Grand Teton and Yellowstone
We originally had planned on running the Zion Ultra in April of 2021. Due to training injuries, we had to drop out of that race, which allowed us to transfer our credits to another race. We chose the Grand Teton half, since we had never visited this area of the country. We arrived in Jackson, Wyoming a couple of days before the race and explored the town and park. The main town square has these famous antler arches on each corner.
Entering the park from the North Western point, near Moran.
We spent the day before the race driving around the park and taking in some of the views.
This is from the Glacier Viewpoint, along the main highway that runs through the park. Grand Teton is right behind Lisa.
June was a nice time to visit the park. Things were beginning to bloom, but it was not too hot yet. It was a nice break from the Atlanta summer.
Lisa managed to get some good shots along the half marathon course, which ran just outside the park.
The course crossed the Snake River at one point.
Lisa finishing the half marathon
The next day, we checked into our cabin inside the park. We stayed in Colter Bay Village, next to Jackson Lake. The cabin was very rustic, but it was nice to walk out and be inside the park.
Walking around the Lakeshore trail just outside our village area.
Back at Glacier Viewpoint
Next to the peak itself, Mormon row is probably the most famous spot in the park. There was a small Mormon settlement here that began in the late 1920s.
Our first hike of the trip was Taggart Lake
The hike was relatively short, but scenic
For our next hike, we took a ranger’s recommendation and hiked to the top viewpoint of Phelps lake, on the southern end of the park.
We came around a corner near the top and spotted our first black bear! After being disappointed from not seeing any bears during our trip to Yosemite, we were excited to finally see one.
The view of Phelps lake from the overlook trail
On the way back down, we came upon a group of people that had spotted more black bears. They were much closer to the trail this time. There was a mother and two cubs.
Excited by our bear sightings, we drove over to the lower Phelps lake trail to get a view of it from the bottom.
Phelps lake from below
A view of the Snake River on our way back to our cabin
Our first Moose sighting!
The Inspiration Point trail begins after a short ferry ride across Jenny Lake. You can hike around the trail, but that adds a couple of miles and isn’t recommended.
After docking on the other side of the lake, the trail up to Inspiration point is pretty vertical. It’s one of the more popular things to do in the park, so it was quite crowded
Inspiration point, with a view of Jenny Lake
From the top of Inspiration Point, you can either head back down, or begin the Cascade Canyon Trail.
The crowds thinned out after getting away from Inspiration Point, which was nice.
The trail runs through the canyon, along Cascade Creek
Another mother bear with two cubs were hanging out along the trail
Back at Inspiration Point after hiking into Cascade Canyon for around 2.5 miles and back.
Sunset at Jenny Lake
Sunset over Jackson Lake. This was our last night in Grand Teton before heading up to Yellowstone.
Spotted this fox near Jenny Lake Lodge
Sunset at Oxbow Bend, a popular spot for catching the sun setting over the mountains.
The buffalo are famous in Yellowstone for causing traffic jams.
Not far from our hotel, we stopped at our first geological feature – Dragon’s Mouth. This was one of the more fragrant spots of our trip. There was a pretty consistent sulphur smell the entire time we were in Yellowstone, but it was extremely concentrated here.
We hit the ground running the next day. Our first stop was just a few miles from where we were staying (Lake Yellowstone Hotel) – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
We made our way to the northern end of the park for lunch, where we stopped by Mammoth Hot Springs
On the way back, we stopped at several of the famous spots. This is at Tower Fall.
The variety of terrain at Yellowstone was something we didn’t quite expect. This was from a random spot on the road, not far from Mount Washburn.
West Thumb Basin was to the south of where we were staying. The geysers and geological features are right next to Lake Yellowstone here, which provides a really cool backdrop.
An elk in West Thumb Geyser Basin
The next day, we woke up early to see Old Faithful before the crowds got too bad.
Old Faithful was ok, but the area surrounding it was much cooler. The entire area is covered in geysers and pools, with boardwalks that wind and twist around everything.
We lucked out and got to see Grand Geyser go off. We reached it 30-45 minutes before its next predicted eruption and decided to wait it out. It was a little late, but it paid off. It was MUCH bigger than old faithful and lasted quite a while.
After leaving the Old Faithful area, we headed to Norris Geyser Basin
Grand Prismatic Spring. We didn’t get a chance to do the overlook, but it was still really cool to see up close.
More bears! Spotted along the road in Yellowstone.
One of the things we (Lisa in particular) were really looking forward to was visiting Lamar Valley to spot wildlife. On the way there, we came across herds of buffalo.
Sometimes in Yellowstone, you just have to stop and wait for the bison to do their thing.
Lamar Valley was breathtaking. We even found some locals who were excited to point out various wildlife to us. This is a popular spot to come, pull over, and watch the wildlife through binoculars (or scopes)
We came for the wildlife and stayed for the spectacular sunset
On our last day in the park, we visited another geyser basin, Norris Geyser Basin
More road views in Yellowstone
One last sunset in the park. This is just outside where we were staying at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel Cottages.
As we were leaving the park, Lisa noticed the river looked REALLY high. It turns out our timing was perfect. This would be the day that the very road we were driving out on would wash out and make national news. We left from the northern entrance to head back to Bozeman to fly out. The next day we woke up to news of the river flooding and washing away the roads not far from where we’re standing here.
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