The first time you see the Grand Tetons, they look like they will rip through the sky into the heavens above. They are so jagged and sharp looking like a saber-tooth saw-blade carved of stone. Conversely, they are surrounded by such gentle beauty: mirror-like lakes, grassy marches, and rolling hills of dense forest that break out into an arid scrubland more reminiscent of the southwestern prairies which only serves to make them all the more surreal. Throw in a few moose, a herd of elk and a bald eagle and you have the making of a park to outshine even its famous neighbor to the north, Yellowstone.
Grand Teton National Park seems a most accessible place on first acquaintance and if driving along a park road and admiring their considerable beauty is what floats your boat, you are in luck. The truth is many visitors treat it as an appendage to Yellowstone and merely drive through it en route to Jackson,WY to the south. A stop by Jenny Lake will suffice for them as having been in the Grand Tetons. The truth is, you can barely leave your car and find some amazing vantage points from which to observe a sublime alpine splendor seen rarely. Short strolls around scenic lakes provide just enough exertion and nature as many need or desire. Much like Yellowstone, there is also formidable wildlife to be “hunted” down with camera in hand and hand on the wheel.
But to really explore the magnificent alpine paradise that is Grand Teton National Park, one has to put in more effort. Any hike into the interior of the park is by the nature of its stunning topography all uphill. Distances are not particularly long and boat shuttles help shorten even them but make no mistake, you will not be walking over a gentle flat path to reach the park's more remote lakes and valleys. While long day hikes can be strung together, this is truly the realm of the backpacker. Perhaps here more than in any other US National Park does a park call out for you to carry a load and camp in its vast wildernesses. The effort may be great but the rewards even greater. Empty meadows and babbling brooks. Seeing a more gentle side of these jagged peaks beckons. Do you want to hear them? I say yes.
I'm sure most people that visit Jackson Hole, WY in the winter have gone snowmobiling, but if you haven't you must do it! We took several tours with "Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours' and they were all incredible. On the day trip through Yellowstone we saw some of the most beautiful scenery you could imagine, not to mention the buffalo, elk and moose that were all over the park. We stopped for a lunch break and watched Old Faithful erupt, but the highlight for me was the unbelievable natural beauty around every corner. And after a long day of snowmobiling, it's well worth a stop at the Cowboy Bar for a cold beer and some great live music!
Yellowstone is a national treasure of nature's most wondrous beauty. It has an abundance of wildlife and the gifts that Mother Nature as bestowed us. Since the natural catastrophic volcanic eruptions that have occurred here over 600,000 years ago. The most spectacular formations have been created because of these eruptions that the magmatic heat powering them still powers the park's famous geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots. The grandeur of the canyons are a testimony to natures desire to bloom and grace us with the gifts. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the world's first national park.
This is Yellowstone Lake that encompasses 132 square miles 20 miles long 14 miles wide with 141 miles of shoreline....Wow.....and one of the largest lakes in North Amercia. I am so happy I took a picture of it.
Operating Hours & Seasons
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geyser. It eruptions is about 91 minutes . An eruption may lasts 1 1/2 to 5 minutes and expels at least 3,700 - 8,400 gallons of boiling water and reaches heights of 106 - 184 feet. Named being consistent performance by the 1870 Washburn Expedition. It's average interval has lengthened through the years (due to earthquakes and vandalism), Old Faithful is still as spectacular and predictable as it was a century ago and everyone who comes to see Yellowstone park should seek out Old Faithful:-)
We were lucky because their weren't a lot of people during this visit. I think it was because we visited not soon have the horrendous 1988 fire season and people thought the park hadn't recovered. Nature is amazing and life did return not soon after that.
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY
This was a really neat experience. It was really cool to be so close and actually feel the warmth given off from the pools. Some bubbled water into steam, while other were bubbling pools of mudd. It had a really neat wood board walk that you can walk complete around and view all the different pools of steam. The mud consist of clay minerals and silica. I will warn you it smells a little bit like rotten eggs in some areas.
A lady was trying to convince her little boy not to hurl, but to his dismay he did. She was so angry at him, but others around assured her it was ok and everyone understood. So she calmed down after that. I have to admit I chuckled because she like, "Don't you do that...don't you do that and all of sudden.........ralphhhhhhhh!" Kids, gotta love them to death!
