Julie United States 18 Comments

Grand Teton National Park has something for everyone. Hikers will love the long list of trails that head into the Teton mountain range. Photographers will love capturing sunrise at Mormon Row and Oxbow Bend. Families will love the easy to visit overlooks, crossing Jenny Lake by boat, and spotting moose and elk as you drive through the park. If you have one day in Grand Teton National Park, we can tell you how to combine all of these experiences into one unforgettable day.

We have visited Grand Teton National Park numerous times, with our most recent visits being in August 2019 and September 2020. This is one of our favorite national parks, not only for the hiking trails, views of the Tetons, and wildlife encounters, but also for its close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.

Kara and I did this same itinerary on our visit in August 2019, with a few minor changes. You will drive one loop through the park, visiting the top sights in Grand Teton National Park. This maximizes your time and lets you visit several key locations at the best time of day for photography. I also give you tips to avoid the crowds, which can be quite large from June through September.

Also in this post I give you some suggestions on how to modify this itinerary. Let’s face it, a perfect day in Grand Teton will look very different for a hiker than a family or a photographer.

Quick Facts about Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is located in Wyoming, just north of the town of Jackson. Jackson is a great place to stay. Not only are there many highly rated hotels to choose from, but you can end your day with dinner and drinks.

There are three roads in Grand Teton National Park that form one loop: Highway 191, Teton Park Road, and Jenny Lake Road. Called Scenic Loop Drive, this is where you will find most of the park’s top viewpoints and trailheads.

IMPORTANT! Teton Park Road and Moose Wilson Road are closed from November 1 through April 30. This one day in Grand Teton itinerary works best from May through October, when all of the roads are open. Outside of this time frame, visiting the park becomes much more challenging, since you cannot drive to many of the trailheads and viewpoints.

One Day in Grand Teton: Best Things to Do

With one day in Grand Teton National Park, here are the best things to see and do:

  • Mormon Row Historic District
  • Spot wildlife at Oxbow Bend
  • Schwabacher Landing
  • Jenny Lake Scenic Drive
  • Jenny Lake
  • Inspiration Point
  • Moose Wilson Road
  • Take your pick from the long list of hiking trails

 

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers. You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
 
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

One Day in Grand Teton National Park Itinerary

If you only have one day in Grand Teton National Park, I highly recommend getting an early start to maximize your time. How early? Plan to hit the road just before sunrise, if you can. I know rolling out of bed can be painful, but you will get a head start on the crowds and get to see the Tetons at its loveliest time of day…sunrise.

Below is a rough timeline for this itinerary. These times are taken from the loop that we did through Grand Teton National Park (using the time stamp on my photos). I know that 6:30 am is a bit early for many people. You can start an hour or two later and still get to everything, but expect bigger crowds at many of these sights.

  • 6:30 am: Mormon Row
  • 7:30 am: Schwabacher Landing
  • 8:30 am: Snake River Overlook
  • 9:00 am: Oxbow Bend
  • 9:45 am: Leigh Lake
  • 11:15 am: Jenny Lake Overlook
  • Noon: Jackson or Teton Village
  • 4:30 pm: Jenny Lake & Inspiration Point

Sunrise/Early Morning: Mormon Row

Mormon Row is one of the best sunrise photography locations in Grand Teton National Park.

If you want a prime tripod location, you must get here before sunrise. There are numerous companies that offer sunrise photography tours and they line up early. If you get here too late, you will be stuck on the fringes with a less than ideal view of these historic buildings.

Grand Teton Photography Tour

If you have no desire to get here that early, you can still take some very nice photos after sunrise. The lighting is great all morning.

There are two barns to visit, and photograph, if you are interested. There is the historic barn on Mormon Row and the T. A. Moulton Barn located on Gros Ventre Road, across Antelope Flats Road.

Mormon Row

Mormon Row

 

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn

Getting Here: From Jackson, it takes 30 minutes to drive here. From Teton Village, it takes 35 minutes to drive here.

Schwabacher Landing

From Mormon Row, drive back out to Highway 191 and head north. It takes 15 minutes to drive to Schwabacher Landing. The last part of the drive will be on a gravel road that is suitable for standard cars. This is an extremely popular spot in the morning so the crowds are unavoidable, unfortunately.

