- Grand Teton National Park is open all year
- Hike an easy trail at Jenny Lake
- Backcountry camping can be a real adventure
- See osprey and eagles at the higher elevations within Grand Teton
- Get your trophy catch on the Snake River
A vacation in Grand Teton National Park will show you the most breathtaking scenery and the most exciting outdoor adventures you could want on any western vacation. The snow-capped peaks, the pine forests and pristine lakes will capture your heart.
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming, just south of Yellowstone Park, and north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Grand Teton National Park is accessible all year, although you should contact the park for any road closures. The inner park road typically closes from the Bradley Taggart Trailhead to the north during the winter. Although the other ranger stations and visitor centers are closed for the winter, the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Moose, WY is open all year (closed Christmas Day). Hours for the Center are as follows:
- September 8th to October 31st: 8 am to 5 pm
- November 1st to April 30th: 9 am to 5 pm
There are numerous adventures to be had at Grand Teton National Park. Following are just a few:
There are six campgrounds within the park where you can sleep out under the stars (or in your RV) and enjoy the quiet and solitude. You can also do some backcountry camping, where you will get out into the wilderness and experience Mother Nature up close and personal.
There are many trails within Grand Teton National Park that will give you great scenic views as well as the opportunity to see some of the wildlife inhabiting the park. You should be aware that the terrain can be quite rugged and sudden weather changes can take you by surprise.
A couple easy trails are the Jenny Lake Loop, Leigh Lake and String Lake Loops, Polecat Creek Loop at Flagg Ranch, the Lakeshore Trail and Heron Pond & Swan Lake Trail at Colter Bay. Moderate trails are the Phelps Lake Overlook, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point in Cascade Canyon, Hermitage Point at Colter Bay, Two Ocean Lake, and Signal Mountain.
If you are ready to tackle a multi-day trip, try the Teton Crest Trail which runs along the Death Canyon Shelf and connects a number of the park's canyons, from Teton Pass to Paintbrush Canyon.
Biking is always a popular activity in Grand Teton. Biking is only permitted on roadways and designated paths. There is one multi-use biking path from Dornans to Jenny Lake that is open, although others are planned. For mountain bike trails, head to Jackson, Wyoming's Snow King Mountain, Cache Creek, and Teton Pass.
Bringing your own horse is permitted in some areas of the park, but you can also take guided horseback rides in a number of areas. Riding through the wilderness on horseback is a great way to see the park.
Grab your binoculars and walk through the lovely Lodgepole pines to see mountain chickadees, dark-eyed juncos and yellow-rumped warblers and more. Catch a glimpse of the violet-green swallows among the Aspen stands on the hills. Head up to higher elevations to see rosy finches, water pipits, osprey, and bald and golden eagles.
The best time to do your wildlife watching is in the early morning as the sun starts to rise. You’ll see moose near the water getting a drink at places like Oxbow Bend or along the Moose-Wilson Road, and elk grazing or beavers building their home. On the forested ridge southeast of Jenny Lake, spot pronghorn antelope and elk. Near the Snake River at Jackson Lake Dam bison and elk graze, and beavers and moose love the willows near the water. No matter where you go in Grand Teton, you are sure to see some animals in their natural environment.
The 42-mile long Scenic Loop Drive will take you around Grand Teton National Park so you can take in all the sights. Jenny Lake Scenic Drive goes around Jenny Lake, with incredible views of the mountains. Take the Signal Mountain Summit Road which climbs about 800 feet so you get wonderful views of the mountains as well as Jackson Hole Valley and Jackson Lake.
During the summer months enjoy a scenic float down the Snake River, below the towering peaks of the Grand Tetons. White water rafting trips are available south of the park and Jackson Hole in the Snake River Canyon.
Many park lakes welcome kayakers and canoers. You can bring your own boat (permits required) or rent a boat at Jenny and Jackson Lakes. Motor boats are allowed on Jackson Lake.
Boat cruises are also available on Jackson and Jenny Lakes. The Jenny Lake Boating Company offers shuttles from the parking lot to the base o Cascade Canyon where you can enjoy short hikes up to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, or back around the lake. The family may love a leisurely float or sailing on Jackson Lake. There are many opportunities for enjoying the water, and it’s all available here in the park.
If fishing is your thing, there are three major rivers that run through Grand Teton. Some of the perfect places to throw in a line are the Snake, Buffalo Fork or Gros Ventre Rivers.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Skiing and snowshoeing are both popular activities in the winter months. If traveling the backcountry, you’ll be responsible for your own trail-finding, but you can also get rangers to take you on your adventure with a guided hike. Popular cross country skiing trails are near Bradley and Taggart Lakes.
Grand Teton National Park was established originally in 1929 to protect the mountains and the lakes close to the base. In 1950, the boundaries were expanded to include the valley floor.
The largest bird in North America makes Grand Teton National Park its home – the Trumpeter Swan. This beautiful bird weighs between 20 and 30 pounds.