on July 23, 2012
Because I was primarily looking to spend my time in Yellowstone National Park, I did want to check out Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) as well. Connected by the John D. Rockefeller Parkway, the two parks almost feel like one. I do like to mountain beauty of Grand Teton and Lake Jackson, plus for those who enjoy biking, it would seem the bike paths and roads are flatter and more conducive for a leisurely ride through the park.There are three entrances into the park; the northern one that connects with Yellowstone, the Moran Junction Entrance from the east and the Moose Junction from the Jackson Hole (southern) area. Park admission to GTNP is included in the fee you pay for Yellowstone NP and vice versa. So $25 covers you in both parks for seven days. Of course those who have the NPS/BLM Annual Pass ($80) are admitted free.Visitor centers are located at the Moose Junction and Colter Bay Village area and have several nice exhibits and ranger led programs. In addition to basic convenience stores available throughout the park, there are also a couple of gas stations. During my visit I found the gas to be cheaper at the Colter Bay location. The other location for gas is at Signal Mountain.If you wish to stay inside the park, there are a couple of lodges with restaurants available to make your stay more enjoyable. There are also several campgrounds including one that has special corrals for those traveling with horses. While I had initially planned on camping one night in the park, I was done with my visiting early enough in the afternoon to return back to Yellowstone and later start my return drive home.Regarding wildlife, the best opportunity to view moose is here. I was clued into a nice viewing area where bull moose are known to feed. Sure enough when I made my turn down the Pilgrim Creek Road, I saw the cars parked along the road and people out with cameras and spotting scopes.I saw a few deer in the park, including a young male drinking water in a creek. I have heard that there is a wolf pack that resides in Grand Teton NP, but I did not see them. There were also reports of bears in the park on the day that I arrived, requiring the closure of one of the campgrounds. I didn't see bear here either, which was a disappointment.There is a bison herd that can be observed on the Antelope Flats Road in the southernmost area of the park. During my trip through the area, they were pretty far away. This is the area of the park where the 1890's Morman settlement is located. Along "Morman Row" are several of the original buildings, including the Moultan Barn are located within walking distance of Antelope Flats Road. All in all, for my interests, it was easy to do the park in two half day drives. For others who want to avail themselves to the hiking, biking and rafting opportunities; I could see GTNP being a multi-day visit.
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