I think every time there’s a mention of the Yellowstone National Park, there’s inevitable talks about the Grand Teton. It’s been an ache in my head that I didn’t visit Grand Teton three years ago on my first trip to the Yellowstone. So here I come this time, let the Grand Teton instill a sense of awe to me.
The moment I stepped into the Grand Teton landscape, I knew there wasn’t enough time for me to capture this place. There’s no foothills to obstruct the view, in front of me there are jagged peaks, deep canyons, various bodies of water, meadows, and sagebrush flats. This is a perfect bonsai landscape rising abruptly from the Jackson Hole valley waiting for great shots. I wish I could play with the ever-changing light, the weather, the seasons, and position. Whatever it offers, the magnificent and unusual views provoke an endless desire to photograph the Grand Teton Range.
[ The Grand Teton Range, at Mountain View Turnout ]
The direction of the Grand Teton determines that morning is one of the best times to shoot the mountain range. This panoramic sweep of the Teton Range was taken just before sunrise from the east as the glow shines on the top of the range. In front of the mountain range is the lodgepole pine forests and the sagebrush flats. Sagebrush covers most of the valley floor, looks barren and sparse but is quite lush. On the left side, it is the Grand Teton Cathedral group; On the right, it is Mount Moran.
[ Mount Moran Teton Range reflected in Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park ]
This was taken near the Jackson Lake Dam. It was originally a very hazy shot because of the forest fire nearby. So I had to fight the haziness in post processing. I like the results in the end.
[ Wet Meadows on Heron Pond, with Grand Teton Range at distance, Grand Teton National Park ]
Behind the pond in distance, the tallest point belongs to The Grand Teton 13770 ft, then the Mount Owen 12928 ft, then the Middle Teton 12804 ft, at last the Teewinot 12325 ft.
[ Swan Lake, Grand Teton National Park ]
A beautiful name for the lake, but I was wondering if there is any trumpeter swans here.
[ Framed Grand Teton, Cunningham Cabin ]
I was looking through a window of Cunningham Cabin. It is middle of the day, the window framed the Grand Teton nicely. Cunningham Cabin Historic Site was located on the east loop of the park highway, outside the park gate already, and the visitor center at Moose was actually outside of the park gate, which is very rare. The ranger told us it is because the park was established after the highway was built, so the state doesn’t want the park to put gates on the highway. Thus, half of the park is free of charge!
[ Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park ]
The hike to the 250 foot drop Hidden Falls is short and popular. Taking the trail from the west dock of Jenny Lake, this is the first scene I catch along the hike into the deeper Cascade Canyon.
[ Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National Park ]
Passing the inspiration point, the trail becomes level and the views are just grand. Meadows and wetlands, green forests, marmots, otters, and other wildlife may surprise you occasionally. We spotted a bull moose, but only his giant antlers, because he is taking a nap and the body is hiding in the meadows. We waited and waited for 40 minutes for him to wake up but he seems very comfy lying there for the rest of the day…
[ Last ray over the Cathedral Group, Grand Teton National Park ]
The sun gives its last light behind the Grand Teton, like a spot light.
[ Sunset glow in Snake River, at Signal Mountain Overlook ]
Sometimes, a least planed drive will surprise you in many ways. Sun was almost down as I was driving towards signal mountain overlook point, hoping to catch up the sunset over the mountains. But the top of the mountain looks towards east instead of west. Surprisingly, this fluff cloud was lightened by the glow and it was right above the snake river, which makes a very interesting scene.
[ Sunset over Mount Moran, Grand Teton National Park ]
After a nice dinner by our camping site, this beautiful sunset rewarded our day in the Grand Teton National Park.