July 20 – 21 & August 7 – 13, 2020
They are all over out west.
When I first moved to Tucson, AZ from the Midwest some 30 years ago I was awed by the mountains. I’d never lived near mountains before and in Tucson, the city ran right up to their ascent. As I drove about town they were always present, hanging in the background over the flat-roofed houses like a backdrop of a gigantic stage. They continued to surprise and amaze me the whole four years I lived there.
We see a lot of mountains as we drive around the west. Off in the distance, they line the edges of vast empty spaces. Greg often points across the desert and asks, “What are those mountains?” but Google maps never names them. Often times when we stop at overlooks we find photographs identifying distant peaks. We always try to match the view with the picture.
We really haven’t spent much time exploring mountains since in years past we have only been able to travel in the colder months. And when it is a pleasant 70º at an elevation of 1000 feet it is 40º at 6000 feet. But this year we were free to roam in the summer. And in July and August, we got to marvel at parts of the Rocky Mountain range in Wyoming and Montana when we visited Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks.
* As aways, all pics are click to enlarge. Once enlarged, click on the left or right side of the picture to view them in a slide show.
Grand Teton National Park
The Teton Mountain Range is both young and old. The rock that forms the mountains is up to 2.7 billion years old, over half of the Earth’s age. But the mountains themselves have only been exposed for about 10 million years. During that time glaciers have carved away at them, leaving stark bare peaks. Many other ranges are surrounded by hills, making it difficult for observers to see the peaks. But the land just east of the Tetons is mostly flat, allowing visitors to see these spectacular mountains in all their glory.
Glacier National Park
The Lewis Overthrust of the Rockies was pushed up 75 million years ago. It stretches from Montana to the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. For millennia glaciers carved beautiful valleys in this rock. The great glaciers have been gone from here for 12,000 years, leaving smaller ones. Human-induced climate change has reduced the size of the remaining glaciers. Though the Glacier National Park is losing its namesake, evidence of those massive glaciers remains.
Today I am sharing this post on My Corner of the World. Click the link and find out what’s happening in other parts of the world.
Do you enjoy the mountains? Do you have a favorite mountain range or peak? Or a favorite hike through the mountains?
26 thoughts on “Grand Teton & Glacier National Parks”
You’re right. I remember living in Nevada and Colorado, and the skyline above the city was always mountains. They were points of references when driving the area. You never got lost. Here in Tennessee the skyline is houses 😦 Really miss the mountains out west. So glad you could go on your wonderful trip. Super photos.
Thanks Yvonne! When I lived in the city of St. Louis the Arch was always a great point of reference but you couldn’t always see it because of the buildings. But mountains – they tower over everything!
Wow! Some stunning views and places. I’ve always wanted to head up there and explore. How was it getting around in the van. I assume they’re used to motorhomes and stuff up there so, you wouldn’t have any issues.
It was really beautiful. The van was no problem in Grand Teton. At Glacier, they have a restriction on vehicle length, 21 feet, for travel Going to the Sun Road. The van is 20 feet so we were fine. We saw some big RVs in the Logan Pass parking lot who must have sneaked into the park in the early morning hours but I wouldn’t want to drive anything longer than what we have on that road with other vehicles.
Thinking about biking that hill?
Absolutely stunning photos.
Thank you so much! I had lots of stunning landscape to work with!
What a beautiful world you travel through. If it weren’t so cold (and I didn’t have RA), I would grab one of those cabins. I can see why they American Mountain Men fell in love with mountains.
The cold will be sending us back south soon. The west is wonderful place to be an explorer and it must have been amazing for those who got to experience it when it really was wild.
Love all the photos with reflections, beautiful, but the Fritillary is my favourite, exquisite.
Have a good weekend Diane
Thanks! I love the butterflies that will sit still long enough for me to get a picture – especially if they light on a beautiful group of flowers.
Beautiful collection of photos. Who doesn’t love the mountains? Grand Tetons is one of my favorites. Once I left the Midwest, I never looked back, but after 30 years living in the west, it has been a joy to return to the upper Midwest for the summer and fall. With that said, typical gloomy skies and cold weather will have us rolling south soon.
Thanks! I think every part of the country has its treasure. During the 4 years I lived in Tucson I was always astonished by the amount trees when I traveled back east. But, of course, all those trees hide the mountains and I love seeing all those rocks jutting up into the sky.
Cold weather has also got us moving south again soon. Why be cold when you can travel?
I’m fascinated by our fascination with mountains and large outcroppings. It’s not a bad thing to like, I just wonder why. 🙂
I have often wondered while walking around a rocky but not scenic area what make some rocks so beautiful and others not.
I think it is the shapes that appealing, the way they interact with other shapes around them or the sky.
The Sierra Nevadas are some of my favorite to see from a distance. I love the vastness of them hanging in the distance. Like standing on a edge of an ocean.
Anyways, it is an interesting thing to wonder about.
Such stunning parks and photos! It looks like you did similar things than us in the Grand Tetons. Mark saw a grizzly there as he went on a strenuous walk, while I circled the lake. That was after we both climbed to Inspiration Point first. It was a rare ten-mile day for me. We didn’t have a dog back then. 🙂
We always saw crowds with cameras at Oxbow Turnout and wondered why. We never spotted Mount Moran from there. It must have been cloudy, or we didn’t pay enough attention!
As you know, I would LOVE to visit Glacier NP one summer. But, it seemed very crowded. I follow another nomad blog and they spent a month near Glacier this past summer. Their trick was to start their hikes and excursions late in the day (instead of early) to avoid the crowds, since it stays light until late. They succeeded and always found a parking spot! 🙂
I downloaded an app for Grand Teton. One of the tours in the app was a tour of good photo locations – that’s how we found the Oxbow Turnout site. I suppose I took the same picture everyone else does but it was a nice view.
So jealous that Mark saw a Grizzly. The one we saw at Glacier was way off in the distance. We wouldn’t have known he was there if people weren’t already looking at him through binoculars. But, of course, one doesn’t want to see a Grizzy too close.
I read that blog post you are talking about and I kind of disagree with their strategy. We were turned away from Glacier one afternoon around 3 pm. Granted it was a Sunday, though. We were just going to go into the park to get a better internet signal. There was a long line as always but when we got to the entrance station they just made us circle around and go back. But I afternoon strategy might work on a weekday.
We never had a problem finding a parking space when we wanted one but we also did drive by the Logan Pass parking lot one afternoon when it was closed off. Although it was crowded, I think the least crowded day we saw was the first day we went when it was so foggy. It was very cold that day, but I think that day also made for some of my best pictures.
I really enjoyed the fabulous photos!
That squirrel shot is my favourite!
Thank you! I love squirrel too. I think it looks like he’s got something important on his mind.
Really wonderful photos! It’s been 4 years since we were at Glacier National Park. It is just breathtaking. All of your photos are breathtaking! Thank you and have a grand week!
Thank you. It is a breathtaking place. So glad we got to visit.
Your photos are simply stunning! What wonderful scenery. I adore waterfalls and I love learning about different places through blogging!
It’s great to see you at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!! Thanks for linking up.
Thank you Betty! I’m glad we could show you some spectacular bits of the US. And thanks for hosting the Linking!
Your blogs always start my day with joy. Can’t thank you enough for taking me back to Glacier. Hope you both are well; so very glad you are living this life. We are good; leaving the North Country soon to head back to Tucson.
Take care and love,
Meredith and Ed
I’m so glad you enjoy the blogs. They say you should just blog for yourself but it is even better when you can blog for others too.
We are good. Glad you got to spend the summer up north and hope your trip back to the warmth of Tucson goes well.
How did you like the Highline trail? I did that one in 2015. We had a beautiful sunny day on the Going to the Sun Road, which was quite fortunate! Although there were wildfires burning nearby, the views were still stunning. It’s interesting that you experienced a lot of crowds. There were only a couple of hikes that I would say were ‘crowded’ and we were there in August.
Thanks for helping me relive that experience! It’s a place I”ll never forget. 🙂
I guess I forgot to mention it but the Highline was the highlight of our visit to Glacier. It was long and hard but the views were amazing.
There were definitely a lot of people on the Highline Trail when we did it but they thinned out as we went. I was really surprised to see that many people in the park so early in the morning. Yellowstone Park was definitely much less populated in the morning than Glacier. The big problem was the parking. So many cars. Perhaps this was because they weren’t running a shuttle.
Glad we could take you back to Glacier again!