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY
The beautiful Queen Anne Victorian was built 1903 and owned by Mrs. Ferris until her death in 1931. Mrs. Ferris was the widow of George Ferris, who was a hotel developer and involved in mining and sheepherding. He died from a buggy accident. Mrs. Ferris lived in the mansion until her death in 1931. It fell into disrepair and was apartments for some time. It has been beautifully restored, and serves as a lovely Bed & Breakfast. It’s said to be haunted by Mrs. Ferris younger son who died from a gun accident. So very sad!
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rawlins Chamber of Commerce
519 W. Cedar St.
P.O. Box 1331, Rawlins, WY 82301
Grand Tetons National Park is well known as a spectacular landscape with beautiful mountains, calm lakes, and a variety of wildlife. The park is named after the Grand Teton Mountains which tower some 13,770 feet over the surrounding glacial lakes and plains. The park is home to a variety of wildlife including grizzly and black bear, mountain lion, wolf, coyote, American bison, moose, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, and bald eagles. The park was first established in 1929 to cover the peaks and glacial lakes, but in 1950, it was expanded to cover more of the Jackson Hole valley.
Four million people visit Grand Tetons National Park Each year, making it one of the top 10 national parks, but I'd bet most of these visit on the way between Jackson and Yellowstone.
We visited Grand Tetons after spending the night in Jackson. From Jackson we drove north out of town on US 191 and passed the elk refuge. Within 10 or 15 miles we approached the edge of Grand Tetons National Park. We took the first major road on the left, called Grand Teton Park Road, bought the $80 National Parks Pass, and were on our way. We drove along the side of these beautiful mountains, enjoying the snow-covered scenery until finally deciding to get some food at the only restaurant in the park sill open for the season: Signal Mountain at Jackson Lake. Here we had a great breakfast, then we headed north into Rockefeller National Parkway then into snowy Yellowstone National Park.
As I mentioned in the introduction to Wyoming, Register Cliff along the Platte River is a special spot - a real piece of not just Oregon Trail history but American history as a whole. To take time out from such a dangerous journey to make a mark, to say, Hey, I want to be remembered in case I don't make it to the coast, is a somber thought. These people were so brave and so hopeful too in a way. Go visit this spot and remember them.
It is located just a few minutes by car from the wagon ruts. As I recall, it almost seems like you're driving onto someone's ranch but then you see the turn off for the cliff. So, just take it slowly and watch for the brown historical signs.
I talk about this in my introduction to Wyoming but I wanted to mention a little more about how to get to it exactly because it is a great site - such a unique piece of American history! There are several to see along with a plaque explaining exactly what you're looking at. A visit here and to Register Cliff is easy to do as a day trip from Cheyenne or Denver. A small general store in Guernsey sells a few postcards as well as sodas and snacks for the drive back.
This is an awesome sight and, to paraphrase Eddie Izzard, I mean awesome in the universe meaning of the word, not the hot dog meaning. It rises far above the landscape at the eastern edge of the state. It was the first national monument and is a sacred site for Native Americans. When you set on eyes on it, you can certainly see why.
Here's the catch: it is crazy busy in the summer months. The line to get into the park is daunting, and that's putting it mildly. It seems like there's always construction along the entrance road too. Not sure why. Anyway, my tip is to always remember you don't have to go into the park to see it. You can view it while it is still a mile or so away. I wouldn't recommend staying that far away because it is so impressive up close but, you can get a great view of it from the gift shop that is located right at the entrance to the park. There's a post office across the road as well, so you can buy post cards and mail them and take pictures from the parking lot and even wander a little off the parking lot to get some great pictures and never have to mess with all that crowd.
Now, if you want to climb it, obviously you're going to have to go into the park. Same if you want to camp there, but if you just want to awe at the majestic tower and wonder how in the heck it got like that (or if you're a big movie buff and you just want to say you've seen it) then don't drive yourself crazy trying to get into the park and enjoy it for free.
Either way, it should not be missed.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and was America's first national park. The park is primarily in Wyoming, but its boundaries also extend into Montana and Idaho (In total, 96 percent of park is located within Wyoming, while 3 percent is within Montana, with the remaining 1 percent in Idaho). The park is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, coyotes, bison, and elk. In Yellowstone National Park some of the most famous sights are Old Faithful and other extraordinary geysers and hot springs, as well as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Historic areas of the park include Roosevelt Arch, whose cornerstone was laid by President Roosevelt himself in 1903; North Entrance Road Historic District a former military post; and the Old Faithful Inn which opened in 1904.
