Passing through same endless stretches of grassy knolls and hills lushly covered with grazing green in Wyoming, We craved more for exotic scenery of Grand Teton that was almost 500 miles away. It was biggest stretch of driving as per the plan; from Hill City, SD to Tetonia, Idaho. Starting early, we were anticipating the 9 hour drive to be scenic and less stressful than what it seemed to be on map. And we were not completely disappointed.
Travelling agent of a neuron sparks: Planning is key when you visit Yellowstone. Grand Teton lies south of Yellowstone and it has its own separate scenic personality than Yellowstone. There are 5 entrances to Yellowstone national park; North, Northeast, East, South and West. Best staying option is inside Yellowstone national park. If you are late to decide (like me) and all lodges are fully booked (which happen fast enough than you can imagine) inside Yellowstone, then you need to research well on all such "outside-of-the-park" staying options. If you want to see Grand Teton as well, then options near South or West gate of Yellowstone makes more sense.
My first choice of stay was in Montana near North gate. As unfortunate natural events occurred just a month before our travel date resulted in super-flood and wipe out of most of the northern side of Yellowstone, as cautionary step, I moved towards south/west side. We booked tiny home in Tetonia, Idaho, from where West and South gates of Yellowstone national park were at approachable distances. Most fruitful outcome was that Grand Teton national park was just a stone’s throw away.
Most of the drive was breezy and uneventful. Road towards our destination in Idaho was aligned with outer lookout scenic drive of Grand Teton park for almost 20-odd miles. And this is where we first encountered the herd of bison. Vehicles before us were crazily swerving to designated lookout spot where, after hazily parking their cars, visitors were crossing the speeding highway with no care in the world with DSLR, mobiles and binoculars in hand on the other edge of the road. Tale-tell sign of herd of bison or other exotic wild-life. We followed the suit. Considerable distance away in the expanse of greens, dots of dark brown were floating lazily, like swimming in the the green sea. Binoculars reveled them to be many bison grazing amidst the huge pastures. Herd was accompanied by deer here and there. Small light brown specks tagging along were newly born. Once done with bison, we turned towards Teton range to admire its beauty in earnest. Picturesque postcard scene was setup before us with snow covered range at distance glowing spectacularly with golden hue in setting sunrays with emerald pine trees covering the slopes with miles and miles of endless variation of green vegetation at the foot.
There is one very interesting show available on Netflix and on USA live TV; Tiny Homes hosted by John Weisbarth and expert Zack Giffin. Both are expert in designing and building homes that reduced the square footage of the traditional home drastically and still aesthetically gives you complete home, adorned with all your basic needs and requirements. We were impressed. And when Teton resort peaks offered one such tiny home in Idaho, near Grand Teton, we could not resist to book it. Situated in RV campground, our tiny home was nothing but large container box converted into home in style. Tiny space was fitted with small fully furnished kitchen, dining area, unexpectedly comfortable bathroom with all the amenities and elevated but spacious sleeping area for four. Most delighted part was outside the home. Fire pit accompanied by small wooden dining bench below the tree decorated with vintage LEDs was our favorite dinner spot. You could always cherish the snow capped Grad Teton range looming at the distance while having your favorite meal. This beautiful home was our launching pad for next 4 days towards Yellowstone national park and Grand Teton.
Date of Travel: 4-July-2022