July 16, 2015 Grand Teton National Park

IMG_20150716_121505We made the short drive from Jackson Hole to Grand Teton National Park, a 485 square mile park with breathtaking views of the Teton Mountain Range.  The highest peak, Grand Teton, is 13,770 feet above sea level and the second highest peak in Wyoming.  Thousands of people climb the summit every year.IMG_20150720_103816IMG_0415

The Tetons are a young mountain range.  Ten million years ago the peaks began to rise along the Teton fault line, known as a fault block.  Tons and tons of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock vaulted up and forward while the valley known today as Jackson Hole sank and continues to sink.  This created the many pinnacles which were sculptured by glaciers into the Teton Range we see today.

Grand Teton National Park was created in 1929, one third of the size it is today.  Through land donated by John D Rockefeller, Jr. in 1950 and the addition of Jackson Hole National Monument, the park grew to its current size.IMG_0411IMG_0413

We had reservations at a campground in the park run by a concessionaire, Xanterra Parks and Resorts (they manage campgrounds and lodges at most of the largest parks).  We had a nice full hookup site amid pine trees.  The only problem was the trees were so thick, and even though we tried moving the RV forward and backward, we were unable to get any satellite TV.

We drove the 43 mile scenic loop drive, stopping near the Jackson Lake Dam.   In 1999 Bill and his son Sean visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.   Bill has a picture Sean took of him with a beautiful view of the Tetons.  He really wanted to recreate the picture and we were able to find the same location for a 2015 picture!BillSelphJacksonLakeIMG_0443

A steep drive on the Signal Mountain Summit Road took us to the top of Signal Mountain with views of the Jackson Hole valley 800 feet below.  Along the way we spotted a black bear partially hidden in the heavy foliage.IMG_0373

Besides seeing bison, we were on a moose hunt.  We were determined to see a moose!  We drove on  Antelope Flats Road and stopped at an overlook known for wildlife.  Hidden deep in the grass in the distance was a mother and baby moose.  It wasn’t easy but Bill managed to snap a picture.  We decided that would have to be our one moose find of the day.  As we headed home we approached a bridge and noticed a traffic jam with cars pulling over on both sides of the road and people running toward the bridge.  It could only mean one thing, a wildlife sighting!  We squeezed in among the other cars and walked to the bridge.  One large male moose was on the edge of the water and ambled down for a drink.  All that excitement for ONE moose!  But of course we had to join in the fun! Male moose have “antlers” like deer.  Unlike horns, antlers fall off and the animals regrow them each year.IMG_0392IMG_0402IMG_0409

The Jenny Lake Scenic Drive took us to Jenny Lake with fabulous views of Jenny Lake and the Tetons.  We took a nice walk down to see the lake.  We also visited historic Jackson Lake Lodge with 60 foot windows overlooking the Teton Mountain Range.

We loved the Grand Tetons and will definitely be back!

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