|s/y Nine of Cups
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
|More National Parks?
More American Odyssey trip?
Birds of North America?
Wildflowers of North America?
|Grand Teton National Park encompasses ~
310,000 acres and includes the major peaks of the
40-mile (64 km) long Teton Range as well as most
of the northern sections of the valley known as
Jackson Hole. Only 10 miles (16 km) south of
Yellowstone National Park, the two parks are
connected by the National Park Service managed
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. These
three protected areas in conjunction with
surrounding National Forests constitute the Greater
Yellowstone Ecosystem, which at nearly 18 million
acres is one of the largest intact mid-latitude
temperate ecosystems in the world.
The park was created in 1929 to protect the Teton
range and six glacial lakes. It was expanded
significantly in 1950 to its present size.
|Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand
Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.
The naming of the mountains is attributed to
early 19th-century French speaking trappers—
"les trois tetons" (the three breasts), later
anglicized and shortened to Tetons
|Grand Teton is an almost
pristine ecosystem and the
same species of flora and
fauna that have existed since
prehistoric times can still be
found there. More than 1000
species of vascular plants,
dozens of species of
mammals, 300 species of
birds, more than a dozen fish
species and a few species of
reptiles and amphibians exist.
|The photogenic old Moulton barn on Mormon Row
|We drove the scenic Rockefeller Parkway into the park from the north. There was still lots of snow and several of the visitor centers and exhibitions were not open for the season.
No matter, the scenery in itself was nearly overwhelming. The view of Jackson Lake and the Tetons were gorgeous on a crisp, cold, clear and calm day in May.
|We saw quite a few
drowsing and some
handling the mail.
|A Grand Teton traffic jam
|Once again, buffalo roamed free
|A 43-mile scenic loop drive
was a lovely way to spend the
day. Stops at the Visitor's
Centers alerted us to animal
sightings. Abundant turnouts
and overlooks along the way
afforded us the opportunity to
see most of the highlights of the
park. Grand Teton the highest
of the Teton range looks regal
(right) at 13,770' above sea
|Oxbow Bend of the Snake River
|A helpful yellow-headed blackbird picks
bugs off our car grille. Right, a delicate
yellow fritillary blooms.
|Next national monument/park on the
itinerary... Fossil Butte. It's reallly not
very far away...why not come with us?
|What to say about such an incredibly beautiful place?
We needed more time to just sit and soak it all in.
Viewing it in different seasons and just different times
of the day would be incredible. This is a "must-return"
kind of place because once is definitely not enough.