Those of you who know me have probably figured out by now that I’m slightly addicted to traveling. I tend to become bored with a place easily and like to get away often.
For the long Fourth of July weekend a friend and I chose to visit Jackson, Wyoming as she wanted to go there and I wanted to go to Yellowstone for the first time. Jackson is a tourist-driven town just south of Grand Teton National Park on the Idaho-Wyoming border. Once we crossed over the mountain pass into Jackson we were mostly out of cell phone service and ready to wander.
I knew Jackson was a tourist destination but I didn’t expect to meet people from the East Coast, Southern states and other countries everywhere I went. I enjoyed seeing that so many people choose to go there for a taste of the “Wild West.” While the old west shows and wooden boardwalks aren’t quite how cowboys live anymore, it’s wonderful to see so many people caught up in the romantic idea and history of that lifestyle.
A little research before we left the hotel for our drive through GTNP lead us to the Gypsy Guide, which is an iPhone app that works off GPS to provide a guided tour through the park. We learned so much from the app and it gave perfect suggestions of what was or was not worth stopping to see! I would definitely recommend the Gypsy app to those not wanting to follow a guidebook or get a tour guide – check it out for tours of our national parks and Hawaii.
Yellowstone was my destination for the week, however she was quickly upstaged by my first views of the Grand Teton National Park (GTNP); which sits between Jackson, WY and Yellowstone National Park. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with GTNP.
How could I not fall in love with these scenes from the Tetons?
This park was an easy day of driving filled with views I couldn’t stop capturing with my iPhone. It made me deeply regret choosing to leave my camera behind.
When I headed out on this vacation, my main wish was to see a Bison. I hadn’t see wild Bison prior to this and really didn’t know it would be so easy to find them – I figured I’d see deer, elk, and moose before I saw them. However, I never saw a single moose (probably not patient enough) and only saw one elk in Yellowstone.
On the third day of our trip we decided to make the drive up into Yellowstone. There was so much to learn about the park and its history! We chose to utilize the Gypsy app again and loved it! One can spend days in Yellowstone, however we decided to see what we could in a single day. The park was extremely busy but we lucked out and seemed to do the opposite direction around the Grand Loop as most everyone else and saw a few pretty views along the way.
Pulling into the Old Faithful parking lot right after she went off was somewhat of a time killer as we had to wait over an hour and a half for her to go off again, but if we hadn’t waited I probably wouldn’t have wandered through the park around her and learned about the geysers. Waiting for water to shoot out of the ground gave me a better understanding of how people end up spending so long in this park…
If you’re really into hot water, the west side of Yellowstone is for you. I thought the turquoise colors of the geysers were interesting, but honestly just wanted to get out of the steam and egg smell ASAP. The East side gave an opportunity to see gorgeous mountain scenes, wildlife and water – I dig it.
If you’re interested by the history of that part of the park and want to watch water boil for extended periods of time, I’m not your girl. If you want to sit near a lake and stare at mountains while I drown in mosquito spray, hit me up.
Overall it was trip I’d happily repeat. I look forward to exploring more of our National Parks in the future!
You’ll find me out there somewhere, dripping in bug spray, taking in the views.