Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Preserve

Friday August 5, 2011
Gros Ventre Campground Site B104
Grand Teton National Park

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Let me start off by saying,
if you come to Grand Teton National Park
DO NOT miss the Lawrence S. Rockefeller Preserve.

I’ll get the education out of the way first,
so you can get on to the beauty.
But these folks definitely deserve to be recognized.
The Rockefeller family is very largely responsible for the
creation of Grand Teton National Park.
In the 1920’s after visiting Jackson Hole with his sons
and being deeply moved by its beauty,
John D. Rockefeller Jr began buying up ranches
in the area with the intention of giving the land
to the federal government for the
creation of a National Park to protect the Teton area.

This was mighty unpopular with the local folks.
But Rockefeller persevered amid serious protest.

In 1946, he donated 33,000 acres for the park and kept 3100
acres around Phelps Lake,
known as the JY ranch, for the use of his family.

In 1960, his grandson Lawrence S. Rockefeller, a
well known as a preservationist
and advisor on preservation to several presidents,
inherited this land.

He transferred 2000 acres of this inheritance to the park.
In 2001, he donated the remaining 1106 acres
along with money to build the beautiful
LED certified visitors center named in his honor
and an endowment for its perpetuation and upkeep.

WAY TO GO Mr. Rockefeller.
Not sure that I could give up such
a beautiful place.
But lucky are we who spend time here.

Another GREAT thing he did was
to insist on a relatively small parking lot
for the Preserve which insures that:

A) if you don’t get there by 10am
you’ll have to wait in line for a spot to park
B) when you come you will not have an experience
affected by too many people on the trails.
C) the area will not be abused by overuse.

From my own experience of both
waiting for a parking spot and benefitting
on the trail from his foresightedness,
I am very grateful for this fantastic idea.

So on to the day…..with kudos to the Rockefellers.
We all drove off toward the preserve.
More WOWs all around!!!
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We got stopped AGAIN   :-))  Oh Poor us!!
We were not smart enough to get to the preserve before 10am
So we did wait in line gratefully.
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ALTHOUGH if you have a hybrid vehicle there are
two spaces reserved for you and you go to the
front of the line!!  LOVE IT!!


The Visitors Center is small with a really fine
exhibit area on one side and a DYN OMITE
library of Environmental Literature on the other.
Giant fireplace and comfy chairs.
I could spend a day here for sure!

They had a hint of what was to come
posted outside on the boards.


And they seriously underestimated.

First we signed in, got a map


a drink  of  water


and we were off
to do the longest trail
7.5 miles around the lake.

The path through the woods
to the lake ran along
Lake Creek……..
Creek?  I don’t think so!
Total whitewater!!!


It was just so beautiful.
I was in heaven!

The path took us through the woods and
as we climbed, the hillsides to our right
were strewn with wildflowers.

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As the path leveled the stream calmed somewhat.
We had it on one side and a
wildflower meadow on the other



And then we came to the lake.
These were our lunch spot views.

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The lake path was awash in wildflowers

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columbine of every shade.
(and this is only a FEW of our pictures)

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They had created protective walkways so you could
go across the wetlands.


We stopped to just enjoy at Huckleberry Point.


At some points, the path was being covered
over by the wildflowers.  A wonderful testament to
controlled usage


Steps to limit erosion.


Ferns you almost hate to walk through
they are so lovely.

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If we weren’t walking right beside the lake,
there were great little cut down paths.

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With nice little beaches. 
Should have worn bathing suits.


There are 3 numbered campsites for backpacking.
They are a nice distance up and off of the trail.
I’d love to do that.
This would be a gorgeous place to be
overnight and it isn’t a LONG hike to get here.
As with all the “back country” sites, they
have to be “reserved” in advance.

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We knew we were in the last quarter of the
trail when we reach the rock known on the
maps as “the rock”. 
Another nice place to stay awhile.
And we did.


Although the sun was in our eyes from this vantage point
we did have a great view into the foot of Death Canyon.
Haven’t heard the story behind that name.
You can see clearly how the glaciers carved
the canyon and ultimately created and filled the lake.

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Here are some of the other folks we saw along our hike.





Including this one right next to the
trail near the end.
I almost jumped out of my skin as I rounded
a bend in the trail she was so close.
No zoom on this picture
and still you have to look closely to see her.


On the drive home, we stopped along the
river at a place of willows thinking we might
see moose.


But instead, on the hillside behind us.
They were pretty far away.
But we could see them fabulously through the
binoculars.  And again I am amazed that David’s
camera, given its size, could even get this picture memory.


Clouds rolled in to end another FABULOUS day in
Grand Teton National Park.



  1. Oh, I don't know which part I love more. I can't believe all of the different colors of columbine. It's all heavenly.

    On a different topic, I thought of y'all this afternoon when I went to see "Cowboys and Aliens." ;-) The scenery reminded me of your shots! The movie is simultaneously wonderful and terrifying.

    Have fun tomorrow!

  2. Wow!! Another beautiful hike! It looks like the air is so pure and fresh there. Stay young at heart.

  3. Butterflies, buffalo, birds, beautiful!!!

  4. My parents have been there, we have not. It's top on my list now! Pictures don't do it justice, I'm sure, but they are lovely!

  5. This was one of our favorite places in the whole area. Thanks for sharing. If you have a rainy day, the wildlife museum is very good.

  6. What a great hike ... for sure one that is going on our list of ToDo.

  7. Very interesting history lesson :) It's great to know the Rockefeller family was so generous and what a wealth of beauty they gave us! Wow!

  8. WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!

    It just seems to get better and better. I cannot believe what beautiful hikes you have found and I am so jealous of Duckie;o))

    Our TODOS list just keeps getting longer and longer...Oh, that is a GOOD thing!!

    Keep having fun and taking us along:o))

  9. Amazing wildflower and animal shots! Raging water, gorgeous ferns, magestic mountains - what a place!!


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