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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> trip to grand teton NP
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06/16/2009 08:21:09 PM · #1
I am talking a trip out to grand teton national park this summer and I had a few questions:

1. How far are yellowstone NP and Glacier NP from the tetons?

2. I also read somewhere that there is a great wildlife preserve near teton national park, but cant seem to find any info on it. Anyone familiar with this?

thanks in advance!
06/16/2009 08:24:16 PM · #2
The 2 parks are essentially connected.

There is an elk refuge outside Teton, near Jackson. I think it is more populated with elk in the winter.

On an unsolicited basis - rent a long lens such as a 500 or 600 if you can swing it. I was very sorry I didnt.

Message edited by author 2009-06-16 20:25:24.
06/16/2009 09:08:18 PM · #3
Originally posted by photodude:

The 2 parks are essentially connected.

Regarding question #1: Actually it is Yellowstone and Teton that are essentially connected -- you should definitely go to both as they are so close and yet so beautiful in such different ways. Glacier on the other hand is a long drive from the other two, and I would only do that if you have lots of time.
06/16/2009 09:16:19 PM · #4
thanks.... I have all the time i want since i have the entire summer off....public school employee ;) Just wondering if its worth the time to go up to Glacier?

Message edited by author 2009-06-16 21:21:56.
06/16/2009 09:17:55 PM · #5
It is 375 miles from Yellowstone National Park to Glacier National via Hwy 89 and yes Teton and Yellowstone are almost connected.
06/16/2009 09:21:54 PM · #6
Yes, Glacier is definitely worth the time. Make sure you cross the Canadian border to Waterton as well. You will find the scenery far more spectacular than Yellowstone, which is relatively featureless.
06/16/2009 09:25:16 PM · #7
thanks frank.... would i need a passport to cross the boarder?
06/16/2009 09:28:27 PM · #8
Yes, I believe that's the law now. Also not to worry but that area is renowned for grizzly bears. So be prepared.
06/16/2009 09:30:02 PM · #9
Glacier and Tetons have spectactular mountain vistas. Yellowstone is basically a large plateau, but it has lots of interesting stuff like the geysers, a wonderful canyon with a great waterfall, large meadows with lots of wildlife, etc. So it complements the other two very nicely. And if you have all summer you should definitely do all three.
06/16/2009 09:33:12 PM · #10
UMMMMMMM....... tell me more about the grizzly bears. Anything i need to know.. will i encounter them on trails? Never dealt with bears before. Yikes!
06/16/2009 09:41:00 PM · #11
Originally posted by brimac:

I am talking a trip out to grand teton national park this summer and I had a few questions:

1. How far are yellowstone NP and Glacier NP from the tetons?

2. I also read somewhere that there is a great wildlife preserve near teton national park, but cant seem to find any info on it. Anyone familiar with this?

thanks in advance!


Last year when I went I got a grand Teton/yellowstone pass whichwas good for both parks, you could easliy spend a week + in each park. Glacier NP is a pretty good distance away though. Also in yellowstone the first place you see to pull off the road from the south gate, take it for a .1mi hike to moose falls, easily missed but beautiful.
In Teton Park the View from Coliter bay is beautiful.
have fun
06/16/2009 09:42:33 PM · #12
It really depends, read up on safely hiking around bears. Don't carry food, don't get between a mom and cub, make noise so they will avoid you. They don't like to be surprised. There have been many incidents in years past. The best info will come from the rangers. Don't let it put you off though.
06/16/2009 09:46:17 PM · #13
Originally posted by brimac:

UMMMMMMM....... tell me more about the grizzly bears. Anything i need to know.. will i encounter them on trails? Never dealt with bears before. Yikes!

Lol Is likely you will see bears. Grizz are less likely to attack than brown(which can also be black but will called a brown because is a species not a color)

Next they can run fast so keep distance and use a longe lense.
Dont carry foods that smell like meats and berries.
Lastly as with any predatory animal do NOT run, that can trigger a predator/prey reaction causing the animal to chase you. If there is a group of people and they run. you stand still and take shots for "When animals attack" :D
06/16/2009 09:55:47 PM · #14
LOL.......great advice!
06/16/2009 10:25:50 PM · #15
Originally posted by brimac:

UMMMMMMM....... tell me more about the grizzly bears. Anything i need to know.. will i encounter them on trails? Never dealt with bears before. Yikes!

I've seen/heard about "bear bells," which hikers use when in bear territory. It's basically a Xmas bell you wear on your belt or pack, and it lets the critters know you're there. Probably won't help you sneak up on any wildlife for photo purposes, but in theory may keep you from surprising a bear and getting eaten.

