The Iconic West
The last major destination on my list of must see spots! If you have visited Idaho often, or live here, you'll notice I haven't covered close to everything the state has to offer. There are hundreds of trails in every valley, on every peak, and along every river. I hope to continue exploring and share my explorations with you. Wyoming and Montana have incredible sights, many of which I hope to visit in the coming years. The purpose of my blog is to enlighten the reader to the many beauties within only a few hours of the Rexburg/Idaho Falls valley. So many college students insist that places like the Tetons are too far away to visit regularly, yet many of these same students make the 4 hour drive to Salt Lake Valley many times a year. I am baffled with that logic. Jackson Hole and Teton National Park are within 3 hours of Rexburg. Redfish lake and the Sawtooth Mountains are only 4 hours away. (I will write a post on that spot once I visit a second time). Southern Montana (Big Sky), and Central Wyoming, are within the 4 hour radius of Rexburg. It is incredible how much there truly is to see between here and there! I hope that this blog sparks a desire within each of my readers to get out and explore and to appreciate the abundant goodness found around all of us.
That being said, let's take a look at Teton National Park!! Honestly, words are insufficient in describing this place. I haven't hiked all the best hikes like Delta and Amphitheater lakes, or scaled the Grand Teton, or skied in the various resorts. I have yet to camp in the park itself or spend enough time to have sway in your opinion of this place; however, I hope that the pictures provided (taken by myself and friends that accompanied me) will speak for themselves. The National Park spans hundreds of square miles with vista after vista of breathtaking views. Inside and out of the park, there are dozens of spots to visit. World renowned locations like Mormon Row and the T.A. Moulton Barn, Schwabacher's Landing, The Snake River Overlook, Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls, and many many more are so accessible it's funny more people out here haven't visited yet. A range of activities are available in these areas. You name it and its likely a thing to do, within reason of course. Animals are abundant. Moose, Elk, Bear, Wolves, Owls, Eagles, Big Horn Sheep, Bison, and many more call this place home. Please don't approach the animals. There are enough stories about poor encounters with animals to speak reason.
I can't express enough how incredibly beautiful this range is. I try to take trips to the Tetons as often as I can. The Tetons are wildly different every month of the year. I can't decide which season is my favorite. Elk come out of the hills and peaks during the winter, and graze in the Elk Refuge outside of Jackson. Wildflowers and lush greenery flourishes in the summer. Fall colors shine brightly in the Fall. Sunrise and sunset are by far the most magical times to visit the park. Wildlife is abundant around these times and the alpine glow is breathtaking. Each lake and waterway offer beautiful reflections, as well as a variety of activities with watercraft and fishing. The miles of trails take you through an intimate look of the mountains, snaking all over each valley and peak.
Road trips are a must through every section of this park, all the way into Yellowstone. Places like Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake are a ways away but definitely worth the visit! Yellowstone itself is worth seeing at least once! I haven't been yet while in college, but I have visited before.
Teton National Park does cost to enter. I believe it is anywhere between $15-$35 per car depending on the season. If you bring watercraft from out of state you do have to have the craft inspected and registered in Wyoming. That does cost upwards of $30-$45 so be aware. Much of the park is closed from November to May because of excessive snowfall. The lakes freeze over making perfect destinations for ice fishing. The park is a major tourist destination bringing in millions each year. Weekends get extremely busy. Even week days can be very busy especially during warmer months. If you are looking for quieter hikes, check out other places on my blog, or go to other ranges that are less known.
I hope everyone has the chance to visit these mountains at least once in their life. It is an area that has been forever engrained in my memory. Here are a few pictures from several of the spots! Enjoy!!