"Subdued sounds of insects and the sound and feel of a cool gentle breeze blowing across barren fields after dark , with mountain silhouettes and jagged peaks clearly visable -- gave me a feeling of solitude and peace unlike anything I have ever experienced". -- My thoughts after stopping south of Moose Junction for a final look at the park while leaving late one night .
To get to Grand Tetons' main scenic road -- drive north from Jackson, Wyoming on highway(s) 191/26/89. At "Moose Junction" (perhaps 12 or 14 miles north) - turn left. This is "Teton Park Road". If you don't turn here, you will, for the most part, miss all of the parks really beautiful places. If camping, arrive early - perhaps 9 or 10 A.M. If you do arrive any later , sites are usually still available at the Gros Ventre ( pronounced - "gra vaunt" ) campground, except perhaps, on major national holidays. To access it, drive east from Gros Ventre Junction - about 6 miles (or so) south of the Moose Junction turnoff. Note: The "Jenny Lake Campground" , north of Moose Junction is very beautiful - but it's very difficult to get a site there.
A SUGGESTION - Campers (or others) might follow the scenario below - which is typical of my park visits .If arriving late , spend your first night at the Gros Ventre Campground. ------ DAY NUMBER ONE ------ Early the next morning drive to the "Signal Mountain Campground" -- near the north end of the park. Sites at it tend to be large , wooded , and feel more private and relaxed. Immediately adjacent to this campground is lodging, a small ranger station, a gas station, and a restaurant open long summer hours . The view from the restaurant is of Jackson Lake and the Tetons. The food is great! After breakfast , drive the entire length of Teton Park Road from Signal Mountain to Moose Junction . Be sure to turn right at the "North Jenny Lake Junction" (near the south end of the road). This one way drive , with gorgeous views of the lake , may well be the highlight of your visit. Shortly after getting back on Teton Park Road , you'll see the turnoff to the area of Jenny Lake that includes a gift shop , trail , and ranger station .
------ DAY NUMBER TWO ------ Hike the Taggart Lake Trail. This trail is fabulous . It is also a great place to get exercise . I love it most of all !
------ DAY NUMBER THREE ------ Visit the "Oxbow Bend" area north of Signal Mountain . There are some pretty spots in this area . Occasionally , moose can be spotted . (NOTE: Moose image was taken in another area of park). After a few hours , head south again , to the Jenny Lake Trail . Quiet and beautiful , it follows the southern shore of the lake to "Hidden Falls". If you want to hike further, continue hiking until you reach "Cascade Canyon". --NOTE-- If you don't want to hike, a boat shuttle is available near the trailhead that cuts across the lake to the waterfall .
------ IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE ! ------ NEVER LEAVE FOOD OUT . This will attract bears. While bears may be fun to watch , they should only be seen from a distance because - THEY ARE VERY DANGEROUS ! ! ! ! ! The campgrounds have metal boxes/containers about the size of a footlocker to put belongings, such as cooking utensils, in. Any personal items left out at your campsite while you are away - ANYTHING WHATSOEVER - even an ice cooler or propane stove will be promptly removed by park rangers . You may then end up having to wait until the next morning before you are able to reclaim them . Keep all belongings in your vehicle AT ALL TIMES except during the time you are eating !
Mountain image at top - Taken at a pulloff along Teton
Park Road on a very cold snowy September day .
All information compiled above was written
by Freelance Photographer Robert Pear.