2012 Western Road Trip: A Grand Visitor Center

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It took us a little over an hour to make our way from the north entrance of Grand Teton National Park to Moose, Wyoming, location of the main visitor center and the area we would be staying. We knew we were visiting in the off-season, but we had no idea how off the season still was in Grand Teton. The visitor center in Moose was the only one open in the park. Most park lodging was still closed. At first, we thought this might become a major problem. Where would we eat? What would we do? But ultimately, it forced us to explore the nearby town of Jackson, Wyoming. And for that, I am very grateful.

So, let’s talk about the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Moose. Hands down, it is the most incredible national park visitor center I have seen.

Craig Thomas Visitor Center

Moose Statue

Visitor Center

The center houses beautiful exhibits about the people, animals, and activities of Grand Teton National Park. After making our way around the space, we took in the center’s movie. I don’t remember much about the movie, but I do remember the ending. The screen actually hangs in front of a huge black curtain. At the end of the movie, the screen rises and the curtain opens to reveal a perfect view of the Teton range. So cool!

We managed to time our visit to the center perfectly between rain showers. All was clear when we were ready to leave and get to our lodging for our time in the park. We were staying at Dornans, also in Moose, just down from the visitor center. As we drove between the two places, we spotted our first moose!

Our First Moose

Moose Eating

Going into the trip, Jason really hoped to see a moose. We didn’t see any in Yellowstone, which we learned wasn’t too uncommon. We had heard of people having much better luck in Grand Teton. I was so happy that Jason got his moose (more than one at that). And I must admit, it was a pretty cool thing to see.

We knew we were in for a couple of rainy days during this leg of the trip. But after our initial hours, the weather didn’t worry us at all. We had a good feeling about Grand Teton.

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