Day 3 Road trip: Gardiner – Yellowstone – Grand Teton – Jackson

Day 3 (Tuesday)

We started the day early from our hotel in Gardiner. The view wasn’t too bad, especially when we saw a lady elk across the street! We drove back towards Yellowstone, which was a little slow going as we got behind some large construction trucks. But we weren’t in that big of a hurry, so we just enjoyed the scenery.

As with the afternoon before, we passed back by Mammoth Hot Springs and Lewis Falls. Since we did the geysers the day before, day 3 we were focusing on Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and driving through Hayden Valley on our way to Grand Teton.

As we drove the Grand Loop, we took many of the side roads for views of the Grand Canyon, and various views of the falls.

As we were driving along, I spotted a bison on the opposite side of the road, but based on his stance, my gut said STOP he’s going to cross ….. and he did! So I immediately checked for safety and pulled over and waited, while taking a ton of photos. What an opportunity to see this amazing creature so close up. I was driving, so it pleased me to have to stop so I could catch some shots myself. My husband was equally amazed how close he was!

We took another road to Artist Point, and had opportunity for additional views of the falls, including Upper Falls which puts you at the top of it. Each view of the falls were equally awe inspiring and beautiful!

From here, we continued on the loop through Hayden Valley towards Yellowstone Lake. I will note again, that people will randomly stop to take pictures and many will be part way in the road which obviously is a pain and not safe, so use caution! But more opportunities to see bison and elk. At one point, we saw some folks stopped and my husband looked carefully out the window and thought he saw a bear’s behind in the trees. Other than that, no bear sightings for us but that’s ok. We had another opportunity for traffic to stop as not one, but two bison crossed the road – ah the excitement!

Beautiful scenery everywhere as we continued to drive. We continued on to Colter Bay Village, where we stopped for lunch and some photos of the Tetons from the Marina.

We headed down the road towards Jenny Lake, but our first stop was the long drive up Signal Mountain with a stop near the top for the Jackson Lake Overlook. Phew it was windy up top!! The Jackson Lake Overlook is not far from the top and there is a small parking lot, with a sign to take a trail 200 yards. If you continue a little further on the dirt trail, you’ll get an even better view! Then we continued up to the top for the amazing views of the valley below. The web looking picture is a caterpillar cocoon. They were in several of the bushes, we had never seen anything like this before. No judgement on the picture of me – the wind was howling on top of Signal Mountain so there was no controlling the hair lol.

Back on the road, we made a quick stop at Jenny Lake. I had read many wonderful things about it. We didn’t have time to hike, and it was getting late in the day so we took the quickest route to the water and again snapped a couple of pictures. Then it was back on the road again.

Last stop in Teton for the day was the Teton Glacier Outlook which is just a pull out with some parking spots. It’s not labeled, but it’s just a few miles from Jenny Lake, on the right side (as you’re headed for Jackson).

We ended our day in Jackson where we had our hotel booked. Grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby Mexican food restaurant that was within walking distance to our hotel. Then we called it a night to get an early start back into Teton.

Day 4 coming soon – Jackson to Grand Teton to Casper