Grand Teton National Park – The Park that Almost Never Was

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Almost next door to the world’s first National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Teton Park came to exist among controversy and compromise. While Yellowstone enjoyed almost universal approval, an expansion to Yellowstone and the creation of a new park were mired in politics. The original park set aside in 1929 would eventually be enlarged and the park created finally in 1950. For some interesting political history, check out the National Park Service document on the creation of Grand Teton National Park here.

Grand Tetons-1

For this post, I am trying a new (to me) feature of WordPress to link images to my Flickr Pro account. If this works out, future posts I write may have a gallery of images available in much higher resolution on the Flickr site. Then again, I’ve already run into issues, so we’ll see how it goes… But I digress…

You may have already noted that the photos posted here have the mountains shrouded in haze. Those western wildfires in late 2020 severely hampered visibility. One thing we learned about the drive through Grand Teton National Park is that the scenic drive isn’t that close to the mountains. All of the images I captured were from that highway through the park. I promise a revisit when the air is much clearer.

Grand Teton Pano-3

The main highway through the park is US 26/89, but as I noted that highway is quite some distance from the mountains themselves. Northbound on the highway from Jackson Hole, you will pass the turnout of US 26 to the east. If you stay on US 89, you’ll pass through the John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway and find yourself at the south entrance to Yellowstone Park.

Grand Teton Pano-2

As we arrived late in the day and Jackson Hole hotels were full, our traveling party reserved rooms at Cody, east of Yellowstone Park. We stayed on the main road through the park on our way to Cody. Our plan was to visit Yellowstone in detail first, then explore Grand Teton, finally head east on Highway 26 toward Devils Tower. On the northern section of the park, US 89/191/287 is known as the John D. Rockefeller Parkway. You can enter the Teton Park Road from the main highway to get a view of the Jackson Lake Dam and the Snake River as it exits Jackson Lake. The opening view features a view of the mountains behind Jackson Lake and the image above features a view of the Snake River.

Grand Teton Mt Owen-1

At one viewpoint, a large photo placard provided a view of the mountains with labels indicating their names. When we discovered there is a Mount Owen (the second tallest peak in the image above), I used my Samsung Cellphone to capture and text the image to our grandson Owen so he could see the mountain “that was named after him.” That tall peak behind Mount Owen is Grand Teton.

Grand Teton Pano-1

With visibility from the hazy skies being as it was, we cut our trip short and headed east on US Highway 26 where we found ourselves in Wind River Country. It was a surprise scenic highway to us and happened to be the fastest way to our next stop at Devils Tower. You may recall the post from May 25 featuring our drive through Wind River Country.

I promised you a Flickr gallery. You can find the gallery by clicking on any of the images above to direct you to the gallery. There are left and right arrows at the side of each image to navigate through the gallery. Images processed straight out of the camera also include camera metadata for those interested in such details.

John Steiner


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