Travel Stage: Entered from the North via Yellowstone National Park
Date Range: July 24-30, 2016
Summary: We spend a week in Grand Teton National Park!
You’d think that for being right next to each other, Yellowstone and Grand Teton would be similar. But as you pass from one park to the other, there is a noticeable change!
The mountains thrust up to the sky with tall jagged peak seemingly out of nowhere, and the lakes run right up to the base of the mountains without any foothills to speak of.
The beauty and splendor of the Grand Tetons comes from how young and steep they are, and this steepness is caused by a break in the earth’s crust called a fault that runs through the Jackson Hole Valley. Tremendous forces are still acting upon the range today, and continues to be a geological wonder. Glaciers also left their mark on the range and left behind depressions and moraines that turned into the Teton’s many mountain lakes.
One beautiful evening we hiked the easy trail to Taggart Lake. Just because it was an easy hike did not mean we were not greatly rewarded!
Jenny Lake is one of the most famous lakes in the park. Formed by glaciers pushing rock debris down Cascade Canyon some 12,000 years ago, it allows motor boats and has many hiking trails around it.
We hiked around Jenny Lake and up into Cascade Canyon, one of the most popular scenic areas of the park.
We hiked up into Cascade Canyon and we treated with amazing views on both sides as we trekked along the Cascade Creek. We saw a mother moose and her baby grazing the brush along the creek.
Many mountain waterfalls poured down the slopes from the melting glaciers above.
A fellow camper tipped us off to our next hiking adventure. Phelps Lake is at the base of the entrance to Death Canyon (inviting sounding, isn’t it?).
It is known for have Jumping Rock that sits on the northern side of Phelps Lake. It is so called “Jumping Rock” for the reason that it performs as a natural diving board. It is a 25–30 foot drop into the lake, but the water is deep enough for those brave enough to jump in. The water is cold, even in August. Tom joined the dozens of other that braved the jump – I was happy to be the camera woman and pass on the terrifying experience!
Recognize this photograph?
It is by Ansel Adams of the Grand Tetons over the Snake River. Tom and I have always been Ansel Adams admirers, so we found the place where Adams took this photo to take our own! The trees have grown a bit since he was there, but it was still magnificent.
We spent a week in the Tetons at a fabulous FREE boondocking campsite just outside the park yet in full view of the mountain range.
We had a few days of perfect weather where we hiked and explored. Then wildfires that were burning on both sides of the park caused smoke to build up and haze the park, so we bid our farewell to our mountain paradise and continued on to Idaho.
Getting to Yellowstone, Which Entrance Should I Take?
Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyoming
Grizzly Bears of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Yellowstone National Park – East
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park – West & Overall Thoughts
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