The Grand Tetons: Unmistakable Beauty

image of grand tetonsTeton Village, home to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, was our home base, and we loved it! We were within one mile of the southern entrance to the Grand Teton National Park and 20 minutes from downtown Jackson – the best of both worlds.

The focus for this trip was enjoying the landscape and wildlife of the Grand Tetons, and we also wanted to have the opportunity to enjoy Jackson and learn about its rich history.

The drive from Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park is approximately 100 miles of incredible views. I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty when I got my first view of the Grand Tetons.

Majestic is the word that continually comes to mind.  While I haven’t been to Switzerland yet, they look like what I would expect the Alps to look like. We stopped continuously to take pictures and just stared at their imposing presence.

photo of people hikingDriving into Teton Village was magical as well. I love ski resorts in the summer! Surrounded by mountains, tons of flowers and warm winds they make a perfect setting for someone who loves to be outdoors but really doesn’t enjoy the cold!

Walking out the back of the hotel to discover the amazing Village Commons area was one of our favorite surprises. It is such a great laid back area with kids running around having fun and parents enjoying the opportunity to watch them with little concern for their safety. There are lots of different spaces to sit and enjoy our day: picnic tables, bistro tables, rock seating – surrounded by restaurants and of course, the mountains!

The first evening we rode the Bridger Gondola to the top of Snow King Mountain, a vertical rise of 2700 feet, for a glass of wine and to watch the sunset. What a great start to our stop in Jackson Hole!

photo of hot air balloon rideJackson Hole is a charming town with lots of western flavor. Visiting the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a must. On our visit, we sat in a sanitized saddle in a mask, and it was a hoot! You will find tons of memorabilia all around you and live music every evening. Then, of course, there are the Elk Antler Arches in the Town Square which require at least one selfie! The arches are constructed from elk antlers, shed every year by the animals, and harvested by the local Boy Scouts.

Shopping opportunities abound around the Town Square. Not only can you take home t-shirts, coffee cups and other souvenirs, but there are also many local artisans selling their one of a kind items from jewelry, gloves, knives,  and art (to name a few) which reflect the nature and beauty of Jackson Hole.

We spent a lot of time in the Grand Tetons.  We hiked around Jenny Lake, saw the Hidden Falls, went up to Inspiration Point and hiked Colter Bay.  Just one spectacular backdrop after the next!  Everyone warned us about the bear – and we saw a huge brown bear!  Thankfully he wasn’t that close to us. He crossed our path only moments before our arrival, as he headed to the shore of Jenny Lake where we saw him feasting on huckleberries.

We saw pastures of buffalo and elk.  Beautiful birds…and the flowers! If you love nature, this is all you can ask for!

On our last morning we took a balloon ride – what a treat!  To see the landscape from 7,000 feet in the air was awesome!  There were two other balloons in the air with us so it was cool to watch them as well.

Because of Covid 19, our trip to Jackson wasn’t the normal visit. We took food to go, ate outside, social distanced and wore a mask – and it was still a wonderful trip.  I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place to be during a pandemic or any other time!

Sadly, we missed all the outdoor festivals and concerts planned for this summer, but we will definitely return!

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