Grand Teton National Park Travel Guide

Saturday, July 16, 2022


Grand Teton National Park sits just south of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The two parks are divided by Bridger-Teton National Forest and connected by  John D. Rockefeller, Jr Memorial Parkway. In fact, if you are traveling between the two parks, it's only about a 10-minute drive between entry signs.

Named for the Teton Range and Grand Teton, the tallest peak in the range, Grand Teton National Park is also home to several other gorgeous natural features including Jenny Lake and Snake River.


  • Moose Entrance: From Jackson Hole, you'll drive north through the National Elk Refuge and reach Moose Junction. Turn east and you'll pass through the Moose Entrance on your way to Jenny Lake.
  • Granite Canyon Entrance: This entrance is also on the south side of the park, via Moose-Wilson road. We did not use this entrance but it does offer an opportunity to bypass the traffic of Jackson Hole during busier seasons.
  • Moran Entrance: For those entering the park from the East (Dubois, WY), you'll likely drive in via Moran Entrance. Continue north and you'll soon find yourself at Oxbow Bend, one of the most photographable spots in Grand Teton National Park.
  • Flagg Ranch Information Station: If you enter the park via Yellowstone, you'll pass by this information station before continuing down John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. The border of Grand Teton National Park is right around Steamboat Mountain and there are two overlooks.


  • Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center is the largest visitor center in Grand Teton National Park and includes several exhibits. You can also visit the permits desk for information about backpacking or boating.
  • Jenny Lake Visitor Center is a tiny visitor center housed in a historic photography studio. It also serves as an art gallery and museum. Rangers are available around here for information about Jenny Lake, too.
  • Colter Bay Visitor Center features exhibits and ranger-led programs, all on the shore of Jackson Lake. Around Colter Bay, there are also a few other places to stop for food or souvenirs. 


This National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. However, activities and road access are limited in the winter months. We visited Grand Teton National Park in early September and were lucky to find perfect weather. It can be chilly in the mornings, so pack in layers. 

Winter Road Closures
  • Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake to Signal Mountain Lodge
  • Moose Wilson Road from Granite Canyon trailhead to Death Canyon Road
  • US 89/191/287 north of Flagg Ranch
  • Antelope Flats Road, Mormon Row


Canoe or Kayak on Jenny Lake

One of the most popular activities in Grand Teton National Park is the Jenny Lake shuttle boat. These boats run continuously, leaving the dock every 10-15 minutes, and take passengers to the Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon trailheads – saving time for hiking. Shuttle tickets are available for one-way or roundtrips. 

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can also rent a kayak or canoe by the hour. These non-motorized boats will cost you $25/hour with a 1 hour  minimum and up to $100 per day. Everything is rented on a first-come, first-served basis and I highly recommend arriving ahead of opening time. The water is typically more calm in the mornings, too. Watercrafts must be returned to the East dock where they are rented but you can tie up near trailheads and take a hike.

Check out Colter Bay Village
For those entering the park from Yellowstone National Park, this is the first major stop. On the shore of Jackson Lake, Colter Bay features water activities, a visitor center and several shops. A  walk along the lakeshore offers views of the northern part of the Teton Range and Mount Moran. There are also several hiking trails that begin near the bay.

Photograph Oxbow Bend

This piece of Snake River might just be the most photographed location in Grand Teton National Park. This iconic spot is known for the gorgeous reflection of Mount Moran on a clear day. Sunrise and sunset are popular times for all visitors, including photographers. If you are lucky, you may also spot pelicans, Great Blue Herons, muskrats, otters, moose, or bears. 

Drive the Teton Park Road

The Teton Park Road follows the base of the mountain range from Moose to Jackson Lake Junction. You can continue on to Highway 191/89/26 - the outer road - at Moose Junction or Moran Junction. In total, this is a 42 mile drive and takes 1-2 hours depending your number of stops. There are plenty of turnouts with opportunities to take photos and learn about the history of the park, including:
  • Oxbow Bend Turnout
  • Cascade Canyon Turnout
  • Teton Glacier Turnout
  • Glacier View Turnout
  • Schwabacher Landing (requires 4 wheel drive to access)
  • Teton Point Turnout
  • Snake River Overlook
  • Elk Ranch Flats Turnout

Visit Mormon Row

Shortly after turning onto Antelope Flats Road is the famous Mormon Row Historic District. In the early 1800s, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent groups to establish new communities in Idaho. These Mormon homesteaders settled in the area because of the fertile soil and shelter from winds. Today, two barns and several homes still stand at Grand Teton National Park. These picturesque historic buildings offer a glimpse into the National Park's long history.


Taggart Lake Loop
3.8 mi | 419 ft elevation gain | Loop

With only two days to explore Grand Teton National Park, we spent one morning hiking this trail. The hike is relatively easy, with a gradual incline as you walk up toward Taggart Lake. There are great views of the Teton Range throughout most of this hike and a gorgeous alpine landscape surrounding the trail. To extend this hike, carry on to Bradley Lake and loop back to the Taggart Lake trail.

Jenny Lake Loop
7.1 mi | 623 ft elevation gain | Loop

This loop trail begins at Jenny Lake trailhead and is a solid option for those looking for a longer hike that doesn't have a strong elevation gain. Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon can all be added on to this trail, too. For a shorter walk around the lake, take the Jenny Lake shuttle boat one way. Arrive at the Jenny Lake parking lot early in the summer to secure a parking spot.

Hidden Falls Trail & Inspiration Point
1.8 mi | 410 ft elevation gain | Loop

There are a two popular ways to access the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point trails: taking the Jenny Lake shuttle boat or hiking the Jenny Lake loop to the trailhead. As mentioned earlier, you can also tie up rented canoes or kayaks on the lake. Hidden Falls are just a one mile hike out and back if you take the shuttle boat. 

String Lake Loop
3.7 mi | 540ft elevation gain | Loop

This 2-3 hour hike takes you around String Lake and up to a ridge overlooking the lake. The trail is mostly under tree cover so it's a good option for hot, sunny days. Park at the String and Leigh Lakes Trailhead for access to the hike. The lake is popular for swimming and kayaking in the summer and has a stunning reflection of the mountains on a clear day. 

Cascade Canyon
9.1 mi | 1,102 ft elevation gain | Out & back

If you're looking for a longer trail, this 9 mile hike is one of the most popular for backpacking, camping and hiking in Grand Teton National Park. The trail can be accessed from Jenny Lake (via shuttle boat) or the same trailhead as String Lake. You'll hike past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point before journeying on along Cascade Creek and into the canyon. There are several other backpacking trails that hikers can continue on to. Wildlife are popular in this area, so keep an eye out for moose and bear. 


All campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park must be reserved ahead of time, which can be done up to 6 months in advance. Permits are required to pitch a tent in backcountry. Wherever you plan to camp, be sure to make reservations early. These seven campgrounds offer over 1,000 campsites with varying amenities:
  • Gros Ventre Campground
  • Jenny Lake Campground
  • Signal Mountain Campground
  • Colter Bay Campground
  • Colter Bay RV Park
  • Lizard Creek Campground
  • Headwaters Campground
There are also a handful of cities nearby that are popular to stay at while visiting Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole is the closest and one of the more well-known towns, but it also tends to be more expensive than other areas. We stayed in Victor, ID (near Driggs), which was a little more affordable but required us to drive over Teton Pass each morning and night. 
  • Dubois, WY (53 mi | 1 hour from Moran entrance)
  • Driggs, ID (37 mi | 1 hour 15 mins from Moose Entrance)
  • Jackson, WY (18 mi | 30 mins from Moose Entrance)

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