Tag Archives: moose

2012 Western Road Trip: Wildlife in Grand Teton

One of the coolest things about Grand Teton National Park (and Yellowstone National Park, for that matter) is the wildlife. Since it rained every day during our time in the park, we spent more time in our car trolling for wildlife. We drove the Moose-Wilson Road more times than we could count, just looking for moose.

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We were quite successful in spotting moose. Although in the marshy thickets they frequent, it takes some looking.

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We saw this fox just down the road from the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center.

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Again along the Moose-Wilson Road, we finally got a picture of this beaver. I wish we had taken a picture of its lodge. It was very impressive.

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If you visit the park, definitely explore the Moose-Wilson Road area. If you’re lucky, you’ll see wildlife like we did. But if the animals are hiding that day, you still get to enjoy a beautiful drive.

2012 Western Road Trip: Early Morning Drive

You read that correctly – I’m still talking about our 2012 road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I never finished telling that trip’s stories, and I don’t want to move on to our most recent trip without wrapping it up. Oops!

When we left off, we had arrived in Grand Teton National Park and had done a little exploring of the park: stopped at a visitor center, got settled into our cabin, and drove out to Mormon Row to take pictures.

We woke up bright and early for our first full day in Grand Teton. We immediately changed and headed out the door, hoping to take some good morning shots of the mountains. We decided to drive up to the summit of Signal Mountain, a small peak (7,720 feet above sea level) in the middle of the valley. We made a good choice.

But what is a day in a national park without wildlife to kick it off? Good morning, Mr. Moose!

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Just doin’ what I gotta do.

We enjoyed the view from the top of Signal Mountain all by ourselves…almost. When we arrived to the parking area, there was one other vehicle and group of four guys who were just about to leave. Where were they from? Wisconsin. What are the odds?

After Signal Mountain, we drove to a few different turn-outs to snap more pictures. Seriously, the scenery in Grand Teton is so incredibly beautiful and seems almost surreal. I loved it!

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And pictures will never do it justice.

After our drive, it was back to the cabin to clean up and figure out what to do with the rest of our day. But not before one more moose visit.

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Grand Teton is so cool!

2012 Western Road Trip: A Grand Visitor Center

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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