Grand Teton National Park Vacations

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park was established to protect the area's spectacular scenic values, as characterized by the geologic features of the Teton Range, and the native plant and wildlife.

Overview

The Grand Teton National Park encompasses approximately 310,000 acres of wilderness and some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the western United States.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway legislation established an 82-mile parkway between West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park and the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park. This area included approximately 24,000 acres of land.

There are approximately 100 miles of paved roads in the park.

There are nearly 200 miles of trails for hikers to enjoy in Grand Teton National Park.

Location/Directions

Grand Teton National Park is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming in Teton County, and is only a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park. The same visitor's pass is good for admission to both of these National Parks.

Alltrans offers a public shuttle bus between the town of Jackson and various locations within Grand Teton National Park. See Schedule and Details Here.

Seasons

Grand Teton National Park is open year round. The visitor centers are usually closed on Christmas Day.

The peak visitor season is July and August when visitors to Grand Teton combine their trip to include Yellowstone National Park.

Activities

Due to the popularity of Grand Teton National Park, it is advisable to arrive early, plan carefully and seek information at park visitor centers and ranger stations.

Two main roads run through the 310,000-acre park; Highway 26/89/191 curves along the eastern or outer side; and Teton Park Road (also called the inner park road, which is closed during winter) runs closer to the mountain range.

Points of Interests
The northern portion of the park is outstanding wildlife-watching territory—you can see everything from rare birds to lumbering moose to the big predators (mountain lions, and black and grizzly bears).

The order in which you will come upon the following scenic overlooks and points of interests will depend on which road you travel on first and in which direction. Recommended places to stop include:

  • Teton Point Overlook- Valley Glaciers
  • Snake River Overlook- The Fur Trapper Era
  • Cunningham Cabin (suggested family activity)
  • Oxbow Bend- River Dynamics
  • Jackson Point Overlook- The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
  • Cathedral Group Turnout- Creation of Peaks
  • Jenny Lake Overlook- Mountain Glaciations
  • Cottonwood Creek Picnic Area- Fire Ecology
  • Bill Menor Homestead and Maude Noble Cabin (suggested family activity)

Visit a Visitor Center
A typical tour through Grand Teton National Park from the south entrance could include an initial stop at Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Here you will find exhibits and an array of maps and printed guides. Other visitor centers include:

  • Moose Visitor Center features exhibits of rate and endangered species, a video room and an extensive bookstore.
  • Jenny Lake Visitor Center features exhibits of geology, a relief model and book sales.
  • Colter Bay Visitor Center features an Indian Arts Museum, an auditorium and a large bookstore.
  • Flagg Ranch Information Station features information about John D. Rockefeller and the Greater Yellowstone area and book sales.

Take A Hike
Plan to hike the Cascade Canyon. This trail is the easiest access into the Tetons and it offers both easy hikes and backpacking opportunities.

In the same area is Jenny Lake. Something that can be enjoyed by the entire family is a boat ride across Jenny Lake and a short hike to Hidden Falls and if you are up to it, on to Inspiration Point.

From short day hikes to several days in the backcountry, you can experience the Tetons at your own pace with choices geared to your capability and experience level.

Scenic Float Trips
Half-day commercial raft trips down the Snake River are gentle and scenic, with lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Climb a Mountain
If you’ve ever wanted to try rock or mountain climbing Grand Teton is the place to do it. While the highest peaks may be for experts only, professional guide services offer beginners’ outings as well.

Catch a Fish
A unique feature of fishing the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park is casting to the native, Snake River Fine-Spotted Cutthroat Trout. These wild and indigenous trout, found nowhere else in the world.

Camping
There are five campgrounds in Grand Teton: the Grand Teton Lodge Company operates Gros Ventre, Jenny Lake, and Colter Bay; Signal Mountain Lodge runs Signal Mountain and Lizard Creek.

Two other campgrounds, the Colter Bay Trailer Village and the Flagg Ranch campground, are operated by park concessionaires and are the only campgrounds with RV hookups (Flagg Ranch has sites suitable for RVs as well as tents, while the Colter Bay Trailer Village is for RVs only).

The only sites in the park where RVs are not allowed are those at Jenny Lake, which has a tent-only campground.

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