From Schwabacher Landing you get one of the most iconic views of Grand Teton National Park. If it is not windy, you will be able to capture the reflection of the Teton mountain range in the Snake River.

Schwabacher Landing

You can either walk out to the first viewpoint and take your photos here. Or, walk the short trail to the end for slightly different views of the mountain range.

Snake River Overlook

Continue north on Highway 191 for 5 miles (about 10 minutes) to the Snake River overlook. This photography location was made famous when Ansel Adams snapped a photograph here in 1942, while working for the United States government.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook

Oxbow Bend

It is a 20 minute drive to get to the next destination, Oxbow Bend. On this drive you will pass through the Moran Entrance Station and pay the park fee. There could be a line now that it is mid-morning.

Oxbow Bend

This is the place to get the iconic view of Mt. Moran’s reflection in the Snake River. It’s also a great place to see moose or elk, although we weren’t so lucky. For photographers, this is another popular sunrise photo spot.

Optional: Signal Mountain

After Oxbow Bend, you will turn left onto Teton Park Road and head south towards Jenny Lake.

You have the option to add on Signal Mountain at this point. I recommend it for those who want a scenic view of the park and have no plans to add a hike onto the day, other than the short hike to Inspiration Point.

There are two viewpoints on this drive: the view from the top of Signal Mountain and the view from the Jackson Lake Overlook.

Jackson Lake Overlook

Jackson Lake Overlook

 

Signal Mountain

View from the top of Signal Mountain

How to Do It: Signal Mountain Road is 4.4 miles long and it takes 15 minutes to drive it one way. It’s just wide enough for two cars and there are many bends and switchbacks. At the summit and at Jackson Lake Overlook, there is a parking lot. This road is closed from November 1 to mid-May.

Jenny Lake Scenic Drive

Continue along Teton Park Road until you reach Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. From Oxbow Bend, this takes 20 minutes (not including the Signal Mountain Detour).

Jenny Lake Scenic Drive is a one-way road that follows along the eastern edge of Jenny Lake. There are several overlooks and trailheads located along this drive. The views from the road really aren’t that great since you are driving through the trees…you will have to stop at the overlooks for the best views.

The first viewpoint you will come to is the Cathedral Group Turnout, which gives you a decent view of the Tetons (but does not have the same wow factor as Schwabacher Landing or the Snake River Overlook).

If you want to get out and stretch your legs, you can walk the Leigh Lake trail. If you simply hike to Leigh Lake, it’s just 1.8 miles round trip. If you go farther, walking along the eastern shore of Leigh Lake, the hike becomes 3.7 miles round trip.

String Lake

We loved this hike. The views across String Lake, especially with the reflections of the mountains, was beautiful. It also didn’t feel that busy, with just a few groups of hikers on the trail.

Continue along Jenny Lake Road and make sure you stop at the Jenny Lake Overlook for one of the best views of the lake.

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Midday in Grand Teton National Park

Midday crowd levels on Jenny Lake and on the more popular trails are insane. Parking will spill out from the immense Jenny Lake parking lot onto Teton Park Road. Lines to board the Jenny Lake shuttle will be very very long. And good luck finding a spot at the trailhead for Taggart Lake or the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.

Rather than joining the crowds, I recommend leaving Grand Teton National Park for a few hours. I know that sounds crazy but it actually works very well.

Option #1: Teton Village at Jackson Hole

Combine the drive on scenic Moose Wilson Road with a tram ride up into the Teton Range.

Moose Wilson road starts near the Grand Teton National Park Headquarters and heads south towards Jackson. Along the way, it passes Phelps Lake, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, and Teton Village. You have a good chance of spotting moose on this road.

Moose Wilson Road one day in Grand Teton

Have lunch in Teton Village and then spend the early part of the afternoon in the mountains.

Ride the Aerial Tram to Rendezvous Peak. At an altitude of 10,450 feet, it’s one of the highest views in the area.

From here, you can ride the tram back down to Teton Village or hike to one of the other chairlifts or gondolas on the mountains. We hiked the Cirque Trail, a 1.8 mile mostly downhill trail to Bridger Gondola and then rode this back into town. Learn more here. 

