Exploring Jackson Hole & Grand Teton National Park

Trip Start Sep 26, 2010
Trip End Oct 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Antler Inn Jackson
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Grand Teton Grand Teton National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, September 26, 2010

We left the Microtel Inn and Suites in Philadelphia at 6 a.m. to catch our flight at the Philadelphia airport. I had some trouble picking up wi-fi in the Philadelphia airport on my iPod Touch. Our first flight was from Philadelphia to Denver.

We had an hour and a half layover in Denver. We stopped at the Catalina Mexican Grill to get some lunch and wait for our next flight. I was able to access wi-fi in the Denver airport. The second leg of our journey took us from Denver to Jackson Hole. I was surprised how small the Jackson Hole airport is for such a major ski town.

We were picked up by the Dollar rental car shuttle and taken to their location in downtown Jackson Hole, the location didn't look too wonderful but Dollar was the most reasonably priced car rental in the area. After the paperwork was filled out we received a Toyota Rav 4 to use for the week. I plugged the address of the Antler Inn into my gps and we found our way to our hotel. The hotel is nice and is situated within walking distance of many shops and restaurants in downtown Jackson Hole, it is also once of the more reasonably priced hotels in the area. The Antler Inn offers free wi-fi as well. Once the luggage was settled in our room we decided to walk around town for a bit.

First we came to Galleries West Fine Art gallery. Jackson Hole is filled with art galleries, artsy shops, boutiques, pubs, restaurants. and outdoor outfitters We saw some fantastic paintings and sculptures in several of the galleries including Ciao Gallery, many of the Tetons and other landscapes.

We took a peek in several of the gift shops including the Mangy Moose and the Jackson Hole Trading Company and walked into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar just to check it out. We walked across the street to the town square and took pictures under the famous antler arches. We bought some souvenirs in Gifts of the Earth. We walked into the Legacy Art Gallery and took pictures of the various bronze sculptures before deciding to get something to eat.

We opted to go to the Town Square Tavern for fries and a drink. The service was a bit slow but we sat on the balcony and watched the traffic and people go by while waiting for our order. We decided to head back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and to get the rental car and drive into Grand Teton National Park to check out the scenery for a bit.

We drove up Rt. 191 and and stopped at a few of the scenic turnouts along the way. As we approached the Ranger Station we stopped and paid the entrance fee for the park. A week's pass cost $25.00 and gave us access to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, quite a deal!

The scenery in Grand Teton is really lovely, the mountain range is spellbinding and the Aspen trees were changing to a beautiful shade of yellow, it really made a nice contrast with the blue sky and the purple-hue of the mountains. We pulled into Moose junction and took a look around. As we crossed the bridge we found out why its called Moose Junction, there was a family of moose camped in the Snake River right near the bridge. It brought traffic to a snarl and people were everywhere with their cameras. Ofcourse we parked the car and hiked down to the river to take pictures, this was our first wild-life sighting and we had barely entered the park boundaries.

Once we had taken enough Moose and landscape pictures we continued on our drive up to Jenny Lake. We stopped at a few of the scenic turn-outs along the way as well. We walked around at Jenny Lake for a bit taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. We left as the sun was starting to set and returned to Jackson Hole for the evening.

We went back to our hotel to clean-up. We decided to go to the Snake River Brewing Company for dinner. I really loved the place, it has a great atmosphere from the crazy murals painted on the outside of the building to the sports-bar like atmosphere and the casks and pipes inside the building. It had a river-hippy feel to it and I just loved it. The food and beer selection was outstanding. I had an IPA and probably the most delicious Cobb salad I've ever had! The Snake River Brewing Co. also has free wifi as well.

After dinner we walked around for a bit before returning to the hotel for the night.

 Things Learned on Day 1:

1. Apple has recently banned wi-fi scanners from the App Store. I was using a great app called Wi-Fi Get which enabled me to scan an area for all open wi-fi accounts and use it. Now I have to rely on the wi-fi detector in the iPod Touch which doesn't have nearly the range that the scanners do. Its very unfortunate that Apple blocked these apps which we have already paid for.

2. The Jackson Hole airport is tiny and is situated within the bounds of Grand Teton National Park.
3. Since Jackson Hole is a major ski town and tourist destination hotel and rental car prices are considerably higher. We saved some money by going slightly off peak season. We also did some research on which hotels and rental car companies were cheaper.

4. Jackson Hole is a cool small town filled with art galleries, artsy shops, boutiques, restaurants, pubs, various outdoor outfitters and has cool western-meets-hippy vibe.
5. Going to a National Park slightly off season is a great idea because many things are cheaper including lodging and rental cars and also there are far less people there so you can actually take pictures, enjoy the scenery and got a parking spot at a picturesque pull-off
6. Grand Teton National Park info: http://www.nps.gov/grte/
7. Snake River Brewing Company info: http://www.snakeriverbrewing.com/


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