Mountains. Wildlife. Lakes and rivers. You could say the Tetons are almost like home (smile)!
Before we even entered the Park proper, wildlife put in an appearance. A bull moose was bedded down among the cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre river, and a cow moose grazed nearby. The animals were encircled by a crowd of onlookers, so we did not add to the melee. So, no photos, I am afraid.
Inside the park, a pull-out provides a stunning panorama of the Teton range, along with a helpful plaque explaining the source of the names of various features. French Canadian trappers referred to the Grand, Middle and South Teton as "Les Trois Tetons", or "The Three Breasts". Since the vista was so expansive, I decided a video would be the ideal way to capture it.
At 9.30 AM, we began our hike to Surprise Lake and Amphitheatre Lake. Clouds scudded across the face of the mountain, and the 48-degree temperature suggested we might encounter a snow shower or two at the higher elevations. It was a Saturday, and it quickly became apparent that the locals had turned out in droves to do this hike before winter truly sets in. In the first hour alone, we saw 22 people. In the meantime, the chipmunks were fully occupied collecting food - so adorable skittering away with mouths crammed with pine seeds. At this elevation, autumn color was splotched on the hillsides as though a five year old had been let free with the paintbrush.
The switchbacks became more intense, and the terrain featured predominantly rock fields as we neared Surprise Lake.
Spousal Unit pointed out some white pouches on the widely scattered pines, and pausing to read a notice, we learned that whitebark pine are critical to the Grand Teton alpine ecosystems. The park is working to protect the trees from mountain pine beetle using pheromone pouches. We began to see hikers already on the descent, and they warned us of breezy, cold conditions up top. One said he had been chased off by a sudden snow squall. So, we paused long enough to take pictures, but then hurried the remaining x distance to Amphitheatre to ensure good visibility. When we arrived, I was wearing only a long-sleeved shirt on top. Within moments, it was coat, hat, neck gaiter and both pairs of gloves! Brrrr. It was worth the view, including Canada Jays that were locating something to eat in this barren alpine environment. And it wasn't our snacks!!!
We headed back to the trailhead, and were rewarded with expansive views of the valley along the way. Also, we spotted a pine marten crossing the trail ahead of us. This is only the second time on our lives that we have seen one of these elusive creatures. It is always amazing to me that is possible for such a sighting on a popular trail - we encountered at least 30 people headed up while we descended, but I suspect we were the only ones that saw the marten.
The full parking lot was additional testimony to this well-liked trail, and so perhaps we should not have been surprised when a fox showed up there, looking for abandoned food or even a handout. I was sitting on a rock, changing out of my boots, when it sauntered past me, not more than 10 feet away. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Spousal Unit caught this gorgeous creature on video, and several hikers with large sandwiches can be heard telling it "No" quite firmly as it eyed up their food! Check it out - you have to see this jaw-dropping beauty!
As we discovered the next day, foxes frequenting parking areas is more common in Teton than we might have imagined - this sign was in the parking lot near Signal Mountain.
We also noticed that the moose were prevalent at the Gros Ventre river each time we passed. While I don't think it is safe to assume that they were all different moose, if they were, it meant we saw five moose! Other wildlife during our visit included pronghorn antelope bison, elk, a hawk, 2 bald eagles and an owl. Sorry that I don't have blog-worthy pictures of them!
Low-lying clouds limited many of the vistas as we drove through the Park on the second day, so we re-traced our route on our final day and obtained some reasonable photos. Nevertheless, we were not completely satisfied, so we resolved to return in the future, perhaps a few weeks earlier in the season. Watch this space!
Jenny was the Shoshone Indian wife of Richard Leigh, a trapper who served as a guide for the 1872 Hayden Expedition. Jenny Lake is more than 250 feet deep, indicating the power of glaciers to sculpt the landscape.
We couldn't call ourselves proper tourists if we left the area without some souvenirs, so our last stop on the way south was downtown Jackson Hole.
(above picture will enlarge if you click on it)
Fortified with some Starbucks coffee, we turned to the GPS to lead us to Mountain Green, Utah, the home of one of my brothers and his wife. After six nights on the road, we licked our lips in anticipation of their hospitality, which is renowned in our family. We had no doubt that good times and good cooking lie ahead. For now, I will leave you with a Utah sunset as seen from the deck of the house. Glorious!
Good evening! What an adventure, Angie. This tour is historical an interesting Information here in your Post as well of course your captures of nature there around the lakes.ReplyDelete
Stay healthy and well.