IMPORTANT! Unfortunately, the Aerial Tram will be closed in 2021 during the summer months and early fall for maintenance. You have the option to ride the Bridger Gondola and then hike round trip to Rendezvous Peak, a 3.6 mile out-and-back hike that is moderately strenuous. If you don’t like the idea of doing a 4-mile hike in the mountains, I recommend visiting Jackson midday or staying in Grand Teton National Park, while the tram is undergoing maintenance.

Cirque Trail Jackson

View from Rendezvous Peak

Option #2: Lunch and Shopping in Jackson

Another option is to drive Moose Wilson Road, return to Jackson and have lunch, then return to Grand Teton once the crowds have quieted down. We frequently do this and this also works very well. While in town, pick up some food for a picnic dinner.

4:30 pm: Jenny Lake & Inspiration Point

Crossing Jenny Lake by shuttle and hiking up to Inspiration Point is one of the most popular things to do in Grand Teton National Park.

It might sound strange leaving this until the end of the day, but we have done it and it is so much better than joining the midday crowds.

During the summer months, the Jenny Lake Boat shuttle operates from 7 am to 7 pm. If you time your visit for the end of the day, there will be very few people on board the shuttle. Kara and I actually waited until 5:45 pm and we shared the shuttle with 2 passengers and the driver. However, this was really cutting things close, so I don’t recommend waiting until 5:45 unless you are a very fast hiker.

Once across the lake, it is a 2 mile round-trip hike to visit Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. This will take most people about an hour and a half. This time of day, the crowds will be low and the lighting is great for photography across the lake.

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

 Kara Inspiration Point one day in Grand Teton

Trail to Inspiration Point

 

Inspiration Point one day in Grand Teton

Inspiration Point

If you are doing good on time, you can continue the hike into Cascade Canyon. This trail heads way back into the Teton Range. Moose are frequently spotted here and you might not have to go far to see them. We have seen moose right on the trail in Cascade Canyon.

Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon

 

Cascade Canyon Moose one day in Grand Teton

Moose on the trail in Cascade Canyon

PRO TRAVEL TIP:  Confirm with Jenny Lake Boating when the final shuttle of the day makes its run across Jenny Lake. If you miss the shuttle, you will have to walk 2.4 miles around Jenny Lake back to the parking lot.

Once you return to visitor center side of the lake, there are several benches along the walking trail. Kara and I brought a picnic dinner and sat here and enjoyed the view.

Grand Teton Picnic Spot one day in Grand Teton

OPTIONAL: 4:30 pm: Go for a Hike

Jenny Lake and Inspiration Point get a lot of hype, but I think that there are short hikes that are just as good, or maybe even better, than Jenny Lake.

Taggart and Bradley Lakes

This is an extremely popular hike but late in the day the trail will be mostly empty. We hiked to Taggart Lake after our visit to Jenny Lake and Inspiration Point, finishing this hike at sunset.

Taggart Lake

Taggart Lake

If you hike to both Taggart and Bradley Lakes, the entire hike is 5.5 miles round trip and takes 2 to 3 hours. If you only go to Taggart Lake it is a 3-mile round-trip hike.

Phelps Lake Overlook & Death Canyon

For one of the best lake views in all of Grand Teton National Park, put the short, sweet hike to the Phelps Lake Overlook on your to-do list. At just 2 miles in length with a minimal amount of elevation gain, this is a great hike for all ages and ability levels.

Phelps Lake

Phelps Lake Overlook

The trick is getting to the trailhead. To get to the hiking trail, a 4×4 is recommended, since you will drive on a rough gravel road to get to the trailhead (the Death Canyon Trailhead). But a high-clearance SUV should work, too.

From the Phelps Lake Overlook, you can continue into Death Canyon. This is a great place to spot moose and bear. We haven’t seen bear in this canyon but we did see four moose, including a bull moose with a cow and a calf. If you add on Death Canyon, you will hike between 4 and 7 miles round trip, depending on when you choose to turn around.

Once finished, either at Jenny Lake or one of these hikes, return to Jackson or Teton Village.

