Cross Country Songbook: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks

Cross Country Songbook: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier National Parks

Last week we covered a lot of ground following our excursion through the Southwest and the National Parks of Utah. Traveling from Moab, UT up through Jackson, WY and into Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks we saw quite a stark change in landscape from the bleak canyons of red rock to the alpine evergreen forests filled with crisp mountain air. Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are two of the most inspiring places I have ever visited in my life, and it’s no wonder that the former was the catalyst for creating the whole National Park Service. The sheer size of the park alone is a thing to behold and within each corner of its boundaries there are completely different ecosystems and scenery to discover and admire. We tried our best to capture the essence of those parks through the songs below, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit either park they should certainly be on every traveler’s bucket list. Make sure to subscribe to the full playlist below and follow along as we continue our cross country journey.

Modest Mouse – “Blame It On The Tetons”

Our drive through Grand Teton was brief, but also quite eventful. Not far past the entry gate we spied a coyote deep in a field of tall grass pulling apart a fresh kill for dinner. I’m guessing whatever animal it was that had fallen prey to the coyote would certainly agree with Isaac Brock in blaming its pitfalls on those pesky Tetons.

Jonathan Wilson – “Ballad of the Pines”

Even though we woke up in sub-30 degree weather at Yellowstone’s Bridge Bay Campground, putting this one on as we drove around Yellowstone Lake watching the sun rise made us completely forget the cold night air and focus on the beauty all around us in the park.

Fleet Foxes – “Meadowlarks”

I didn’t see any meadowlarks in my time at Yellowstone, nor do I know if Robin Pecknold has ever set foot in the park, but while exploring the northwest corner of the park in the early morning I couldn’t help but think that the Fleet Foxes frontman must have penned this one on a similar sunrise drive through the Lamar Valley.

Rich Aucoin – “Always The Same”

The build up and eventual climax of this song are the perfect accompaniment to driving along winding roads as you climb up and up into the heart of Yellowstone and finally reaching one of the parks may many awe-inspiring vistas. If you can ignore the irony of the song’s title as you explore the ever-changing landscapes of the park then this one will really boost your excitement for adventure.

Okkervil River – “The Rise”

Another song whose swirling strings and harmonies embody the constant fluctuations of Yellowstone’s terrain, “The Rise” is especially a great fit to go along with your exploration of the Norris Geyser Basin.

Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell – “Coyote”

For the wilder parts of Yellowstone– We knew as soon as we heard this song earlier in the summer that it would end up somewhere in the Cross Country Songbook and it found a perfect home alongside Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley where the park’s wildlife is most abundant (coyotes included of course).

The Rural Alberta Advantage – “The Build”

Though The RAA hail from our neighbor to the north, they sure do a wonderful job of encapsulating the adventure and romance of exploring America and imagining what it was like for some of the early preservationists who first explored these parks in the pre-NPS era.

Sigur Ros – ” Glosoli”

Put this on while you admire the Lower Falls of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon and during your visit to the Canyon’s Grand View Point on the North Rim and you’ll be guaranteed to have your breath taken away.

Mogwai – “Death Rays”

Sometimes words can’t describe natural beauty so that’s why we let the powerful guitars of Mogwai do the talking and help to capture the majesty and grandeur of the mountains and landscape within Glacier National Park.

Yo La Tengo – “Green Arrow”

After a long trek through three National Parks in four days, this Yo La Tengo tune soundtracked our comedown from the high of taking in so much of America’s natural beauty in such a short period of time.

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Posted on by Eric in Cross Country Songbook, Playlists

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