We never could’ve imagined just how amazing it truly would be!
Work dictates our travel schedule so even though we had only four days to spare, we opted to spend them camped out at Grand Teton National Park (GTN). It was a whirlwind of a trip filled with hiking, kayaking, exploring and taking in the sights. We barely put a dent in all that there is to see and do, but we’re so thankful we got to enjoy the time we did!
GETTING THERE: We were a little unsure about what it would be like to tow our 40′ fifth-wheel on the roads into GTN or where best to set up camp when we arrived, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the roads were easy to navigate and truly beautiful to drive. We planned our visit by choosing the southern route – via I-80 West to US-287 North – to the Moran Entrance into the park which was the most direct route to the campground we chose.
STAYING THERE: We opted to dry camp at Colter Bay due to the location being central to the areas we most wanted to visit. The sites are on a first come first serve basis at this campground so we timed our drive to arrive late morning which was perfect!
Even though it looked like we might be in line for hours, it moved quickly and the park staff were all super helpful.
There were plenty of sites to choose from once we checked in – but most were gone by evening, so we were glad we arrived early.
The campground sits adjacent to Jackson Lake – which was FANTASTIC!! None of the sites were lakeside, but we did find a trail that took us to a great spot overlooking the lake to enjoy spectacular sunsets!
Part of what added to the colorful sunsets was the wildfire that broke out while we were there – at times making it look like the entire sky was on fire! Luck was on our side in that the day we picked to visit Yellowstone National Park, the south entrance was still open which was just a few miles north from the campground.
* Photos and more from our visit to Yellowstone *
By far the most favorite part of our trip was Jenny Lake!
We spent the better part of 2 days there hiking and kayaking. We found a little boat launch tucked in behind the Jenny Lake Visitor Center that wasn’t marked with any signage, but could be accessed from Lupine Meadows Road, which was just south of the center, off of Teton Park Road.
We put our kayaks in one day and thoroughly enjoyed the crystal clear lake, the wildlife & the phenomenal views. We attempted a 2nd day of kayaking but it was super windy and the lake looked more like the ocean! Rangers were present and doing a really good job of strongly discouraging boaters from getting in the water, so even though we were bummed, we took their advice.
We opted instead to stay parked at the boat launch and hike Inspiration Point which could be reached from a trail that began and ended at the boat launch. The path runs around the entire lake and connects to the trailhead on the opposite side of the water.
Both GTN & Yellowstone are magical places that cannot really be explained in words and should be experienced by all! We can only hope to get back there one day with more time to enjoy!
* Photos and more from our stay in Grand Teton National Park *
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta