All of my bucket list trips so far have been grand trips, to grand places, but to be honest my favorite place in the entire world, the place where I am most “me”, is Grand Teton National Park. I realize that a bucket list is meant to be things you have not done, but there is so much more to still discover in the Tetons, that I feel it should be there every year. Besides it is my sanctuary, place of refuge, island of discernment. A place where whatever is going on in my world is left at the entrance gate and I just enjoy the world the way I believe God intended me too. John Muir once said “The mountains are calling and I must go.”, and after a visit to Grand Teton National Park, it is not hard to understand how he felt.
The breakdown of costs for me to visit Grand Teton National Park are below. I am lucky in that I have a lot of the stuff I need and I can easily drive it, making this trip more of a question as to why I do not do it every year, then why it is on my bucket list!
Park Pass: $80
Camping: $93 (3 nights)
Kayak permit: $12
Jenny Lake Shuttle: $15
Pizza, beer and ice cream at Leek’s Marina: $30
Total adventure: $350
A couple of things that are must-do’s for me while in GTNP is spending some time kayaking String Lake, Leigh Lake, any of the lakes and my ultimate bucket list would be through Oxbow Bend, early in the morning! Oxbow Bend is my holy of holy places, the place where for a moment heaven meets earth and harmony and peace exist.
Hiking is a given while visiting GTNP and many great hikes take off from Jenny Lake including Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon. Taking the shuttle across the lake brings you right to the trailheads, and an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful areas, away from the crowds. One hike that is at the top of my list of hikes still to do is Amphitheater Lake, a 9.9 miles hike that brings you through stunning views and two glacial lakes. Definitely need to get a little more training in before taking on that!
One of the main things however I want to point out about this bucket list trip especially is that your national parks are closer and more affordable then you think! Take the time to go out and visit YOUR parks, unplug and enjoy a night under the stars, go off the beaten path in a kayak, breath the fresh air, rediscover you! Even just a few days away can have refresh and renew you, while being easy on your budget.