Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone Day Trips
This would be one of the most striking and memorable parts of the journey. I have always heard how magnificent The Tetons are in person but I could never have imagined just how magnificent they are. And Yellowstone.....WOW. I cannot even put into words how truly magical this place is. Crossed two life-changing experiences off my bucket list during the same vacation my loves and I encourage you to do the same. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone – two of the most beautiful destinations in the world – are within an easy hour’s drive of one another.
From Jackson we did the 42 mile scenic loop. This is a loop, so start wherever is convenient for you.US-89 parallels the Snake River, framed by the jagged peaks of the Teton Mountains to the west. Stop at Schwabacher's Landing and Teton Point Overlook for wide-open views of the those beautiful Tetons. A few miles ahead, pull off at the Snake River Overlook, grab your camera and capture the sweeping view that was made famous by photographer Ansel Adams. You’ll see Jackson Hole (the name of the valley) and the Snake River as it winds in the foreground of the Tetons.As you approach Moran Junction, notice Mount Moran in the distance, looming at 12,605 feet tall. Turn left and drive through the park entrance station. About a 4 miles up the road, turn left onto Teton Park Road. This section of the road travels close to Jackson Lake where you can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, boating, as well as dining and lodging.If time allows, make a side trip east onto Signal Mountain Road, a narrow, twisty road that leads 5 miles to the summit of Signal Mountain. At 1,000 feet above the valley, the summit provides panoramic views of the Tetons, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. Continuing south on Teton Park Road, you’ll reach the north portion of the Jenny Lake Loop. For this scenic side trip, turn right and continue to the Cathedral Group Overlook. Then head south to the Jenny Lake Trailhead and stretch your legs on the String and Jenny Lake Trails.When Jenny Lake Road rejoins Grand Teton Road, turn right to finish the drive. Shortly afterwards, stop at Teton Glacier Overlook to sight one of many glaciers that forms the Teton Mountains.
Just overwhelmingly beautiful. If only we had more time here....
From Jackson, you’ll drive north about an hour to reach Yellowstone’s south entrance—and once you’re in the park, most amenities are easily accessible from the major roads, which loop the park in a figure eight. Most people choose to explore the park by car, but there’s a lot to be gained—unique views, wildlife spottings, and (most importantly) some space from the other tourists—if you’re willing to get out of your car and walk around a bit. I must admit being on a motorcycle in the park was a bit nerve wrecking with wildlife running around but luckily no incidents to report. We went at an odd time of the day too so we saw very little wildlife and any wildlife we did see was too far to even grab a good photo with my phone-----except for this little cutie whom I named Sergio.
Do explore the Geyser Basins.....If you’ve never been to Yellowstone before, brave the crowds and take the littles to Old Faithful—there’s a reason it’s so popular. To get away from the crowds, check out the Steamboat geyser basin, which is less traveled—the park has done a lot of work to make it accessible, so it’s easy to walk around on the boardwalks and see everything up close and personal. The West Thumb Geyser basin is another great pick—it’s right on Yellowstone Lake, and the view of the Absaroka Mountains is amazing.
Cruise Tower Road--Head south from Roosevelt and stop at 132-foot Tower Fall, a thundering cascade. Continue on to climb the shoulder of 10,243-foot Mt. Washburn. Stop at 8,859-foot Dunraven Pass to enjoy the view and scan for bighorn sheep; if you have the time and the weather is nice, consider hiking the 3.1-mile (one-way) trail from here to Washburn’s summit for even better views and wildlife ops.
Dine by Yellowstone Lake--east on wild game, fresh fish, or steak in the Lake Hotel’s elegant dining room (reservations recommended). For a more casual evening, head over to nearby Lake Lodge Cafeteria. Must-do: Sip a pint of a local microbrew or glass of wine from a rocking chair on the lakeview front porch. We had lunch there and it was absolutely fantastic!
Again...I just wish we had more time!!!!!!! I could live here for the whole entire summer.
Adding this place to my bucket list because I want to return badly......
Could there be anything more memorable, more magical than sleeping outdoors under the stars in Yellowstone?!
I think not!!!!!
Until next time Yellowstone....!