A June 2002 trip
to Jackson Hole by Lovestogo
Quote: The Grand Tetons are magnificient, majestic mountains rising up from the valley floor, surrounded by evergreen forests and lakes that shimmer like jewels. These snow capped, granite pinnacles will leave you feeling rejuvenated by seeing yet another one of nature's spectacular beauties!
Most visitors view this park by driving its valley's scenic roads. There are however, over 200 miles of maintained trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, lasting for a few hours to a few days, just waiting for you to embark on an adventure filled with gorgeous scenery unavailable to the average "car tourist". Trail maps and information regarding hiking conditions are available from rangers at the parks visitor centers, located at Colter Bay, Moose or Jenny Lake.
Several turnouts exist in this park for an unparalleled view of The Tetons. Facts and information regarding the view in front of, or surrounding you, are posted at most turnouts. The turnouts provide ample opportunities to view wildlife in the valleys or along side the rivers and streams that run through this park. Or, one can simply sit atop a stone ledge, lost in their own thoughts, surrounded by the serene, snow capped mountains and drift back in time when life was not so hurried and stressful.
Restrooms are not frequently located throughout the park. They can only be found at the park visitor centers, campgrounds, the ranger stations and some picnic areas.
Grocery stores are located at the visitor centers and have items ranging from snacks and soft drinks to necessities needed for days of backpacking. Fishing & camping supplies, as well as souvenirs of all varieties are also available, as is a post office at Moose.
You will twist and turn for 5 miles as you climb to the top of Signal Mountain for a breathtaking and panoramic view of The Tetons (all 40 miles), Jackson Lake and the valley of Jackson Hole. It is a sight you won't soon forget. The hillsides were covered with masses of yellow wildflowers and arrowleaf balsam root when we were there in early June. The winter snow glistened brilliantly on the pinnacles of the Tetons in the sunlight underneath a blue sky filled with big, white, billowy clouds. Jackson Lake was spectacular as it glistened and danced in its light green color against the granite colored mountains. Wildlife (we counted 24 pronghorn antelope) could be seen through binoculars in the valley around the small lakes. What an awesome and unforgettable view!!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2002
Grand Teton National Park
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
As you descend down the short concrete walkway to the right, you could easily find yourself scampering down to the waters edge, in search of the "perfect big rock" to rest upon. There you can sit and soak up the gorgeous scenery or take a few photographs to remember your time spent there. When leaving the parking area, you will go down 3 or 4 steps. If you turn to the left, there is a concrete walk that goes into a dirt trail which leads out into a wooded area. There are also some spectacular places amongst the evergreen trees on this path for a few special photos.
The Jenny Lake Visitors Center is located just a short distance away and while there you can view a geology exhibit or pick up supplies at the grocery store. Also at Jenny Lake V/C are restrooms and one of the park's ranger stations. There is a campground for tents only at this location.
There are many activities available at the Jenny Lake area. You can take a boat ride across the lake for around $7. Teton Boating (307-733-2703) shuttles you across the lake with trips leaving approximately every 20 minutes, mid June to mid September. Check for actual times and dates of operating when you plan your visit.
You also can do a short hike on Cascade Canyon Trail. It is a 1/2 mile walk to Hidden Falls, and another 1/2 mile will get you to Inspiration Point, which overlooks Jenny Lake. The trail leading to Inspiration Point is somewhat steep and lined with rock slabs and boulders. Of course, there are more lengthy & strenuous hikes available from Jenny Lake. Some of these hikes/trails last for several hours to a couple of days and will take you out in the back country for some drop dead gorgeous scenery!!
Jenny Lake is one of the most crowded areas in The Grand Tetons. Don't let the crowds (and filled parking area) deter you from stopping though, as this is one sight you don't want to miss! We visited the first week of June and found the crowds to be very minimal and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 12, 2002
Grand Teton National Park
Jackson Hole, Wyoming 83012
Oxbow Bend is located 5 miles north of the Moran Entrance Station on US Rte. 89/191/287. There is a large turnout space for this magnificient view. Be sure to schedule some extra time here to wander down to the Snake River, which is just a few feet away. The view is one of the best in Grand Teton National Park and of all the gorgeous spots, this one was my favorite! I could have spent a lot more time there and would love to have a house in that area with that view!! What a sight to wake up to every morning!!
You also want to visit this spot in the morning (before noon) when the sun is on the mountains. The difference between morning and afternoon is unbelievable! We first stopped there in the afternoon and made a special point to go back the next morning. Check out the photos below to see the difference that a few hours in lighting makes.
