Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd
Grand Teton National Park is truly one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes in the United States. The jagged peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Mountain Range are unobstructed by foothills and tower over 7,000 feet above the landscape. Below them, the Snake River carves through a valley of picturesque alpine meadows and sapphire glacial lakes.
I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to visit the park three times with my family; when I was 8-years-old, when I was in high school, and more recently in 2011. I have vivid memories of just being completely awestruck at how enormously beautiful the Tetons are, and pinching myself to make sure I was not dreaming.
There are many things to do inside the park ranging from viewing wildlife, white water rafting, fishing, horse-back riding, and hiking. On my 2011 trip, we went in late June, which hindered our hiking opportunities because there was heavy snowfall that winter. We attempted to hike through Cascade Canyon, however a few miles up the trail, we were met with an impassable wall of snow.
In addition, the pools of snow-melt were ideal for mosquitoes, and we encountered hoards of them. I learned the hard way, how important it is to wear loose clothing, and coat yourself with DEET, as I was a delicious victim. So, if you are a hiker, or if you are a mosquito magnet like me, I recommend going later in the summer. 🙂
Another thing to keep in mind when visiting Grand Teton National Park is that the range faces East, so the best time to photograph it is at sunrise. Although, you can get some interesting sunset shots of the light cutting through the peaks if the weather is right.
My dad was a champ and woke up with me extra early each day we were there, so I could capture the early light on the mountains. Here are a few favorites:
Brian and I are planning a trip for next August to the Tetons. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to share this special place with him, to finish that hike up Cascade Canyon, and, of course, to take tons of sunrise photos. 🙂