When I was home a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of day trip up to Yellowstone & the Grand Teton National Parks. Before this year, I dont ever recall visiting the area during the middle of summer so I was unprepared for the heat (in the 80/90s) when we set out to do some of the easier hikes around some of the features.
One of my favorites, Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces arent as active as they use to be which is sad. I thought they were the prettiest features there. Its the nature of the active volcano bed that shifts and changes with earthquakes and other natural movements of the earth. Hiking around is a great way to see most of what the park has to offer. A lot of the parks hikes are less than an hour so it makes for a great day trip if you get started early enough. You can camp in the park if you happen to get a spot early enough but its usually easy to get a spot in Grand Teton Park which is just as nice. I love just walking around and looking at all the hot springs, geysers and mud pots. Its pretty relaxing if you can stand a few bug bites.
The Grand Teton National park is also totally worth a trip if you get the chance. Although there isnt as much to do or look at as there is in Yellowstone, its still just as pleasing. Theres a few very nice drives to take around the park and to visit Moose and ride the tram up to the top of the mountain. Most of the hikes around the Teton park are more serious hikes around, probably half a day or more for most of them. When we were visiting there was a thunderstorm so we didnt get out much in the afternoon. It is very scenic and beautiful though.
Jackson Hole is near by and usually we dont spend a lot of time there. Its pretty expensive and crowded but it does have some of the best places to eat as well. Theres not much to do outside of walk around the square or take a white water rafting trip. Between Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton park is the National Elk Refuge and in the winters you can take a hay ride around when they feed the elk and get a more up close experience.
Between the two parks you can see most wildlife that the Rocky Mountains has to offer. We saw moose, bison, elk, deer, antelope, coyote, grizzle bear, and foxes for the bigger animals. Overall, I think theyre still some of the best national parks in the country (we use to go to them as vacations in the summer) and everyone should go visit even if for a day or two. So, ★★★★★. Just dont go touching or running up to the wildlife, ok? You can always go through my hometown on the way up if you fly though Salt Lake, its a very pretty drive if you do so. Also if you wanna see more pictures, Ive posted like 600 up on my Facebook, which I think Ive saved so youll be able to see them if you have account and not my friend. If I wasnt so lazy, Id load them up somewhere else. If I do, Ill post a different link up here. If you look through the parks websites and want to see something in particular, Ill be happy to post them somewhere more accessible.