We drove from Salt lake City, Utah to the Grand Teton National Park…and this has got to be amongst one of the most scenic drives i have been on. It was about 300 miles..and we were mostly on the State highways driving on the border of Idaho and Wyoming.
Driving north of Salt lake City, we drove by the Great Salt Lake and went eastwards on Interstate 80 before finally joining State Highway 30/89, that would take us all the way to the Grand Teton National Park. Most of the stretch is through the Bridger National forest and for long stretches we were the only car on the road! The weather was beautiful and the scenery was amazing..and since we were not on an interstate, we were able to make frequent stops and soak in all the natural beauty surrounding us!
Right after we entered the National Park, we were greeted by the Grand Teton Range (The Teton Range is a subrange of the Rocky mountains) and the road through the park runs parallel to this range for the next couple of miles. We drove past the Moose junction and our first stop was the visitor center at Jenny lake. There are boats available to take you across the lake and you can then hike up to Inspiration Point. Though we did not have the time (takes about 3 hours) to take the boat ride (and the energy to do the hike up to Inspiration point with a 9 month old!), i have heard that the views of the “Hidden Falls” along the hike is majestic. We spend about 45 minutes exploring the area around the lake and got some very beautiful shots of the adjoining area.
Our next stop was the trek on Signal mountain – The drive up Signal Mountain to the Jackson Point Overlook was well worth our time. We got a terrific view of the entire area atop Signal mountain. Our other stops were Jackson Lake Dam (this also offered some awesome picture opportunities from both sides. Lots of water action on the river side and a placid lake on the dam side), Cunningham Cabin (Another great close-to-the-road photo opportunity, the rustic cabin is situated with the Grand Tetons as a backdrop – though the best time to photograph it is in the early morning) and Snake River Overlook.
The Snake River overlook is the picture point of one of Ansel Adams Grand Teton pictures. The view will take your breath away…Vaishakhi went crazy and we spend about an hour (while she was trying to get the perfect shot, I enjoying the breathtaking landscape of the Snake river winding through the Tetons).
Though we spent almost the entire afternoon and evening driving through the Teton National Park, we missed being there in the early morning hours. The mountains are East facing and the best time in the day to take pictures are during sunrise when the sun rays fall directly on the mountains. Unfortunately, we could not work out a schedule to ensure we were there in the early morning hours…though hopefully I will be back someday with a lot more time on my hands!