Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Not everything goes according to plan. While on the road, it definitely helps to have your itinerary and activities planned out (see our original itinerary HERE) - but it’s important to acknowledge that at some point or another you will most likely have to deviate from some of these plans.
After getting super lucky with the weather in Banff, we headed back down through the US border into Montana, where the weather finally caught up with us. We had planned a handful of awesome hikes in Glacier National Park during our time there but, unfortunately, we ended up having to stay in the hotel for most of the time. Exploring in the rain is one thing. Exploring in the rain with two dogs while trying to work and create good content is another.
I don’t want to completely skip over Montana here, since it’s such a beautiful state. I was just in Glacier NP in May, so I figured I’ll also cover some of my favorite spots from that last visit.
Wild Goose Island
The easy walk along a paved road is worth the view of this beautiful tiny island in St. Mary Lake. If you look closely you can even see all the....you guessed it: Geese!
During my first visit we couldn’t take this beautiful drive because it was still closed for the season. This time it was open but, unfortunately, it was so rainy and foggy that we couldn’t see much of the view and had to stop after about 15 minutes of driving on it because we couldn’t see 5 feet ahead of us. Needless to say, we left without any good photos of the place, but here’s what it SHOULD look like if you are lucky enough to get perfect weather.
After a few days in rainy Montana, we headed south into Wyoming.
Our destination was Jackson Hole, and it was one of the few stops where we didn’t already have a hotel to stay at. So, during this entire trip, we had been trying to find reasonably priced accommodations for the two nights we were in the area. No such luck, though. Hotel/AirBNB prices in/near the Grand Tetons are outrageous! We ended up settling for driving as far south from Montana as we could before entering National Park territory and getting a cheap motel around there so that we could have all of the next day to spend in the parks.
The next morning, we went in without any plans whatsoever, starting the drive through Yellowstone. We were short on time but were still able to stop at Mammoth Hot Springs and Grand Prismatic Springs for some sightseeing and photo ops. Tell me this scenery isn’t straight out of a music video.
Our goal was to make it to wherever we were sleeping before nightfall – but we didn’t know where that was going to be yet, so we just started driving towards Jackson Hole. Luckily, we ended up at a little place called Colter Bay Village, though not before the sun had already set. If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Tetons, this is an excellent spot to stay. This small village has a few hotels and a couple of nice restaurants, as well as a general store, campsite, and – the highlight – this lake:
We ended up finding what seemed like the last open spot at the campsite and car camping for the night. But if your plan is to camp in this area, don’t bother with the campsite. As we headed out in the morning, after paying the hefty $32 camping fee, we realized the main parking lot in the village was filled with camper vans. Seems like it would’ve been perfectly fine to camp overnight in that FREE lot. There is also a bathroom/laundry/shower facility right there, so really no need to pay to get into the camping area unless, of course, you need to set up a tent. Either way, Colter Bay was such an amazing find and ended up saving us a ton of money on a hotel ($300+).
We spent the morning working at the local café and taking photos around Jackson Lake before heading to the main attractions we wanted to see:
T.A. Moulton Barn
As we drove up the the spot the GPS took us too, we realized that whole area is filled with similar barns. I'm not sure why T.A. is particularly famous, but it was somewhat crowded, so we decided to wander around and shoot by some of the other structures here.
Ox Bow Bend
It’s been a few adventure packed days as we head further south into Utah for the next week. This will be my first time visiting and I couldn’t be more excited. If you want to keep up with our journey, head on over HERE and sign up for FREE to get access to behind the scenes photos and videos, travel tips, and more.