Friday, September 25, 2020

Autumn splendor: Grand Teton, Yellowstone offer splendid day tripping


Spectacular views await at every turn on a trek through Yellowstone and Teton this week.



AUTUMN IS NO no more splendid than in our country's national parks.
Elk are bugling, leaves are changing, crowds are thinning. Cool evenings and warm days are just what the doctor ordered during these anxious Covid-19 times.
A walk to Jenny Lake yields golden autumn colors
and a short wait for the Jenny Lake Boating Co. ferry.

What could be more ideal than a leisurely gambol through Grant Teton and Yellowstone, two of our country's spectacular national parks.
WE SET OFF Thursday afternoon, to spend five days enjoying  yellow and golden leaves, with a few dark reds -- moving in the wind against blue skies and clouds straight out of Hallmark.
Glorious greens of fir, pine and tamarack trees catch the eye with our slow, "critter spotting" driving. We love the tamaracks, those showy deciduous beauties growing up to 150 feet.
Walking paths in both Yellowstone and Teton
invite Keller and Cookie to explore.
Keller and Cookie, Rick Cosgriffe and Jane
Milder atop the summit after riding

Bridger Gondola, with Yorkie Nick.


WE ENTERED Yellowstone on our annual park pilgrimage, driving the winding road through Wapiti Valley outside of Cody, Wyoming, taking our time to the park's East Entrance
The first night, we'd parked ourselves in front of Cody's legendary Irma Hotel.  We angled ourselves onto the front row after the entertaining trolley ride to the nearby dam and around the town. (More about Cody and that fun town in next week's whereiscookie).
Then a leisurely drive through the park, with its many lakes including Yellowstone, over Fishing Bridge, and south down to the Grand Tetons. The dramatic mountains were named by French-Canadian trappers who admired the "big breasts" of the range.

JUST SOUTH of Yellowstone and north of the town of Jackson, Grand Teton's sprawling 310,000 acres include lush valley floors, mountain meadows, alpine lakes and the rising peaks of the spectacular Teton Range.
The massive Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, nicknamed "Big Red," was closed. But the cozy Bridger Gondola was running, perfect for the four of us humans and Nicky, our 10-pound, 15 year old Yorkshire Terrier. We waited only a few minutes for one of several "dog friendly" gondolas to whisk by, lifting us over 4,000 vertical feet in 15 minutes to a spectacular view of the valley.
A boat ride and tram ride on Bridger Gondola,
enticed us as we explored the two pretty parks. 

OUR FELLOW gondoliers were hikers and backpackers hitting the high country.  Many others, though, took the gondola simply for the experience and the stunning view, enjoying a cup or tea or glass of wine before the the ride back down. 
The two parks offer so many pleasures
The Bridger Gondola in Grand Teton has
several dog friendly compartments.

that it is difficult to single out a few, but we advise spending at least four days if you plan to see parts of both Yellowstone and Teton.
There are activities for families, hikes for couples, places to recharge for a solo traveler. Animals are active in the crisp fall air. We saw black bears, elk and moose along to complement the changing landscape.
More than half of the world's thermal features are found in Yellowstone.  Teton boasts some of the world's most spectacular peaks. We invite you to share our national parks with your friends!

Cookie and Nick along for the ride through Yellowstone
and Teton and the lively surrounding towns. 

We look forward to sharing more of our five-day national parks adventure, enjoying the bounty of wildlife and scenery, and exploring the towns around the park.  Next week, we take you to Cody, Wyoming, with its Buffalo Bill lore and a fun trolley to see the sights. We advise on dog friendly protocol if you're taking your pup along for the ride. Down the road, we hit the reopened Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and explore West Yellowstone.  Please share this link with your friends, and remember to explore, learn and live:


  1. Nice loop you took....hope to emulate soon......

  2. Pretty time ffor the parks...lovely idea...

  3. New York Nature LoversSeptember 30, 2020 at 7:41 AM

    Interesting times we live in. Seeing such beauty yet wearing masks.....thanks for this encouragement to enjoy and find beauty despite it all....