The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. 

I have visited Grand Teton National Park at least 6 times since moving to the US in 2015, including during all the different seasons. During our 2017 trip to all the national parks, my husband and I ranked Grand Teton ranked #1 based on a variety of criteria (scenery, trails, facilities, photogenic, crowds/transport). 

Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list!

Ultimate Guide to Grand Teton National Park

Quick Facts about Grand Teton National Park

Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Native Lands: Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot, Crow, Flathead, Gros Ventre, Nez Perce
Size: 310,000 acres / 1254 sq km
Annual Visitors: 3.4 million in 2019
Established: 1929 as a National Park
Visitor Centers: Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Jenny Lake Visitor Center, Colter Bay Visitor Center (all visitor centers closed during winter)
Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle; $70 annual pass (or $80 for America the Beautiful Pass)


Official Park Map

Grand Teton National Park is located just minutes outside of Jackson at the southern end, and stretches 45-miles north to the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, connecting it to Yellowstone National Park. There is nothing quite like Grand Teton, with its majestic mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, picturesque hikes and seemingly endless sights to see.

The park is best explored in 5 or more days, though the highlights can be discovered within 1-2 days. Each season brings a new feel to Grand Teton. Winter results in gorgeous snow covered peaks and temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit, fall is the perfect time to witness the foliage changing colors and the wildlife preparing for winter, spring brings new life and lush meadows, and summer is the best time for hiking and exploring in the backcountry.

RELATED: America’s National Parks Ranked Best to Worst

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook

Best View in Grand Teton National Park

Not surprisingly, the Grand Teton (13,770 feet) is the most famous view in the park. This iconic peak is situated in the Teton Region and cannot be missed when driving though the park.

In my opinion, the Teton Range can be best observed from viewpoints such as Snake River Overlook, Schwabacher Landing, and Glacier View Turnout.

RELATED: 15 Least Crowded National Parks


Schwabacher Landing

Must-Do “Easy” Grand Teton Activities

Drive the main park road

Many sights of Grand Teton can be experienced by driving the scenic road through the park. There are numerous pull-offs and lookouts to stop at for views of the Teton Mountain Range, wildlife and foliage. Jenny Lake is a popular spot for a walk or boat ride, all of which can be inquired about at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.

Explore Mormon Row

Another “easy” adventure in the park is exploring the famous Mormon Row area. Found down Antelope Flats Road, the Moulton Barns are two of the remaining historic barns on Mormon Row. The barns are situated perfectly in front of the Teton Mountain Range, making for an ideal photo opportunity.

RELATED: Leave No Trace: The Seven Principles


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon

For the Adventurous Grand Teton Explorer

Grand Teton National Park has more than 200 miles of trails, with many options for getting into the backcountry. Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude is a very beautiful full day-hike worth exploring. Rated strenuous, the trail covers 15.3 miles and has an elevation gain of 2350 feet. Lake Solitude is the perfect spot for a refreshing dip before hiking back to Jenny Lake.

Tip – the Cascade Canyon Trail can also be added to the Paintbrush Canyon Trail, creating an epic 18.1 mile loop hike. This can be broken up by camping at one of the designated park backcountry sites (permits required).

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Delta Lake

Delta Lake

Another adventurous hike in Grand Teton National Park is Delta Lake (pictured above). It’s technically an unmaintained trail, though rangers do not discourage visitors hiking it. Be sure to research the trail before undertaking this 9-mile hike and be prepared to potentially bush-whack in sections.

RELATED: A Beginners Guide to Hiking


Unforgettable-Scenic-Flight-Over-Grand-Teton-&-Yellowstone-National-Parks-Renee-Roaming-02

Scenic flight

Top Photo Spots in Grand Teton National Park

Sunrise is undoubtedly the best time of day to take photos in Grand Teton National Park, though late afternoon and sunset can provide some interesting light.

Picturesque spots to consider are Schwabacher Landing, Snake River Overlook, Moulton Barns, and the Blacktail Ponds area. Another spot that has become popular over the years is Togwotee Pass. As you drive over the pass you will get some amazing views of the Teton Range and people like to take car/van photo here. Please be safe when photographing roads!

Another option is to take a scenic plane tour over the park  and snap some aerial images (pictured above). We did this back in 2018 with Fly Jackson Hole and it was an incredible experience! 

RELATED: Unforgettable Scenic Flight Over Grand Teton National Park


Where to Stay near Grand Teton

Hotels

  • Jackson Lake Lodge: rustic lodge with picturesque Grand Teton views. Lodge rooms, suites and cottages available.
  • Jenny Lake Lodge: log cabins near Jenny Lake. Peaceful while being close to the action.
  • Colter Bay Village: has log cabins, tent cabins, campsites and RV parking. Walking distance to Jackson lake.
  • Headwaters Lodge & Cabins: modern lodge cabins situated between Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Campsite for tents and RV also available.

