayed much longer, but adventure is calling…. and Yellowstone!
Up next: Yellowstone – Fishing Bridge