The Tetons are unique mountains, the ‘youngest’ among the mountain ranges of North America, still rising up from the Teton fault line, jolted into life by earthquakes, sculpted by glaciers. Grand Teton National Park is a view into what the land might have looked like hundreds of years ago, compromised by the need to accommodate thousands of people who flock there to see the wildlife and view the mountains.
Wandering down roads less traveled and staying late into the evening, we were able to experience the stillness, the views, and sense the mountains presence as early settlers to the area might have. But ultimately, when there was a wild life “happening”, such as a grizzly with her cubs, or the Rocky Mountain elk cow who just gave birth, we were among the dozens of people wanting to glimpse these beautiful animals going about their business, living in one of the last places they call home.
The pronghorns were my favorites, they are beautiful to watch. Unique to North America, and the fastest mammal in North America, they are second only to the cheetah in the world for speed. They are dwindling in numbers due to fences and development of ranch lands. Their migration routes are blocked and often dangerous. They eluded my camera, though we saw many. I got pictures of them from afar, and saw them a bit closer up when we were in the valley of the Bitterroot Mountains.
Enjoy the pictures. If you have been there perhaps they will bring found memories. If you haven’t maybe they will inspire you to go. There are many books written by those who have explored the trails, the history and lived in the Tetons. If you plan to go I encourage you to read a few. Ours was the experience of two folks, and a little dog, who tooled around the park, spending two long days, but too short a time, among these amazing mountains and the surrounding lands. We were fortunate to see some of the wild life who call the mountain slopes and sagebrush lands sheltered by the mountains, home.
The three linked pages below show pictures of a few of the “road side attractions” we enjoyed on our trip to and from the Tetons.
Roadside attraction #1 – Cataldo Mission
Roadside attraction #2 – Dick and Jane’s Spot, Ellensburg
Roadside attraction #3 – Sacajawea Center
The Hobbit House
(rolling your cursor over the bottom edge a photo will bring up a caption, if there is one. Clicking on any photo will show it larger in a slide show, a better way to view)
Morning view from Driggs Idaho
Sunset over the Grand Teton on our first night, from the house we stayed in on the Driggs, Idaho side.
First stop in Grand Teton National Park to take in the breath taking view.
view from the east side to the Tetons in the west
balsm root flowers everywhere in the park
mama fox made a den under this historic cabin and has pups, one person took photos of them out of the den, quite small. Mama was stressed and restless of the attention of gawkers, sitting outside the den but not wanting to go in, finally she walked away.
the view from our lunch spot
a few young elk
Lupine Meadows in Grand Teton NP
mama elk had just given birth to her calf and was licking it & eating the placenta, you can not see the calf in this photo, but later we saw it stand on shaky legs. Mama did not seem very concerned about the gawkers across the river. A park ranger watched the birthing about 30 mins. before we stopped. Mom chose a spot close to a busy intersection by a lodge in the park.
a herd of big bison look very small compared to the mountains!
Ground squirrels everywhere, in Idaho, Montana and the park. This was created great excitement and a lot of activity for Abby! Here a squirrel from a hollow in a tree as we walk by in a campground Gand Teton NP.
mountain blue bird
the Tetons are more than the “Grand Teton”. It is the tallest of an impressive range of peaks. but a range of many impressive peaks, This is a view at the northern end of the range, driving into the park from the east, the Dubois side, a much quieter side of the park than the Jackson entrance.
rainbow over Snake River, looking an island in the river where a pair of White Pelicans were hanging out.
late evening dinner at the site of an old homestead, quiet, horses in an in park ranch mix with the elk in the distance.
This grizzly mama bear and her two cubs, hanging out close to the road, created quite a line up of gawkers, and a traffic and safety nightmare for rangers. We drove by, wishing her well. I’m sure if she wanted she could let folks know she’s had enough!
two pronghorns in the park. we saw many, we heard they crossed the road and stopped traffice one day we were there, but we always saw them in the sagebrush. They are super alert and would watch our every move, curious but cautious. One mama was so pregnant she barely moved. Unusual for a pronghorn! (the moving part, not the pregnant part)
Sunset at the end of our last day in the park. A lovely way to say good-bye!
Idaho side sunset reflecting on the clouds over the Tetons to the east.
me and the Tetons from Teton Valley on the Idaho side.
Our last view of the Tetons as we crested a hill leaving Teton Valley Idaho.
There are many signs in the park of the early homesteaders and ranchers who lived in the area before it was set aside as a park. One such building is a small chapel over looking Jackson Lake. Called both the Chapel of Transfiguration and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, after the tragedies of September 11, 2001, a family donated money needed to restore this little chapel in the memory of those who lost their lives. Weekly services are held in the summer and it is a popular place for people to get married in the park. We found it to be a very cool, quiet place late on a hot day.
Mike seems to be be givng off quite an aura while enjoying the quiet & coolness of the chapel!
Below is a sampler of the many wildflowers we saw both in the park, in Teton Valley Idaho, or along the way.
one of my favorite flowers was the flax that grew along the road we drove to the house we stayed in.
many wildflowers everywhere we traveled, and of course lots of sage brush!
these pink wild geraniums were abundant in may areas we explored in the Teton Vallely in Idaho.
Idaho stare flower, very fragrant, we saw it everywhere, in Idaho and Montana and in the park (which is in Wyoming)
Lupine Meadows in Grand Teton NP