We arrived at Yellowstone after a night in Jackson, WY, on the last day of the year for automobile entrance (October 14th, 2008). From Jackson we drove north past the National Elk Preserve, through Grand Tetons National Park, and through the Rockefeller National Parkway before arriving at Yellowstone's South Entrance. One there, we waited in line about 10 minutes, and watched as about half of the cars turned around and headed back out of the park. A snowstorm had been through the area over the previous few days, and the ranger told us four wheel drive or snow tires were required because the road was a solid sheet of ice for the next 30 miles. We decided to give it a shot and we headed into the park toward Old Faithful in four wheel drive all the way. After about an hour of solid white roads, and luckily, little traffic, we arrived at the busier than expected Old Faithful just in time for a short walk and to see the famous geyser erupt. As soon as we left Old Faithful and headed north, the roads cleared up and we began to see a large variety of wildlife including hundreds of buffalo, dozens of elk, and a coyote trying to cross the road. We exited the park from the north gate at Gardiner Montana, after driving though old Fort Yellowstone.
Jackson, Wyoming, in the valley called Jackson Hole, is a small town of less than 10,000 people that is a major tourist destination. Not only does the town have several ski resorts nearby, but it is also a gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Jackson is also home to the National Elk Refuge and is near the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.
We traveled through Jackson on our way to Yellowstone. We spent a night in town, enjoying a few of the local bars and restaurants, then got up early the next day and drove north. Our first stop was the National Elk Refuge, then we stopped for breakfast in the Grand Tetons. After passing through John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, we entered Yellowstone National Park.
I wish I could give you the address, but it is in Cheyenne and about 2 streets south and west of the State capital. These kids are troopers. They opened this store because they like Anime. They live in the back. If I-80 is closed, as it often is, seek them out
** A few lines about geology, following the lines about oil and gas fields
• First, VG, haha, Virtual Geology:
A bit technical but very good side info like museums, scenic look outs, wine, tourist linked.
Virtual Tourist, VT! This is a Virtual Geology website, haha ; well, it is a good introduction, despite the fact I think that Geology is to be done on the field, or in the lab or library; but there is good material. VERY IMPORTANT LINK: http://www.virtual-geology.info/wine/index.html; haha, Wine and Geology!
• USGS, of course, with very spectacular geology:
• Earth Science Australia, with quite complete courses:
with a link (http://earthsci.org/mineral/energy/oil/oil.htm#occurrence) to basic hydrocarbon geology
Abd this is probably the best on the web: http://austmus.gov.au/geoscience/earth/index.htm
Short digression: some may say there is Wikipedia! With its very good documentation and well done links. I would not promote that website, as it is out of control; everybody can write in there what he wants or almost; everybody is an expert or a specialist! Imagine I write there about Papuan ethnography! Nobody would prevent me of doing so! Lots of honest, generous, in their field very competent people write there, but also other who need to “appear” somewhere. In one word, despite there are editors, I am not sure there is serious scientific control in this website, but luckily, many contributors generally copy there what they find in books (for what I am supposed to know, but they do not always see what is important or not in the field they are writing about), but in human sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology, history, . . . . ) there is a lot part of interpretation and we do not know who writes there.
Yes, the web is good for quick information, but for in depth information and learning, books, pencils, paper and teachers are galaxies (© !) times better! (I am old-fashioned, so it is!).
There are almost more pioneer and miltary trails criss crossing Wyoming that you can possible name. Because they generally go in the same direction we explored the California, the Mormon. and the Pony Express trails. All three enter Wyoming from Naberska in gererally the same place, heading for Fort Laramie, but West of Casper the split up somewhat.
The wagon trains followed the Platt River as much as possible, while the transcontental Railroad is to the South of the wagon train route because the trains could carry water to the workers every day.
Remember Wyoming is in the West, often towns are far apart so don't let your gas guage run low. Make sure you have plenty of water, good shoes if you plat to hike and enjoy'
North Rim Drive, Wyoming, United States
Good for: Solo
Jenny Lake is the crown jewel of Grand Teton National Park campgrounds. I camped here in 1994 and...more
The Lodge is located in downtown Jackson, just off of Broadway (the main street). It is about 20...more