How to Modify This Itinerary

One Day in Grand Teton: For Hikers

If you are a hiker, I recommend ignoring the itinerary above and choosing one of many great hikes there are to do in Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton is one of our favorite national parks for hiking…not only are the trails a blast but there is a very good chance that you will spot wildlife along the way.

Plan on starting first thing in the morning. Getting a parking space at the trailhead is more important than visiting Mormon Row or the overlooks (you can do that at the end of the day). By mid-morning, most parking lots will be filled.

We have a post with 15 great hikes to do in Grand Teton which I recommend reading. This also has links to more detailed hiking posts.

Here are a few suggestions:

Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop. This is a long, tough hike but it is our favorite in Grand Teton. In just one hike, you can visit a handful of the park’s top spots: Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point, Lake Solitude, Cascade Canyon, and Paintbrush Canyon. Throw in panoramic views across the Teton mountain range and a few moose, and you have an unforgettable hike in Grand Teton National Park.

This hike is a big undertaking. At 20 miles, with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, it’s a massive hike. Many people do this as a 2 or 3-day backpacking trip, but if you are fit and fast, the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop can be done as a day hike.

Lake Solitude one day in Grand Teton

Overlooking Lake Solitude on the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon loop.

Death Canyon + Static Peak Divide. At 16 miles, this hike is little more manageable than Paintbrush and Cascade Canyons, but it is still a challenging hike with a lot of elevation gain. On this hike, you get an awesome view over Phelps Lake, panoramic views of the park, and a very good chance to spot wildlife in Death Canyon.

Grand Teton Hike

Static Peak Divide

Death Canyon. Shorten the above hike by skipping the massive climb up the Static Peak Divide. You still get the amazing view over Phelps Lake and a high chance to spot a moose or bear. This canyon gets far fewer hikers than Cascade Canyon and there is a chance you could have it all to yourself. This hike is 8 miles round trip.

Cascade Canyon to Solitude Lake. Ride the Jenny Lake boat shuttle, hike past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, and then hike up Cascade Canyon to the Forks of Cascade Canyon. Take the trail to the right and continue on the moderate, uphill trail until you reach Lake Solitude. This hike is 15 miles round trip and is a shorter version of the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon loop.

Spend the remainder of your day driving Scenic Loop Drive and visiting the viewpoints.

One Day in Grand Teton: For Photographers

If you are a photographer, plan on rolling out of bed before sunrise. Mormon Row is one of the most popular sunrise photography spots, but Schwabacher Landing and Oxbow Bend are also very popular. Unfortunately, with one day in Grand Teton National Park, you will only be able to catch one of these at sunrise.

Start at your chosen sunrise destination and then visit the other overlooks and viewpoints we mention.

If you also want to capture wildlife, they are most active early and late in the day. We have spotted moose in Cascade Canyon and Death Canyon.

I also recommend visiting Mangelsen Images of Nature in Jackson if you want to see some spectacular photos of Grand Teton National Park.

One Day in Grand Teton: For Families

Young kids are not going to want to roll out of bed early to take a photo of a barn or a bunch of viewpoints. However, as a parent, you might want to see some of these places for yourself.

The itinerary above will work great for families, with a few minor changes.

Keep your kids happy and get a slightly later start. Consider skipping a few of the overlooks that we list in the morning, choosing to the visit the ones that look the most interesting. Schwabacher Landing is nice because your kids can get out and walk the trails next to the Snake River.

Once on Jenny Lake Road, the Leigh Lake hike is easy and a very nice hike for all ages.

Midday, I recommend making the detour to Teton Village. Riding the gondola is a unique thing to do here and even kids will love the spectacular view from Rendezvous Peak. You can also hike downhill to the Bridger Gondola and ride this back into the village. Note: The Aerial Tram is closed in 2021 in the summer and early fall for maintenance. You have the option to ride the Bridger Gondola round trip and hike up to Rendezvous Peak, a 3.6 mile out-and-back hike that is moderately strenuous.

End with the boat trip across Jenny Lake and the hike to Inspiration Point.

Rendezvous Peak one day in Grand Teton

View from the Aerial Tram and Rendezvous Peak

Best Time 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.

