If you are looking for a fabulous vacation filled with wildlife viewing opportunities close to home, just head north of the border.

Of course, I'm talking about the Colorado border.

Wyoming is right next door, but yet, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park seem so far away. Far away is a relative term.

These parks, which set right next to each other are close to Grand Junction in the regard they can be reached by car in about 9 hours or less. That makes the trip much less costly than flying somewhere, and if you leave early enough in the day, you don't kill an entire day driving to your destination.

Yet, these fabulous parks filled with wildlife are far enough away that you can't get there, experience them, then return home during a regular weekend.

I took a 4 1/2 day weekend to make this journey to experience as much of the parks as possible. Seeing wildlife was a top priority, and we were not disappointed. Elk and bison are abundant, the other wildlife you see is a bit of a crapshoot. You have to be lucky, and you have to be persistent.

Bears, wolves, coyotes, eagles, marmots, foxes, and squirrels are among some of the wildlife you might see, so have your camera ready.