Welcome to Grand Teton National Park (a kick ass National Park)

Welcome to Grand Teton National Park
Welcome to Grand Teton National Park

Day 10: Up and out of Yellowstone National Park bright and early. We had a campsite to claim in Grand Teton National Park and it was 4th of July weekend. Unlike Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, there are no reservable campsites in Grand Teton. We decided to go big and for the most popular campground in Grand Teton: Jenny Lake Campground. Our early start paid off as we found a nice large site at the far end of Jenny Lake campground.

As you drive through Grand Teton from the north the Teton Mountain Range captures your attention The peaks are dramatic and spectacular. As a climber, I yearn to climb the peaks and see the views they provide. But that would be for another trip. On this trip we would admire them from valley floor.

Family photo in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Gang's All Here

After setting up camp we headed to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center area. It’s customary for us to first visit a nearby visitor center to learn about the national park we’re visiting. We’ll usually buy a children’s book or two to read to the kids while visiting the park. We also learn about the Junior Ranger program offered in the park. Grand Teton’s Junior Ranger Program required, by far, the most activities of the three national parks we visited. It was definitely doable but for a three year old it required a lot more involvement from the parent. We were up for the challenge.

We then decided to enjoy a drive through the southern part of the park and visit Jackson Hole. Laura and I enjoyed this town when we visited in March 2002 and decided to have dinner here tonight. We arrived in the early afternoon and made our way through all the tourist traffic. Yes there is a lot but it’s manageable. After parking I found a coffee shop where I uploaded a few blog posts about our trip and Laura played with the kids in a nearby park. We wandered the town where we enjoyed viewing the many pieces of art throughout the downtown area. Wildlife and cowboys are a huge part of this area and it’s represented very well in art, building design, activities, and more. We got in on the action and did a family photo cowboy style. Ethan got a kick out of us dressing up and loved being able to hold not one, but two guns.

On our drive back to camp we stopped to admire a herd of elk in the park. It was the first elk we had seen.