After bidding farewell to the charming city of Missoula Montana, we embarked on a two-day journey south to our next destination, Victor iIdaho and the Teton Valley Resort, Our primary reason for choosing Victor as our base was to explore two of the most stunning national parks in the country- Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Both of these parks are famous for their natural beauty and wildlife, and we were excited to explore them to the fullest.
We started our exploration the Grand Teton National Park, at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center, where we spoke to the rangers and got some valuable recommendations. One of the rangers suggested that we do the hike to Taggart and Bradley Lakes, which promised stunning views of the Teton Range.
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming and is renowned for its towering peaks, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The park encompasses an area of over 300,000 acres and is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which is one of the largest remaining nearly intact ecosystems in the world. The history of Grand Teton National Park dates back to the late 19th century when explorers and settlers first began to explore the region. In 1897, the park was established as a forest reserve, and in 1929, it was designated as a national park. The park owes its name to the Grand Teton, which is the highest peak in the Teton Range and stands at an elevation of 13,775 feet.
Following the rangers advice and started the hike at the Taggart Lake Trailhead. The horse stables near the trailhead are run by the National Park Service and are part of the park’s historic Jackson Hole National Monument District. These stables have been in operation since the 1930s and are an essential part of the park’s cultural and historic heritage.The hiking trail led us past the stables and horses grazing in the open meadows then on through dense forests as we climbed up to the lakes.
As we hiked higher, we were treated to spectacular views of the Teton Range, which dominated the skyline. The hike led us to serene Taggart Lake first then onto Bradley Lake, Both lakes offered stunning reflections of the Teton Mountains in their calm waters. We spent some time taking in the views and enjoying the serenity of the lakes before making our way back to the trailhead. On our way back to Victor we stopped in Jackson Hole to look around and have a nice dinner. Click on thumbnail to view image
Taggert and Bradley Lakes Loop Hike
John Moulton Barn, Jenny lake, Oxbow Bend and Snake River Overlook
The Grand Tetons in Wyoming are renowned for their stunning natural beauty, and one of the most iconic scenes in the area is the John Moulton Barn, located in the Mormon Row Historic District. The barn and the majestic Teton Range in the background make for a breathtaking and timeless image that has been photographed countless times by visitors and professional photographers alike.
The John Moulton Barn is a classic example of the homesteading structures that were built by the early settlers of the Jackson Hole valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The barn was originally constructed in 1913 by the Moulton family, who were among the first homesteaders in the area. The Moultons were farmers and ranchers who built the barn to house their livestock and store their hay. Over the years, the John Moulton Barn has become an iconic symbol of the Jackson Hole valley and is recognized as one of the most photographed barns in the United States.
As we arrived at the barn, the first light of dawn was just starting to appear on the horizon, casting a soft glow over the Teton Range in the distance. As the barn and mountain peaks were lite up by the rising sun, and it was a truly magical sight to behold. As the sun continued to rise higher in the sky, the colors of the landscape began to change, and rugged peaks of the Teton Range were bathed in a warm and golden light. It was an awe-inspiring moment that left us speechless and in complete awe of the natural beauty that surrounded us. Click on thumbnail to view image
As we left the Moulton Bar in Grand Teton NP we were greeted by a herd of Pronghorns grazing in an adjacent field. We then drove on past Jenny Lake that was perfectly calm and gifted us with a perfect reflection of the Teton Range.
Our next stop was the Oxbow Bend overlook, and we were in for yet another treat. Mt. Moran, one of the tallest peaks in the Teton Range, was perfectly reflected in the tranquil waters of the Snake River. The scene was simply magical, and we couldn’t believe our luck in being able to witness such a stunning natural wonder.
It had been a great day for photography, and we were eager to make one last stop before heading back to Victor. The Snake River Overlook, made famous by the iconic photographer Ansel Adams, was our final destination. From the overlook, where we were met with a sweeping vista of the Snake River and the Teton Range in the distance. Click on thumbnail to view image
Historic Cunningham Cabin and Jackson Lake Lodge
We started our last day in the park by visiting the historic Cunningham Cabin, a fascinating glimpse into the area’s pioneer history. The cabin was built in the late 1800s by homesteader John Pierce Cunningham, and it served as his home until his death in 1893. Today, the cabin is preserved as a historical site, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and explore the rugged, frontier lifestyle of the early settlers of the region.
After soaking up some of the rich history of the park, we headed over to the Jackson Lake Lodge for a relaxing drink and some stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The lodge is situated on the banks of Jackson Lake, and from the terrace, we were treated to a panoramic vista of the Teton Range and the sparkling waters of the lake. After resting up we decided to continue north into Yellowstone NP. Click on thumbnail to view image
Our journey into Yellowstone National Park began at the South Entrance, where we were greeted by more spectacular scenery and the promise of adventure. We drove northward, past Lewis Lake, taking in the stunning views of the park’s natural beauty as we went. We passed West Thumb Lake, a beautiful body of water that is known for its striking blue-green color and geothermal features.
We continued along the North shore of Yellowstone Lake, which is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in the world, and marveled at the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the sad sight of the once majestic forest that was destroyed by the 1988 forest fire . As we made our way towards the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls, we followed the Yellowstone River as it rushed towards its dramatic plunge.
The Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls are some of the most iconic natural wonders in the park, and they did not disappoint. The Upper Falls is a towering 109-foot drop that thunders down into a rocky canyon, while the Lower Falls is a massive 308-foot plunge that creates a stunning misty rainbow as the water crashes into the pool below and the beautiful Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, as the world’s first national park. It is located in the western United States, primarily in the state of Wyoming, but also extending into Montana and Idaho. The park covers an area of over 2 million acres and is home to a wide range of geothermal features, including hot springs, geysers, and mud pots. The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Click on thumbnail to view image
After spending some time at the falls from variou viewpoints, we headed westward towards West Yellowstone, taking in the gorgeous scenery of the park’s mountainous terrain and rolling hills. As we made our way back towards the Teton Valley and Victor, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to experience the beauty and wonder of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.s