The Grand Teton National Park Combines History And Nature

29 Aug

The Grand Tetons

As I ate lunch in the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park and stared out the windows at the marshland and the mountains, I could not help but wonder ‘what if?’ 

What if John D. Rockefeller had not come to Jackson Hole? What if the beauty of these mountains and the need to preserve the land had not touched his heart? What if the strong opposition to the creation of another national park so close to Yellowstone has persevered?  What if there was not a wealthy Rockefeller who was willing to spend his own money to buy up thousand upon thousands of acres of land and then donate it to the National Parks?  

What if?

But he did come out to Wyoming and preserve the beauty of the Grand Teton National Park.  

Jenny Lake ( Photo by my husband.)

Who knew there were 12 glaciers high in there jagged mountains!  Not me!  And the stunning lakes, like Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake waiting to be explored. Even the Visitor Centers are lovely. Especially the Laurence Rockefeller Center with its meditation room which surrounds you in the calming sounds of the forests. A short walk to the waterfall at this  Center brings you past a stunning river scene. 

An abandoned barn in Mormons Row.

Then there are the historical buildings and sites within the park. A small Episcopal Chapel — The Chapel of the Transfiguration– with the most stunning view. Praying would be easy there as you look toward the mountains and see the glory of nature. The settlers houses from the late 1800s and early 1900s are somewhat preserved so you can see how the original settlers lived before modern conveniences. It must have been so cold!  We walked down park of Mormons’ Row. A settlement that is now mostly abandoned homes and barns where a Mormon Community once thrived. Now there is just one active homestead belonging to a family who runs a bed and breakfast. 

Seeing the site of the ferry that once took settlers across the river in safety and the home where the ferry owner lived and opened a small outpost, reminds you that the settlers did not have cars and bridges. 

I think it is best to go to Grand Teton Park before going to Yellowstone. This way you learn the history of the area and the ‘ normal’ natural beauty of the Jackson Hole area before going up the mountains to the weird and amazing beauty of Yellowstone.  Most important you learn of the people who persevered to settle in the stunning, but relentless mountains of Wyoming.  

5 Responses to “The Grand Teton National Park Combines History And Nature”

  1. Amy August 29, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    I say those What ifs all the time when we go to the National Seashore on the Cape—what if JFK had not created the National Seashore? We’d have honky tonk all along the ocean instead of nothing but the natural beauty and awe inspiring dunes and beach. And the many beachgoers! I loved Grand Teton and Jackson also. Now we just have to make sure that these places don’t become destroyed in the name of private development.

    • zicharon August 29, 2017 at 7:27 am #

      Exactly. The people of Jackson know that the parks bring in so many tourists it impacts the positive economy. The parks are so important for many reasons!

  2. thegenealogygirl August 31, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    My husband grew up near these mountains. They are spectacular!

    • zicharon August 31, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

      If I had realized how beautiful it was there I would have taken my children when they were younger. I have vowed to go back with them soon!

  3. coolxkid89 September 15, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    Fantastic writing pal 🙂 love it! I too have Just trekked up in the Tetons and am just in the throws of putting together my blog! Would love if you would read it when it comes out! I have a bunch of trail tales be sure to check them out! But i just cant get over how good yours are!!! Haha any tips? Oh yeah and be sure to help a fellow out with a follow if you enjoyed any readings 😛

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