On our long weekend trip to Wyoming, we had a great time exploring the two main National Parks, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National park. Despite how breathtaking the views are along the scenic highways connecting Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, this is only a taste of what is coming ahead. We booked our Airbnb in Victor, a town fairly close to Grand Teton National Park. Although Grand Teton National Park is relatively small, it is home to the majestic Teton mountain range, visible from all over Idaho. As we drove through the park, we encountered so many stunning viewpoints of the Tetons.
From Victor, ID you take the Teton Pass way which is usually closed during winter. As soon as you approach the end of the Pass, you are welcomed to an unimaginable view of the Mountain range at the Jackson Hole viewpoint, the magnanimous range starts from here. If you ever visit the Grand Teton National park, do not forget to check the Tetons out from here. It is indeed a photographers delight and here are 6 viewpoints you can’t miss!
1) THE MOULTON BARN
Antelope Flat road on the right side of US 191 N is an unkempt road and leads to the Mormon row Historic District. At the end of the road, you will see the Moulton barn on the right. Keep driving until you see the parking lot. You can also walk into the perimeter of the barn to get a closer look and the Tetons in the backdrop. A settlement build by the mormons in the late 1890’s, a lot of work has been undergoing to preserve this barn. You will find a lot of barns in the area.
The one in the picture below, nestled near the base of Blacktail Butte is John Moulton Barn which stands out from the rest for obvious reasons. If you can’t get enough of this view in a single visit, plan on staying in the Moulton Ranch Cabins, who offer 5 cabins on a privately held land. And you can book an overnight stay here – trust me, waking up to an ambience like this is one of a kind experience!
It is comparatively less crowded as the tour buses go on exact opposite side of the barn to a chapel. We started our Grand Teton expedition from this spot, pleasant air and calmness around us served as a great fuel.
2) SCHWABACHER LANDING
After driving a couple of miles ahead on US 191 N from Mormon Row Historic District, Schwabacher Landing is on the south of the Snake River Overlook. It is a dirt road that winds down to the parking lot. Park your car and take a walk around the river here. I felt like this place has one of the best view of the Tetons, the land flattens here and the reflection of the mountains in the beaver pond is exceptional!
The uniqueness around here brings out the best possible view of the Tetons. I can only imagine how beautiful this area looks during the fall season. I would suggest coming here during sunset or sunrise for some gorgeous colors reflecting on the Tetons.
3) US-191 N AND S HIGHWAY
This highway goes from Madison area to Colter Bay village in the Moran junction entrance of the Grand Teton National Park. A scenic highway has all the attractions such as the Barn, the Snake River overlook, Jackson hole lake and the town of Jackson hole on the way and is itself a good spot for an uninterrupted view of the Tetons. You can stop on the turnout points (or make your own turnout point on the side of the highway like we did!).
We found a spot on our drive to the Jackson lake. An open field covered with dandelions and the bison resting definitely caught our attention. We parked on the side of the road, crossed and ran inside. After a brief photo session, we looked back and there they were. A perfect path leading us to the Tetons!
4) TETON PARK ROAD
It is a 21 mile long scenic drive inside the national park. As soon as you join the road from US-191, the Tetons appear nearer, brighter and sharper. The Teton Park road is very famous and hard to miss. It is around 21 miles long, Taggart lake trail, Death Canyon Trailhead near the Moose Junction and a couple of picnic areas fall on the way.
You can stop anywhere on the side of the road or a turnout point which is right in front of the mountains. May seemed to be the ideal time to visit the National park as the road starts clearing up which is otherwise closed from November to April.
5) JAKSON LAKE PICNIC AREA
We were hungry and about half an hour away from the Jackson hole town square. So we decided to eat at Colter Bay village instead. There were a couple of restaurants at the waterfront. As we kept driving we couldn’t really find the restaurants near Marina, turns out they were located further inside the park. We decided to drive back to the town. While driving out of the parking lot, we came across a picnic area and a swim beach area which pretty much tempted us so we decided to check it out.
I have to admit, it were spots like these that brought the true essence of the Tetons. In any different setup, I couldn’t imagine it imparting the same tranquility. The Tetons from here looked content basking at the edge of the lake enjoying their own reflection. We sat on the beach with our feet dipped in the cold water, while admiring this sight.
And my favorite highway, we got the first view of the Tetons from here while driving from Yellowstone National Park towards Victor, Idaho close to the Grand Teton National Park. As soon as we got on ID 32 Scenic drive, we were blown away by the Teton Range. This is a less traversed highway so we could stop on the side to avoid a possible mishap on the road due to distractions from the panoramic vistas around us.
While driving on US-20 W from the west entrance of Yellowstone National park, make a left on E 1200 street and drive for 0.9 miles towards ID-32 Scenic drive. This drive was a realization of how underrated Idaho is in terms of natural charm. Along with the Tetons, you will also come across abundant lush green fields, placid landscapes, magnificent rolling plains and an astounding sunset. ID 32 merges into ID 33 as you approach the ghost town of Tetonia, ID. The highway runs through Driggs, Victor towards the Tetons and hence the view of the Tetons from this highway is like the icing on the already wonderful cake. Sunset in Idaho is exceptional, park anywhere on the side of the road to watch a beautiful sunset over the Tetons!
This National park is comparatively less crowded than the Yellowstone National Park which adds to the authenticity of its existence. Its mere presence is the most soothing and surreal experience, which is way different than the other attractions that are heavily crowded although appealing. The Tetons demand that serenity to be able to completely enjoy and acknowledge them. Frankly speaking, one of the best ways to experience this park is simply by driving through it. We took our time here and once we were on the road again, we kept driving while the view seemed endless!
These are my top 6 picks to view the Tetons in Idaho and Wyoming. Hope you guys enjoy driving here and witness nature in its purest form as much as we did!
Have you been to Grand Teton National Park? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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