My traveling partner and I set out on our road trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While traveling northwest on Interstate 80, we ran into some blowing snow near Laramie. For those of you who haven’t traveled across Wyoming, the northern winds blow fiercely and the temperatures drop rapidly. The temperature went from 20 degrees to minus 10 degrees within minutes. We made our way to Rock Springs, Wyoming and turned north on State Highway 191 towards Jackson Hole. We traveled through Hoback Junction which sits just inside the Gros Ventre Wilderness area. GVW was established in 1964 in compliance with the Wilderness Act. It is located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management allows no motorized vehicles, logging or mining. It does permit camping, fishing and hunting with proper credentials. We saw so many amazing sights in this vast wilderness.
We drove over the Snake River while traveling on State Highway 26. The Snake River drains from Jackson Lake and eventually makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. The river was starting to freeze up under the extreme temperatures. The beautiful shades of blue in the streaming water mixed with the snow covered terrain is nature at its finest. We also enjoyed the snow and frost covered trees. The snow topped mountains that surrounded us looked like something from a Norman Rockwell post card during the winter holidays. Pauline looked all around as I carefully maneuvered the snow packed mountain roads. We thought to ourselves how these picturesque views look like something you would see in a travel book or a photo gallery. We wanted to take lots of pictures to capture what Mother Nature had to offer.
Their are many protruding mountains (shown left) that are located within the Grand Teton National Park and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The Grand Teton National Park encompasses over 310,000 acres and is approximately 40 miles long. The Gr
and Tetons, along with Yellow Stone National Park to its south and other protected forest areas take up over 18,000,000 acres.
When we got to Jackson Hole we checked into our hotel, unpacked and relaxed from our six hour drive. We selected a place to have dinner as Jackson Hole has a great number of restaurants to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The next morning we set out to see the town and what it had to offer. What we found were some amazing art gallery’s, unique gift shops and plenty of bar & grills. You can spend hours browsing the boutiques and find that “one of a kind” gift. Pauline and I took time to sit alongside one of the world’s most iconic theoretical physicist. The frosty weather didn’t seem to bother Mr. Einstein.
The George Washington Memorial Park is more notably known as “Town Square”. It has two fabulous antler
archways located at each end of the park. The antlers were donated from the National Elk Refuge and offers a great “Kodak” moment. Our photos will give us many years of memories and a cherished keepsake. We also had a chance to experience the park at night. It was so stunningly beautiful with all the Christmas lights draped over the trees. It was a winter wonderland that help put us in the holiday spirit.
On our second day in Jackson Hole we ventured out to tour the Grand Teton National Park. The Grand Teton itself reaches up around 13,700′ and is the second tallest mountain in Wyoming. The Visitors Center in Moose Junction closes in November and reopens March 1st. However, winter programs like a Snow Shoe Walk with a Ranger can be arranged with a simple phone call. The stunning sight of theses majestic mountains can only be experienced in person. Moose Junction is a small community that sits within the Teton National Park and borders along the Snake River. It is also close to the local airport where we watched the planes fly over the towering peaks. The morning’s temperature was hovering around 15 degrees below. However, the cold weather didn’t discourage us from taking some great photos. While heading back into town we stopped along the roadside to see thousands of elk roaming along the open range at the National Elk Refuge. If you are up to it and have time, you can schedule a sleigh ride. This could be your opportunity to get up close and personal with the elk. Just across the street from the refuge is the Elk Museum and Art Center. They are both filled with a lots of great information.
On day four we took some time to just “chill” and enjoy one of the many coffee shops in town square. After we got ready for the New Year’s Eve celebration, we found a comfy spot to watched the torch parade on the neighboring ski slopes. The lights reflecting off the snow was an amazing sight to see. After we watched the parade and the fireworks, we ventured over to the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. It has live entertainment, spirits and great food. Its also been known on several occasions to have a country western super star perform on its stage. We spent the rest of New Year’s Eve enjoying a few beverages and a great steak dinner!
After five days exploring western Wyoming, it was time to return home to Colorado. While driving back we saw more great scenery like Elk Mountain with low lying clouds hovering around its base. As we got closer to Laramie, the wind farm came into view. You could see the moon just above the turbines. We finally made it home safe and sound. Wyoming is one of America’s most picturesque states. Its open ranges, National Parks and bountiful wildlife offers plenty of adventure. Pauline and I will definitely make a return trip in either the spring or summer.