Hi Mouse again,
Gameboy and I just came back from Wyoming and I have to say what a relaxing trip. It's about an 8 hour road trip from Denver, not too scenic of a drive until you're real close to the mountain range. We were amazed at how much space there is. I heard about it being quite spacious, yet I was still amazed. We would drive through these small towns that only had about 300 or so people living in them. I even saw one that only had 10!
The first couple of nights we stayed at an AirBnB in Afton, it was about an hour drive from Jackson. It's a picturesque drive once you drive out of the town. The rental was quaint and reasonably priced; yet I would suggest splurging on staying in Jackson to avoid having to put time to the side to drive back to your AirBnB.
Pictures don't portray what the Grand Tetons are like in person. They are breathe-taking. When we first drove into the park and saw them for the first time, Gameboy and I gasped in unison. We got off in almost every overlook to take pictures. Another suggestion I would give is to take a sunset or sunrise tour. Our tour was for sunset and there is plenty of wildlife to see; it was a fantastic tour. Another great tour is taking a floating trip down the Snake river, it gives you a whole new look of the Grand Tetons. Our sunset tour was with Backcountry Safaris and Solitude Float Trips.
One of our days in Grand Teton was spent at the ever popular Jenny Lake. It was serene and beautiful. It's worth taking the ferry across, yet save up some energy to do the return trip by foot; taking the trail along the lake back to the beginning. Gameboy and I came across two brown bears on the trails and took in the relaxing sounds of waterfalls.
After our stay at Afton, we drove up to Cody for another AirBnB, which was about an hour away from the East entrance of Yellowstone. You have to drive through Yellowstone to get to that town; another thing we were surprised about. There is no expressway that you can take to get to Cody from Jackson. We took the opportunity and did some sight seeing along the way.
Apparently, all of Yellowstone sits on a active volcano, it explains why there are so many spots fuming with sulfuric smoke. It smells terribly, wearing a mask is helpful. By the way, if you are planning on traveling to any of these parks now, you have to wear a mask in the park buildings; such as the visitor centers and gift shops.
I can tell you for a fact that both parks are not the same. If you're thinking I'll just do Yellowstone or just Grand Teton, I'd say you will be missing out. Make the effort for both. Gameboy and I didn't book any tours since there is so much to do, so we played it by ear. We visited all the iconic parts, such as Old Faithful and Inspiration Point. Of course there are overlooks to view waterfalls and the buffalos walking along the plains. Be sure to grab the newsletters from the rangers at the entrance booths, it provides good information on hiking, animals in the area and important locations; like clinics if you get injured.
Unlike Afton, there are some options of activities to do outside of sight-seeing in Yellowstone in the town of Cody. Gameboy and I took in a dinner and show at the Cody Cattle Company. What a treat! The food was great and the show was off the charts. There is also the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. For one ticket you get to see five museums. Make sure to wear some good comfortable shoes and give yourself at least five hours to see it all. I would say there's something for everyone, from a vintage gun museum to a natural history museum. Also, the museum restaurant has some pretty good food - the Buffalo Chili is so yummy.
We put a day to the side to take a detour to Thermopolis which is about an hour and a half south of Cody. There you can take in a bath at the hot springs, visit a dinosaur museum and view some petroglyphs on a trail. Gameboy and I did the last two activities. It's a great little town to visit.
With our adventurous side satisfied, we headed back home with some fantastic memories. I'll leave you with some pictures.