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Yellowstone/Grand Teton Vacation Review, Day 3 – Jackson Lake Lodge, Stargazing, and Colter Bay Village (CBV) Dinner Wagon Ride
September 18, 2017 Travel

Day 3 of our trip started late because we had stayed up so late stargazing. The view of the night sky over Grand Teton from Jackson Lake Lodge is simply staggering. To get the full effect, you will need to stay up very late. It is also helpful to download one of the astronomy apps on your phone so that you can identify the stars in the sky. We used an app called Sky Guide that worked extremely well.

We made an in-room breakfast with some of the groceries we bought the day before, then packed picnic lunches. We drove to nearby Jenny Lake, and took the ferry across it to hike to Hidden Falls. This was a short hike but the scenery was nice. The only negative I recall from the hike was the aggressiveness of the flies when we stopped for our picnic.

After a brief return to our room (which still had not been serviced by late afternoon), we headed to Colter Bay Village for the CBV Dinner Wagon Ride. This was one of the most fun activities we paid to do during the trip.

The CBV Dinner Wagon Ride starts with an hour-long wagon ride through fields and a forest to a clearing where they’ve set up a dinner and picnic area. Horseback riding is also available, but we chose to ride the wagon this time. For dinner, we had an outdoor buffet of steak, baked beans, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, salad, coffee, lemonade, water, and hot chocolate. They had plenty of food for everyone to get multiple servings if they wanted. They also provided live music, which we were told was a recent addition to the program. At that time they were providing live music three nights a week, but they were looking at expanding it to more of the rides.

Musician at Colter Bay Village Dinner Wagon Ride

During dinner, a naturalist was also there with various animal skulls and skins. She also had a little project for the kids to make a wooden keepsake from the trip. The children also enjoyed playing on some saddles that were mounted on wood as a sort of play area.

We saw surprisingly little wildlife on the ride, but we did encounter a grizzly bear on the return trip. It stayed at a considerable distance and the wagon stopped and waited until it had passed by. At the end of the ride, the children were given an opportunity to pose for photos on the wagon and with our guide.

We ended the evening back at Jackson Lake Lodge, where housekeeping had finally cleaned up our room (but without restocking our coffee or supplies). We played games in the common area of the lodge for a while until it was dark enough outside for stargazing. I don’t recall how long we were outside under the stars, but it was for much longer than I’ve ever spent looking at the stars before. You simply have to see the stars over Grand Teton to appreciate what an experience it is to be there.

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