The best time for wildlife sightings are at dawn and dusk.

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.

In recent years, we have visited Grand Teton National Park twice. In 2019, Kara and I visited the park in mid-August. It was busy, but it’s easy to avoid the crowds, if you don’t mind taking a break in the middle of the day. To avoid the crowds, the best time to visit the park is between 6:30 am and 11 am, and 5 pm to 9 pm in the summer months.

We returned to Grand Teton National Park in September 2020, both to catch the fall colors and to hike some of the longer trails. The end of September is a gorgeous time to be here. Daily temperatures were in the 60’s and 70’s with sunny skies. There was a brief cool down with some rain in Jackson Hole and snow up on the mountain peaks. For fall colors, beautiful weather, and a great chance to see wildlife, consider visiting at the very end of September.

How to Get to Grand Teton National Park

The closest airport is Jackson Hole Airport, which is located in the park. In fact, Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport located within a national park.

Other nearby airports include Idaho Falls Regional Airport (94 miles, 2 hour drive) and Salt Lake City International Airport (280 miles, 4.75 hour drive).

Grand Teton Sign one day in Grand Teton

Where to Stay

Inside Grand Teton National Park

There are numerous lodges and campgrounds available inside of the park. Click here to learn more about your options.

Teton Village at Jackson Hole

Ski resort by winter, outdoor playground by summer. 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 like the idea of staying in a resort town just outside of the park, this is a great place to consider.

Jackson

From Jackson, it takes just 15 minutes to drive to Moose (the southern end of Grand Teton National Park) and 30 minutes to drive to Jenny Lake. 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.

Wyoming Inn at Jackson Hole. This is one of the highest rated hotels in Jackson and our favorite hotel. It is not located in the city center, so you will have to drive to the town square and park your car if you want to visit the heart of Jackson. But we loved the spacious room, excellent Wi-Fi, and comfy beds.

The Lodge at Jackson Hole. This hotel is located next door to the Wyoming Inn, mentioned above. We stayed here on our most recent visit. We had a great stay…the room was clean, very quiet, and comfortable. We liked the Wyoming Inn a little bit better but we wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again, especially since prices are a little lower. To get into the heart of Jackson, it is a short drive or a 20-minute walk.

Hotel Jackson. This boutique hotel looks amazing. Just five minutes from the town square, rooms are beautifully decorated. All rooms have a gas fireplace and the hotel has two onsite restaurants and a hot tub.

Cowboy Village Resort. On our first visit to Grand Teton National Park, this is where Tim and I stayed. Western-style cabins come equipped with a private bathroom and a kitchenette.

The Wort Hotel. If you want an upscale experience in the city center of Jackson, the Wort Hotel gets great reviews.

Jackson Square one day in Grand Teton

Jackson Square

Entry Fee for Grand Teton National Park: $35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days

Hours: Grand Teton National Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round. For opening hours of the visitor centers and current conditions, click here. 

Grand Teton App: Before you go, download the Grand Teton National Park app, to get updates on road closures, trail status, and services throughout the park. 

Where Are You Going Next?

Here is more information for your trip to Grand Teton and Wyoming.

ROAD TRIP IDEA: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, & Glacier National Parks: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary
GRAND TETON ITINERARY:  How Many Days Do You Need in Grand Teton? A Complete Itinerary
THINGS TO DO: 15 Amazing Things to do in Grand Teton National Park
DAY HIKES: 15 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park
HIKING: How to Hike the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop
HIKING: How to Hike Death Canyon to the Static Peak Divide
HIKING:  How to Hike to Surprise, Amphitheater and Delta Lakes
YELLOWSTONE DAY TRIP: The Perfect Yellowstone Day Trip from Grand Teton National Park
YELLOWSTONE: 18 Amazing Things to Do in Yellowstone
YELLOWSTONE: Yellowstone Itinerary: How to Spend 1 to 5 Days in Yellowstone


If you have any questions about how to spend one day in Grand Teton National Park, let us know in the comment section below.

You Might Also Like:

If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Travel Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips.