...you visited a gorgeous part of the county, did you count the number of antler in the arch? Thanks Angie for hosting the party.ReplyDelete
Everything sure is pretty and oh my, those mountain views are amazing!ReplyDelete
Memories flushes by. I visited Teton and Yellowstone a couple of years ago. It was a nature/photography tour. So, no hikes. We landed in Jackson so, of course I have seen the Antler arch. We visited Teton range at sunrise and Jenny lake we had our picnic lunch. The other two lakes you mention we did not see. Which seem to be a pity. They seem so beautiful. You had a great time. :)ReplyDelete
Hi Angie! :) Oh that video of the Teton Range is stunning....I'm a little jealous! :) The Ampitheatre Lake is beautiful, though it looks brrrr...a wee bit cold for me. I find that the older I get, the less I'm tolerant of cold! I used to go snowshoeing for hours, now try to get me out more than 10 minutes and it's a challenge lol! :) I remember seeing lots of foxes on Prince Edward Island, they were everywhere, unfortunately the tourists used to feed them. The Antler Arch is amazing. What a lovely hike!ReplyDelete
Another great trip, my favorite is the antler arch, that was really cool.ReplyDelete
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade
Goodness, you were witness to spectacular and majestic scenery, Angie. The video of the Tetons is amazing. To witness this beauty up close and personal would be magical. Love the arch made from elk antlers; so cool.ReplyDelete
Lovely post Angie, you get to visit some beautiful places.ReplyDelete
Another inspiration to get out and see all the amazing things that are in our own backyard. Wonderful post and photos to inspire us. I'm always happy to follow you and your chef on your journeys!! We've had a house full over the last few days and are now in laundry and recuperating stage. Happy Advent season to you.ReplyDelete
The Grand Tetons are certainly that--GRAND! I enjoyed seeing your photos of it in the snow as we visited it in summer one year. I also loved that antler arch in Jackson Hole! Such wonderful memories this post brought back to me. We are overdo to visit these areas again.ReplyDelete
Another amazing share. Happy Monday AngieReplyDelete
What a wonderful trip report on the Tetons. The wildlife there is just fantastic. I hope no one is feeding the fox, I love seeing the moose. Jenny Lake was a spot hubby and I visited, it is beautiful. Gorgeous photos and views of the peaks, mountains and lakes. Thanks for hosting! Take care, have a happy new week!
What a wonderful, amazing place this is, Angie! Definitely on my list of places to visit when I come to the USA again (COVID permitting!). As usual, a pleasure to take this virtual hike with you.ReplyDelete
We love to collect antlers. Wow! That's quite the arch. The vistas are getting snowy!ReplyDelete
I love the cute tee shirt you got! And of course the snowy views are amazing. We have 'don't feed the alligators' here! lol Love your travel pics! Happy Monday!ReplyDelete
I always love the Tetons. Ahh, Jenny Lake, a favorite of mine. Looks like a great trip. Hope you are doing fine with our new Covid guidelines. Take care. KitReplyDelete
So beautiful---I love the mountains and lakes. It where I go when we go up to the North Cascades. And are plural Moose maybe Meese? No? hahaReplyDelete
Oh I love the fox tooReplyDelete
We are not going too far at the moment, so I am so glad you can visit these wild places, and bring them to us. Thank you so much. Happy travels and stay safe!ReplyDelete
Wow, if a fox did that in the east, we would suspect rabies. I guess those have learned to find tourist food.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness it’s just so beautiful. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for a few years when I was much younger and I’ll never forget how big everything looked. So pretty.ReplyDelete
Lovely seasonal inspiration, thanks for hosting!ReplyDelete
Angie, Thanks for sharing such great photos. Loved the video of the fox. They sure have nice faces and the tail is terrific. Have a great week! Sylvia D.ReplyDelete
Really is so beautiful there. Those clouds would have scared me off only because I know how drastically the weather can change the higher up you go. I imagine that fox is probably wondering why he's being told no when he's just wandering around his natural habitat. :)ReplyDelete
What a beautiful series, the mountains and the Foxes, absolutely stunnings.ReplyDelete
Marvelous adventure and awesome photos! ^_^ReplyDelete
Live each moment with love,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
awwww, i licked my lips in anticipation of the images of the food and was so disappointed!!ReplyDelete
the youtube of the teton range was really amazing, ooooh and the fox too, both were great...what an awesome place to hike and visit!!!
If people have been feeding the foxes it is very naughty of them. You have so many wonderful places to hike Angie. We have Surprise View in the Lakes where eyou can look out over the whole of the Derwentwater, Keswick, and beyond to Bassenthwaite Lake but I don't think it is quite as dramatic as yours.ReplyDelete
Stunning scenery, Angie. What a wonderful time, thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Oh wow, what a time you had. The hiking and the views. The fox, the pine marten. I've seen several fox here in Oklahoma including right on the Riverparks trails.ReplyDelete
The scenery really is stunning, I enjoyed seeing your photographs.ReplyDelete
Sending my good wishes, enjoy your weekend.
All the best Jan