Nature constantly beckons & the wide open road constantly calls. The sudden urge to be amongst the Grand Tetons hit us unexpectedly. Without question, plan or hesitation we went. Our favorite road trips are the ones unexpected and unplanned for because then, anything is possible.
We arrived at the entrance under layers of clouds, another unexpected, rain. The mountains were nowhere in sight, shielded by thick layers of mist and cloud. We drove steadily without expectation towards Colter Bay, every other campground was completely and utterly full. Colter Bay has not failed us yet, we were lucky enough to find a campsite available & minutes after we got our spot the campground became full.
Colter Bay Campground is unlike any camping we typically do. We are used to off grid, boondock camping in complete solitude. The spaces in the campground are tightly knit together, but everyone was respectful and quiet at appropriate times. Since our first night was rainy, we didn’t venture too far. We hung around Colter Bay, did our laundry and talked to dozens of people who kept ogling over the bus.
We walked around the lakeshore when the mountains decided to show themselves, a game of hide & seek behind the clouds. We enjoyed the views we could get & set our hopes on the next morning, getting up early & taking our TW for a ride. Up with the sunrise we hopped on our bike & took off. The morning fog lazily lifted from the mountains faces like a veil, sunshine swooped in dazzling everything with a glow. This is what we came for.
We headed towards string lake, one of our favorites. Without fail, each clear morning, string lake becomes a mirror, reflecting back the spectacular view of Mt. Moran.
The forest so lush & green, the wildflowers in a colorful bloom. We hiked around string lake & made our way to Jenny lake Trail, another favorite. There’s something about hiking near water that just fills our hearts with bliss. The rushing sounds of water eager to make their way into a body, Jenny lake is one of the most popular destinations in Grand Teton. Hiking it from the string lake side is much less populated than starting from the visitor center side. If you go early, that’s an added bonus to less crowds. We prefer hiking early just for that reason & in this particular case, we ended up getting most of these views to ourselves.
After hiking we continued our ride to more spectacular views, the wildflowers in Grand Teton, late June are pure magic! We have visited this park a few times before but never during bloom season. We were surprised to see so many wildflowers & also incredibly thrilled. The flowers truly added to the magic of this place.
We spent the rest of our warm day kayaking & swimming on Jackson lake, the views were absolutely surreal.
Next morning we made our way up to Yellowstone, we decided to do the loop rather than go back the same way we came. Yellowstone is such a beautiful place, but typically overpopulated for our interest. But we said, what the hell & decided to have no expectations.
BUT we were right in our original thinking. It was WAY overpopulated.
The plus side is we had so many people loving up on the bus & wanting to take part in our creative exchange. Otherwise, trying to find parking anywhere was hell. So we got a campsite & took off the bike for an adventure. The beautiful thing about the bike is we can squeeze in anywhere, so there is always parking.
We got to see old faithful do her thang. The amazing geothermal pools that are what make Yellowstone. It’s been years since we had the chance to gaze into these mesmerizing extremely scorching hot pools. They’re so beautiful words can’t even express.
But most importantly, we got to see BABY BISON. OMG.
So apparently this is also the time of the season where cute little baby bison are entering the world. We saw whole herds with dozens of babies & of course traffic was congested as people were ogling over their cuteness. We got the chance to see two moms up close with their little ones and it was the highlight of our trip to Yellowstone.
We also visited the Canyon side of Yellowstone & I’ll let this picture speak for itself.
What are your thoughts on Grand Teton & Yellowstone!? Have you been?