Ultimate Grand Teton Itinerary: 1 to 5 Days in Grand Teton National Park

(Last Updated On: 28/07/2022)

Just south of Yellowstone National Park is the crown jewel of the United States, Grand Teton National Park. With one of the most iconic mountain ranges in the country, glittering alpine lakes, and a diverse array of wildlife, a Grand Teton itinerary is sure to make its way to the top of your bucket list. Over a century ago, the famous John Muir wrote, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity, and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers but as fountains of life.” When you first arrive at the valley floor inside Grand Teton National Park, these snowcapped peaks are the first feature to take your breath away, and you’ll think that this could have been what he was talking about in his writing so many years ago.

While many people visit this park with the intention of making a Yellowstone Grand Teton Road Trip, I feel this park deserves its very own place to shine with its own itinerary. I have visited Grand Teton in the summertime every year since 2020, and I am finally ready to share my favorite things to do, scenic hiking trails, viewpoints, and scenic drives. Use this Grand Teton National Park travel guide as a tool for crafting a 1-5 day Grand Teton itinerary that will leave you ready to come back to this beautiful place, year after year, just as I have.

Whether you’re flying into the Jackson Hole Airport or planning a road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City, prepare to hike your way through the Tetons on the Jenny Lake Trail, String Lake Trail, Delta Lake Trail, and scenic stops along the way like the Snake River Overlook, Schwabacher Landing, Mormon Row, and Oxbow Bend. This is the perfect itinerary for adventurous souls that want to make the most out of their days in Grand Teton.

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or a booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

 


 

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Things To Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK LOCATION | Grand Teton National Park is in northwest Wyoming, just south of Yellowstone National Park. Both of these National Parks make for an amazing road trip itinerary to two of the most iconic, and scenic, parks in the lower 48. While you can pack the car up and drive from home like I generally do every summer, it’s popular to fly into Bozeman, Montana (4.5 hours/222 miles away) or directly to the Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson, and then rent a car from there. If you’re choosing to fly, use these tips to help you score a cheap flight!

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK GEOLOGY | The scenery driving into Grand Teton National Park is dramatic in and of itself, but once you enter the park, you can’t help but wonder how this magnificent of a mountain range formed over an entirely flat valley floor.

The Teton mountain range is made up of some of the oldest rocks in North America, metamorphic gneiss, that formed the Tetons through earthquakes, glaciers, and erosion over billions of years. Mount Moran is one of the main mountains in the Teton range where you can see all the geological elements in one formation: sedimentary sandstone on top of ancient basement rock and black diabase dike, all surrounded by five different glaciers. Despite it being formed by some of the oldest rocks, the Teton mountain range is one of the youngest mountain ranges in North America. Because it’s so young, erosion hasn’t had as much time to take a toll on them, which is why the peaks are infamously jagged.  I always thought geology was a total snooze fest, but for every National Park that I visit, I always make a point to go into the Visitor Center to learn more about how features in the park formed and why they’re so special.

HOW TO GET AROUND GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK | Grand Teton National Park doesn’t have any type of shuttle service within the park, compared to parks that do like Bryce Canyon, so your best bet to get around is with your own car, whether that be yours or a rental. If you’re not road-tripping from home, I recommend browsing Kayak to get the best price and picking up your rental car in Jackson Hole.

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEE | To get into Grand Teton National Park, it’s $35 per vehicle, and this pass grants you access to the Tetons for seven days. If you’re visiting more than one National Park this year, I recommend picking up an America the Beautiful Park Pass. It gets you into all the National Parks in the states for $80, which will save you a good amount of money. I pick one up every year for all my hiking adventures!

GRAND TETON CROWDS | Grand Teton experiences crowds mainly during the summer season from late May to August, also the best time to visit the Tetons. They tend to thin out in the spring, fall, and especially winter, but for those summer months, it stays packed in the park. The best way to avoid crowds in Grand Teton is by hitting the trails or getting into the park as early as sunrise, ideally even before then.

GRAND TETON TRAIL CONDITIONS | Even in the summer months, snow lingers in some areas of the mountains at elevations above 6,000 even through July, so it’s important to stay updated on trail conditions in the summer, especially if you’re planning on backpacking, and road conditions in the spring and fall.

WILDLIFE SAFETY IN GRAND TETON | Grand Teton National Park is home to a variety of wildlife: grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, pika, and many other forest friends, but it’s crucial to know animal safety, specifically for bears and moose, before you go out and hike. Knowing basic bear safety is important not only for you but for the bear’s safety as well. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HIKING WITHOUT BEAR SPRAYI have my own can since I visit the bear country frequently, but I recommend picking one up at a rental shop.

As for moose, generally, they follow a similar protocol to bears, but they should be handled a little differently. This is a helpful video for moose safety. As long as you do your part to stay safe and educated, you should have an amazing time on this Grand Teton itinerary. The wildlife here is my favorite part of visiting!

