Continental US

Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park

Same routine quick breakfast, checked out, and off our way back to Grand Teton National Park via the Grand Loop Road. It was super foggy in the morning that we could barely see 10 feet in front of us!

And it got clearer and clearer as the sun started to shine through the fogs.

We passed by another Bison!

The reflection was super awesome with the blue sky and small white clouds:

We pulled over and watched the warming sun clearing up the fogs and the two deers at a distance.

It was dreamy and peaceful where we enjoyed our last moments in Yellowstone.

And the Bison came along for a farewell.

Goodbye Yellowstone, you are one of our favorite national parks!

Through the Grand Loop Road, we once again passed the Yellowstone Lake with the snow-capped mountain peaks.

We passed through a huge area of burned trees, on the way to Yellowstone, I thought those were just dried leaves but no, at a closer look, they were burned!

We made a stop at Colter Bay Village where we will be staying overnight, it was too early to check in so we just walked around the Lakeshore Trail. The beautiful reflections from the boats docked at the bay with the snow-capped mountain peaks on the back.

The bear sign re-emphasis that we need to stay alert!

We reached the tip of the trail and there is a pebble beach, very scenic spot for the postcard-perfect photos!

We sure had a lot of fun to have a mini photoshoot session as we were the only ones there!

Then, another group arrived that we decided to leave; it was their turn to occupy this perfect spot! We continued our drive to Jackson Hole because we couldn’t stand the tasteless national park food to have our lunch lol! Of course, we made some photo spots along the way. Oxbow Bend, one of the famous spot for sunrise photos:

Snake River Overlook where the trees blocked the view of the Snake River so you can skip that!

The road down to Schwabacher’s Landing was a bumpy one as it is not paved. This is another famous spot for sunrise/sunset photos.

Along the Highway 191, there are a few Turnouts (lookouts) for unobstructed views of the Teton Range. Glacier View Turnout, do you see the glacier?

We arrived at town, found a parking spot, and then walk toward our lunch spot…Thai Plate. The town itself is worth a stop to check out the streets filled with flowers and cute shops.

Thai Plate is tucked inside a shopping area, when you see Judge Roy Bean’s Old Time Photos, turn inside! Finally, some flavorful food and the refreshing Thai Iced Tea!

Lunch for 5 of us plus Thai Iced Tea cost $123 including tips so it was expensive compared to home but much better value than the food inside the national park! I don’t get why US national parks have expensive and bad food! After lunch, we strolled around town for a big to check out souvenir shops 🙂

It was time to head back to Teton National Park where we made a quick visit to the Chapel of the Transfiguration for a photo! The lighting at the early afternoon brought out the vibrancy of the colors more than early in the morning on our first day. Plus, there were the white clouds that the sky wasn’t as boring!

We took the Teton Park Road and it was a scenic drive!

Our plan was to check out Jenny Lake but it was packed that we couldn’t even find a parking spot! We decided to not waste time stuck in traffic so we drove to the one-way Jenny Lake Road instead. The Jenny Lake Overlook was not impressive as it is covered by trees!

We were thinking where can we go to have the view of the lakes and decided to drive up the zig-zag way to Signal Mountain. Up at the mountain peak, it offered great views!

The wildflowers were blooming up here!

But the view of the Jackson Lake side was obstructed by trees 🙁

We were disappointed with the views and left to Colter Bay to check in with a stop at Jackson Lake Dam:

We checked in and our log-cabin was close to the cafeteria/food court.

Our cabin was decent size to fit all 5 of us but it was very hot inside. We opened all the windows to get some air in and left to the beach!

For dinner, we headed to Teton Thai at Teton Village and the GPS lead us to the Moose Wilson Road where it was so narrow and bumpy! This was the better section:

We arrived Teton Thai and the restaurant was completely full! We didn’t think of a reservation is needed so no luck! We Googled Asian restaurants nearby and found Chinatown Restaurant at Jackson Hole. The restaurant is very Americanized, small portion, and not good! We ordered a fried rice, it was just average.

Pepper beef with more peppers and onions than beef!

The egg plant dish was probably the best among them.

And this boring looking tofu….sigh!

The crispy duck was just okay.

Dinner was $91.15, not good but better than national park food.

On our way back to our cabin….the sun was starting to set but the clouds rolled in again so no sunset 🙁

In summary, the long weekend national parks trip was wonderful; Yellowstone became one of our favorite national parks! Compared to the hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand, I felt that Yellowstone is bigger, more geysers/hot springs/hot pools, and much more colorful. Grand Prismatic Spring did not disappoint and Morning Glory is another one of my favorites! I have never seen anything so vivid colors that are natural formed. Teton National Park is different that its primary focus is its majestic Teton Range. In terms of the lakes, they are not as turquoise as the glacier lakes I have seen in the South Island of New Zealand nor the lakes in Switzerland. Too bad that Yellowstone is so expensive and hard to reach from Boston so another trip back is not as easy…I really wanted to see the aerial views of Grand Prismatic Spring!

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