16th – 21st June 2014 – A grey day with some rain as we head north for the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. We pass through Brigham City and then Logan, where the road takes us through Cache National Forest and then up and over Bear lake Summit at nearly 8,000 feet. Vast Bear Lake looks as beautiful as it can under an overcast sky. Residents believe that it changes its mood according to its colour, depending on the weather, wind and time of day. Four species of fish that have adapted to the unique water chemistry of Bear Lake, can be found only in these waters and nowhere else in the world.
Native Americans such as the Shoshoni Indians, lived in Bear Lake Valley for thousands of years.
One half of Bear lake is in Utah, with the remaining half in Idaho through which we only travel a short distance before entering Wyoming……3 states in one day. There’s a big drop in temperature here as we drive through Bridger National Forest, snow on the peaks of distant mountains but the lush, green valley full of wild flowers is like a ray of sunshine!
At Afton we stop for hot drinks in another downpour and are reminded that we are now in bear and elk country and hopefully some other big mammals too.
We’re feeling the cold as we arrive in Jackson at the southern end of the Grand Teton National Park. Perhaps we should have looked at the weather for here before we left Salt Lake, as apparently the temperature is going to be down in the 30s F with a good chance of rain, sleet and snow…….it’s going to be a cold visit!
17th – 20th June – The Grand Tetons we have decided, make up one of our favourite parks. It certainly is not because of the weather, as we did get our fair share of all of the above, but these majestic and very dramatic mountains rise steeply from the valley floor and seem so close at times that we could almost reach out and touch them.
The Grand Teton National Park includes vast areas of wilderness land protected under the National Wilderness Preservation System introduced in the 1900s by the tireless efforts of such people as Aldo Leopold, Olaus Murie and others, who wanted to protect and preserve this spectacular mountain range.
Here are some more photos to show why we think this park is a very special and unique place to visit……..
Spring flowers bring colour to the valleys.
Some of the amazing wildlife that we were fortunate to see……….
We watch this moose browsing on willow shrubs at Willow Flats just north of Jackson Lake Dam. This male is growing antlers which will continue to get much bigger through the summer.
We think this fox must have dug out these little critters from their hole for his next meal. He has an amazing tail but looks a bit thin.
A mule deer with her distinguishing, large ears.
Our first bison seen grazing along the Antelope Flats Road. Incredible looking creatures but although they may look very cumbersome, they can actually run very fast. We keep a safe distance taking photos!
And yes, this is also bear country with plenty of warnings but we didn’t see one!
Roads in the park take us past more spectacular views of mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers……..
Mount St. John and Rockchuck Peak.
The Snake River winding its way through the Tetons on its way to Idaho, having begun its journey in southern Yellowstone National Park just to the north of here.
Mount Moran 12,605 feet, having five of the twelve glaciers in the Teton Range.
Looking down to the valleys…….
and the Sagebrush Flats…….
The central peaks known as The Cathedral Group with the Grand Teton in the centre at 13,770 feet, the highest point in the range and which give way to alpine meadows…….
and at the end of the day the sun goes down over Jackson Lake.
“There are some who can live without wild
things and some who cannot.
I am one who cannot.”