A Weekend in Grand Teton National Park
When my summer trips in 2017 wrapped up and I started looking toward 2018 and what places I would go this year, I knew that the Tetons needed to be at the top of the list. Something about the way these mountains look is so unique; how they go from the plains to 10,000+ foot peaks with no foothills in between just blows my mind. When wedding season quickly filled I knew I would have to squeeze in any amount of time that I could, so Laura and I decided to head to Wyoming for a long weekend of seeing as much of this park as we possibly could.
The drive down was long. Between Spokane, WA and Driggs, ID where we stayed, the scenery is predominantly flat and open. It was a journey that seemed like it would never end, but after a full days worth of driving we found ourselves arriving in Driggs, which is about an hour outside of the park. (If you're thinking of traveling here and want to stay in Jackson, you'll need to book it pretty far in advance, or be prepared to pay a good chunk of money! Our trip got booked only a couple months prior so we were left to look for options further from Jackson.) Driggs, like many of the towns surrounding the Tetons, is a little one light town with just a couple places to eat and not much to do! But that didn't matter because we had a full schedule for the next 48 hours in the mountains.
The first morning we rolled our of hour hostel by 4:30 AM, with an attempt to catch a sunrise. It had rained off and on the night before and continued to rain on our way to the park. We knew at this point that we wouldn't get a sunrise, but watching the Grand Teton come out of the clouds as we approached the park for the first time was one of the coolest things I've seen. (I wish I had a photo but you know it's burned into my brain.) I actually wish we'd had more clouds because the way they moved through the Teton range was such a sight. We spent our first day hiking through the most beautiful canyon, we saw a bear, and we checked out the famous barn that everyone takes photos of when they visit Grand Teton National Park. We even got to spot a few bison!
Day 2 brought us a pretty nice sunrise, and of the most technically challenging hikes I've ever done. The hike to Delta Lake is no longer maintained by the park service because the last section is mostly off trail, navigating 2 boulder fields and some seriously steep terrain. It was a long and a tough one, but that bright blue glacial water at the top was completely worth the journey. Places like that are usually never done justice with a photo, but standing at those waters and staring the Grand Teton (the tallest peak in the range) right in the face was something I'll never forget. After putting on around 20 miles in 2 days, we decided to treat ourself to a pasta dinner at a restaurant that had a balcony with views of the range, and it was such a nice way to relax! We finished off day 2 stopping at the Snake River Overlook, which is where Ansel Adams took his famous photo of the Tetons (look it up, its incredible) and it was a perfect way to round off our time there.
2 days was almost enough to cover everything, but you know I'm already dreaming up a longer trip back there, hopefully next year! If you have an opportunity to see these mountains with your own eyes, I highly recommend going because you won't be disappointed!