Monthly Archives

August 2005

Photo of Wildflowers, Bridger-Teton National Forest

Grand Teton, National Parks, Wyoming

Road Trip: Day 1

Most attention in Grand Teton National Park is focused on the Tetons themselves and the west side of the park. However, on my most recent trip to the Tetons I took a drive out of Grand Teton National Park and up into the Bridger-Teton National Forest to find myself alone with magnificent views and acres of wildflower-filled meadows and forests on Shadow Mountain.

Wildflowers on Shadow Mountain with the Teton Range visible in the distance, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Wildflowers on Shadow Mountain with the Teton Range visible in the distance.
Image ID: 13020
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Wildflowers on Shadow Mountain with the Teton Range visible in the distance, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Wildflowers on Shadow Mountain with the Teton Range visible in the distance.
Image ID: 13021
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Shadow Mountain is accessed on the Shadow Mountain Loop Road, the bulk of which is in the national forest but which begins and ends in the national park. The way to get there is on a dirt road at the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park, where it meets Bridger-Teton National Forest. From Jackson going north, find and take the Antelope Flats road until its ends in a T-intersection — go left at the T. This road heads north, eventually turns to dirt, then heads east and up into the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Here is a good map to consult. As the road heads up Shadow Mountain there are a number of spur roads that head out to meadows or viewpoints. It looked to me that campers (probably with permits) use these spur roads to find solitude and their favorite spots. I took a few of the spur roads just to see where they went. Keep in mind this road is unpaved. While the main unpaved road is in pretty good shape, there were a number of places on the spur roads that I was glad I had a high clearance truck, although I did not have to resort to four-wheel drive. The only folks I encountered were a few mountain bikers, a runner and a walker, all heading up the same road. As the road ascended from the floor of Grand Teton National Park, it would open up into meadows that where covered with wildflowers. Some magnificent views are offered too, looking across the valley floor to the Tetons with a perspective that cannot be matched anywhere within the national park boundaries. There were lots of bugs buzzing about the meadows, but thankfully none seemed to be the biting sort. Eventually the road tops out on Shadow Mountain and descends back into Grand Teton National Park north of where you started, at either the Snake River Overlook or Triangle X Ranch.

The ideal way to explore Shadow Mountain would be to run it, however my knees don’t allow for this anymore. The next best is mountain bike. If you don’t like the climb or using the granny gears on your mountain bike, have someone drive up with all the bikes on a rack and everyone but the driver gets to zoom back down the mountain on bikes.

Photo of the Mormon Row Barns, Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton, National Parks, Wyoming

Road Trip: Day 1

The Mormon Row barns are popular with photographers in the southern part of Grand Teton National Park. The conventional wisdom is to shoot this area in the morning, with warm light on the barns and low, front light on the Tetons in the background. However, I’ve seen great images of these barns shot in afternoon too, with back- and side-lighting or with afternoon weather. From Jackson take the Jackson Hole road north past Moose Junction. Antelope Flats road lies on the right. There are often bison on or near Antelope Flats road making for nice photos of them with the Tetons as a backdrop. Head east on Antelope Flats road about a mile until it is crossed by a gravel road — you are there. Two barns lie to the right (south) and two to the left (north). The barns are on National Park land but there is some private property nearby, so be careful and quiet where you park and walk. Those who focus on wildlife will likely get bored of these barns quickly, but if you are into landscape photography these barns provide a wonderful foreground subject.

An old barn at Mormon Row is lit by the morning sun with the Teton Range rising in the distance, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

An old barn at Mormon Row is lit by the morning sun with the Teton Range rising in the distance.
Image ID: 12999
Location: Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Photo of Schwabacher’s Landing, Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton, National Parks, Wyoming

Road Trip: Day 1

Schwabacher’s Landing, in the southern part of Grand Teton National Park, is a great spot for morning photographs of the Cathedral Group (Grand Teton and Mounts Owen and Teewinot) reflected in a sidewater of the Snake River. Driving north from Jackson on the Jackson Hole Highway, past Moose Junction, Antelope Flats Road (on the right) and Glacier View Turnout (on the left), you will come to the gravel road to Schwabacher Landing on the left — take it all the way to the parking lot at the end. A fisherman’s trail parallels this Snake River sidewater, offering various ways to frame the Tetons with river, reflecting pools, grass, trees and a beaver dam in the foreground. The best spots are to the north (to the right as you face the river), amid some woods. Don’t hesitate to walk a few hundred yards up this trail; many people do not actually make it to the best reflecting pool since it is not visible from the parking lot. I prefer to shoot at Schwabacher Landing 30 minutes or more after sunrise, when the sun has risen enough to shed some light on the trees in the foreground. Sunrise photos at Schwabacher Landing can offer pink mountain tops and clouds, but the shadows in the foreground will be deep requiring split ND filters or HDR digital blending.

The Teton Range is reflected in the glassy waters of the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Teton Range is reflected in the glassy waters of the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing.
Image ID: 12982
Location: Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

A beaver dam floods a sidewater of the Snake River, creating a pond near Schwabacher Landing, Castor canadensis, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

A beaver dam floods a sidewater of the Snake River, creating a pond near Schwabacher Landing.
Image ID: 07341
Species: Beaver, Castor canadensis
Location: Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

The Teton Range is reflected in the glassy waters of the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Teton Range is reflected in the glassy waters of the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing.
Image ID: 12986
Location: Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

The Teton Range rises above river rocks in the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Teton Range rises above river rocks in the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing.
Image ID: 12989
Location: Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Road Trip 2005

Uncategorized

Just returned from a three week road trip. It was amazing. We had lots of fun and shot thousands of photos. It will take several weeks before I get the images organized and available online, so for now some summary statistics of the trip will have to suffice:

  • 21 days
  • 4500 miles with lots of hikes and mountain biking.
  • 5700 photos occupying 130 gigabytes
  • 7 National Parks and Monuments: Zion, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Olympic, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Saint Helens, Crater Lake.
  • 7 States: Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California.
  • 3 Aquariums (Seattle, Steinhart, Monterey Bay)
  • 13 Geysers including Old Faithful, Riverside, Daisy, Grand, White Dome, Pink Cone, Castle, Great Fountain, Grotto, Echinus, Anemone and Lion geysers.
  • 17 Waterfalls including Upper and Lower Yellowstone, Gibbon, Lewis, Moose, Kepler, Firehole, Virginia Cascade, Undine, Rustic, Sol Duc, Marymere, Myrtle, Christine and Narada Falls.
  • Many wild animals including gray wolf, moose, grizzly bear, black bear and cinnamon-colored black bear, elk, bison, coyote, golden and bald eagle, osprey, blacktail and whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, marmot, chipmunk, squirrels, banana slug, wild turkey, long-tailed weasel, rabbits and some rabbit-like thing known as a pika.
  • Endless displays of wildflowers in Grand Teton and Mt. Rainier.
  • Several volcanoes: Rainier, Hood, Adams, St. Helens, Shasta, Crater Lake. Even saw St. Helens letting off some steam.
  • Too many rivers and streams to count.
  • One full moon rising behind the Space Needle in Seattle.

The office hangover when we returned is considerable:

  • 30+ as-yet-unanswered phone messages.
  • 1800 emails after filtering out the obvious spam.
  • 5-inch high pile of mail, after tossing the junk.