Many summer visitors visit Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park as a part of a larger road trip, often including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and even the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Here are a few distances to major cities to give you an idea of location:
Salt Lake City: Straight south of Jackson, there are a couple of routes to get to Salt Lake City, all taking just under 5 hours.
Bozeman: The most direct route to Bozeman goes right through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. If you want to avoid traffic and see the western slope of the mountains, you can take the western route through Ashton, Island Park, and Ennis. Either way it can take about 4-6 hours.
Denver: Head across the high plains of Wyoming and then hop over the state line to Denver. It takes about 8 hours.
Boise: Directly west of Jackson, the drive to Boise covers most of the southern and relatively unexciting part of Idaho and takes just under 6 hours.
Rapid City: Sitting on the western edge of South Dakota, you’ll be driving across the entire state of Wyoming before you reach the beautiful Black Hills. It takes just under 9 hours.
Flying in is certainly the most convenient, especially in the winter months, but can add extra costs depending on how many are traveling in your party. Also keep in mind that a rental car is almost mandatory in the area during the summer, while you can get by on shuttle and public transportation in the winter.
The Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is very convenient but can be expensive.
Idaho Falls Airport (IDA) tends to have less expensive flights but is a two hour drive from Jackson.
Salt Lake City (SLC) is typically the cheapest but it takes 5 hours to drive to Jackson.
Bozeman (BZN) is sometimes a great choice for folks looking to visit Yellowstone and/or Glacier in addition to Jackson/Grand Teton.
There are a couple of companies that offer scheduled or private shuttles to/from Jackson Hole. Try Alltrans for shuttles to/from the Jackson Hole Airport and Salt Lake City Express for transportation to/from the Salt Lake City Airport.
While public transportation improves every year in Jackson, having your own set of wheels out here (espeically in the summer months) will offer more convenience on your vacation. Rental cars are available at all of the airports mentioned above. No 4wd needed in the summer but be prepared for winding mountain passes.
Winter Driving: Unless you are already comfortable driving in snowy and icy conditions, driving to/from/around Jackson in the winter can be stressful and dangerous. Most lodging properties offer airport shuttles during the winter and the START bus has a number of convenient bus routes making rental cars not necessary. If you want to experience Grand Targhee as well, Altrans offers a combination shuttle and lift ticket.
Road Closures: There are a handful of seasonal road closures in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the winter. Before making your travel plans, make sure you are aware of any seasonal road closers in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
A rental RV is a great option if you are visiting in the summer and planning on camping the entire time and moving from site to site. The only downfall of a rental RV is that you have to pack it up every time you want to go somewhere. Camper/travel trailers make much more sense so that you can park it and use your more fuel efficient car to see the sites but unfortunately, most rental car companies will not allow you to tow anything. The most convenient locations to find rental RVs are Jackson and Bozeman.
If you are flying to Jackson Hole, only plan on seeing Jackson and Grand Teton National Park, have a flexible schedule, or are visiting in the winter, public transportation is a great option. The START bus in Jackson is great for getting around town (free) and out to Teton Village ($3 one way). It runs from early morning until about 10:30pm.
In the summer, Altrans offers a Grand Teton Park shuttle that leaves right from town and has many stops within the park. The earliest pickup starts at 7:30 and it runs a handful of times until about 7pm. $14 to ride (does not include $12 park entrance). In the winter, Altrans features a Grand Targhee Ski Area shuttle/lift ticket combo.