This is the most popular tour offered by the Teton Touring Company, probably because we not only visit the favorite areas of Yellowstone, but we also introduce our guests to some of the most beautiful parts of the park — places that are seldom visited.
We begin your day in Jackson, Wyoming. I pick you up at 8:30 AM. Let’s begin with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, tea or hot chocolate,then get comfortable in the Teton Touring SUV and begin our day.
We’ll drive through town. Ask me anything, I know Jackson very well.
We head due north, climb out of town and into Jackson Hole. If you have never seen the view, as we crest the rim around the Elk refuge, take a deep breath. iIt is incredible!
Jackson Hole offers not only unbelievable natural beauty but it is filled with wildlife, all across the valley.
We will travel up Highway 191, the John D. Rockefeller Memorial highway, through the Hole until we reach Moran Junction. You probably have already noticed the breathtaking view of the mountain, across Jackson Lake. This is Mt. Moran, named after the painter Thomas Moran.
He painted so many scenes of the mountain and the surrounding scenery, that the mountain was named in his honor. (On our way home I will take us even closer to Mt. Moran for an even better look!)
We turn left to the entrance of Grand Teton National Park, wind along the Snake river, past Ox Bow Bend, made famous in the Ansel Adamas black and white photograph.
We continue through beautiful meadows surrounded by lush forests and we cross rivers and streams.
We drive up to Colter Bay, named after John Colter, the Mountain Man who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, then continue our drive through Grand Teton National Park, stopping anytime, at your leisure.
We reach the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Passing through the gate we see the Yellowstone plateau, rising before us. This is our destination.
We wind through Yellowstone with the Lewis River on our right, pull over to view Lewis Falls, drive then on past Lewis Lake. We continue climbing, up and over the Continental Divide and heading toward Yellowstone Lake.
We drive along the Caldera of this ancient super-volcano on our way to The Old Faithful Education and Visitor Center.
We then casually follow the trail, crossing over the Firehole River; we take in the view, we feel the heat, listen to the energy and yes, experience the “scent” of the myriad of geysers, steam vents and mineral formations that stretch before us.
Let’s head back to the Visitor Center, to the picnic area.
I packed a great lunch!
Enjoy the beauty of the day, the natural surroundings; maybe some wildlife decides to make their presence known. (Tt’s up to them!)
We return to our SUV and head up to Firehole Lake Drive. Most visitors never take this road — they just aren’t aware of it. It’s lined with astonishing natural formations: the Pink Cone Geyser, Black Warrior Lake, Steady Geyser, and Firehole Lake.
We follow Firehole Lake Drive and come to the Fountain Paint Pot trail head. We’ll follow the trail to the Paint Pots, a unique geological feature. We’ll walk past the Fountain Geyser, timing it just so we aren’t sprayed too much! Then we walk then past the Celestine Pool on the way back to our car.
Oh my! A seldom-visited waterfall that pours from the top of the caldera wall.
On the way, we will have a choice view of the Grand Prismatic Spring, probably all by ourselves, because this trail is rarely taken.
We walk through Fairy Meadows — it’s a lovely hike — and then come to Fairy Falls itself! The waterfall is 200 feet high and falls from the rim of an extinct volcano. It has created a beautiful crevasse in the rock as it cascades down into a pristine pool, at the base of the rock. If we approach quietly, we will often see wildlife refreshing themselves in the coolness of the waterfall’s spray.
It’s a leisurely drive back and of course, we can stop at any time to take in the natural beauty, the wildlife or just to stretch our legs.
Mt. Moran is so close you could almost touch it!
The Tetons are at our right and the Hole stretches before us as we cross the Snake River in the middle of Jackson Hole head onto the highway,and make our return trip to Jackson and your hotel.
It has been a full day, one you will never forget.