My family and I love to travel and explore new places. We have been blessed to travel across the United States.
Grand Teton National Park is awe-inspiring. The majestic Teton Mountains tower spectacularly above the grasslands below. The Tetons are unique because the entire mountain is visible and not just the peaks. The park is an outdoor lover's dream with so much to see and do there.
My family and I have been blessed to visit Grand Teton National Park two different times. The last time was in 2018 on our way back from our Pacific Northwest vacation. It is one of my favorite parks because it feels like you are in a painting. It is amazing. Here is a look at the top 10 things to do in Grand Teton National Park.
1. Visit Beautiful Jackson Lake
Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park is 15 miles long and is one of the biggest high-altitude lakes in the U.S. It is in the northern portion of the park and offers swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, camping, wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and amazing views of the Tetons towering behind the lake.
Jackson Lake is the only lake in Grand Teton National Park that allows water-skiing, sailboats, windsurfing, and wakeboarding. The Signal Mountain Marina offers pontoon boat rentals. Be sure to check out the Jackson Lake Lodge, as the views from the deck behind it are gorgeous. It is a great place to watch the sunset over the mountains. It is also one of the best lodging options in the park. I highly recommend checking out beautiful Jackson Lake.
2. Visit Beautiful Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park is incredible. Though smaller than Jackson Lake, it is beautiful and a must see. It is over 250 feet deep. When it is calm, visitors can see the mountains reflecting in the lake. Jenny Lake is breathtakingly beautiful.
Jenny Lake offers the most popular hiking trails in the park. There is a shuttle boat that takes hikers and climbers across Jenny Lake. Kayaking is also popular. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent from the Jenny Lake Boating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parking is at a premium in this area, so I recommend arriving early or coming after 4 pm.
The first time my family and I went to Jenny Lake, we fell in love with it. The views are amazing. I still remember standing on the boat dock and taking in the beauty of God's creation.
3. Hike to Hidden Falls
Hiking to Hidden Falls is a must when visiting Grand Teton National Park. The falls are about 100 feet tall and are quite impressive. The Hidden Falls Trail is the most popular trail in the park. Visitors can hike the five-mile round trip from the visitor center or choose pay to take the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake reducing the hike to about a mile. Either way, it is a beautiful hike through the dense forest and alongside Cascade Creek. The falls are hidden from view, hence their name, until you are directly in front of them.
The first time that we visited the park, we arrived early in the morning and took the shuttle across Jenny Lake. The water was completely still. It was beautiful. The hike to Hidden Falls was amazing. Cascade Creek was just about out of its banks. The sound of the water rushing down toward Jenny Lake was pleasant. Hidden Falls sounded like it was thundering because the water was crashing down so fast. It was awesome!
4. Drive to the Summit of Signal Mountain
Driving to the summit of Signal Mountain offers incredible views of the Teton Range as well as the valley to the east. The road climbs about 800 feet and has two different overlooks. I highly recommend driving to the summit of Signal Mountain as a great place to watch the sunset.
5. Visit Colter Bay Village
Colter Bay Village is on Jackson Lake and offers incredible views of the Teton Mountains. This area offers rustic mountain cabins as well as campsites. I strongly recommend making reservations well in advance as they do tend to fill up. Other than lodging, Colter Bay Village offers hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, and a general store. There is also a gas station as well. I highly recommend checking this area out. The views from the lakefront are beautiful.
6. Go Rafting on the Snake River
Rafting on the Snake River through Grand Teton National Park is a fun adventure. From scenic float trips at the base of the Tetons to whitewater rafting, there is something for everyone. There are a bunch of different companies that offer rafting trips in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
7. Drive From Yellowstone National Park to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Drive from Yellowstone National Park to Jackson Hole and enjoy the incredible views. As visitors drive along the base of the giant Teton Mountains, they pass Jackson Lake, Jenny Lake, and the National Elk Refuge. Keep an eye out for wildlife; we saw a bear and several elk while driving this route. I still cannot get the beautiful images of the first time that I made this drive out of my head. It felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
8. Hike to Taggart Lake
Hiking to Taggart Lake is a must. It is a little over a mile and a half to the lake from the trailhead. The views are amazing. The trail passes through groves of aspen trees, open fields, and streams. This hike is beautiful in the fall because of the colorful aspen trees. The great thing about this trail is the views of the Tetons as hikers head towards the lake.
Hikers should keep an eye out for wildlife on this trail as well. Black bears, moose, and elk like to hang out in this area. Taggart Lake is beautiful and well worth the hike.
9. Drive Scenic Moose Wilson Road
Driving the scenic Moose Wilson Road is a must. It runs eight miles between Moose and Teton Village. The road is narrow and lined with hawthorn bushes and chokeberry. It weaves through wetlands and hillsides. There is a moose habitat overlook as well as several trailheads. Be sure to check the status of the road as it closes due to grizzly bear activity and weather.
10. Chapel of the Transfiguration
The Chapel of the Transfiguration is a rustic chapel, built in 1925, that sits right in front of the Tetons. The outside looks like a painting with the Tetons towering behind it. Inside the chapel, it is very cool as the back window frames the mountains with a cross sticking up in front of them. It is home to St. John's Episcopal Church which offers summer services at 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. Couples can even make arrangements with the church to have their wedding there. I recommend visiting in the fall when the aspen trees are turning for an even better picture.
Don't Miss a Chance to Visit Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is an incredible place. The views are spectacular and amazing. There is so much to see and do there. My family and I fell in love with this park when we went the first time. We cannot wait to go back and explore it further.
Map of the Top 10 Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park
© 2019 Eric Cramer
bob on August 29, 2019:
Eric Cramer (author) from Chicagoland on March 03, 2019:
Liz Westwood from UK on March 02, 2019:
This is a fantastic guide to the area. The top ten format works very well and the photos are top class.