Grand Teton National Park: Pristinely astounding!

North America | | January 26, 2011 at 12:05 am




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Ah! The Grand Teton - The name itself is so encouraging that any adventurer would at least hike this mount once. Yes, your jaw will go down when you spot this great natural wonder for the first time – Teton Range poking from the floor of the Jackson Hole valley. A close-up, undisturbed vista of the splendidly jagged peaks here will take your breath away. Just in front of you, the mountain glaciers crawl down the soaring Mt. Moran, whereas the all size lakes shimmer at the base of the Grand Teton. A variety of animals such as bald eagles, moose bed, and elks are seen wondering nicely around. This is a brief scene at the Grand Teton National Park.

Trails

In this park of Wyoming lies the highest mountain called the Grand Teton due to which the park is the typical mountaineering destination in U.S.A. A majority of the tourists love to drive in the park due to the long mile stretches; however, there are some brave souls who hike or bike around. There are some 200 miles of moderate trails making the park a famous backcountry hiking spot. In order to make you choose your suitable trail, the Grand Teton trails are split here into categories.

The Valley Trails start from the Jackson Hole Valley forming the bottom of the Grand Teton offering majestic mountain vista. All of them are flat – Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Leigh Lake, Jenny Lake, Heron Pond, Emma Matilda Lake, Swan Lake, and Two Ocean Lake hikes. If you want to go deep in the mountains, then go for the Canyon Trails offering many experiences that other visitors do not get a chance for. Some of these are very ardent, which takes one over 10,000 feet and atop peaks. Spectacular hiking is possible via the Granite Canyon, Garnet Canyon, Death Canyon, Open Canyon, Paintbrush Canyon, and Cascade Canyon.

Lookout points

Besides hiking, you can explore all the points of interest. Take your binoculars out and spot the different birds here at the Oxbow Bend near Jackson Lake Junction offering the Mt. Moran view too. Marvel at the three highest peaks from the Cathedral Group turnout namely, Mt. Owen, Teewinot, and the Grand Teton. Chill out with the view of the largest glacier at the Teton Glacier turnout near the Moose Junction. Do also explore the Snake River Overlook as well as the Schwabacher’s Landing where two sections of cars and boats parking offer great vistas of the Tetons as well as their reflections in the river. Off the park road, the Signal Mountain Turn that is a narrow paved route ending at the parking area is worth a climb after which a walk until the peak offers 360 degree vistas of the Jackson Hole.

Sights

Besides the above lookout points, there are some sights to discover. Menor’s ferry is worth a look as it is a replica of 1890’s ferry that was operating on the Snake River. It is really incredible to find two chapels here. One of them is the Chapel of the Transfiguration near Moose Junction offers mountain views via its altar window. Its stained glass windows wonderfully portrays the mountainous landscape. Another is the Chapel of the Sacred Heart located close to Jackson Lake Junction.

By the Jenny Lake, do visit the Hidden Falls by hiking for 2.5 miles and then going for a boat ride ($10 round trip). Just be on the lookout near the falls. From the falls, hike up to Inspiration Point offering a great vista over the lake as well as the Jackson Hole.

Eating

In the Colter Bay Village, the Cafe Court specializes in American as well as Mexican food. Service is quick here. There is also the Chuckwagon Restaurant offering breakfast buffet ($11.95).

Accommodations

  • Colter Bay Village from May to September for budget backpackers
  • Jackson Lake Lodge, from late May to early October, which is pricey

  • Jenny Lake Lodge from early June to early October, as luxurious stay
  • Teton Mountain Lodge, luxurious

Camping is also possible at various campgrounds around. Backcountry camping needs permit.

Best time

June to September witnesses summer here of which June is the wettest, while July is the driest. Storm and rains can come here any month. The Grand Teton is very risky during the afternoons if thunderstorms prevail. This means you need to start early.

Entrance fees

$12.00 per person, $25.00 for a week, and $20.00 per motorcycle.

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