Posts Tagged With: Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

After traveling for over 4 years, it was inevitable that we would eventually start repeating some favorites. Grand Teton National Park is one of those favorites we repeated this year, and it was just as awesome as the first time. If you’d like to read my post from our first time at Grand Teton you can see it here: Grand Teton National Park.

We tried a new hike this time to Taggart and Bradley Lakes. The views along the hike and the picturesque lakes were incredible.


Starting our hike to Taggart Lake

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Waterfall along the way to Taggart Lake



Gorgeous Taggart Lake


Enjoying a snack break at Taggart Lake

Then we continued on to Bradley Lake which was a lot of uphill hiking making for a very good workout.


Another snack break at Bradley Lake


Bradley Lake

We also repeated some favorites like visiting the Chapel of the Transfiguration which is stunning!


Chapel of the Transfiguration


View from inside the Chapel of the Transfiguration

Another repeat was the hike halfway around Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls, but it was a little different this time. Last time the hiking trail was down by the lake, but this time that part of the trail was being repaired so we ended up hiking a different trail that was up much higher over the lake.


Jenny Lake


Hiking to Hidden Falls


Hiking along Jenny Lake

Seeing Hidden Falls was also new because the last time we were there the trail to the Falls was closed. I’m so glad we got to see it this time! It was a beautiful and powerful waterfall, we could hear it long before it came into view.


Hidden Falls


Hidden Falls


It started to look like stormy skies on the way back



Another view of Jenny Lake

One evening we hiked along Jackson Lake from the campground and saw a beaver come out of the water, then he chewed down a little tree and started to swim away with the tree. It was so cool to watch this!


Beaver getting back in the water with the little tree he just chewed down


Beaver swimming away


Hiking along Jackson Lake


Jackson Lake

We stayed at Colter Bay RV Park which is inside of the national park. We stayed there last time and had Verizon access from our campsite so we could work, but this time Verizon didn’t work from our site at all except in the middle of the night. Yikes! How are we supposed to work like this? We had to get creative that week, that’s for sure. Sometimes we got up in the middle of the night to get some work done while Verizon worked, sometimes we worked at the campground laundry room or the Jackson Lake Lodge where the internet worked great, and other times we worked at the Colter Bay marina and enjoyed this view.


Not a bad office view, right?

It’s not often we get to a place where we have no cell coverage at our site. Usually I know about it ahead of time and we plan our vacations around lack of cell coverage areas. This time we were surprised to have no coverage especially since it worked last time we stayed there. Another surprise was waking up to snow one day while we were there, in June!


A snowy day at Grand Teton in June

Grand Teton National Park is such an incredibly beautiful place, and my pictures definitely do not do it justice. You just have to come and see it for yourself.


Categories: National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Yellowstone: Fishing Bridge and Cody, WY

This is my last post about Yellowstone.  It is such a huge park and there are so many different areas to visit!  If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone, I would suggest spending at least 1 or 2 weeks and don’t stay at the same place the whole time.  Move around to the different areas of the park as you visit each section.  Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time driving.

The last section we visited was at the east entrance to the park, the Fishing Bridge section.  First we went to see the Mud Volcano and Sulphur Caldron.  This was similar to the geyser basins we saw earlier in our trip in that it was interesting to see smoke and boiling substances coming from the ground.  But it was not nearly as pretty as the geysers and blue pools we saw in the Old Faithful section.  These were definitely muddier pots and very stinky from the sulphur.


This one definitely smelled like dragon’s breath!  Eww!


Dragon’s Mouth Spring

Look at Jesse’s face!  He thought the smell was so gross! 🙂



Mud Volcano


Sulphur Caldron


Pretty cool looking boiling mud pot (don’t remember what this one is called)

Then we went to the LeHardy Rapids for a picnic lunch.  It was pretty cold that day and this area seemed especially cold so we ate fast and moved on.


LeHardy Rapids

Then we hiked to Natural Bridge.  This started out as a hike down a road that didn’t seem like a trail so we weren’t sure we were going the right way.  And we were the only people on the trail which was odd for Yellowstone.  But eventually we started seeing signs to the Natural Bridge so we knew we were going the right way.


Natural Bridge

Finally we hiked the Storm Point trail along Yellowstone Lake.  This was a beautiful hike!  Part of the hike was through forests and another section was through a meadow where you would typically see bison grazing.  However, when we walked through the meadow there were no bison in sight at that time.


After hiking through the woods for a little while we got to the beautiful Yellowstone Lake.


The boys loved running up and down this hill and making “sand” angels.  I think they miss the beach!  It’s been several months since we have been near the ocean.  This is no ocean, but it sure is a huge lake!





We stayed at Buffalo Bill State Park in Cody, Wyoming while we visited the east side of Yellowstone.  This was one of my favorite campsites we’ve ever had, the view from our site was incredible!


That spot on the trail is our Fat Cat.


Fat Cat loved this campsite!  She had lots of room to roam around and hide in the long grass and hunt rabbits.


