Road trips are our absolute favorite, and when it comes time to take a road trip instead of flying somewhere on a plane, we can’t pass up the opportunity to bring our sweet dog, Chevy, along!
The problem with traveling to National Parks with your dog? Well, none of them actually allow dogs to hike on the trails. And since we don’t want to leave Chevy in a cabin, campsite, or vehicle when we explore, we have to find a way around it! We do this by only hiking on trails that are just outside of the park, but still offer some great views and scenery! Then, while we are in the park, we only stop at lookouts and short walks on paved paths where Chevy is allowed!
Day 1! Hit the road! We left Minnesota and drove as far as we could before stopping at a rest top and sleeping in our jeep for the night!
On day 2, we stopped at Devils Tower since we were going to be nearby! It’s definitely a unique landmark and you should stop along the way to check it out! You don’t need to spend more than an hour or two there! We just did the short walk to get right next to the rock then headed out.
After 16 hours of driving in the last 2 days, we camped the first night in Yellowstone at the Canyon Campground, which is on the North side of the park!
Day 3! We got up early to catch the sunrise at Lookout Point in Yellowstone since our campsite was so close! This was my absolute favorite part of Yellowstone, and not at all what I expected of the park. The views were fantastic and it was so cool to wake up with the sun to see this before it was packed with people! Highly suggest it!
We went back to shower at our campsite, Canyon Campground, before exploring more! There were showers in the main building that you could only access with a pass that you got when you bought your camp site. This was the only building on the camp ground that we knew of with plumbing. The rest of the bathrooms that were throughout the campsites didn’t have plumbing, so they were just outhouse style.
Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces were next! These were really cool to see! Stinky, but cool! ha!
There were board walks and stairs spanning the terraces so you could get up close to see everything!
Yellowstone was beautiful and I’m so happy we went! But there are only so many hot springs you can look at (and smell) before you get the itch to move onto the Tetons! One day in Yellowstone provided us enough time to see everything we wanted! On to the Tetons! The parks are only about 30 miles away from each other- so it’s a quick drive!
First stop in the Tetons, catching the sunset on Jackson Lake! We stopped at the Signal Mountain Lodge to get our Canoe Park Permit and State Registration since we brought our own canoe. We used their public boat landing to drop the canoe in there as well.
We stayed at the Teton Valley Cabins in Driggs, ID. It was about a 1.5 hour drive from Jackson Lake, but Driggs was pretty close to where our big hike would take place, so we wanted to stay there. It was also an adorable town!
Next up- the big hike! Since Chevy can’t hike with us in the park (dogs are only allowed on leashes on paved trails in all National Parks) Tony chose this hike that was right on the edge of the Tetons that still had an awesome view of the mountains, and allowed dogs! We used the Huckleberry Trail to Table Mountain. It was 7 miles there, and 7 miles back (14 miles round trip). Here is the hike info on All Trails, however, they include a short cut on your way back to make it a 10 mile loop. It does save you about 4 miles, but from what we read, the terrain was sharp, jagged, rocks. Since our English Setter is 9 years old we decided to go the longer route and stay on even ground to avoid an injury for him!
We went in on this hike the first week of September and the weather conditions were great. I layered a t-shirt and sweatshirt with leggings and was plenty warm, if not hot at times. My Keen Hiking boots are always my go to boots for long hikes! There was a tiny bit of snow at the very summit of the mountain and it was so windy right at the top, but the rest of the hike was very pleasant!
We packed in our camelback backpack with lots of water, but we did end up having to refill one of our water bottles with spring water towards the end of the hike. Would be a good idea to bring a LifeStraw or filter along so you can drink the spring water with no worries!
Here is the trail head:
Almost to the top! We took a break to relax and enjoy our lunch in the hammock with a view! Here is a link to our Trek Light Gear hammock!
Almost to the top, and looking back at how far we’ve come! This leg of the hike was brutal! We had to stop every couple hundred yards to catch our breath! There photo doesn’t show it- but it was very steep at this point – it felt like you were on an intense stair-stepper in high elevation!!
WE MADE IT!
We didn’t take many photos on the decent! We were so proud of Chevy- it was hard for us to keep up with him, he could have turned around and done it again! Me- I was ready for pizza and bed.
We started the hike around 9:30AM. Remember, we really took our time on the way up! Taking frequent breaks, stopping for lots of photos, and even stopping to eat and take a short nap in the hammock. haha. We were at the summit around 4:00. And back to our car by about 8:30.
The next day, we just wanted to drive around the park and explore a little bit. No agenda, just enjoying ourselves and stopping at 75% of the pull-off areas to take photos!
One of my favorite views that we saw that day was from the Lakeshore Trail overlook.
And to end the day, we went canoeing on Jenny Lake. Here is the link for the boat landing we used! It was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful out on the water. To our surprise, there wasn’t a lot of boats on either lake we went to, which was nice!
We loved the Tetons and we will for sure be back soon!