A Grand Teton Sunrise

From that angle there was no fog in the way, just sagebrush, a thin layer of alpine forest, a lake, and then the Tetons. They rose sharply and dramatically, no foothills in between, just the ground level and then the Tetons.

My phone buzzed at 5:30am. It was still dark outside and I quickly turned off the alarm, not wanting to wake up the other three guys in my hostel room in Teton Village. I’d packed the night before, moved my bags to my car. All I needed to do was tuck my phone and my car keys into my pocket and slip out the door, and the creak of the door and the click of the lock were the only sounds I made. It was a chilly mountain morning, and I walked to my car, rubbed my hands together, and left the hostel, on my way to capture the Tetons at first light.

The rocks were stacked to form steps and they climbed steeply to a lookout point directly across the highway from the Tetons. The sun had just hit the upper half of the mountain, and the yellowish-orange glow lit up the sides of the range. Grand Teton, the tallest peak, stood above the shadow from the mountain in front of it.

It was clear here but a thick fog grew as I drove north. From the well-regarded Snake River Viewpoint, the mountains were barely visible, and Snake River was not. Another photographer stood there, tripod in position, waiting for the skies to clear rather than picking a new spot. I drove further north.

I pulled off the highway beside a wooden fence that seemed to head right at Grand Teton. A fading layer of fog obscured the lower end of the mountain but the peak glowed in the rising sun. Clouds above cast ribbons of shadows across the range. The moon was still visible high above.

I stood on the driver’s seat, poked my head out of the sunroof and took a series of shots.

View pictures from Grand Teton National Park.

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