This Friday’s post is auspicious because it is photo Friday, as well as the day for the letter G in the A to Z Challenge. Therefore, I can tackle the challenge Landscape with G for Grand Teton National Park – what a perfect location for a landscape challenge!
Grand Teton National Park is located north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the US and is just south of Yellowstone National Park. The grand peaks for which the park is named are composed mostly of metamorphic and igneous rocks. They are the remnants of volcanic activity that occurred deep within the Earth, and then were pushed up towards the sky by later movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates. Much later in geologic history, giant glaciers carved their way through the mountains, creating the beautiful lakes that we enjoy today.
Like Yellowstone to the north, charismatic megafauna such as bison, moose, and bears inhabit Grand Teton National Park. The big animals are less common in the main traffic areas than Yellowstone, and rather your best views of animals are on the backcountry or day hike trails. This means that the danger associated with these encounters is increased due to the isolated location and the chance of surprising the animals. So always be careful when hiking – after all, these are wild animals!
I also have to mention, that you should never approach wild animals – for your safety and theirs! No matter how many times the rangers tell people this, I still see people approaching dangerously close to animals every time I go to the parks. Just remember, they are faster and stronger than you, and they are going to protect themselves.
The general rule is to stay 100 yards (or 92 m) from bears and wolves, and 25 yards (or 22 m) from other animals (bison, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes). For ease of estimation, 100 yards or 92 m is approximately the equivalent of a football field (American and worldwide). Make sure not to feed animals either, no matter how cute they are – the marmots wanted our trail mix but we managed to resist their pleading eyes along the trails.
Grand Teton National Park offers stunning vistas at every turn, with pristine lakes and hiking trails for all level of outdoor enthusiast. Camping offers a great way to commune with nature, or you can set up base camp at the nearby town of Jackson Hole for a unique western resort town feel.
Have you visited Grand Teton or any other US national park? Do you have similar parks or scenic areas in your home country? Let me know in the comments!