On the other hand, I live in the Northeast and have never been near a grizzly, so what do I know? ;-)
06/16/2009 10:33:59 PM · #16
Sorry for the veg on Yellowstone and Glacier. I saw Teton and must have thought you were asking about that - I need to read more carefully.
06/17/2009 12:06:08 AM · #17
Originally posted by brimac:

thanks frank.... would i need a passport to cross the boarder?

You'll need a passport (or equivalent) to re-enter the US -- check with the State Department for current rules.

I went through Jackson Hole/Yellowstone long ago -- there was a camground in or near the elk preserve to the east of town. I just had the negatives from that trip scanned -- I'll post a couple I've edited ...

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06/17/2009 04:54:42 AM · #18
In regard to bears- for the most part, bears aren't a big deal, but you should be prepared. Beware of thick brush where you have little to no visibility. Bears often bed down midday in thickets and don't enjoy being stumbled upon. Bearspray is NOT a safeguard, and should be thought of as a last resort. Education and avoidance is your best bet. When bears stand on their hind legs they are not necessarily being aggressive, but instead are investigating. Bears are naturally curious. If they start clicking their teeth, flatten their ears, make huffing sounds, or sway their head from side to side, they are not happy and are giving you an aggressive response. Do not drop food as a distraction, this will only worsen things for the next person the bear encounters. Don't get too engrossed with photography, as that's an easy way to stop paying attention to things and wander into a bear's vicinity (perhaps without you even knowing the bear was there). If you see a bear, make sure it is aware of you and try to give it a good breadth when passing. Staying upwind helps them be aware of you as well. As far as the "don't carry foods that smell like meat and berries" that pretty much includes most everything that is practical to carry for food, and, furthermore, if a bear is pursuing you because it wants food, it doesn't matter what food you're carrying. Bears eat everything, including toothpaste, that smells "interesting," so IMO if a bear is coming after you because of the way you smell, and disregarding you as something to avoid, perceiving you instead as a food dispenser, it doesn't matter what you are carrying in the first place. Grizzlies prefer wider, more open terrain, and black prefer to stay closer to the woods, especially the edges of forest. Both are found in the areas you will going. Color is NOT how to differentiate between the two.

On a separate note, be wary of moose. Moose can be very aggressive, and are gigantic, so always give them a good distance as well. I'm personally more worried of having a moose encounter than a bear encounter, especially because they love to hang out in willows and brush where you can't see them.
06/17/2009 10:03:37 AM · #19
thanks for everyones input. Im planning on shooting from areas where i will be able to see Bear at a distance and not stumble upon them. But in Glacier im just worried about stumbling upon one while hiking some of the trails, esp. by myself.....will just have to wait and see.Everyones advice is very helpful.
06/17/2009 11:31:03 AM · #20
As for hiking in Glacier by yourself I would recommend you consider a ranger guided hike. We did this three years ago when we were in Glacier NP and hiked to Grinnel glacier. There were about 20 people in the group. The rangers were recommending this at the time because there had been a lot of bear activity and the rangers were saying that larger groups were more likely to discourage bear approaches. Also bear spray is a last resort as someone else said, but it is also very expensive. When you hike with a ranger he/she will already have it with them.
06/17/2009 12:09:42 PM · #21
great idea, i think that will be the way to go!
06/17/2009 12:17:24 PM · #22
smicher... one queston since you have been there. Someone told me they thought that there are a lot of great photo opportunities just off the main roads, and pull offs where there is not a lot of hiking off the beaten path. True?

I still want to do some hiking for the fun, but im usually up early, and out at sunset for a lot of landscape shooting.
06/17/2009 12:38:11 PM · #23
Remember, you don't have to be able to outrun the bear, just the people who are with you. This is a major advantage of group hikes, especially if you are one of the more fit people on the hike.
06/17/2009 12:44:10 PM · #24
I would say that's true, but if memory serves I think the Grinnel glacier hike is one you'll want to do. I think it was about 8-10 miles round trip (maybe a little less). You have to take a boat first, which you need tickets for, and when we did it it was first thing in the morning. That hike is from the east side of the park.

There are also some shorter hikes on the east side of the park. When we were there my 10yo daughter came face to face with a year old brown bear around a bend on the trail. Fortunately it just went on it's way, because she ran from it. It's wise to have a healthy respect for bears.

But you are correct that there are many photo ops right off the road. This isn't very scenic, but this was hanging way over a cliff as we drove by. The Going to the Sun road is the only road through the park and it can take all day to go from one end to the other.
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06/17/2009 09:33:47 PM · #25
Yay! You are going to LOVE the West! If you need someone to go with you, I'm free all summmer.......... hehe :-)
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