Monday, August 13, 2012

A Quick Visit to the Grand Tetons

We decided to travel from Old Faithful on the Grand Loop Road to the  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway which is at the south entrance to Yellowstone Park to take a short visit to the Grand Teton National Park. On the way, we had to stop briefly at Kepler Falls, seen here, in Yellowstone. 

These falls on the Firehole River, drop a total of about 150' in several stages of cascades. While not as dramatic as some falls, these are still beautiful and fun to see. 

The falls are close to the Continental Divide which is at a pretty high 8,391'. No wonder the oxygen seems pretty sparse in this area!

The drive is beautiful and presents an interesting difference in terrain, coming from the thick forests and waterfalls of Yellowstone, to the high desert plateau just a bit further south. Still, there in the distance are some pretty tall mountains!

As we got closer, the mountains looked more and more impressive. We are still quite a way off here and already these rugged mountains looked like a wall in front of us. 

 Even though it is now mid-August, there was still snow on the sides of the Teton Mountains. It is also impressive to think about how high these peaks range above us, even though we are now at close to 7,000' in elevation.

 The tallest peak, the Grand Teton, reaches some 13,775' high and is surrounded by other peaks that are close to the same height. Seemingly carved from solid rock, these provide a very stark, but impressive beauty.

 Located just to the south of the park is Jackson Hole, famed for ski lodges and tourist (and there were plenty of tourists!). They are also well know for the great elk horn archway seen here. We were able to get a quick lunch and then make the trek back to the coach having well satiated our mountain viewing needs!

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