Reached by a wooded hiking trail, Leigh Lake on calm mornings often reflects the nearby mountain peaks.

No matter how many times I’ve visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks they never get old. Separated by 31 miles, and encompassing nearly 4,000 square miles, these neighboring parks together comprise two of America’s most stunning natural jewels. Roads through both parks offer grand vistas and dozens of trails lead to quieter, equally scenic spots. Yellowstone is a geothermal wonderland filled with geysers, hot springs, and mud pots. It’s also known for its wildlife: bison, elk, wolf, bear, moose, and more.

Grand Teton has its share of wildlife too, but the scenic Teton Range is the star here, with numerous hikes leading into magnificent mountain scapes. Choosing between the two parks would be difficult. Fortunately I’ve never had to make that decision; on every visit I make time to explore both parks.

In Yellowstone I watch as the landscape erupts in geysers, sprays, and bubbling-hot simmers. Wildlife can appear anywhere in the sprawling panoramas. In Grand Teton, I follow woodland paths to fairytale settings, or photograph the towering Tetons from alongside the road. Regardless of which park I’m in, I quickly fall under the spell of nature. Lost in those moments, there’s no place I’d rather be.