Sunday, May 18, 2014

Grand Tetons From The West

When we think of the beautiful Grand Teton Mountains, most of us remember views we have seen from the eastern side, looking west from Jackson Hole or Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.  Linda and I decided to visit the Teton Valley in Idaho, on the western side of the mountains.  We planned to get there by driving through Star Valley and Swan Valley, Wyoming, but a big spring snowstorm changed our mind about crossing the high mountain passes.  Instead, we drove an extra 100 miles around the storm to Rexburg, and arrived from the west.
The storm was clearing as we entered the Teton Valley on Highway 33 and stopped at the Teton River.  This view shows the small city of Tetonia in the distance with the magnificent Grand Teton mountains as a backdrop.  This photo is an HDR image created from three photos, one properly exposed, and the others two stops over and underexposed.
The Teton Valley is on the Idaho / Wyoming border.  After settling in to a beautiful log cabin in Driggs, Idaho, we drove west across the Wyoming border past the small town of Alta.  At this high elevation, the trees were just starting to leaf out in the middle of May.  The air was remarkably clear after the storm passed through, and we were lucky to find this gorgeous view at the John O. Sessions Overlook.  Later, we were told that days this clear are extremely rare.
We spent several days exploring the area, and at the end of our trip looked for another view of the mountains.  The Teton Valley used to be entirely agricultural, but now houses are scattered everywhere and it is rapidly losing its rural look.  We searched back roads for a country view of the mountains, and finally found this farm north of Driggs near the Idaho / Wyoming border.  I think it is in Idaho.  There was a pretty good sky and the shadows on the Tetons gave them a very different look compared to the previous sunlit view.
There is a lot to see in the Teton Valley area.  I don't think it will ever become another Jackson Hole, but it is changing fast, so if you want to see it, I suggest visiting there soon.