A Grand Time In Jackson Hole // Grand Teton National Park

AND SO NORTH WE GO!! 

From Flaming Gorge Recreation Area along the Utah/Wyoming stateline, we found our next campsite on the North side of Jackson, Wyoming. Although we used Free Roam to find our site at Flaming Gorge, we expanded our resources to find our site near Grand Teton National Park. This time, we referred to another RV travel blog about the best spots to free camp in the Teton area. 

Here’s where conversation gets difficult.

#KeepJacksonWild is a hashtag the city uses to encourage those with a large following to not leave a… social media footprint… or geo-tag, certain locations as to not draw a larger crowd than it already does.

I think that’s a good way to put it.

I don’t have a large following…

so I want to share SOME details. 

I want to share these details because, though this blog may have started as a journal with only a handful of followers, I do want to help anyone who’s new to this kind of lifestyle, like Devon and I once were.

There’s no guidebook to traveling, you’ll find your own paths, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to hear that someone else has been down that rough road once or twice too. 

SO.

Without further ado, 

Welcome to Jackson Hole!

We came in from the South so we got to drive through Jackson and get a sneak peak of what we’d be in store for…this was one place I was excited to see!

Fun fact: Jackson Hole refers to the entire valley, whereas Jackson, refers to the town. 

While we were in town, we also got a sneak peak at the gas prices :’-)… Getting closer and closer to $4/gallon…

Here’s where we actually see those mountains I’ve really been waiting for. 

It was a little hazy from nearby fire smoke, but you could still grasp the magnitude of this mountain range. 

As you continue North up 191, you’ll pass by the Jackson Airport…

Man oh man, would I love to see the views from that plane…

When we arrived at our site location near Cunningham Cabin, we found there were a couple options we could try.

The blog we read had suggested trying to snag a site further up the road along the hillside that would overlook the Tetons. We were shocked to see so many sites at the top but, unfortunately, they were all occupied at their maximum capacity. Instead of the hillside overlook (sites 8-25), we opted for the gravel lot at the base of the road (sites 1-7). We found a spacious spot next to a large 5th wheel to set up our own little site. 

While there were no hard lines for campsites, it was clear most everyone would park and, respectfully, take whatever space they could get. As the sun went down, this became even more clear as people started to park closer and closer to one another. WHAT THIS MEANS, the closer to sunset, the less available sunsets. Vans especially can fit in the small spots at the last minute, and if they can, they will.

WHAT THIS DOES NOT MEAN is that you should be the, excuse my French, asshole, who parks their RV and claims way more space than they obviously need. My recommendation is to park your RV, and take maybe 10 feet past your front door. Any space beyond that, assume that it can be taken by someone else at any point. #LeaveNOTrace and park ONLY where you can visibly see someone has parked before and take ALL of your trash.

After we got settled, we went back out towards the park. This time the smoke haze was really starting to roll in.

I think we’re missing something here…

We entered the park from the Moose entrance and did, in fact, IMMEDIATELY spotted a moose!!! She was with her baby, which was, UH, WAY CUTE, but I couldn’t get a picture as quickly!

Next stop: a stroll to Jenny Lake

Look. at. this. view.

There were a couple people swimming in the water, but it was too cold for us; we could barely dip our toes in.

On the way home, I had my first real… “ok, we can stop and REALLY look at an elk” moment! There were two females in this marshy area and a couple more on the nearby hillside with their babies. I’m still waiting to see one with a big ol’ rack of antlers.

Once again, with the clearing of the haze, we woke up feeling like we were in a new place.

The view from our trailer… When we got in the day before, it was just us and the big Brookstone…The van pulled in between us later that evening. Like I said, Find a spot that fits your rig and take the space you can.

We spent the morning exploring the North side of the park, driving up to Colter Bay. Sometimes a nice drive is just what’s in store for the day.

Oxbow Overlook
Colter Bay

That evening, we went back into Jackson for date night. Devon was really excited for me to try a bison burger, so we chose Liberty Burger for dinner. As always, honesty is the best policy…it wasn’t the most ideal, delicious, buttery tenderness Devon was hoping for me to try, so we’ll have to find another, but, overall, we were still pleased with the meal.

Keep in mind that because this is such a busy tourist town, restaurants STAYYY busy… which means long waiting times… We found out we could “bypass” this long, dreaded, hungry wait, and put in for a table on the Yelp app! It was super easy and we were seated immediately once we got the text that our table was ready!

We walked the side roads of town to walk off some of our dinner while I tried to talk Devon into getting ice cream, but that’s a fight I rarely win.

One of my favorite spots we found was the Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery. I didn’t take any pictures of his images in the, but please take the time to read this Washington Post article about the photographer. Believe me when I say his images were absolutely incredible.

Goodnight Tetons

We went home that night grateful.

Grateful for a clear day to see the Tetons.

And grateful for a beautiful evening in Jackson.

Seeing the Tetons was a major checkpoint for me, and while I wish we could have spent more time here, it’s just another thing to add to the “When We Come Back” list.

Now let’s see a big ol’ herd of buffalo!!

Yellowstone, we’ll see ya soon.

Until next time,

Sometimes, self-timer doesn’t always work like you want it to…

j&d

This post is dedicated to and in memory of Gabby Petito; May she rest in peace.

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