Grand Teton National Park One Day Itinerary

 

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Comments 18

  1. Can’t wait for our trip at the end of September after reading this! 2 adults driving from Denver Colorado to spend a couple days at GTNP and Yellowstone. We were also thinking of swinging over to Mt Rushmore either on our way there or back unless you have any other recommendations of things to stop and see on the way. We will have 5-6 days to do things. What would you recommend? Would love to do all the sight seeing and hiking that we can and see wildlife on the way! Also looking for where to stay near GTNP. We were thinking of staying in west Yellowstone the days we are in Yellowstone. I’m so excited for this trip!
    TIA! Sarah

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      Author

      I recommend following the first part of our Grand Teton Yellowstone Glacier itinerary. This gives you 1.5 days in Grand Teton (stay in Jackson or someplace near Jackson) and lots of time in Yellowstone. West Yellowstone is a great place to base yourself when visiting Yellowstone. If you want to visit Mount Rushmore, I recommend visiting Devils Tower on the drive. You only need a few hours here and we have a guide on what to see and do. You could even add on Custer State Park in South Dakota. Any chance you have 10 days? 😊🤣 Cheers, Julie

  2. Hello!
    Great itinerary-
    We are staying in Teton Village and hope to get an early start to Mormon Row by 6:30 am.
    Any suggestions on where to grab a breakfast sandwich on our way there?

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      Author

      Not that early in the morning, unless your hotel offers breakfast very early. I would recommend getting something the day before and keeping it in a refrigerator, if you have one. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hi Julie,
    Love reading your blogs. We are going to Yellowstone in July. I have 4 days stay there. I have already made my 3 days itinerary for Yellowstone. Wanted to see if I can do 1 day at GTNP. It’s almost 2 hours drive from where we are staying. What should we cover in that 1 day? We are a family of 4 (kids 8 and 13 years old). Thanks 🙂

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      Author

      As a day trip from Yellowstone, I recommend starting with Oxbow Bend (since you will drive right past it), and then visit the Snake River Overlook and Schwabacher Landing. If you want to see Mormon Row, go there next. You could grab a late lunch in Jackson. It’s a cool town with lots of great restaurants. In the afternoon, visit Jenny Lake and hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. If your kids have lots of energy, continue past Inspiration Point into Cascade Canyon to see if you get lucky and can spot moose. Then return to Grand Teton. I hope you have a great time in Grand Teton and Yellowstone! Cheers, Julie

  4. HI! Thank you so much for this info! We (my husband and I )are traveling with my 16 year old daughter, 18 year old son at the end of May! We are staying in Driggs, ID for 3 days, Big Sky, MT for 3 days, and Belgrade for 3 days. WE are flying in to Jackson and thinking to work our way up! What itinerary would you recommend for Grand Teton, Yellowstone for those visits? We are an active family and want to soak it all in! WE also want to go horseback riding, rent ATVs, and of course hiking and swimming! I have a friend in BOzeman who has given us some great advice, but would love to know more! THanks so much!
    Oh, and they are leaving their phones! We bought them both cameras to explore some photography while on this amazing trip!!!!

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      Author

      Hello Christine. This sounds like a great trip! And your kids are the same ages as Tyler and Kara. There is an awesome hike, so we have heard, that starts on the west side of the Teton Range. The hike is called Alaska Basin and you get to hike through beautiful terrain on some uncrowded trails. Since you are staying in Driggs, it would just be a short drive to get to this trailhead. We have not done this yet but it sounds wonderful, from the research that I have done. I think it would be worth looking into and adding onto your trip, if you like the idea of hiking a beautiful, uncrowded part of Grand Teton National Park. If you don’t want to do that hike, look into going white water rafting in the area or going horseback riding. On your second day in Grand Teton, I recommend following the itinerary in this post. Then, on your third day, hike one of the trails (maybe just a shorter one, since you will have a long drive today) and continue north to Yellowstone. If you have sunny skies, visit the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook as you drive through Yellowstone on your way to Big Sky.