Camping

Outside the Park

RELATED: Top Tips for Sleeping in Your Car on Road Trips


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Teton Range

Others Places to Explore near Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming and is close to many other great outdoor hubs. Some of these include:

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated National Parks in America


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Wild Fox

Grand Teton National Park Fun Facts

  • Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and the Jackson Hole National Monument was created in 1943. The two units were combined in 1950 to become present day Grand Teton National Park.
  • The Teton Mountain Range was originally called “Teewinot” by the native Shoshone people, meaning “many pinnacles”. The park received its present name from French trappers in the early 19th century, who decided on “les trois tetons” (meaning “the three teats”).
  • The highest peak in the Teton Mountain Range is Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet above sea level. Many other peaks in the park are over 12,000 feet in height.
  • There are 12 small glaciers in the park’s peaks, with the more well-known ones being Schoolroom Glacier, Triple Glacier, Falling Ice Glacier, and Skillet Glacier.
  • Grand Teton National Park is the only national park in the United States that has a commercial airport. It was built in the 1930s and was later added to Grand Teton when Jackson Hole was absorbed by the NPS.
  • Mammals found within Grand Teton include grizzly bears, black bears, gray wolves, coyotes, cougars, river otters, martens, elk, bison, pronghorn, and moose.

More National Park Posts

America’s National Parks Ranked Best to Worst

15 Least Crowded National Parks in the US

The 15 Most Underrated National Parks in America

Comprehensive Mount Rainier National Park Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Olympic National Park


PIN to read later

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth! It's home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list! Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth! It's home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list!

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. 

I have visited Grand Teton National Park at least 6 times since moving to the US in 2015, including during all the different seasons. During our 2017 trip to all the national parks, my husband and I ranked Grand Teton ranked #1 based on a variety of criteria (scenery, trails, facilities, photogenic, crowds/transport). 

Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list!

Ultimate Guide to Grand Teton National Park

Quick Facts about Grand Teton National Park

Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Native Lands: Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot, Crow, Flathead, Gros Ventre, Nez Perce
Size: 310,000 acres / 1254 sq km
Annual Visitors: 3.4 million in 2019
Established: 1929 as a National Park
Visitor Centers: Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Jenny Lake Visitor Center, Colter Bay Visitor Center (all visitor centers closed during winter)
Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle; $70 annual pass (or $80 for America the Beautiful Pass)


Official Park Map

Grand Teton National Park is located just minutes outside of Jackson at the southern end, and stretches 45-miles north to the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, connecting it to Yellowstone National Park. There is nothing quite like Grand Teton, with its majestic mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, picturesque hikes and seemingly endless sights to see.

The park is best explored in 5 or more days, though the highlights can be discovered within 1-2 days. Each season brings a new feel to Grand Teton. Winter results in gorgeous snow covered peaks and temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit, fall is the perfect time to witness the foliage changing colors and the wildlife preparing for winter, spring brings new life and lush meadows, and summer is the best time for hiking and exploring in the backcountry.

RELATED: America’s National Parks Ranked Best to Worst

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook

Best View in Grand Teton National Park

Not surprisingly, the Grand Teton (13,770 feet) is the most famous view in the park. This iconic peak is situated in the Teton Region and cannot be missed when driving though the park.

In my opinion, the Teton Range can be best observed from viewpoints such as Snake River Overlook, Schwabacher Landing, and Glacier View Turnout.

RELATED: 15 Least Crowded National Parks


Schwabacher Landing

Must-Do “Easy” Grand Teton Activities

Drive the main park road

Many sights of Grand Teton can be experienced by driving the scenic road through the park. There are numerous pull-offs and lookouts to stop at for views of the Teton Mountain Range, wildlife and foliage. Jenny Lake is a popular spot for a walk or boat ride, all of which can be inquired about at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.

Explore Mormon Row

Another “easy” adventure in the park is exploring the famous Mormon Row area. Found down Antelope Flats Road, the Moulton Barns are two of the remaining historic barns on Mormon Row. The barns are situated perfectly in front of the Teton Mountain Range, making for an ideal photo opportunity.

RELATED: Leave No Trace: The Seven Principles


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon

For the Adventurous Grand Teton Explorer

Grand Teton National Park has more than 200 miles of trails, with many options for getting into the backcountry. Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude is a very beautiful full day-hike worth exploring. Rated strenuous, the trail covers 15.3 miles and has an elevation gain of 2350 feet. Lake Solitude is the perfect spot for a refreshing dip before hiking back to Jenny Lake.

