SUMMER HAS ARRIVED AND IT’S TIME TO HIT THE ROAD FOR THE MOST SCENIC DRIVE IN NORTH AMERICA!
Traveling to our nation’s first national park this summer? Looking for the perfect Yellowstone motels? Roaming from all parts east & west with your trusty and dog-eared Rand McNally map in hand? It’s no wonder that Americans cling to their love affair with the automobile. We love our cars, plain and simple, and what’s not to love?! They give us the convenience of moving from place to place quickly and with unprecedented comfort and ease. However, their greatest asset always has been and always will be: traveling this great country and soaking in all the incredible sights and sounds that only a windshield tour can provide.
My favorite, and undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking drives in North America, has to be the Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop Tour. Booking Yellowstone motels is the easy part. The most critical aspect of this particular road trip is starting your journey at precisely the right place. Most of us “locals” have taken this route, long before tourism officials officially designated it as one the “Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies” (www.drivethetop10.com). You begin your sight-seeing adventure in Victor, Idaho, a charming hamlet located on the southern end of magnificent Teton Valley. Prepare for your adventure with a night, or two, at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, eastern Idaho’s only resort with its own award-winning golf course, 5,000 foot Spa & Salon, fishing ponds, swimming pool, hiking and biking trails, hot tubs, fitness center, and the finest restaurant in the Teton Valley. Pack the cooler, now you’re ready.
Head north thru Teton Valley with the majestic Grand Teton Mountains guiding your every turn as you head towards Yellowstone. Motels dot this Idaho countryside but you’ll likely cruise through Ashton, Idaho, but not first without a quick stop at the historic “Frostop,” Ashton’s Classic Drive-In, for an order of Idaho’s best tater tots and yummy chocolate malt. Next you’re cruising on the Mesa Falls Scenic ByWay and before you ever see them, you hear the thundering Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, two of the last undisturbed waterfalls of consequence in the west. This loop also claims Harriman State park and the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Hope you packed the fly rod.
Now you’re close. The town of West Yellowstone, best known as one of the major snowmobile centers of the west, hosts a variety of Yellowstonemotels and attractions and is a major gateway to what is often considered the gem of the National Park Service. In Yellowstone National Park you’ll criss-cross into three states (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming) with 2 million acres to explore, 300 geysers and over 10,000 geothermal features plus abundant wildlife viewing. This is a good time to leave your car and explore!
It’s a seamless journey from Yellowstone into the Grand Teton National Park and the sage filled landscape of this national treasure is a startling contract to the jagged peaks of the Teton Mountain Range. Dotted with numerous sparkling lakes and incredible wildlife viewing, this could easily be your favorite stop and for that extra “wow factor,” stop at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor center.
After 300 Miles, Take a Break and Relax at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa… Prepare to be Pampered
The town of Jackson, Wyoming, is an international destination and a fitting place to end this official loop tour. There’s plenty to explore in this iconic western town; a staggering array of shops (more than just cowboy hats & boots!), great dining and entertainment, world-class museums and art galleries and a dizzying array of outdoor activities. Head west out of Jackson, over Teton Pass and back into Victor, Idaho. We’ll be ready for you at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa. Almost 300 miles later, you’re ready to empty that cooler, park the car, relax by the pool and tell your stories. You deserve it!