Where do I begin to confess my love for visiting national parks? This will be a two-part post about Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Both parks were high on the wish list as I’ve never been to either before and took almost a year to plan. Four of us set out in our RV’s for a 1,600+ miles round trip to visit these two magnificent locations, so let’s start with Grand Teton National Park.
We departed Reno at 6am to begin our 7 hour trek through a good part of Nevada and north to Twin Falls, Idaho where we pit-stopped for the night at Oregon Trail Campground. After a quick setup we ventured out to do some tourist viewings of Shoshone Falls. It was a short 15 minute drive and the area was known as the Niagara Falls of the west. I took a few photos but nothing to write home about. It’s not to say that Shoshone Falls wasn’t spectacular, but rather I was there to enjoy in the beauty of nature and not live behind the camera. We were all tired after a long day’s drive so it was an early night before our next stop — Grand Teton National Park.
Prior to our departure, I looked at the weather forecast and mother nature was looking gloomy with rain and possible snow showers the entire time. Regardless of the weather the Grand Teton mountains were amazing! It was an iconic sight from all directions of the park, whether driving along the road or hanging out around the campground. The presence of wildlife required a bit of searching as the area was home to elk, grizzly and black bears, birds of prey, moose, bison, and wolves. Sadly, our tenacious efforts of driving out early in the morning did not provide any sightings of the elusive wolf.
Being in the park for a couple days, I wanted to see something more like the wolf or elk and moose with their antlers. Well, something awesome happened when our friend Kim spotted a great grey owl perching on a pine tree. We quickly pulled to the side of the road and jumped out of the vehicle. I quietly moved through the shrubs and hiding behind tress to prevent the owl from seeing me. The reward paid off when I captured the two images below.
The remaining days in the park we spent stopping at popular scenic overlooks, going into Jackson Hole to walk around town, and became like any other tourist…Haha! A famous location that was on my to-do list was Snake River Overlook where Ansel Adams took a photo of the Grand Teton that gave exposure to the park.
We’ve been busy searching for wildlife and finding that perfect spot to photograph the Grand Teton, but to my surprise the Colter Bay Village RV Campground where we stayed was nestled under a canopy of trees, and within a 5 minute walk to Jackson Lake offered the best view right in our backyard.
Grand Teton National Park was an amazing place! It offered beautiful views, flexibility to go off the beaten path to explore, historical points of interest, and wildlife. I’m looking forward to the next time we meet again. On to our next stop…Yellowstone National Park.