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Upcoming trip first of May

posts: 3
reviews: 34
Upcoming trip first of May

I really need your help. My husband and I are travelling from April 29, returning May 7, flying in and out of Denver (tickets already purchased). We plan to rent a car there mid-day Monday April 29 and drive to maybe Rawlins. Then drive to Jackson Hole the next day to visit the Grand Tetons. We plan to stay there three nights, then drive around to Dubois and head South. We need to be in Denver on Sunday and then we are going to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for a couple days until we fly out mid-day Tuesday.

We love the mountains and hear that the Tetons are spectacular. Will the roads in the Tetons be completely open then? We were going to also spend a couple days in Yellowstone rather than Rocky Mountain but understand that the roads aren't open through the park then.

Any advice anyone could give would be greatly appreciated about what to see and do. Are there guided tours through the Tetons like there are in Denali, for example? We love to see wildlife and do "gentle" hikes.

We can't wait to visit your beautiful part of the country. Much thanks in advance.

Driggs, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
posts: 2,250
reviews: 63
1. Re: Upcoming trip first of May


The Teton Park Road will open May 1st. What a wonderful time to visit.

Make sure to do the Antelope Flats drive as you will be sure to see some baby bison that time of year. The Moose-Wilson Road is another road to drive to catch some moose and the occassional black or grizzly bear.

There are guided tours run by private operators such as the Teton Science School and Brushbuck Guide Services, to name a few. However, the park is easy to tour on your own. Drop by the visitor center in Moose (South Entrance) to help with your planning.

Under Top Questions about Grand Teton Park to your right, I've put together:

What are some of the best activities for a short visit

What are some of the best day hikes in Grand Teton Park

They are links to answers from other posters that help answer some of your questions. I think that will be a good start. IMHO a good gentle hike is Taggart Lake or String / Leigh Lake Loops.

I hope that helps.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 10,796
reviews: 205
2. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

You should be fine in the Tetons, as noted, and find plenty to do. Do note that in Rocky Mountain National Park, Trai Ridge Road will not be open yet. You will have access to some areas of the park from Estes Park on the east side, but won't be able to go up and over. Still will be worthwhile.

Have fun.

posts: 3
reviews: 34
3. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

Thank you so much for the posts. That reassures me that we haven't made a big mistake by scheduling early.

Here's another question if you don't mind. What do you consider the best drive from Denver to Jackson? We'd like to drive up one way and return a different route to see more of the countryside..

If you ever come to KY or TN, I can tell you all about it. :-)

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
posts: 4,428
reviews: 2
4. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

Here's a route from Denver that is both beautiful and rich with western history.

Go north to Laramie; then west on route 130 (the Snowy Range Scenic Byway) over the Medicine Bow Mountains and north on 130 and 30 to Medicine Bow; then north on route 487; then west on route 220 toward Muddy Gap (or detour east into Casper to visit the wonderful Trails Interpretive Center). Watch for signs along the way that point out the Oregon Trail, which was used by half a million Americans moving west in covered wagons in the early 1800s. The signs identify several places along this road where you can walk a short distance and find wagon ruts left from 100,000 covered wagons. This was the largest unforced migration in human history. We have neighboring ranchers whose ancestors came across the country in covered wagons, and buried children along the way.


Route 220 will also take you past Independence Rock, which is a giant rock just off the south side of the road.


Charles Kuralt at Independence Rock: www.youtube.com/watch…

The Pioneers called it Independence Rock because if they reached this location by Independence Day, July 4, then they were on schedule to be over the mountains before winter set in; otherwise, they ran the risk of being caught (and dying) in the mountains during the winter. The Oregon Trail runs close by Independence Rock, and there are over 5,000 names chiseled into the rock by Pioneers. Continue on 220, pausing at Devil's Gate, a landmark along the Trail. At Muddy Gap, bear right on route 287, passing Split Rock, another Trail landmark, and The Parting of the Ways, where you can still see the deep wagon ruts where trails diverged:


At Sweetwater Station Jct (the highway rest area there has a display of detailed county maps showing where wagon ruts can be found), go right on 135 into Riverton; then left on 26 toward DuBois. 26 runs west of the Wind River Indian Reservation and east of the Wind River Range. It is quite beautiful, with numerous Chugwater Formations. 26 continues over Togwotee Pass (9,600') and then drops down into Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole (6,400'). There are stunning views of the Teton Range coming down from Togwotee Pass.

By the way, during your drive across Wyoming, you'll pass any number of old, abandoned wood cabins that are quite small. Many of these cabins were built by homesteaders seeking to improve the land and claim 160 free acres under the Homestead Act of 1862. The Act required a homesteader to build a house at least 12' by 14', and many of the abandoned cabins you see will be that size.

Wyoming is big and open. Sublette County, to our south, is the size of Connecticut, but doesn't have a single traffic light. So don't forget to fill your gas tank. In case you're interested, here's a link to some pictures of Wyoming outside the national parks:


posts: 3
reviews: 34
5. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

Teton Bill,

We did it, followed your directions almost to a T. How can anyone say that the trip from Denver to Jackson is boring??!!. It was SPECTACULAR. We loved the historical sites, and the terrain changes every few minutes. It is a wonderful drive. We even got to see a rodeo on the way back in Laramie. Thanks again for the great advice. We spent three days in the Tetons, three days in Estes Park at Rocky Mountain National Park, and a day each way on the drive. The weather was perfect, and we had an awesome vacation. I heartily recommend doing both areas. RMNP is not redundant to the Tetons, very different parks. We've been to Alaska three times, so I was a bit worried these mountains would not hold up to those. Was I wrong. Such a fabulous time seeing God's creation...

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
posts: 4,428
reviews: 2
6. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

Glad you enjoyed your trip and the drive through Wyoming.

7. Re: Upcoming trip first of May

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