Grand Teton NP–Again!

Now that's a campsite!

Now that’s a campsite!

I love Jackson, Wyoming! It’s one of my favorite towns in America, matched only by Moab, Utah or Homer, Alaska. It has such a variety of world-class activities in the area that it attracts adventurous people from everywhere in the country and from around the world. That means its streets and stores are full of every kind of people from older retired RVers to young adventurous mountain climbers, kayakers, rafters and mountain bikers. Of course it’s also one of the most beautiful towns in the world with the Grand Tetons just north of it and the Snake River so nearby. Being so popular does mean that the traffic and crush of people can be very annoying. I read some bloggers who hate it because of the traffic, and I can understand that reaction,  but if you spend enough time there you learn the ins-and-outs of how to make it bearable. I’ve gotten so that I know it well enough that the traffic is just a minor annoyance compared to how much it has to offer.

Wildflowers galore!

Wildflowers galore!

I stocked up on groceries there and then headed to my campsite on Shadow Mountain which is in the Bridger Teton National Forest but you get to it through the Grand Teton NP. It is directly opposite of the Grand Tetons themselves making it quite simply the most beautiful campsite I’ve ever been in. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but this time it’s fully deserved! If you’ve been following my blog for long then you’ll recognize it as the same camp Judy and I stayed at last year when we were in the Tetons. Believe me, I’d be delighted to send a week there every year for the rest of my life!! To get a Wyoming Atlas from Amazon, go here: Benchmark Wyoming Road & Recreation Atlas

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This year was very different than last year though. In 2014 we got there in late May and road up to that campsite was snowed in so we couldn’t get there. I was only about a week later than last year but 2014 had an extremely heavy snowfall and it stayed cold till very late in the spring. This year there wasn’t nearly as much snowfall and the spring was quite warm. So warm that when I got to the Grand Tetons there were many spring wildflowers in full bloom. I was delighted by that because I love taking photos of wildflowers with beautiful mountains in the background—it’s one of my favorite shots to take and you will see lots of them in this post.

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As always I studied the area before I arrived, these are some of the guide books I recommend to the Grand Tetons. Follow the link to Amazon to purchase them:
Dirt Cheap Photo Guide to Grand Teton National Park
Photographer’s Guide to Yellowstone & the Tetons:
Grand Teton National Park – A Photographer’s Site Shooting Guide

tetons-road

The key to getting these shots of wildflowers looming in the foreground and the mountains in the background is something called “depth of field.” It’s possible on some point and shoot cameras but you really need the control of a DSLR. Normally you need a wide angle lens and set the F-stop up to F-16 or higher and manually set the focus closer than you would usually.  Once you’ve learned how it is quite simple.

Mount Moran from my camp.

Mount Moran from my camp.

My campsite had a great Verizon 4g cell signal so I spent about 10 days camped there catching up on website work and going around taking the photos you see here. I was lucky in that there was very little traffic in the park and up on my mountain campsite. On weekdays I was usually alone but on the weekends more people would come in. Fortunately, the Grand Teton National Park is not terribly busy like Yellowstone National Park is, especially early in the season. Although Yellowstone is only 30 miles to the north, the traffic and crowds are terribly worse in it than the GTNP. I’ve come to hate Yellowstone because of its horrific traffic and I avoid it, but the Tetons are more of a “drive-through and snap a picture” type of place for most people. For me, it’s just the opposite, I want to spend time in the Tetons and spend as little time in Yellowstone as possible.

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This is a "behind-the-scenes" look at the above picture. Whenever there's a field of wildflowers (or group pf animals) you'll find a group of photographers shooting them.

This is a “behind-the-scenes” look at the above picture. Whenever there’s a field of wildflowers (or group pf animals) you’ll find a group of photographers shooting them. Notice the cars in the background. You have to work around all those distractions.

Here is a map to the campsite at the top of the photo. When you get back to the bottom of Shadow Mountain, there are two roads that go up it. You want to take the one by the large signpost with instructions on camping there.

After a week of catching up and taking pictures in the Tetons it was finally time to move on and get back to my terrible job with its 9-5 grind: driving and camping in the most beautiful places in the country and taking pictures and writing about it. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it–the sacrifices I make for you my readers!

In my next post I’ll tell you all about my trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Looking south from my camp toward Jackson.

Looking south from my camp toward Jackson.

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tetons-purple-field

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A wild River in the Tetons.

A wild River in the Tetons.

Wildflower just feet from my camp.

Wildflowers just feet from my camp.

Bob
About

I’ve been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

38 comments on “Grand Teton NP–Again!
  1. Openspaceman says:

    Bob_

    That campsite photo is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

    *Keep in mind I’ve been parked next to an expressway in the city for the last year and a half.

  2. Omar Storm says:

    Bob,

    Great pics as usual, thanks for sharing. You said that your camp is in Bridger Teton National Forest, but I didn’t catch exactly how to get to your specific camp or is the entire area similar with ample camping like your camp?

    Thanks again,
    Omar

    • Bob Bob says:

      Omar, here is a map. When you get to the FR, start climbing up the hill. There are two roads going up the mountain, you want the one by the signboard with camping instructions.

      http://images.cheaprvliving.com/tetons-map.jpg

  3. Calvin R says:

    That campsite is spectacular. I would spend serious time sitting there staring at that view, setting it in my memory.