      From Big Sky, spend 3 days in Yellowstone. Take a look at our Yellowstone itinerary for ideas on how to plan your time. You will have to do some extra driving to get to the southern part of Yellowstone so group Old Faithful, West Thumb Geyser Basin and Hayden Valley into one day. If you like the idea of swimming, visit the Boiling River hot spring near Gardiner…it’s more of a soaking spot than a swimming spot but it’s still a very unique experience.

      As for what to do in Bozeman, I am sure your friend in Bozeman can give you better suggestions for what to do here. I hope your kids have a great time without their phones 🤣 and you are right…it really will be an amazing trip!

      Cheers, Julie

  5. We are flying to Bozeman and doing Yellowstone for 2 1/2 days and then heading to Grand Teton. We will probably do some Yellowstone sites in the morning and aim to head south and do 1/2 day in Grand Teton. And then the next day spend at least 1/2 day in the park again. We need to hit the road by about 3 or 4 to head east toward Mount Rushmore. What would be a good plan given that timing? I am also debating whether it’s best to stay in the Park to save time (there is availability at Signal Lodge) or stay in Jackson. Thanks so much!!!

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      Author

      In Yellowstone, how you plan your time really depends on where you are staying. I recommend spending your first day at the upper loop sites (Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, and driving out to Lamar Valley). With your second full day, you could tour the lower loop sites (Hayden Valley, Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin), and the smaller nearby geyser basins. With your half day, you could visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in the morning and then drive to GTNP. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a link to our Yellowstone itinerary which will give you more detailed suggestions on how to spend your time.

      In GTNP, you could spend the first afternoon at Jenny Lake or on a short hiking trail, as in this itinerary. The following morning, you could visit the scenic viewpoints/overlooks or hike another trail if you like hiking. If you can get lodging at Signal Lodge, that might be worth it, since it will save you some driving, both when driving to GTNP and on the day you drive towards Mount Rushmore. However, I know nothing about how “good” Signal Lodge is.

      Cheers, Julie

  6. Loving your blogs as we plan our family trip!
    We’re staying in Victor, ID for one night.
    If we have a family (3 kids ages 16-10) and are willing to just hit the creme of the crop spots in Grand Teton (we don’t mind getting out and walking around, but we’re not hikers), how long would it take (in your opinion)?

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      If you just want to see the main highlights of Grand Teton without doing a lot of hiking, I recommend following the main, detailed itinerary I list in this post with some changes. It will take you about an hour to get into the park. So, getting to Mormon Row at sunrise is going to be tough. Mormon Row is an iconic sight, but if it’s not a big deal to you to see two barns, skip this and go right to Schwabacher Landing. This is my favorite viewpoint of Grand Teton. Continue the loop to Snake River Overlook and Oxbow Bend and continue on to Jenny Lake. In my opinion, it’s worth walking either the Leigh Lake Trail (not a “top sight” but it is a very nice, quieter walk in the park) or ride the shuttle across Jenny Lake and hike to Inspiration Point (it’s the classic experience for someone’s first visit to Grand Teton). Just be prepared for big crowds because you will hit this midday. We also really liked riding the gondola up to Rendezvous Peak from Teton Village. The views are incredible. You can ride the gondola round trip or hike the short, downhill trail to the Bridger Gondola. End your day with dinner in Teton Village, Jackson, or Victor. If you did all of this, it would take a full day. If you only did the first part, ending with Jenny Lake, you should be finished by early afternoon, depending on what time you got started. Cheers, Julie

  7. We are flying into Bozeman. We would like to travel south and stay one night wake up do Tetons, making out way back up towards Yellowstone? Is this even possible> we know it was ideal to fly into Jackson but flights were too cheap to turn down! What would you recommend!!

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      That’s a great idea if flights are cheap. It’s a little over 4 hours of driving to get from Bozeman to Jackson which isn’t too bad, in my opinion. But we fly to Salt Lake City and then drive to Jackson, which is closer to 5 hours. Your quickest route will be through Idaho. If you are doing amazingly well on time and want to make a detour, take a look at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes. We haven’t been there yet but they look interesting. Cheers, Julie

  8. Planning a Girls’ Trip this Summer. Your article is just what we needed to jump-start our planning. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you for this information action! I’m looking forward to this adventure this summer. The details you provided will be a tremendous resource! Blessings.

    Helen RVA

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