Hello Trip Advisor friends. Wanted to share with everyone some notes from our July 2012 vacation to GTNP (along with trips to Yellowstone National Park). In summary we flew in to Billings, MT & rented a car. Drove the Beartooth Hwy to the NE entrance of YNP. Spent 3 days at Canyone Village (see long YNP trip report under the Yellowstone forum) and then three days at GTNP and then 3 days at Old Faithful in YNP. Okay, so the details of the GTNP part of the vacation in bullet form.
- The ride from the south entrance to GTNP was very nice views. Left Canyon Village in YNP around 6am and caught the animals in the valley and very little traffic. Stopped along the way and had B-fast out of the styro cooler. Good tip for anyone if possible. Side tip is to get a couplke of plastic garbage bags to se tht ecooler in to since they sweat or leak in the heat of summer.
- Stayed at Signal Mountain at the cabins. Was a bit expensive after what we paid for frontier cabins in YNP, but the Signal Mt. cabin was spotlessly clean, and had great decor & our cabin had a fireplace. Not that we need the heat in July, but there was really no heat and the fireplace working at night while in bed was very nice. The bathrooms in this cabin was excellent and very nice with even soap dispeancers and such in the shower.
- Have bug spray handy at Signal Mt. When is gets dark the mosquitoes are out in force (lol).
- The lake at Signal Mt. looked great if your a fisherman or boater. Sad to say we did not have time to try either of those activities.
- The view of the lake at Signal Mt. at sunset as the sun goes down over the mountains is great and well worth seeing.
- Take the drive to the top of Signal Mt that is nearby. Tip is the 2nd parking stop down from the top of the mountain is actually better that at the top. The 2nd stop looks west to the Tetons & while the view at the top is nice looking over the valley, don't miss the second stop view.
- From Signal Mt south take the side road over to Jenny Lake. What a view of the mountains behind the lake. Great picture opportunity. Also just past Jenny Lake is a road that goes to a hiking / picnic area about 3-4 miles off the road. Wh had lunch there and you are right up against the foot of the mountains. What a great view of the mountains and waterfalls coming down the mountains.
- If the weather is okay take the back road from Moose to Teton Park (Moose - Wilson Road). It is not as rough as the map implies and has great opportunities for seeing animals.
- Visit the Visitor Center at Moose at the south edge of GTNP. It is a great place for kids, park history and info, ranger questions and a pretty good gift store.
- Just outside the Visitor Center we had 2 opportunities to see moose feeding right by the bridge and river. One time we saw a single moose and another time we saw 3 males feeding. Go slow and keep your eyes looking around for them or you may drive right past them.
- We went to Jackson and left after lunch and a couple of hours. Way too much traffic in the summer with traffic back ups and people getting frustrated. Too many tourist traps all selling the same stuff. However, if we were staying longer I would be tempted to rent a bicycle in Jackson to ride out to GTNP.
- In Jackson we did eat at the Snake River Brewery and I would highly recommend it. Great beer, a lot of good people hanging out and the food was good also.
- One thing I was really impressed with in GTNP that I hope some day to do is ride the great bike path that runs from up by Jenny Lake all the way down to Jackson. Wow, if you in to biking this is the trip and visit you should do. A separate blacktop bike path that runs along the Tetons from Jenny Lake to Jackson. As I was in our car driving to Jackson I kept watching the bike riders and wishing I was doing that. Nice idea to bring a green vacation to a wonderful park.
- I just about missed it, but if your in to photography try to get over to Mormon Row where there are great picture opportunities of early 1900 housing / barn pictures with the Tetons in the background. Tip - go early in the morning for the best light with the sun at your back & great shadows on the Tetons.
- Okay, have to make one last comment about Victor, ID. We drove over to there on the 4th of July. No initial reason, but we ended up there and found a great little 4ht of July parade. Lots of horses and we laughed because there was no bands - assume not enough kids to field a band. Towns people were very noce and they had a town history quiz going on from the back of a truck before the parade started - very cool. We met a retired couple that lived in Victor and they told us all about the twon and place to see and eat in the area. Just a wonderful couple that took two strangers under their wing. Thanks, we had a great time and memory of Victor, ID.
- Lastly, if you get a chance go over to Nora's Fish Creek Inn for breakfast on the Teeon Pass Hwy in Wilson. A great place to eat, lots of great food, service was excellent. A memorable place to eat. Can't go wrong eating where all the fire jumpers eat !!!
Hope this helps a few people with their trip planning.