“The areas around the Grand Teton mountain range and its lakes were established as a national park in 1929 in order to protect the land from commercial exploitation. The protected area was extended into the surrounding valley in 1950. Grand Teton National Park currently covers more than 310,000 acres and is located only 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park.
Located high above sea level at elevations from elevations from 6,320 to 13,770 feet, Grand Teton National Park is a diverse ecosystem with terrain ranging from summertime wildflower meadows to rushing whitewater streams. There are also numerous serene lakes with deep blue pools, echoing the stillness and color of the glaciers that shaped them. The wild and winding Snake River descends through the park in a rush of water and the dense forests blanketing the mountainsides provide habitat for a vast array of fauna and flora, with some species dating back to the prehistoric era.
Opportunities for viewing wildlife abound inside the park. It is often possible to see both grizzly and black bears, gray wolves, coyotes, bison and bald eagles. Other common sightings include pronghorns, elk and a variety of smaller mammals such as the Uinta ground squirrel.”
Located just minutes away from the south entrance of Yellowstone is the entrance to Grand Tetons National Park. This was the next stop on our cross country journey.
As we drove into the park we were instantly transported into a very different experience from our time in Yellowstone. The crowds we smaller, the landscape far more breathtaking. We found it to be a much prettier park.
We began our visit at the visitors center where the kids picked up their junior ranger books and had our National Parks Passport book stamped.
We stepped onto the back porch of the visitor center and were greeted with stunning views of Jackson Lake.
Set up on the porch was a local star gazing group that were allowing the kids to look through a special telescope at the sun where they were able to view sun spots on the sun.
They also had a station set up where the kids were able to make their own paper rockets. When they were done constructing their rockets they were allowed to set them off with air power, using an empty 2 liter bottle and a PVC pipe.
After spending time at the visitors center we began heading south to see more of the park.
At a friend’s recommendation we stopped at String Lake for our picnic lunch. The smell of pine was intoxicating and the views were incredible.
After lunch we began our hike. Pictures don’t do justice to the beauty we saw while touring the Grand Tetons. Everyone kept commenting that it looked like we were hiking in front of a green screen because the views were to stunning to be real.
It was a perfect day. It was lovely stepping onto a dirt path and escaping into the wilderness for an afternoon.
We loved the Grand Tetons!
Next stop: Rexburg, Idaho