|Beautiful Grand Teton National Park
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Mount Moran and Snake River viewed from the Oxbow Bend Turnout on the Scenic Teton Park Road in the
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
The majestic Grand Teton over Jackson Lake in the Grand Teton National Park which is located in the
northwest corner of Wyoming, and is only a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park. We toured the
Grand Teton National Park on the afternoon of August 29 and the morning of August 30, 2008.
The classic view of the Tetons dominated by Mount Moran as viewed from the Oxbow Bend of the Snake
One of the Tetons was named Mount Moran after the spectacular artist, Thomas Moran, who had
accompanied the 1871 expedition to Yellowstone and made many important and influential sketches and
paintings of the Tetons and Yellowstone areas.
Many tourists stopped their cars on the road side near Oxbow Bend of the Snake River and were watching
something and taking pictures. This is a good indication of something interesting to watch. So, we also
stopped our car on the road side to join the crowd to watch.
What we saw were two female moose eating water vegetation in the Snake River near the Oxbow Bend.
Wildlife frequents this area.
We also saw two red-crowned sandhill cranes in Grand Teton National Park.
In February 2006, we went to Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in New Mexico to watch
18,000 red-crowned sandhill cranes because in the winter season very large number of sandhill cranes
migrate south and converge to their wintering ground in Bosque Del Apache NWR as described in my
Travelogue web page at:
But in the summer season they migrate north and are spread out into very wide areas in northwest USA,
western Canada, Alaska and even Siberia. After seeing many of them in the winter of 2006 in New Mexico, I
am very happy to see these two sandhill cranes in the summer in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Jackson Lake Dam
Many people are fishing at the Snake River at the base of the Jackson Lake Dam.
We also saw several bald eagles and ospreys flying over this area to catch fish from the Snake River near the
base of Jackson Lake Dam as shown in the following photo.
At another spot about half mile east of Oxbow Bend Turnout, we again saw many tourists stopped their cars
on road side and were watching something.
What we saw this time was a grizzly bear among tall grass.
Morning vs. Afternoon to Enjoy the Beauty of Grand Teton National Park:
The beautiful mountains (Tetons) in the Grand Teton National Park are all on the west side of Scenic Teton
Park Roads. The mountains on other parts of the ring around the Jackson Hole (Valley) are more rounded and
at lower levels as shown above viewed from the top of Signal Mountain. They are not as spectacular as those
steep, rugged ridges of Teton peaks on the west side. All the pictures of beautiful mountains in the Grand
Teton National Park shown above were taken in the morning when the sun was on the east side to provide
good lighting on the mountains on the west side.
On the other hand, in the afternoon, both the sun and the beautiful mountains are on the same west side.
Under such lighting condition, the mountains look like the following picture which was taken at 4 PM:
They become flat, featureless, gray outlines of the mountains. It is then obvious that if you want to enjoy and
take nice pictures of the beautiful mountains in here, you must spend at least one morning in the Grand Teton
National Park. If you come only during the afternoon, especially in late afternoon, you may be disappointed to
see only the unimpressive, flat, featureless, gray outlines of the mountains.
The rugged high mountain scenery and views are unsurpassed!
The snow tipped Tetons thrust up to the blue sky from the ground creating a spectacular site, and the Grand
Teton with its peak at 13,770 feet (4,107 meters) of elevation above the sea level. Twelve peaks are over
12,000 ft (3658 m) in elevation in the Grand Teton National Park.
Spectacular realm of sky-scraping peaks of the Grand Teton. Snow and glaciers on the steep slopes add to
the range's breathtaking beauty.
We drove up the winding road to the top of the Signal Mountain for a panoramic view of the region. There is no
better place than here to appreciate the unusual geology of the Teton area. From this panoramic view you will
understand the mountain-ringed valleys like this one as Jackson Hole (i.e., Jackson Valley or Teton Valley)
which is 40-mile long, and 15-mile wide.
It was the famous mountain man, David Jackson, who gave his name to this valley when he supposedly spent
the winter of 1829 on the shores of Jackson Lake . Early trappers and mountain men in this area referred a
high valley that was surrounded by mountains as a "hole". The elevation of valley ground level here is more
than 6,000 feet above sea level. William Sublette, who was Jackson 's partner in an early fur company,
referred to this mountain valley along the Snake River as Jackson 's Hole. The mountain men were responsible
for many, if not most, of the names in this valley.
Mount Moran over Leigh Lake
One of several swans in Christian Creek
Jenny Lake and Tetons.
According to the Wikipedia website: (1) the name "Snake" in the Snake River possibly derived from an
S-shaped (snake) sign which the (North American) Shoshone Indians made with their hands to mimic swimming
salmon, and (2) The Snake River is a major tributary of the Columbia River. The Snake River originates near
the Continental Divide in Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming and flows south into Jackson Lake in
Grand Teton National Park, then south through Jackson Hole (Valley) and past the town of Jackson. The river
then flows west through Wyoming's Snake River Canyon and exits Wyoming at Alpine Junction, where it enters
Idaho. Eventually, it joins the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities in the State of Washington.
In August 2007, we toured a cluster of eight National Parks in and near Canadian Rockies in the provinces of
British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and Montana in USA as described in my Travelogue web page at:
In that trip, we saw the Columbia Lake on the west side of Canadian Rockies as the headwater of the mighty
Columbia River. In our return trip from Canadian Rockies back to Seattle in Washington State in USA, we were
driving in valleys following the mighty Columbia River.
On March 4, 2011, we visited Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area in Indiana, USA and saw large number of
sand hill cranes in their spring migration north as shown on my Travelogue web page at:
Our 13-Day driving tour is a large loop starting and ending at Rapid City in South Dakota, USA. The sequence
of Point of Interest on this large tour loop is the following:
Rapid City in South Dakota --------> Centered at Rapid City for 3 days and toured Mount Rushmore National
Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badland National Park (NP), needle mountains and wildlife in Custer State
Park, Wind Cave NP, and Jewel Cave National Monument --------> Roosevelt NP South Unit in North Dakota
---------> Roosevelt NP North Unit in North Dakota --------> Drove on I-94 to go west along Yellowstone River
in Montana --------> Cody in Wyoming --------> Tour Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP in Wyoming for 4
Days ---------> Drove on Highway 14 to go East to see wild horses and touring Big Horn Mountain Range and
Devil's Tower in Wyoming ---------> Rapid City in South Dakota
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour
loop of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described
on my web page at: