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Road Trip 2015 Part 3 & Tips for Visiting Grand Teton National Park

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Wyoming time in our road trip series this summer. The drive from Idaho to Wyoming was beautiful and we were amazed at how quickly the scenery changed as we crossed state lines. It became forests and dense mountainside, our first peeks of the Snake River were just glorious. So beautiful we had to get out of the car to explore a little. We stayed in Jackson Hole, more specifically Teton Village which is about 10 minutes from Jackson Hole, there's an entrance into the Grand Tetons from Moose which was just minutes from our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Terra, it was nice and location was amazing. It was sticker shock to go from Idaho hotel prices to Jackson Hole, but I can see why. This city was amazing and we all talk about coming back here one day. The food, the shopping, the quaint wooden sidewalks. We want to return, bad! Oh and we can just imagine the skiing in wintertime. We rode the gondola up the afternoon we arrived, and after we got to the top a storm came in and they shut down the gondola. We had snacks and drinks while at the top, and just waited about an hour for it to pass. Then the gondola started again and we headed back down. 

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The next day we got an early start to head into Grand Teton National Park. We immediately spotted two moose, a mama and her baby. And thus started our jaw dropping national park visit. Everywhere we looked and turned we saw the most incredible wild animals and scenes. 

The night before we created a game plan for our two full days we had in this park. It should be noted that there are turn offs pretty frequently for ultimate photo ops, to tour historic areas, etc, but we wanted to be able to get out and do some hiking as well. Day One we were going to head to Jenny Lake and take the ferry across. We hiked to Hidden Falls and then took the ferry back. Next we drove to Jenny Lake Lodge for lunch which had amazing food. I think it was the best meal we had inside the park. 

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After lunch we took the 42 mile scenic loop drive which took us to Jackson Lake, Antelope Flats, Cunningham Cabin, Mormon Row, Snake River bend, the reservoir, and a bunch of turnouts with stunning views. We took our time all afternoon and then headed into Jackson Hole for dinner. 

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A few things to note

  • We always had power bars, jerky and water with us in the car. It's hard to figure out when you'll be near a place with food. It takes much longer to get around then you'd anticipate because if a bison is blocking the road, you might be stuck there for awhile! The kids were troopers about this aspect of the trip. They understood that lunch might not happen until 2pm if a hike took unexpectedly longer than we anticipated.
  • The weather was crazy. I was constantly taking on and off my jacket, the kids had sweatshirts that they would do the same with, on and off and on and off. In the sun it could be warm and glorious, but in the shade you could feel it drop 20 degrees. So I recommend layers!
  • Also, be sure you're wearing tennis shoes or hiking shoes because the trails are dusty, sometimes muddy, and you'll want to protect your feet from plants.
  • And as far as time goes, I have to say two full days from sun up to sun down were the perfect amount of time for exploring this park. And we knew we were driving back through it on our way home from Yellowstone because we were flying out of Jackson Hole. So if there was anything we missed we knew we might have one last chance before leaving.

Next part will be our last full day in the Grand Tetons before we moved to Yellowstone!

Click here for road trip home video

Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2