Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Tetons Via Idaho Falls



It’s about 300 miles to the Grand Tetons from Ketchum, much farther than we like to drive in a day, so we decided to stop and check out Idaho Falls on Tuesday. On the way we passed Craters of the Moon National Monument, a place we’ve never been, and stopped at the visitor center. We would have liked to spend a night there and go for a hike but the campground is closed for remodeling, and there are no trails from the VC, so we just looked at the exhibits and went on our way. Interesting but we’ve visited several other volcanic areas that looked very similar.

We planned to spend the night at the free South Tourist Park in Idaho Falls after stocking up at Walmart but didn’t realize the park is closed for construction. So we decided to continue on 20 miles east to Juniper Campground, a very nice county park on Ririe Reservoir where we’ve stayed twice before.

There were very few people there, and most of the sites are full hookups for $18/night, but we opted for the same no-hookup waterfront site we had in 2014 for $10.


This was our strangest sighting on the water.


It was lovely there but very windy. We didn’t get much sleep the first night since we kept the car hooked up and something kept banging around.



It was windy again on Wednesday so we decided to hang there another night and drive back to Idaho Falls to the River Walk. There are 5 miles of paved trails on both sides of the Snake River, although a couple sections were closed and being worked on. We had a nice walk, followed by excellent pizza and beer at MacKenzie River Pizza Co.





The city has done a great job of turning the dam and hydroelectric plant into a very pleasant area.This is the first LDS temple built in Idaho, and definitely a city landmark.




On Thursday we drove the 100 miles to Gros Ventre campground near Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. Next to Zion this is definitely our favorite national park, and we love this first-come-first-served campground. We got a site with a nice view and had moose in our backyard yesterday morning.


A nice yard with the Gros Ventre River running through the trees behind our site.


How fun to open the blinds and see this.




We hiked a 6 mile loop to Bradley and Taggart lakes yesterday. We did this trail in 2010 but didn’t remember much of it. Nice view of the Tetons on our way to the trail.


And some shots from the trail. Although there are bear warnings everywhere the only wildlife we saw was a fox run across the trail in front of us.










It’s a bit early for fall colors but we’re hoping to stay here long enough to see the trees change. It was 27 when I got up this morning, so we’ll see how much cold we can tolerate.


  1. That is some really beautiful country up there. Winter arrives about Oct 1. Thanks for the photos.

  2. Beautiful pics! We've never been to Idaho Falls but have reserved 4 days there for the eclipse next Aug. Nice to see they are fixing things up for us :) The Tetons including Gros Ventre would have been our first choice.

    Thanks for the previews, it always helps with the planning.

  3. We love the Grand Tetons.
    Idaho Falls looks so lovely.
    Great photos in the entire post.

  4. Love the moose and those mountains. Looks like you saw everything in Idaho and more.

  5. We must have pass you somewhere along the way as we just came from the Tetons to Idaho Falls to Idaho City. Have to agree with you about the Tetons, absolutely beautiful.

  6. We too enjoyed Ririe and I think Gros Ventre is my favorite campground ever! Seeing moose daily is such a treat! Looking forward to all your posts from Grand Teton!

  7. Idaho City did do a great job. The water and falls are beautiful. Must time to bring in the floating restrooms for the seasons. I had never heard them til be we were out on Lake Powell where they have several for the the boaters.

    The Tetons are spectacular! What a neat welcome to wake to the moose:) We have yet to get to this area in the MH. It needs to be on list for this time next year! Hope you are able to stay til the leaves turn.

    1. That makes sense about the floating restrooms for boaters. It was a strange thing to see go by our site!

  8. I couldn't decide if the moose was looking at you with the "What are you looking at?" stare or just stink eye. You are certainly in an area that weather is a day by day wait and see. It can be summer one day and winter the next. Love seeing the snow dusting the mountain tops like powdered sugar. Hope you get a little yellow too!

  9. Love the river walk area. Sounds like the whole area is getting repaired at the same time :-) That's how we felt about the highways in some places we were this summer. Beautiful views all around your hike, the clear water is like glass. Sounds like a wonderful place to see the leaves turn - if the cold doesn't run you out early!

  10. You might enjoy...

  11. How very cool to wake up to moose in your back yard. 27 sounds too cold for me.

  12. Oh how we love the Tetons! What a wonderful treat to wake up to moose. We were told about Gros Ventre by our friends after we had passed it by. Sounds like the place to stay.

  13. Hysterical picture of the boat towing an outhouse! Looks like the same site we had in Gros Ventre. Beautiful pics of the mountains.