After our detour into Idaho, we finally arrived at Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming a week before Labor Day. This amazing spot would be where we'd stay through the last holiday weekend of the summer.
There really aren't enough superlatives to describe these mountains, rising as they do seemingly out of nowhere, rather than peeking from behind foothills. BAM! They are there and in your face, huge and rocky, with some bits of snow and ice clinging to the highest peaks even in August. If you don't gasp the first time you see the Teton range, you are either blind or very, very jaded. For me, seeing the Tetons was similar to my first look at the Grand Canyon.
As I often say, photos just don't do them justice!
Barry had visited this park as a boy when his family camped at Jenny Lake, and he wanted me to see what he remembered fondly. I honestly had never even heard of this park until recently as it just isn't talked about as much as some of the more popular parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite. But to me it was even more impressive than Yellowstone. And I haven't been to Yosemite yet to compare (one day!)
We arrived at Gros Ventre Campground on a Monday around lunchtime which allowed us a great choice of sites. All sites are first-come first-served here. Gros Ventre is French and means "big belly", which made me laugh. This is the closest campground in GTNP to the city of Jackson, so very convenient.
There are a number of loops in Gros Ventre, only one of which with electric hookups; the others are all dry camping. One loop is for tenters only, and one for employees only. Loops A through C allow generator usage during non-quiet hours.
We chose to boondock (dry camp) because at $13/night (half price) with Barry’s Senior Access pass, the value was unbeatable, especially considering that the electric loop sites are $39 with a pass and $51 without! That is by far the largest premium we have ever encountered for an electric hookup. Amazingly, the electric loop (D) was full. We chose to save the money and run the generator now and then as needed. It wasn't hot enough for air conditioning while we were there (around Labor Day weekend) anyway.
Sites are wildly varied here, from very small for tenters and truck campers to large enough for big rigs. We chose a site in the "A" loop with a view of the Tetons, even the tallest of the bunch, Grand Teton Mountain itself. Just gorgeous! Every morning when we opened Pearl's front curtains, it was startling to see the glorious topography right in front of us.
Here's the view from our site. Grand Teton is the very highest peak behind the hill in front.
Our site was a little tight side to side, but we did manage to just barely fit our screen room next to Pearl to defy the flies when we ate meals outside.
We didn't see as much wildlife here as we saw in Yellowstone and not a single moose, though we'd read that they often show up in this campground. However, there were lots of birds we enjoyed watching; in particular a huge number of beautiful Mountain Bluebirds. We also saw a gorgeous Mule Deer in the campground one evening, and I enjoyed watching the many small chipmunks running around as well.
The wonderful bicycling made up for any lack of wildlife; so stay tuned for more on that.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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