THE NPS APP | The National Park Service, NPS, has an app that I recommend downloading before your trip. The recommendations for activities on there are slim, but it has good information for bathrooms, emergencies, fuel stations, etc., that you can save offline since there is little to no service in the park. I think it could come in handy at some point or another on your trip!

LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLES | When visiting Grand Teton National Park, or exploring the outdoors in general, following the seven Leave No Trace Principles to help reduce your impact in outdoor spaces is crucial. Now that more people are getting outdoors, vandalism has been on the rise, so let’s please all work together to keep these spaces as we left them.

 

Grand Teton National Park Itinerary FAQ’s

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN GRAND TETON? | If you aren’t too into hiking and just want to see the highlights of Grand Teton National Park, one day in the Tetons will serve you just fine. If you’re into hiking or photographing landscapes and wildlife, I would say add as much time as you can, even if you’re combining Yellowstone and Grand Teton on one road trip itinerary. For a first-time visit, aim for 3-5 days. If you have five or more days for your Grand Teton National Park itinerary, then the world is your oyster and you can see and experience SO MUCH.

I’ve spent extensive time in the Tetons on backpacking and hiking trips and I still have an extensive list of things that I still want to see. You could come back here each summer and never run out of things to do.

CAN YOU DO GRAND TETONS IN ONE DAY? | While it pains me to say, one day in Grand Teton National Park is the minimum amount of time you should spend in the park. Even then, I would never recommend just a single day to anyone, but if that’s all you can manage on your Grand Teton itinerary, then it at least gives you time to take some of the scenic drives in the park, hit a couple of viewpoints, and hopefully hit the trails. I’ll touch more on how to spend a day in Grand Teton with my itinerary suggestions in this post.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TOUR GRAND TETONS? | The scenic loop in Grand Teton is roughly 42 miles and takes 1-2 hours to drive. As for seeing the Tetons on foot, it would take years to tour everything this park has to offer.

WHAT SHOULD I NOT MISS IN GRAND TETON? | Mormon Row Historic District, Phelps Lake, Schwabacher Landing, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Hidden Falls, and Inspiration Point. If you’re a hiker like myself, I wouldn’t pass up Marion Lake, Cascade Canyon-Paintbrush Divide Loop, and Death Canyon.

HOW FAR APART ARE YELLOWSTONE AND GRAND TETON? | Yellowstone National Park is about only about an hour away from the northern edge of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake Overlook to the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

 


 

9 BEST Things To Do In Grand Teton National Park

 

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Take A Scenic Drive

One of my favorite ways to enjoy the views in any National Park is by taking one of their infamous scenic drives. All of these drives in Grand Teton offer unobstructed views of this famous mountain range and the park’s wildlife. You’ll likely take a portion of a couple of these to get to iconic sites, but completing the entirety of any of these drives will leave you feeling fulfilled with all the hiking trail options, scenic viewpoints, historical buildings, and photography opportunities.

Kick back, relax, put on some of your favorite tunes and be prepared to call shotgun for these four famous drives for a Grand Teton National Park itinerary.

TETON PARK ROAD | One of my favorite scenic drives in Grand Teton National Park is my favorite in the park because it gives you a FRONT ROW SEAT for admiring the Tetons. This 42-mile loop is the perfect opportunity to rest your legs from a long hike and appreciate the enormity of these mountains. It takes 45-minutes to an hour to complete this drive from Moose to the Jackson Lake Junction on the north end of the park.

JENNY LAKE SCENIC DRIVE | The Jenny Lake Scenic Drive is around four miles long and follows the eastern shore of Jenny Lake. This road begins at the end of the Teton Park Road and has some of my favorite views of the Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and South Teton mountains. Experience a variety of views like the meadows and conifer-filled valleys on the eastern side of Jenny Lake and the iconic Tetons rising dramatically on the other side. It should only take around 25-30 minutes to take this route and it ends on Teton Park Road, just before the Mountain View Turnout.

MOOSE-WILSON ROAD | This scenic, 14.6-mile drive from Moose to Wilson, WY is one of the best drives for wildlife spotting, but specifically, the 8-mile, winding stretch from between Teton Village and Moose. You may be driving this road anyway to get to some specific locations like the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center, Death Canyon Trail, Granite Canyon Trail, and the Phelps Lake Trail. Look for moose, bears, beavers, deer, elk, and foxes throughout the drive. The best time to see wildlife in Grand Teton is around sunrise or sunset. When driving this road, you may end up behind a white van with a #22 license plate, if this is the case, I recommend sticking near them since people pay those guides specifically to see wildlife on their tour. These guides tend to know grazing patterns and where animals show up the most!

