Grand Teton National Park

  • 23/Mar/2019 at 10:00

The visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks started a bit far from the park entrance: in Salt Lake City (Utah). It is not that we wanted to cross several states to reach Yellowstone, but it was the closest main airport to fly to/from.


We drove North through he US-89, which soon took us to Bear Lake, a popular holiday destination for locals. Garden City is its capital, and we could see in the atmosphere that people were enjoying their free time: a big offering of nautical activities, and many families enjoying their last day before kids returned to school. Before crossing to Wyoming State, we were surprised with the names of the towns that we crossed or passed nearby: Paris, Montpellier or Geneva. That gave us an idea of where the first European settlers in this area came from.

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The first stop was in Alpine, where we had the idea of having an early lunch (bear in mind that when you travel West your days start really early, due to jet lag), but we had to accept a late brunch instead, as the place we stopped in was very strict with timings and offerings. We stopped in a place called Yankee Doodle, which is like a museum, overdoing the Americanism (as in “white male, loving the Army, and the weapons”) probably looking for tourists (as ourselves) and their pictures, but with a not very “clean” background.

We continued our trip to the North, following the beautiful road next to the Snake River bed, to reach the first real destination in the trip: the Grand Teton National Park. We only had some time left during that afternoon so we enjoyed the view of the three “Teton” from the distance. The three Teton are just three beautiful mountains with glaciers, that got their name from some French explorers that missed women too much after some months of exploration.

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In front of the Grand Teton, we visited the Mormon Row, a street outside the National Park with several buildings made by a mormon community in the early 20th Century. Some farms and houses, which had been used till 1950, and which combine with the Teton range on their back, made it a very pleasant first contact with the Natural Parks in this trip.

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After this first brief encounter, we returned back to Alpine, our base for that night, visiting Jackson on our way back. Jackson is a very popular destination in Winter, with its ski resort, and was a key place a couple of centuries ago. They still try to keep the spirit of a Western town, with its saloon, and a park whose entrance gates are made of 7500 elk antlers. Nevertheless, for me, it was just a tourist resort, where you can of course buy cowboy hats starting from $60.

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During the whole week, jet lag kept affecting us so hard, that we hit the road so early it made no sense to have breakfast near our accommodation. So we started driving and had breakfast in route, or near the destination of each day. That proved to be a good strategy as we discovered a couple of places to have breakfast that were better than the average. The one we discovered in Jackson on our way back to Grand Teton, The Bunnery, was a good example: nice people attending, decent coffee (Starbucks’) and a proper American breakfast to kick off the real day.

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This time, when we arrived to the Grand Teton National Park, we headed into the Park itself. The day was clearer than the day before, and views were breathtaking. We parked the car near Jenny Lake, took a boat to go closer to the mountains, where we wanted to do some hiking. That was not proper hiking, as there were too many people, of all ages, and of all kind of physical states, that blocked the well paved paths. Our intention was to climb to a place called “Point of Inspiration”, but we changed our mind short after enjoying the Hidden Falls… a family warned us of a black bear that was less than 50 metres from us, eating berries very calm. After assessing the situation for a few seconds, we started to walk back to the boat as fast as we could… No need to risk.

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The visit abruptly continue to Jackson Lake, where we did a picnic for lunch, and could see the first amish of the trip. We were surprised they were using the laundry, but after some reading on the Internet, we learned that there are different degrees of technology adoption/acceptance within the Ami community. Each community votes about their own rules, under the same general principles, and that leads to these differences. Apart from this knowledge, Jackson Lake provided us a nice walk around it, and we also saw some people at the beach, a nice marina (always a plus), and yet another sight of the Teton range from a different angle.

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That night our accommodation was in a different state: Idaho, in a small town called Driggs. We followed the indications of one our navigation apps, and that was probably the biggest mistake in the whole trip. We suffered two hours of sand & rocks mountain roads, crossing the Rockefeller Memorial Park and the Targhee National Forest. The first named after famous business man, as he both a vas amount of land, which he later on donated to expand the current Grand Teton National Park.

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Although those parks seemed to be interesting on the paper, the path was far from being a scenery one. We stopped in a lake, where there was only a suspicious man having a nap, we crossed a dam made our of stones, and two women in a big car asked us whether we were lost. We should have driven back to Jackson and then North-West through proper roads. It would have taken the same time more or less.

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The small town where we stayed happened to have a nice tavern with a terrace, where we enjoyed a nice dinner at sunset, recovering from the tough afternoon drive.

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