Hole-in-one

After crossing Utah off the visited list out of 50 states, we got to check off another state when we headed north to Wyoming!

Wyoming
Welcome to Wyoming

Our drive was a lengthy 9 hours, not including the pit stop in Salt Lake City (we’ll discuss this stop later) that took up the entirety of Day 8. This drive took us on a weaving adventure through the state line of Wyoming and Idaho where we saw plenty of grassy fields, winding rivers, mountains with snow, horses, barns and even a moose crossing the road!

The following day we decided to follow my Lonely Planet guide through Jackson Hole & Grand Tetons before heading to Yellowstone. The book gives a 1-hour tour route to see the “hot spots” around this area.

Here is why this 1-hour tour is impossible.

There are approximately 7 stops along 40 mile loop. Lonely Planet provides also the speed limits: 15-45 mph (so there is no speeding through town either) and remember that there is an abundance of wildlife in this area to look out for!

Your starting point is at Jackson Square… 

and also, mistake number 1. When you get to Jackson Square, you will be inclined to stop. There is no way you will not stop here and wander around. The square is adorned with (not one, but) 4 corners of arches constructed of antlers. This is theme here in Jackson and beautiful at that! There are also shops lining each stretch of the square.

We spent over and hour at the square shopping around and grabbing coffee. Even still we didn’t get to visit all the shops in the square in that hour. This spot alone would kill your hour, though it would be the best stop to end at!

Antler Arches

Stop 1. National Museum of Wildlife Art– its a rather large museum, and many people probably stop to view it, because its on the way. Should you stop and look inside the museum-kiss those minutes goodbye!

4 Tetons

Gran Teton National ParkStop 2. Gros Venture River– open fields and open roads. This road is a great one to take a  bike ride on, in fact don’t be surprise to see a few. The river runs along side the road only a couple yards out. Depending on the time your driving out here there may be some pronghorns scampering across the fields! Drive with caution!

bison
you may see bison before the next stop along the loop

This stop is more of a drive through, but there are a few places to pull off should you find some wildlife or just enjoy the scenery.

Mormon Row panorama

Stop 3. Mormon Row– known for the more picturesque photo of an old barn. There isn’t much to this spot other than seeking the beauty of the Tetons poking into the sky like marvelous towers. This is great place to stop and admire the beauty. Remember the time is ticking, so if you plan to complete that hour loop don’t linger {I say stay and linger for a couple minutes, totally worth enjoying this view!}

Mormon Row

Stop 4. Antelope Flats Road– Here you may find additional wildlife, pronghorn and bison. Though you may see bison before this stop. Like Stop 2, this is more of a drive through and stop if needed.

Stop 5. Moose-Wilson Road– use the most caution here as there are blind curves and dirt roads. {We did not get to see this or stop 6, due to being in an RV} Oversized vehicles are not permitted beyond this point due to road conditions. Keep this in mind if you plan to visit the next 2 stops.

Stop 6. Phelps Lake– Not an actual stop, but more of a hike to get to for a swim. Again, to reach this point, use caution and no oversized vehicles!

Stop 7. Teton Village– A small resort establishment for skiing, etc. Teton village is a quaint place to grab some lunch or take the gondola up to the top for spectacular views.

{We started out here at Teton Village in hopes to ride the gondolas up for the views; however, it was closed for the season due to remodeling and won’t reopen until Fall 2017.}

Unless you plan to just drive by all these places with your eyes closed, there is no possible way to complete this loop in an hour. There are too many beautiful things to see and places to stop!

This loop is a great option if you don’t plan to spend any time at any place and are passing though Jackson on your way to Yellowstone. Realistically, there are better options and a few places you could better utilize your time.

{Personally, I would suggest staying in or near by Jackson square and spend the day walking around and enjoying the day and munching on some local treats.} 

Spend a few days here to take it all in, Jackson has some great little spots. Ideally 3 days, here is how I would spend them:

  1. Jackson Square
  2. Teton Village
  3. Leisurely drive through Gros Ventre up to Mormon Row stop for a picnic lunch & an afternoon hike in the Tetons.

Be prepared for colder temperatures here. At night the temperatures can drop to freezing (even in May).

If you plan do to any hiking, bring proper hiking gear! Because there is still some snow on the ground in a few places (in May), the ground might be muddy and uneven! Remember you are in the mountains.

P.S. make a stop by Jenny Lake!

Tetons at Jenny Lake

Have you ever followed a travel book’s guide? If so, tell me how it worked out for you.

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