Travel Tips & Adventures

Real People. Real Travel.

Travel to Grand Teton National Park

Sometimes the name says it all – Grand!  Grand Teton certainly is large and imposing, majestic and eye-catching.  We spent a few hours viewing the mountains as we drove through on our way to Yellowstone, plus we stopped at the very appealing Jenny Lake and the informative and attractive Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

Leaving Jackson Hole after we whisked through (it is was very early and nothing was open, not even the visitors center), we headed north to Grand Teton National Park.  Before you arrive at the toll booth, a side trip to Craig Thomas Discovery Center puts the natural wonders of the area in perspective.  The land seems open and vast, a series of mountains with wildlife tucked away.  Friendly Park’s Rangers are happy to explain what there is to do and see, but the exhibits themselves are worth a few minutes to understand the forces and creatures (human and otherwise) that have created this area. The architecture of the Discovery Center is gorgeous and on a grand scale, befitting the land of which it represents.

Exhibits at Craig Thomas Visitor Center

Once on the road again, we paid our toll ($25 for a week pass that also gave us access to Yellowstone National Park) and saw deer just a few miles up the road.  It is telling that the sign said, “Elk, moose and buffalo crossing next 20 miles.”

A short side trip to Jenny Lake

We decided to take a little respite from driving and visit Jenny Lake.  The views were breathtaking and the area had very few people.  This was in late May, but the area was still chilly and we wore warm clothing.  (A pleasant change from the temperatures in our home state of Arizona where temperatures were soaring to the 100-degree mark.)

Jenny Lake

We walked along the lake, watched the boat (rides are available, but there is a fee and we didn’t want to spend the time or money) leave a wake in the water and enjoyed the stillness.  There were few people about, so we could really appreciate the scenery.

Jenny Lake view

We’ll let our photos tell the story of our visit to Jenny Lake.

Another view of Jenny Lake

A camping store and a few amenities are available at Jenny Lake, but they are near the parking lot, not on the lake’s shore.  Fortunately.

When at the store area, you become aware of the fact that bears can be frequent visitors. The garbage cans have a special opening that would prevent bears from getting to the refuse.

Lunch at Jackson Lake Lodge

We grabbed lunch at the semi-rustic Jackson Lake Lodge in the restaurant.  The tab for two came to around $20 for our hamburger meal.  Most memorable was the very friendly wait person who took our order.  It seems that people are really eager to work at these locations as a “working vacation.”  The views are spectacular from the Lodge, but the prices to stay are spectacular, too. We saw rates of up to $300 a day for the rooms, which are fairly modest park lodging. (No television, no radio, no A/C – not that it would be that necessary, no wireless access in the room, but it is in the lodge.)

Jackson Lake Lodge

Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

View from Jackson Lake Lodge

View from Jackson Lake Lodge

Leaving Grand Tetons

Eager to get to Yellowstone, we headed north.  There is some road construction, which can make the road only one lane so that cars take turns in each direction.  This can slow things down. We were lucky and didn’t have to wait for the ½ hour delay that the posted sign warned about.

We still saw a lot of snow clinging to mountainsides.

We have been so eager to share the most dramatic visits first, so now we’ll head back to civilization and visit Idaho for a few weeks.  Urban, but great!

Come back next time and we’ll visit Boise, Idaho.

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