HEADING NORTH OUT OF JACKSON
As you head north out of Jackson, there are a couple of great animal sighting roads to take and and a great hike we recommend.
We want to see animals! Here are the roads to take
Heading north out of Jackson, towards Yellowstone National Park, you will see a road on the right called Antelope Flats. If you take that road you have a high likelihood of seeing herds of Bison – and you may possibly possibly see some up really close, as in crossing the street in front of you or walking beside your car. Do NOT get out of your car for any reason! Many people have – with disastrous outcomes.
Moose-Wilson Road – Check out the directions to the hike below. They specify where this road is. We have very often seen moose in this environment and wish you the same good luck! Drive slowly and really look in the marshes and the swamps – as big as moose are, they can be easy to miss.
We want to hike! Here’s a hike for you!
Bear Spray We recommend that you take a can of Bear Spray any time you head into the wilderness. You just never know. Bear Spray is not 100% effective, but it’s whole lot safer than nothing! Preventative measures include wearing whistles (and using them) as you walk along the trails and making noise so that bears can get out of your way. They don’t want a run-in with you … give them a chance to move away. Check online for the latest wisdom on what to do if you do encounter a bear.
We have a GREAT hike for you, one on which we’ve taken lots of people – including kids. It is in Death Canyon and is called the Phelps Lake Overlook. The hike is 1.8 miles, 420 ft. of elevation gain, and takes about 2 hours round-trip. The hike to the outlook is very pretty – meadows with flowers (depending on when you’ll be here), and a beautiful view of the lake, owned by the Rockefellers (the lake, not the view). The trail is very clear. Take water and bug spray (mosquitos can BAD out here). We usually take a light snack or lunch (or crackers and cheese and a bottle of wine) to enjoy at the overlook – it’s a good way to start the hike back. To get to the trailhead, Take the 26/89 191 road (towards Yellowstone Park), pass the Jackson Airport and turn left (West) at Moose Junction. Take a left again (you’ll be going South West now) and travel along Moose – Wilson Road. Often you can see moose on this road in the ponds on the left hand side of the road. If you see lots of cars pulled over, pull over. Likely there is some animal everyone is looking at. Continue on Moose-Wilson Road and turn right on the road that will take you to the trailhead – the road is marked, but not sure exactly what it says on the sign. You can drive fairly far in before you start hiking and there is a bathroom at the beginning of the trail. Some of the literature you might read about this hike being strenuous refers to the rest of the hike down to the lake, around the lake and back up. The hike to the outlook is no problem. If you want strenuous, head down to the lake.
Teton National Park
The Tetons are beautiful. There are many places to stop and look and take pictures as you drive towards the park proper. Do it – this could be the most beautiful place on earth!
Yellowstone National Park
There is much information on what to see and do in Yellowstone. Our only recommendation is that you drive slowly – VERY easy to miss seeing animals in the woods, and stop if you see a bunch of other cars stopped. It’s very likely there is some kind of animal in viewing distance. As many times as we’ve been in the Park, the thrill of seeing the animals never wears off. Just magnificent! It doesn’t always work into the timeline, but animal sightings are often, not always, more plentiful in the early mornings when fewer cars are driving through.