The Teton Mountains and So Much More

I have hundreds of picture, none of which will do service to the beauty of this part of the great Rocky Mountain Range, snowcapped all year long.   nevertheless, I will post many for your pleasure.

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A river runs through it – The Snake River. Named for the Indian tribe first encountered in this area by the white man. The story goes that when the tribe tried to introduce themselves with sign language. The hand sign appeared to resemble a snake by its movement. They were and are the Shoshone Tribe.

The River is still called The Snake River. We took a float trip lasting about 3 hours through the most beautiful of beautiful areas in this park. Wild, inhabited by eagles, otters, moose, ducks, bear, elk, buffalo and so much more. This narrow, shallow river meanders along the valley beside and just against these magnificent mountains.

Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam

View on the river

View on the river

Our fearless guide

Our fearless guide

Proof we really took the float

Proof we really took the float

Our guide told us the Tetons are only 10,000 years old and still growing due to the constant movement of the earth in the area.

We camped on this river one evening and enjoyed a genuine Cowboy dinner and show nearby at the Bar-J Ranch. This is a must see event.

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The temperatures during the day could reach the 70s to 80s and cool down to the 40s at night; we slept well in our little minivan with the air mattress and good blankets. We only stayed in KOA camp grounds when camping as they seem to be safe, clean and best organized – plus they always had fresh coffee each morning (big smile).

The Teton Park stretches between Yellowstone on the south to Jackson, Wyoming. There is a large winter resort called Jackson Hole for those who love winter activities – of which I am not one. It is, however, beautiful, too.

Downtown Jackson, near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Downtown Jackson, near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

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Jackson, WY is semi-small, but has great restaurants, many motels, restaurants, a good-size airport and gift shopping. If flying out west to visit these beautiful parks, this would be the place to start.

Between Jackson and Yellowstone there are lodges with accommodations, but they are limited and pricy. However, there is one you must stop in, even if you don’t stay called Jackson Lake Lodge. It is the oldest and has been beautifully restored. The view of the mountains from their second story open gallery is one of the best views, if not the very best view of anything I have ever experienced. This lovely lodge has two very large fire places one each side of the room for your winter enjoyment.

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Jackson Lake Lodge

Jackson Lake Lodge

To the east of the Tetons is a small, quant town called Dubois. The town, the drive between it and the park is absolutely breathtaking. Please don’t miss this side trip.

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Horse drive below Ramshorn Peak, Absaroka Range, near Dubois, Wyoming.

Horse drive below Ramshorn Peak, Absaroka Range, near Dubois, Wyoming.

Dubois town

To the west or called by some the back-side of the Tetons is Idaho. We drove through there to find Masa Falls, magnificent farms and finally to the city of Idaho Falls. The Tetons are still beautiful on the “back side”, but not quite as the front in the actual park.

Grain Field

Grain Field

Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

Moose by the Snake River

Moose by the Snake River

Me and Tee-Gie by potato bench in Idaho Falls...our trusty minivan behind us

Me and Tee-Gie by potato bench in Idaho Falls…our trusty minivan behind us

Mustard Field

Mustard Field

Flax field

Flax field

Lower Mesa Falls

Lower Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls, Idaho

Mesa Falls, Idaho

One last side trip between Yellowstone and Jackson Hole is an abandoned Mormon town/farm site, still maintained by the Park Service. This site is near the winter Elk and Bison sanctuary. When we visited, all we saw was a large heard of Bison in the distance. This sanctuary is a place they come when the sow gets too deep to eat the grasses in Yellowstone. They are fed by the park through the winter.

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You will notice a haze behind these buildings obscuring the view of the Tetons.  That is the day the smoke from the forest fires in California and Washington started flowing into the Parks.

There are several other falls, hikes, mountain drives we took, but to include them all would take far too long.  I suggest at least a month in this area.  Visit from Idaho, through the Tetons, then Yellowstone and finally Glacier National Park.  Work for one of the Park contractors like we did or bring plenty of money.  It will be worth every cent and every second.

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