Make sure when you’re driving this road that you take your time. Parts of this road are unpaved and windy, and too many people go speeding down here and almost hit someone. Take things slowly. Be safe and enjoy the views!

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN SUMMIT | The 5-mile drive to Signal Mountain climbs over 800 feet and takes you to a 360-degree view overlooking the Grand Teton mountain range and Jackson Hole at the Jackson Point Overlook. This is a great option if you either don’t care for a rigorous hike, or aren’t able to since it gives you those “forever” kind of views, but with a nice drive instead of miles on a hiking trail.

 

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Go Hiking

JENNY LAKE | The most popular hike in Grand Teton National Park is the Jenny Lake Trail. On this trail, you can walk all the way around Jenny Lake and head up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point and complete all 8-miles for a well-rounded sunrise hike. This whole trail serves scenic views of the Teton Mountain Range and a crystal clear lake at the foot of the mountains. If you’re not keen on an entire 8-mile morning, then you can hop on the Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle across the lake, directly to where the main trail spurs off for the waterfall and Inspiration Point, then hike back for about half the mileage. You can also rent paddleboards and explore the lake that way, which I talk about down below!

This trail gets crazy busy in the summer months, so head here early so you can enjoy a quieter trail and grab a parking spot.

STRING LAKE | After Jenny Lake, the next more popular trail on a Grand Teton itinerary is the String Lake Trail. It offers similar views to both Jenny and Phelps Lakes, but isn’t as busy, which is great if you want to avoid crowds in Grand Teton. The water at this lake is very clear and calm, which makes it perfect for swimming, canoeing, or kayaking. Since this trail is pretty flat, it’s a perfect trail for beginner hikers!

PHELPS LAKE | The Phelps Lake Trail is one of the most bucket-list-worthy things to do in Grand Teton. This hike is roughly 7-miles roundtrip with less than 1,000 feet of elevation gain, making it pretty much flat the whole way with a few small pushes. This is a loop trail, so you make your way around the entire lake with optional stops to set up for a nice lake day. If you’re going clockwise, there is a cliff-jumping spot about 5-miles in, shorter if going the opposite direction, that you MUST VISIT.

If you’re headed here for the day, you want to make it here as early as possible because there will be a line to park your car by the time 8:00 or 9:00 am hits.

GRANITE CANYON | One of my favorite hikes in Grand Teton is the Granite Canyon Trail to the Granite Canyon Patrol Cabin. Since you’re hiking up the canyon, you can technically hike as long as you’d like, but the further into the trail you go, the more beautiful it will be! Over the course of 12-miles and 1800-feet of elevation gain, you’ll follow the Granite Canyon Creek through dense forests filled with aspen and pine trees, nearby waterfalls, and walls of glacial-carved granite. The best part about this trail is all the blueberry bushes dotted along the trail a few miles in. I plucked a handful off and was not expecting a mouthful of the BEST blueberries I’ve had in my life.

Snack on blueberries as the forests open up and butterflies dance around you. I was on this trail in the late afternoon and with the sun pouring through the trees, mixed with all the wildflowers, it felt like I stepped into a Disney movie. It’s one of my favorite routes in the park and it’s worth looking into an overnight trip to Marion Lake if it interests you, either from Rendezvous Peak or the original trailhead.

DELTA LAKE | The crown jewel of hiking in Grand Teton National Park is none other than the Delta Lake Trail. This 7-mile trail takes you up 2,200 feet of elevation gain to the MOST scenic lake in the park, a glittering turquoise lake in front of the tallest peak in the Teton mountain range, the Grand Teton. On this trail, you gain a lot of elevation in a very short amount of mileage which contributes a lot to the difficulty of this hike. On top of that, there is about half a mile of boulder scramble at the very end of the hike. Take it slow and follow the darker-colored rocks since those mark the well-worn path up to the lake and remember this trail isn’t recommended for beginner hikers.

It’s best to tackle this trail as early as you can get to the trailhead. Since this is an out and back trail, it’s 4-miles up to the lake, then another four on the way down, so I recommend arriving at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead by at least 5-6:00 am, early than that if you can manage. Delta Lake has increased in popularity these last few years, so this will help to avoid crowds, guarantee you a parking spot, and keep the trail cool because trust me, you don’t want to do this hike in the midday heat.

TAGGART & BRADLEY LAKES | For only being 6-miles roundtrip and less than a thousand feet of elevation gain, the Taggart & Bradley Lakes Trail will have you feeling like you’re in the middle of the Teton backcountry, surrounded by nature, while only being a few miles away from the main Teton Park Road. It’s rated as moderate, so there are a few uphill pushes, but most of the trail is relatively flat and takes you through dense forest and huckleberry bushes. In the summertime, this is a great trail for seeing wildlife!

This is one of my favorite lakes in Grand Teton because while it can be just a day hike, there are plenty of spots here to set up a spot and spend a day enjoying this glittering alpine lake. The water is shallow enough enjoy to where you can dip in the lake and explore way past the initial shoreline.

