Jagged mountain peaks, lush meadows, scenic lakes, the winding Snake River, wildlife, historical sites, and miles and miles of hiking trails…this is Grand Teton National Park.
There is something here for everyone. Families will love the short, easy, scenic hiking trails, a boat ride across Jenny Lake, plus the possibility to see elk, moose, and bison. Photographers will have a blast capturing the reflections of the mountain range in the lakes and rivers. Active, adventurous travelers can take their pick from hundreds of miles of hiking trails that journey into the Teton range. If you enjoy fishing, this park is world-renowned for its trout fishing.
We have visited Grand Teton National Park multiple times in recent years. The hiking is incredible, the landscapes are extremely photogenic, and this park is a pure joy to explore.
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK STATS
Founded: February 26, 1929
Annual Visitors: 3.4 million.
Size: 310,000 acres
Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
Top Ten Experiences
Drive the 42-mile Scenic Drive. On this 42-mile loop, you will drive down the length of the Teton Range, along Jenny and Jackson Lakes, and past numerous scenic overlooks. Along the way, you have the option to detour to Jenny Lake Scenic Drive, Signal Mountain, or numerous hiking trails in the park.
Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. This is a one-way road that follows the eastern edge of Jenny Lake. On this drive, you have magnificent views of the Teton Range.
Go Hiking. Hike through picturesque canyons, around glacier-fed lakes, and up to the highest peaks. Elk, bear, and moose frequently make appearances. Grand Teton National Park is one of the best hiking destinations in the US National Parks and you have a lot of trails to choose from.
Inspiration Point & Hidden Falls. One on hike, you can view Grand Teton National Park from Inspiration Point and visit a beautiful waterfall. The easiest way to get to this trail is by taking the scenic boat shuttle across Jenny Lake.
Mormon Row Historic District. The iconic shot of these historic barns with the Tetons in the background make this one of the best photography locations and sunrise spots in Grand Teton National Park.
Schwabacher Landing. For one of the most scenic views of the Teton mountain range, don’t miss Schwabacher Landing. This is a great place to capture the reflection of the mountain range in the Snake River.
Oxbow Bend. This is the place to get the iconic view of Mt. Moran’s reflection in the Snake River. At sunrise, it is also a great place to photograph wildlife.
Snake River Overlook. This view of the Teton Range was made famous when Ansel Adams snapped a photograph here in 1942, while working for the United States government.
Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. This reserve is an 1,100 acre refuge located within Grand Teton National Park and was donated by the Rockefeller family in 2001. Spend some time in the visitor center and hike the quieter trails in the reserve.
Signal Mountain. From the summit of Signal Mountain, you get panoramic views over the park, the Teton range, and Jackson Lake. It’s a great detour to add to the 42-mile loop through Grand Teton National Park.
Learn More about Grand Teton National Park
When to Visit Grand Teton National Park
The best time to visit Grand Teton National Park is from mid-May through October, when all of the roads and visitor centers are open.
June, July and August are the busiest months in the park. Expect big crowds on the hiking trails, difficulty finding a parking space midday, and sold out lodges inside of the park.
If you want to see the park ablaze in fall colors, the end of September into very early October is best time to visit.
From November through mid-May, Teton Park Road is closed, along with several other scenic roads, such as Moose Wilson Road and the road to the summit of Signal Mountain. It's still possible to visit Grand Teton National Park in the winter and early spring, but with the road closures and snow on the trails, it will be a much different experience than a visit in the summer.
How Many Days Should You Spend in Grand Teton National Park?
If you just want to see the main highlights, one day is really all that you need in Grand Teton National Park. But for those who want to dive deeper into the park, by exploring the hundreds of miles that criss-cross the Teton Range, then you can spend days, weeks even, and never run out of things to do.
Two days gives you enough time to see the highlights and do a longer day hike. More time allows you to add more hikes to your itinerary, explore Jackson Hole, and add on white water rafting or the cable car ride up to Rendezvous Peak.
For the first-time visitor, I recommend spending two to three days in Grand Teton National Park.
ONE DAY IN GRAND TETON
Start your day off at Mormon Row for sunrise views of the Teton Range. Then drive the 42-mile loop, visiting Schwabacher Landing, Snake River Overlook, Oxbow Bend, and the viewpoints along Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. Midday, you can escape the crowds in the park by grabbing a bite to eat in Jackson or hiking one of the less popular trails. In the mid-afternoon, ride the shuttle across Jenny Lake and hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.
Click here to learn more about how to spend one day in Grand Teton National Park.
Where to Stay
There are numerous lodges and campgrounds available inside of the park. Click here to learn more about your options.
Jackson is a 30-minute drive from Grand Teton National Park. With a large number of accommodations and restaurants, this is a great place to base yourself for visiting the park. This is where we stay when we visit Grand Teton National Park.
Ski resort by winter, outdoor playground by summer, Teton Village is located on Moose Wilson Road, just outside of the park. This resort offers hotels and restaurants, plus gondolas, chair lifts, and a cable car that will whisk you up to Rendezvous Peak for stunning views over the Tetons.
If you are struggling to find accommodations in the park or in Jackson, or if prices are astronomical, Victor, Idaho is a nearby town to consider. We have talked to a lot of people who stayed here and had a great experience. Just be aware that you will have a longer drive to get into the park.
Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton. At 13,775 feet (4,199 meters), this is the highest point in the Teton Range. It’s also the second highest peak in Wyoming (Gannett Peak, at 13,810 feet, is located in the Wind River Range).
The Teton Range gets its name from early 19th-century French trappers. They called the mountain range les trois tetons, which means “the three teats.”
There are numerous lakes that sit at the base of the Teton range. Jenny Lake is the most famous and most commonly visited, but other notable lakes include Jackson, Phelps, Taggart, Bradley, and Leigh Lakes.