Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jackson Hole and the Tetons

Let's start with a little information:  Jackson Hole (or Jackson's Hole) is the entire valley area south of Yellowstone.  It includes the Teton National Park, the town of Jackson, a couple of ski areas, the national Elk refuge and more!   I was under the impression that Jackson Hole was the I know better.

Every May the local Boy Scouts gather shed antlers from the Elk refuge area and there is a big auction in town.  Part of the proceeds go to the Scouts.  This auction was the previous weekend, so we were not able to attend.  There are 4 huge arches around the park in the center of town made out of antlers.  Many homes and businesses also have antlers for decorations.
Antler arches in the town of Jackson, WY

We spent 3 nights in Jackson after leaving Yellowstone and were in town for the Memorial Day weekend and festivities.  They have a rodeo, parade, mountain man rendezvous, cowboy church, street music, beer festival and more.   The parade was fun with many interesting entries!
Old Yellowstone touring car
Dog sled team pulling a truck!
Dancing cowgirl grannies - age 50 to 94!
A few local parade watchers

Teton National Park is included with admission to Yellowstone.  The passes are good for 7 days to explore both parks.  This year we have purchased a National Park pass which gets us into all the parks in the system for $80.  (Yellowstone alone is $25, Badlands $15, Devil's Tower $15, Grand Canyon $25)  If you plan on visiting a couple of parks in a year it is your best buy.
Cathedral Peaks
Jenny Lake

There are a couple of visitor centers in Teton, a few lodges and many scenic drives and trails.  Just as in Yellowstone the snow closed trails and roads....and the bears kept us off the trails that were free of snow.  We enjoyed short hikes and drives to see the mountains and wildlife in the area.
Many areas were closed due to snow pack

Grizzly and cub (she has 2 with her - only one is visible in pic)
Fox at the ski area

Deer forage along the road
Moose in a snow storm

We did check out the ski areas and a condo that we have access to with our timeshare.  Winter would be fun with skiing, dog sled rides and sleigh rides....but summer is nice too with hiking, boating, white water rafting and more.  It is really a beautiful area any time of the year!
Mountain Bluebirds

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