When I think of an “American Vista” I think of the Teton mountain range. Seeing these jagged mountains rise from the valley floor without any foothills will give you chills. The abruptness of the mountains is captivating.
Our first day was so clear, we wanted to take in the views from far away. We stopped just past Moose Junction at Blacktail Butte. We scrambled up the bit of rock and got ready to rap off the side. We were able to pause at the top for a few minutes and absorb the skyline. We also had a bit of rappel school before we leaped over the edge. Mario, my brother, had rappelled before, but this was his wife, Julissa’s, first time descending a rope.
Going over the edge for the first time is always scary. In fact, I still get nervous every time I step off a big rock. It just isn’t natural! But once the gear is engaged and you are able to trust the rope, the feelings transition from dread to delight. Well, at least, if you are able to trust YOURSELF as well.
We were so proud of these two, they did awesome!
Moral of the story is – trust the gear and trust yourself.
After sorting the gear in the parking lot, we paused for golden hour family pictures. Traveling with family is so fun!
Our campsite in the Tetons is officially the most epic spot we have scored the entire trip. We were out on the flats, just outside the boundary of the park, and had a perfect view of the range as the sun went down. It. Was. Beautiful.
The next morning, we hit the trails. We did the Jenny Lake Loop trail with a side track to the falls. We wanted to go up to Inspiration Point, but the trail was closed for maintenance, so we were out of luck.
Jenny lake was lovely though. And no, this isn’t a Pringle’s advertisement – we popped and couldn’t be stopped.
What’s not cute is the LA hat. What the heck, Mario?!
Towards the end of the hike we were all feeling a little tired. The girls took it to the next level though. They panther napped hard on the bridge.
The next morning was the opposite of the clear day we enjoyed before.
On our way out of the park we stopped at Mormon Row. These buildings are left over from a Mormon settlement way back in the day. The locations was prime, but I think that these pioneers messed up big time when they put the door on this side of the outhouse; there is nothing better for your health than a good poo with a view.
This is where we separate the men from the women. Well, the men just went mountain biking and the women drove to the scenic overlooks. We had to divide and conquer to do everything that we wanted to do in a short period of time.
One thing that I think is beautiful about the National Parks is that there is something for everyone. No matter what your speed, you can find an activity. The parks are such a perfect medium for everyone to connect with mother nature. If you want to climb big peaks, no problem. If you need wheel chair accessibility, no problem. If you desire to enjoy a book on tape as you drive through pretty places, no problem. There is something for all.
Mario and I hit up the Cache Creek trails for a little riding. We rode the Hagen to Putt-Putt loop. And I want to just say that fall mountain biking is the best. I can’t get enough. The trails are nice and fast, the weather isn’t burning hot, and the leaves are beautiful. There is nothing on this earth that beats fall mountain biking.
We set off thinking it would be a fairly casual ride, but it turns out we are more out of shape than we thought. We got worked! There were some long steep parts on the trail!
We made it to the top of the trail, and had a blast on the way down. The highlight for me was when the trail went through a few aspen groves. The sun would shine through the leaves and light everything up like an all yellow disco ball. It was spectacular.
Grand Teton National Park gives so much to its visitors. We loved the few days we had exploring within its boundaries. There is so much to see and so much to do. But the real reason I loved our trip to the Tetons is the fact that we locked down our Christmas card photo. WINNING.