Today we are heading south to the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. The Jackson Lake Lodge is another of the Grand Lodges of the National Parks so we are looking forward to staying there.
|Our route out of the park today. As you can see, the |
road closure is making us take the long way around.
We were up early and after a quick breakfast, we were on the road by 8:30. The weather was partly cloudy, but cold with the temperature around 33 degrees F. We had told each other that we would take no more buffalo pictures as we had way to many already, but that didn’t last long. We were only a couple miles up the road from Old Faithful when we saw a traffic jam and a bunch of buffalo beside and in the road. We couldn’t resist so we added a few more buffalo pictures to our collection.
We did the usual drive of Old Faithful to Madison to Norris to Canyon to Lake Village which we have done before, but this time we continued on to West Thumb and continued on to the south entrance. West Thumb is only about 20 miles from Old Faithful so you can see how frustrating it is to have to make such a lengthy detour. In truth though, the scenery is so incredible, you really don’t mind. We drove south out of Yellowstone and we soon started seeing the incredible sight of the snow covered Tetons ahead, they are so dramatic and beautiful.
|Our first view of the Tetons.|
|The view from the dining room of the Jackson Lake Lodge.|
We reached Jackson Lake Lodge by noon and were first surprised that our room was ready, and then surprised again that we had been upgraded to a mountain and lake view room. Before going to our room we had lunch in the dining room and checked out the common areas of the hotel, it is very nice with the focal point being 60 foot tall windows looking out at Jackson Lake and the Tetons.
|The great view of the Tetons through the huge windows is the centerpiece of the lodge.|
We got to our room and found we really did have a fantastic view so we were pretty happy.
|The view form our terrace.|
We dumped our suitcases and hit the road to make the most of the afternoon. When we were in Elko we talked to some people who had lived in Jackson and they told us about a back road that went into the Elk Refuge just outside of Jackson so we decided to go there first. We stopped at the park Visitor’s Center to get a map and the ranger told us that it was too early for elk to be in the refuge as that is there wintering area. We decided to go anyway, but we should have listened to the ranger as there wasn't an elk to be seen.
|Not an elk to be seen in the elk preserve. We were too early in the season.|
The next thing we wanted to do was drive Gros Ventre Road, which was a byway going east up into the mountains through a scenic canyon. On our way we saw an antelope and of course had to stop and take some pictures before continuing our drive. Right away we could see that we were a week or two late for the fall color as the aspen had pretty much lost all of their leaves, although there were still a few signs of color left.
We finished that drive and the last thing I wanted to do was check out the nearby area called Mormon Row where there is a group of old Mormon barns that are very popular with photographers. I’m sure you have seen published photographs of this area as they are pretty famous. My intent was to check out the location and then return to catch the morning sun on the Tetons, but with the clouds and patchy sunlight, we spent some time photographing them in the afternoon sunlight. Even at this time the area was busy with photographers.
A small heard of antelope in the distance.
By this time it was getting late in the afternoon so we headed back up to Jackson Lake. We decided to have an early dinner and retire to our room and we were glad we did. The sunset was just incredible and we had a front row seat from our room terrace. We took many pictures, but none of them really did justice to the drama and beauty of the sun setting behind the Tetons.
Tomorrow we continue south to Flaming Gorge where we will spend two nights. We are wondering if Flaming Gorge will be a letdown after the incredible scenery of Yellowstone and the Tetons, but hopefully we will be happily surprised.