After spending the evening in Silvergate in our last post, we headed towards Cody on Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and eventually ended up in Jackson later that night. We rode from Cody through Yellowstone, south into the Grand Teton National Park.
I kept thinking every day of this trip that I couldn’t imagine the scenery could get any better. But it did. Seriously, if you have the time, take the trip we did. It’s amazing exploring the backroads of some of these areas. The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway was incredible. It has been called “the number one scenic highway in the United States.” The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway links the town of Cody with the Beartooth Highway and the Northeast Gate of Yellowstone National Park (which was where we were coming from).
According to the Wyoming Tourism Department, the Byway is named after Chief Joseph, chief of the Nez Perce tribe: “Following the Battle of the Big Hole in Idaho in 1877, Chief Joseph fled east through Yellowstone. He and 1,000 members of his tribe ran from the US Cavalry, who were trying to force the tribe onto a reservation so that white ranchers could have their lands. While crossing Yellowstone, the Nez Perce briefly captured several tourists before going north up the Clarks Fork River. The Nez Perce were trying to flee to Canada (an 1,800 mile trek), but surrendered after the six-day Battle of the Bear Paw in northeastern Montana. The tribe was stopped only 30 miles from their destination, the Canadian border. ”
As Chief Joseph Scenic Byway crosses the mountains, it winds and is full of switch backs. Once on top of the summit, there is an amazing view out onto several different peaks. It was absolutely incredible to look out on where you came from and watch the road wide up to the pass. Of course, my husband had a blast riding and navigating the turns. The ride back down the other side took us into the town of Cody then it was onto Jackson through Yellowstone. I wish I had some amazing photos for you coming into the East entrance of Yellowstone, but I don’t. This was the one day it rained, and rained, and rained. For two hours we rode in the rain. Riding at 9,000 feet with the rain and cold…It was miserable, but what can you do? Luckily, the rain broke as we got into the Grand Teton National Park and the sun came out.
The Tetons were gorgeous. And so different from Yellowstone. It’s amazing that two national parks can be right next to one another but yet be so different. I really wish we could have spent more time exploring around the Tetons, but that will be for another time I suppose. When we were stopped at taking the photo above, I had to giggle at the placard which described how the Tetons got their name. The name “Tetons” is apparently attributed to early 19th century French trappers who called the mountain range “les trois tetons”.. which is translated the three teats. Yes, my friends, the Tetons are named after breasts. I suppose it’s a correct observation. The name was later shortened to just Tetons. So there you go, little known fact.
We stayed the evening in Jackson, which is a town I would LOVE to visit again! Jackson was an absolute blast!! After roughin it the evening before in Silvergate with no tv, no cell reception and no internet… we went all out and ended up staying at the White Buffalo Chip in Jackson. It was an extremely high luxury hotel and I just about jumped for joy when I walked in and saw that huge bathtub. I was still cold from riding in the rain and you betcha I took a nice hot bath. We would totally stay at this place again, it was wonderful. We especially loved the bathroom and would eventually love to replicate a similar bathroom when we build a house someday.
That evening we ate in the restaurant at the White Buffalo Chip. It was just as fantastic. Then we hit up the town. My husband took me to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar downtown. What a neat place! They had a live band that night who played everything country. The bar has dollar coins inset into the bar, lots of long horns, hand tooled leather, and other western decor. The neatest part? When you sit at the bar, you sit on a saddle! We had a blast that evening and ended up becoming friends with a couple from Texas. I would have LOVED to spend more time in Jackson and do some shopping. We both agreed we would have to come visit again, just to soak up some more of the atmosphere.
The next morning, we got a late start and headed back to Cody through the Wind River Bypass. It was amazingly gorgeous as well, stay tuned for the next installment! We are almost all the way through our 2,400 mile Harley Honeymoon!
Have you ever been to Jackson? Grand Teton National Park? What were your favorite stops?