If you do not have time to do anything else while in Grand Teton National Park, make sure that this stop is on the top of your priority list. It is truly the BEST!!!!
Grand Teton National Park
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Attraction | "Wyoming's National Elk Refuge in Jackson"
This wildlife refuge spreads across 23,000 plus acres and is home to nearly 10,000 elk during the winter months. The elk begin to arrive in November and usually stay until April, when they migrate back into higher country for cooler temperatures and the opportunity to feed upon the rich, new spring grasses and vegetation. Once the snow begins to fall in the mountains, the elk head down to the refuge where the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service supplement their diets with alfalfa pellets.
During the spring, summer and fall, you probably won't see any elk, but you may want to take the opportunity to sit peacefully and observe different species of birds and waterfowl that frequent the area.
To learn more information about this national refuge, visit this web site:
FYI...This web site is also great for information about dining, lodging & activities in and around Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. www.jacksonholewy.net
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 15, 2002
National Elk Refuge
675 E Broadway
Jackson Hole, Wyoming 83001
With our worn and torn map of Yellowstone and The Tetons, we mapped out our own driving tour that would fit within our time frame.
Not knowing what to expect, we set out from Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn on June 5th. We exited Yellowstone through its South entrance and were immediately on the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway that runs into Highway 89/191/287. As we drove past Flagg Ranch Village, you could catch an occasional glimpse of the mountains ahead. Excitement grew as we passed the Lizard Creek turnout and it wasn’t long before the ‘photo opportunity’ happened and we were out of the car snapping away with our cameras. Back into the car and just a little further down the road was another turnout, and, of course we had to stop! This time everyone had their binoculars out peering into the marshland to see what was moving. It was a moose grazing and lazily making its way around the valley. Back into the car we go after observing the moose for awhile and our next stop was at Jackson Lake Dam for another photo session. At the Jackson Lake Junction, we picked up the Teton Park Road and about 7 to 10 miles away, we turned left onto Signal Mountain road. This is a 5 mile drive to one of the park’s most panoramic views of Jackson Hole and the entire Teton mountain range. Continuing on from Signal Mountain , we took the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive and stopped at the Jenny Lake turnout. There were more than enough things to do here as well as enjoy the Cascade Canyon view and Jenny Lake. After spending quite a lot of time at Jenny Lake, we’re back to driving, stopping at all of the turnouts to take photos until we get to Moose.
At Moose, we made a left turn onto Highway 89, where we gazed out the left windows as we had a continuous, awesome view of “Teewinot, Grand Teton, Mt. Owen, Symmetry Spire, and Mt. St. John". To our right on Highway 89, we saw bison grazing ever so slowly in a field of bright yellow wildflowers. The sight was so spectacular that it was enough for another photo stop! Along the way, was the Snake River turnout, and yes, we stopped!! There my husband found his way upon the rock ledge and brought out the binoculars for viewing the wildlife in and around the Snake River and getting a closer view of the glaciers. (I think this was his most enjoyable part of the driving tour)!! After leaving this turnout, we continued on to Moran Junction. This leg of the journey was around 18 to 20 miles. At Moran Junction, we made a left turn and took in my favorite site, Oxbow Bend. One cannot describe in words, the actual beauty that you see from this point. From Oxbow Bend, we continued on for 2 or 3 miles until we reached Jackson Lake Junction. At Jackson Lake Junction, we rejoined the Teton Park Road and followed it down into Jackson, where we spent the night!!!
Thursday morning found us up, eager to hit the trails again. This time we reversed our driving tour, as we wanted to get to Oxbow Bend while the morning sunlight was upon the mountains. We went from Jackson back into the Grand Teton National Park and at Moose, took Highway 89 up to Moran Junction. At Moran Junction, we turned left and went to Oxbow Bend. The difference of a few hours in lighting makes an unbelievable photo comparison.!! At Jackson Lake Junction, we made a right turn and went to the Colter Bay Visitor Center to make our final Teton souvenir purchases. After leaving Colter Bay V/C we then repeated the previous day’s driving tour with the exception of Signal Mountain. We promised ourselves that we would not take any more photos, but naturally, that didn’t happen!!! At Jenny Lake, the water was just so ‘perfect’ with the snow capped mountains in the background, that you just "had" to try and capture the feeling and spirit of the moment!! However, we did manage to drive leisurely through the park and enjoy the awesome sights without taking ALL of the turnouts this time!!! As we were exiting the park for our final time on Thursday afternoon, we saw two deer grazing to the right and yes, you guessed it…. we stopped and took a picture!!
We hope you have enjoyed reading about our driving tour in The Tetons and that you will enjoy a few of our favorite moments captured in our many photo ops!!