She also liked climbing trees.  Can you see her in this tree?  She is somewhat camouflaged by the branches.


The boys liked playing in the water but it was kind of cold.


Cody is a really cute and charming western town.  We went to the rodeo while we were there.  I have been wanting to catch a rodeo somewhere along our travels, but it seemed we were always missing them.  I’m glad we made it to this one as it’s considered the “Rodeo Capital of the World”.





That wraps up my several posts about Yellowstone.  If you have been reading all of them, thank you!  I write these blogs mainly for my family and friends to keep up with what we’re doing, and sort of as a travel journal that we can go back and read later to remember the places we have visited.  If it inspires anyone else out there to get out and travel and see these amazing places, then that is an added bonus.

Next up Glacier National Park!

Categories: National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yellowstone: Hiking Mt. Washburn

On our last day in Gardiner, we hiked Mt. Washburn.  I heard great things about this “must-do” hike from a couple of different bloggers including this one: The Best Hike in Yellowstone.  I’m glad we took his advice.  It was a beautiful hike!  It is a little over 3 miles to the summit making it a little over 6 miles round trip.  The uphill climb was hard work, but the views were so amazing it was worth it!


A ranger lives at the top during the summer in the fire watchtower.  Below the ranger’s living quarters is a type of small visitor center that you can go in and look at maps and information about what you are seeing off in the distance.  You can even see Grand Teton from up there on a clear day!

We got a very early start that morning to make sure we could find parking at the trailhead.  The beginning of the hike is through meadows and you’ll see lots of wildflowers.


As you get closer to the top it becomes more rocky and barren.  In the picture below you can see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.


This is the view from the watchtower.  So beautiful!


I actually thought hiking back down was even more stunning, probably because on the way up I forgot to occasionally look behind me at where we had been.  When I remember to do that, I realize sometimes the view behind us is even better!  Since this was an up and down hike, hiking back down I saw all the views I missed on the way up.




This certainly was one of the “best hikes in Yellowstone”!  I have one more post from our time in Yellowstone about our visit to the Fishing Bridge section on the east side.  Stay tuned!

Categories: Montana, National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Grand Teton National Park

We spent a week at Grand Teton National Park and it is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  It seems I say that about every place we go, but seriously my pictures do NOT do it justice.  If possible, please come and see this place in person.  It’s amazing!


Jenny Lake


String Lake

The first hike we did was along String Lake to Leigh Lake.  The water is so clear and blue!


Another day we did an awesome 6 mile hike halfway around Jenny Lake and then up to Inspiration Point.  It’s 6 miles out and back, but if you don’t want to hike the whole 6 miles, you can take a shuttle boat across the lake that drops you off where you can hike just to Inspiration Point which is 2 miles round trip.  If you’re up for it though, I would highly recommend the entire 6 miles because the Jenny Lake portion of the hike was the best part and the least crowded.  We saw a moose and a bear on this hike.  Neither one were very close to us so I didn’t get any good pictures, but it was really cool to see those animals in the wild.


Jenny Lake



Inspiration Point

Chris was so excited about seeing a bear that he decided to go for an early morning hike the next day with Jake to see if they could find any more bears.  And they did!  They saw a huge grizzly bear that stood up on his hind legs and then started walking towards them.  They were a little too scared to take any pictures and just slowly backed away.  We had just gone to a bear safety ranger program the previous day and purchased some bear spray, but thankfully they didn’t need to use it.  Jake was pretty scared by that bear and didn’t want to go on any more foolish bear hunting expeditions, but I’m not so sure that Chris learned that lesson yet.  I told him I didn’t want him to spend the rest of our trip dead, so hopefully he’ll stay away from the bears. 🙂

This trip was made extra special because my parents were able to join us later in the week. After picking them up from the airport we went to visit the cute little town of Jackson Hole.  Those are real antlers in that arch!


This looks like it would be a fun place to come back for some winter time snow skiing!



Then we headed back into the park and went to see the Chapel of the Transfiguration which was so beautiful!


Chapel of the Transfiguration Picture Window


We camped at the Colter Bay RV Park inside the Grand Tetons which was really nice and woodsy.  Colter Bay Village has lots of facilities available like a grocery store, gas station, restaurants, a marina and a visitor center.  We did some hiking around there and also went to the Visitor Center so the kids could get their Junior Ranger badges.


We also went to the Jackson Lake Lodge which was a fun place to visit.  They have a playground and pool that the kids enjoyed.  The Jackson Lake dam was also a very nice stop.



On our last day there we hiked the 4 mile loop around String Lake.








If you plan to visit there in the busy summer months and want to hike, I would recommend getting to the trailhead parking lots early.  They fill up fast!

We had such a great time showing Gramma and Grampa around the Grand Tetons!  From there we all went up to West Yellowstone, Montana to begin exploring Yellowstone National Park. Stay tuned for posts about that.

Categories: National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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