Tip – the Cascade Canyon Trail can also be added to the Paintbrush Canyon Trail, creating an epic 18.1 mile loop hike. This can be broken up by camping at one of the designated park backcountry sites (permits required).

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Delta Lake

Delta Lake

Another adventurous hike in Grand Teton National Park is Delta Lake (pictured above). It’s technically an unmaintained trail, though rangers do not discourage visitors hiking it. Be sure to research the trail before undertaking this 9-mile hike and be prepared to potentially bush-whack in sections.

RELATED: A Beginners Guide to Hiking


Unforgettable-Scenic-Flight-Over-Grand-Teton-&-Yellowstone-National-Parks-Renee-Roaming-02

Scenic flight

Top Photo Spots in Grand Teton National Park

Sunrise is undoubtedly the best time of day to take photos in Grand Teton National Park, though late afternoon and sunset can provide some interesting light.

Picturesque spots to consider are Schwabacher Landing, Snake River Overlook, Moulton Barns, and the Blacktail Ponds area. Another spot that has become popular over the years is Togwotee Pass. As you drive over the pass you will get some amazing views of the Teton Range and people like to take car/van photo here. Please be safe when photographing roads!

Another option is to take a scenic plane tour over the park  and snap some aerial images (pictured above). We did this back in 2018 with Fly Jackson Hole and it was an incredible experience! 

RELATED: Unforgettable Scenic Flight Over Grand Teton National Park


Where to Stay near Grand Teton

Hotels

  • Jackson Lake Lodge: rustic lodge with picturesque Grand Teton views. Lodge rooms, suites and cottages available.
  • Jenny Lake Lodge: log cabins near Jenny Lake. Peaceful while being close to the action.
  • Colter Bay Village: has log cabins, tent cabins, campsites and RV parking. Walking distance to Jackson lake.
  • Headwaters Lodge & Cabins: modern lodge cabins situated between Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Campsite for tents and RV also available.

Camping

Outside the Park

RELATED: Top Tips for Sleeping in Your Car on Road Trips


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Teton Range

Others Places to Explore near Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming and is close to many other great outdoor hubs. Some of these include:

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated National Parks in America


The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park - Wild Fox

Grand Teton National Park Fun Facts

  • Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and the Jackson Hole National Monument was created in 1943. The two units were combined in 1950 to become present day Grand Teton National Park.
  • The Teton Mountain Range was originally called “Teewinot” by the native Shoshone people, meaning “many pinnacles”. The park received its present name from French trappers in the early 19th century, who decided on “les trois tetons” (meaning “the three teats”).
  • The highest peak in the Teton Mountain Range is Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet above sea level. Many other peaks in the park are over 12,000 feet in height.
  • There are 12 small glaciers in the park’s peaks, with the more well-known ones being Schoolroom Glacier, Triple Glacier, Falling Ice Glacier, and Skillet Glacier.
  • Grand Teton National Park is the only national park in the United States that has a commercial airport. It was built in the 1930s and was later added to Grand Teton when Jackson Hole was absorbed by the NPS.
  • Mammals found within Grand Teton include grizzly bears, black bears, gray wolves, coyotes, cougars, river otters, martens, elk, bison, pronghorn, and moose.

More National Park Posts

America’s National Parks Ranked Best to Worst

15 Least Crowded National Parks in the US

The 15 Most Underrated National Parks in America

Comprehensive Mount Rainier National Park Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Olympic National Park


PIN to read later

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth! It's home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list! Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth! It's home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn. Want to experience it for yourself? Keep reading for an in-depth guide on Grand Teton National Park and find out why it should be at the top of your bucket list!

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park

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Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn.  I have visited Grand Teton National Park at least 6 times since moving to the…

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1 Comment

  1. JACKIE on May 11, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Grand Teton NP is definately one of my fav parks and I had a wonderful time when I last visited there. I hope to get back there one day and experience more of it’s beauty. Thanks for all the great tips, ideas and stunning photos.

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Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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I vividly remember my first time backcountry camping. Looking back, I had very little idea of what I was doing and I made a lot of preventable mistakes. Each backpacking trip since then has led to a gradual increase in my confidence and skills… and now I’ve spent countless nights in the wilderness!  I’m guessing…

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s home to insanely beautiful mountain peaks (including the Grand Teton itself sitting at 14,000 feet), abundant wildlife, world class hiking terrain, and picturesque landscapes everywhere you turn.  I have visited Grand Teton National Park at least 6 times since moving to the…

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Sleeping in your car can turn any road trip into a more budget friendly adventure. Plus, it’s a super convenient way to travel with a high level of freedom and independence!  Over the years I have road tripped and lived in all types of vehicles: 4×4’s, sedans, tiny hatchbacks, campervans, and small RVs. Some of those…

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