As we virtually leave Provo on a beautiful desert morning we begin a transition from the dryer desert travels to the higher elevation forested regions of the Rocky Mountains. First we pass the eastern edge of the Great Salt Lake and the modern metropolis of Salt Lake City, the only urban area on our two week travel agenda. Our destination today is Jackson, Wyoming, the southern gateway city to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Lunch calls and we take a short stop at one of the large, pristine mountain lakes – Bear Lake. Known mostly to just Utah residents, Bear Lake sits high at 6,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by even higher mountain ranges. This is not a small lake. Roughly oval in shape, the lake stretches 18 miles on its major axis and is seven miles wide. From the surrounding peaks, Bear Lake dominates the visual scenery and invites us to share its purity and down the mountains we head.
Garden City is our stop for lunch and this small community is situated on the banks of Bear Lake and is home to Bear Lake State Park.
The water is deep blue reflecting azure skys with not a hint of air pollution. The west side mountains are more arid but the eastern slopes of the lake are covered with Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pine both characteristic of Rocky Mountain forests. We spend a leisurely hour eating lunch on the lakeshore before heading north to Idaho and then northwest into the Wyoming forests and mountains. Not many tourists know about Bear Lake but it is worth a stop to absorb the rich mountain lake scenery.
This afternoon we virtually leave Utah and Idaho and drive up the mountains into Wyoming where I lived for two years so many years ago. Tonight we camp near Jackson Hole and tomorrow head to Grand Teton National Park. Thanks for sharing our virtual tour!