  4. Carla says:

    I’m GUILTY of being a drive-by Teton viewer! One excuse I have is that I was traveling with someone else, and we did not even go into Jackson at all. Stopped for a few photos, tried to find a hotel in the area and everything we were interested in was booked. Yep, I did not have my RV van a few years ago when I was there.

    My goodness, now that I know I can camp for FREE and be in that scenery!! You can bet I will be staying to absorb it all for days next year.

    For me, this is one of your all-time best gems.
    Carla recently posted…Know Best Defense for Predators & Other DeadliesMy Profile

  5. Ming says:

    my goodness Bob, each camp is more beautiful than the last! Thanks for the travelogue posts.

  6. Lightfoot says:

    Bob, although I’ve been following your blog regularly haven’t posted in a while. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate you doin’ all the dirty work of camping in places like the Tetons. 🙂 Absolutely stunning photos and I’m sure glad you and Cody survived the mountain lion encounter.

  7. Lightfoot says:

    P.S. I often use your photos as desktop backgrounds for my computer and my spouse and I are so grateful for you photos and information that we’ve decided to do all our Amazon shopping through your search bar as a small way to say “thank you.”

  8. Shawna says:

    Beautiful! I love your photography Bob; it’s excellent.
    Shawna recently posted…Some Interior DecoratingMy Profile

  9. WTXCal says:

    Hi Bob, I read your two posts on the mountain lion adventure several times each. I believe your healing philosophy through nature and your travels is wonderful. I agree 100%. Bob, I’m a big dog lover and can completely understand your feelings when Cody was lost. Here’s what I have done with my dogs. Just before feeding Cody each day, go out (if possible) and honk the horn on your van several times, then immediately feed him. Do this for several weeks. If he ever gets disoriented in the woods again, just keep on honking. Same method the ranchers use on large spreads to call in their livestock. Cody can hear that horn alot further than your voice. Hope this helps, have a great day. WTXCal

  10. judy says:

    Bob’s campsite is on an open ridge line that feels as high as the mountains across that wide valley. I paused in my camp duties one day last year to take in the view, a gentle breeze kissed my cheek and I wept. This is the second place I’ve been in my travels with Bob that has moved me to tears.

    • Kathy says:

      Judy, I know what you mean. The Tetons often move me to tears. The beauty is overwhelming.

    • Teri Live Oak, Fl says:

      Judy, that is beautiful.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks sweetie! What she isn’t telling you is she also cries about some of the roads I take her on!
      Bob

      • judy says:

        What?! Me cry?!! Um…well maybe just a little.

        It’s true that I did do a lot of whooping & hollering going up Moki Dugway in S. Utah and needed to keep telling myself “no guts, no glory!” With your van leading & Al bringing up the rear, I felt safe. That was scary but Exciting!

        Now the Mtn jeep tour in western CO was in a league of it’s own on the fear factor scale. Too many hours on a skinny road with the mountain to my right and AIR to my left may have been cause for a couple tears.

        I’d cry buckets to be there again for the joy of hearing your enthusiastic “Stop the jeep! I’m going to get that picture!” It was an awesome day even though I needed to face down my fear.
        I began the day with a confident “I will not flinch” mantra…before the day was over, my eyes were shut & that had changed to a hopeful “I Will live to see my grandchildren again.”

        This life beats the heck out of sitting in the rocking chair waiting to die.

        Some years ago, instead of making a wish list of New Yrs Resolutions, I simply resolved to Go somewhere I’ve never been and Do something I’ve never done before. Hanging out with you sure gives me plenty chances to keep those resolutions!!

  11. Wow, these are my favorite photos of yours since I started reading your blog! They are incredible. Wildflowers with mountains in the background. One could almost consider having a permanent home there! Although winter might be a whole lot different…..

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! 🙂
    Jim Schmechel recently posted…Ruegsegger FarmsMy Profile

  12. Kathy says:

    Bob, can you post directions to that camp? I will be there in about 3 weeks and plan on staying in the area until mid September. I will stay at Gros Ventre cg for a while but it would be nice to have a few other options.

    • Kathy says:

      Bob, I went back and looked up your post from last year and found the directions to the camp. Just wanted to let you know.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Thanks Kathy! I probably should have included the link or a map.

        I’ll do a final summary of the 5 entrances into Yellowstone and the camps at each. This will be one of them.
        Bob

    • Bob Bob says:

      Kathy, at the top of the website is a Menu Button called FIND A CAMPSITE. There is a google map to my campsite and it’s listed up there.
      Bob

  13. T says:

    Bob, you’ve outdone yourself! Best pictures you’ve posted to date, and I am IN LOVE with that campsite!!! Thank you, thank you, for doing all the dirty work. 😛

  14. tommy helms says:

    With all those beautiful mountain lakes, did you ever consider getting an inflatable raft?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Tommy, I am not a water guy so it doesn’t have any appeal to me. I lived in Alaska for 45 years and 9 months out of the year to get in the water was to die and the other 3 it was miserable!
      Bob

  15. Omar Storm says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for the map and directions to camp. It’s definitely a place I’d like to stay at.

    Omar

  16. Omar Storm says:

    Bob,

    I don’t blame you. It’s a spectacular place, indeed.

    Omar

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