We left Vernal and continued on our road trip, with our final stop this day at Grand Teton National Park. Wyoming is beautiful and sparse, really sparse.
It was a beautiful and very quiet drive. We stopped for snacks and took lots of pictures. The drive is a little over five hours, but as I’ve mentioned before, I would plan for six to 6.5 hours.
Right outside of GTNP is the town of Jackson. It’s a cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants. There are grocery stores here as well, so it’s a good place to stop and stock up on provisions. We stopped here to stock up on groceries and picked up some ready made sandwiches at the deli as well.
Next, we drove into the park. Right inside the park boundaries is Jackson Hole Airport. We took a quick detour here to pick up my hubby. He could only take two weeks off of work. Now that we had Dad, no more solo driving for me!
As you drive along HWY 191, you’ll arrive at Moose Junction. Here, you can take a left to go to the main visitor center. We continued on and turned right on Antelope Flatts Road to see Mormon Row, these old iconic barns/homes. You’ve probably seen photos of them with the beautiful Tetons Range in the background. Below is my rendition, not nearly as nice as a professional or seeing it in real life.
Then we turned back around and drove back to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. The visitor center is beautiful and like the other ones we have visited, very informative and interesting to tour. We picked up our junior ranger guides and talked to a park ranger about our options. Based on the ranger recommendation, we decided to go back on HWY 191 and pull over at some scenic pull outs.
At one of the pull outs, we met an artist painting the range. He was invited to the park to compete in an art contest. He let my two younger kids paint a bit. They loved it.
On HWY 191, you’ll eventually reach Moran Junction. Here you’ll have to show your park pass or pay to enter the park; this payment will also allow you to go into Yellowstone.
Our final destination was Colter Bay. We reserved a cabin for the night. At Grand Teton, you can’t reserve a campsite. When I called the park, they said there’s plenty of campsites, but I didn’t want to look for one at the end of a long day. So instead, I reserved a cabin at Colter Bay. We decided, we’d wake up early and try to snag a campsite the next morning at Jenny Lake.
Once we got to Colter Bay, we saw that a ranger program was about to start. The ranger programs are great. The rangers are good and keeping it interesting for all age levels and really know how to interact with the kids. The one we attended was about wolves in Yellowstone.
Afterwards, we headed back to the cabin. We had a light dinner of sandwiches, no cooking tonight, and took showers. The cabins at Colter Bay are really nice. We got ones that had an indoor restroom. The rooms were clean and decorated nicely. Each cabin also has a little history about its origins. Many of these cabins were originally part of other ranches.
Since they are wood cabins, you cannot use your camp stoves, anywhere near your cabin. That’s why we decided just to have some of our sandwiches, shower and get to bed early.
Our plan was to wake up really early to watch the sunrise over Signal Mountain and then try and get a spot at Jenny Lake.