If I thought Yellowstone was good, Tetons is amazing! How unfortunate to only have a few short days to take it all in. I will definitely be returning. I think a solid two weeks would be required just to get the best of GTNP.
In Yellowstone we were surrounded by tourists, and our camp outside West Yellowstone forced us to drive through the busiest town every day. The Tetons, however, were much less densely swarmed. It was still heavily crowded. I am thinking September/October would be the perfect months to visit.
We entered the GTNP area via the Mesa Fall Scenic Byway through potato farmland, crossing the southern end of the range back into WY. Jackson Hole is the town to be a tourist at, and it was definitely full. Apparently a lot of millionaires and higher live around there. The flow of money definitely showed. The entire park and much of the areas around Jackson Hole, have nicely kept bike paths. The people from this area breathe outdoors life. This is the appropriate time to stifle the upwelling jealousy. It was hard for me too haha. Luckily we were at Gros Ventre Campground inside the park. I literally woke up one morning to a moose walking through the campground. Our traffic jams were waiting on buffalo herd crossings. It was awesome. YNP definitely has more wildlife, but they are in less danger–I would only say slightly less–of stupid tourists causing their unfortunate demise. Please remember for all future outings that wildlife is WILD. Let’s help keep it that way.
Yes, I am taking time to lecture on the implications of stupid humans. Feeding the wildlife allows them to associate food with people, which then promotes their curiosity and desire to meddle in human areas. When wildlife enters human areas, stupid people suddenly go into petting-zoo mode and get too close. When humans get too close, wildlife feels threatened and may attack; resulting in harm done to a deserving person but also the death of the harassed animal. It terms of how to interact with wildlife encountered on a trail, take the ten minutes and read about it. Some animals could care less if we are there, others will aim for the jugular, and some will fight and flee. Pulpit closed…
Wednesday was Amanda’s birthday. She wanted a river adventure. She had never been white water before, so rafting and white water rafting dominated that day. It was a blast. We both rode the bull. 🙂 And caught a rare time were the water level was in between two more stable levels, thus had more rapids than usual.
-Lower Slide Lake. Apparently it gets better further up into Crystal Creek/Bridger-Teton National Forest
-Jenny Lake. I will be making a trip up into Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon.
-Rafting and white water rafting Snake River.
There are loads more trails further east into Caribou-Targhee National Forest. And we completely missed the Jackson Lake areas. Also on the drive home yesterday, we picked up a hitch hiker who told us all about the Wind River Range to the south leaving GTNP. More than a return trip to YNP and GTNP, I am really motivated to hike the Continental Divide Trail! It winds through the whole area. There are numerous signs where it intersects the roads.