Many people have asked me questions about our trips, so I will try and answer them here:
- Q: How do you come up with the loops?
- A: As described in the About Us section, my father planned out many month long adventures for us growing up. I condensed some of these trips into smaller loops. The goal is to maximize the different National Parks visited.
- Q: Why are there so many stops?
- A: Some destination trips concentrate on only one place. The idea behind 10 day loop is to experience a piece of many different parks so that future destination trips can be catered better to one particular spot. For example, we enjoyed Grand Teton and if we have the opportunity to take a long weekend, we may return back here, but we wouldn’t have known for sure if we didn’t see many locations on the longer 10 day loop trip.
- Q: Where do we stay?
- A: We enjoy camping, but due to the limited time in each stop and the consideration of flying all our gear out, we don’t tend to camp on these trips. Our first choice is a lodge or cabin in the actual National Park where we visiting. If that doesn’t work out, we stay in a middle-tier hotel chain, generally with continental breakfast.
- Q: How do we plan meals?
- A: If breakfast isn’t included with the lodging, we tend to go small with breakfast bars, yogurt, and fruit. Lunch is almost always sandwiches or other pre-made meals for thrift and ease of picnic stops on the road. Dinner usually ends up being out, and we generally search for micro-breweries because they tend to be locally owned and offer a feel for the area. Snacks during the day include trail mix, dried fruit, and granola bars.
If you have additional questions, please post them here and I will do my best to answer.
Our last stop was a day drive though Grand Teton National Park. The suspense of seeing these massive, jagged mountains built as we sat behind a flagger for 30 minutes to allow road construction between Yellowstone and Grand Teton on the Rockefeller Parkway. Once we arrived, we saw the peaks from across Jackson Lake. Not the view we were used to seeing, we continued down the trail. The Jackson Lake Lodge was stunning, a true upscale establishment far different than the rustic feel of the Yellowstone lodges. As we made our way into the center of the park, we took the Signal Mountain road for a different perspective. This was very disappointing as the trees have overgrown the view from the top, making it something I would recommend avoiding. We then made the Jenny Lake loop and enjoyed lunch in the shadow of Grand Teton and Mt. Owen, still both with some snow in late August. The ranger at the Jenny Lake visitor center directed us to the Schwabacher Road turnout. There, we saw the view of the Teton range that is displayed on most post cards and posters from the area. You can see how our shots turned out in the previous post.
Though I wish we had more time in Grant Teton, we made a quick stop in Jackson Hole to see the highly recommended ski town. Unlike Steamboat Springs and other ski towns, there wasn’t much to do in the summer time, so we got on the road back to Salt Lake City. The GPS decided that since we had seen the scenic route for many locations so far, why not continue. Rather than a simple path to the interstate, it directed us through many twists and turns of local Idaho highways. After driving through the Soda Springs of Oregon Trail fame, we found our way to the interstate and got into Salt Lake late in the evening.
It was a great end to our third 10 day loop, and hope to try out another soon.