 

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Paddle on one of Grand Tetons Breathtaking Lakes

There are few greater feelings than paddling across a glittering alpine lake, Pohkahontas style, in Grand Teton National Park. While the park has so many available lakes to paddle on, there are three lakes in the park that boast the best views for renting kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes:

JACKSON LAKE | My personal favorite, and one of the best lakes for paddling in Grand Teton is on Jackson Lake. The Colter Bay Village Marina has kayaks for rent on a first-come-first-served basis. The backdrop of your paddle is on the northern end of the Teton mountain range looking at Mount Moran! There are a handful of small coves to explore depending on how much time you get, but this is an amazing spot. On the way here, consider stopping at the Jackson Lake Overlook to take in the views!

JENNY LAKE | Since Jenny Lake is the most popular lake in the park, it’s going to be a little busy for kayaking, especially with the ferry going across the lake. Not to say you shouldn’t paddle here, but it’ll be much busier than Jackson and String Lakes. Jenny Lake Boating is the go-to for kayaks but get here early since these rentals are on a first-come-first-served basis.

STRING LAKE | One of my favorite lakes in the park, despite its popularity, is String Lake. Head over to Dornan’s and they’ll help you strap a kayak or your water vessel of choice on your car and you’ll be on your way to paddling on String Lake.

 

Go Cliff Jumping at Phelps Lake

One of the most memorable experiences you’ll have on a Grand Teton itinerary is cliff jumping at Phelps Lake. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in Grand Teton, so I recommend getting to the trailhead parking lot as early in the morning as you can. Last summer, there was a queue of cars waiting to park! The full loop around Phelps Lake is 7-miles, with the jumping rock on the back end of the hike going clockwise (see it marked on this map or below). The trail is relatively flat the entire way around, but in the valley, it gets pretty toasty in the summertime, so this is the perfect way to cool down and make some seriously amazing memories.

 

Bike the Teton Park Road

The Teton Park Road runs along the entire base of the Teton mountain range and it connects Moose and Jackson Lake Junction. Alongside this road is a paved walking, biking, or running trail that is used once the chill of winter and spring melt into summer. Rent a bike in Jackson Hole, cruise alongside the mountain range, feel the breeze on your face as you wheel past some of the most beautiful alpine scenery in the country.

This road is 20-miles total, but you can start and end whenever you’d like. Along the road, there are multiple turnout points, trailheads, and overlooks to rest, explore or grab a snack: Some of my favorite stops and sights are the Taggart Lake Trailhead, Lupine Meadows Trailhead, Teton Glacier Turnout, Signal Mountain, Mount Moran Turnout, and the Mountain View Turnout.

This is one of the best ways to take in ALL the views on this Grand Teton National Park itinerary and avoid crowds! Wheel Wranglers even has e-bikes you can rent, so if you’ve gone on a strenuous hike in the morning, but still want to explore and see the park, this is an amazing way to rest your legs and maximize your time in Grand Teton.

 

Visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center is 1,106 acres of donated land near Phelps Lake with an informational center, wildlife, and a network of hiking trails leading into Grand Teton National Park. Lewis Joy and Struthers Burt originally settled this land in 1908, with it growing to have over thirty buildings, utilities, and other structures after the land was purchased by John D. Rockefeller in 1932. The land was officially transferred to Grand Teton National Park in 2007 and all the extra buildings were removed to make room for the preserve. This is an excellent spot to learn about the animals and plants in this preserve, as well as in the rest of Grand Teton National Park.

 

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Visit the Mormon Row Historic District

The most popular and most photographed location in Grand Teton National Park is the Mormon Row Historic District. When looking up things to do in Grand Teton National Park, you will almost always see a photo of the Moulton Barn in front of the jagged peaks of the Tetons, illuminated by the warm tones of sunrise.

During the late 1800s, and after the Homestead Act of 1862 was signed, promoting westward expansion, Mormon Settlers were sent to establish new communities to help support the expanding population of Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first group of settlers arrived at the base of the Teton mountain range in 1896 from Rockland, Idaho, and established the small cluster of homesteads, known as Mormon Row. T.A Moulton and John Moulton were the two most memorable settlers in the community mainly due to their iconic barns made with lodgepole pine and stucco.

Mormon Row is famous for its rich history and vernacular architecture from 1908 to 1950. The Moulton and Chambers Family officially settled this land in 1908, and 1950 marks the end of any development moving forward because of the expansion of the Grand Teton National Park boundaries. These settlements represent the expansion of Mormon Culture to the west, into the high and arid country, as well as the grit and determination it took to settle in this part of Jackson using limited resources.

Today, all of the private lands that once made up these homesteads have been sold to the park to be part of Grand Teton National Park.

Sunrise is the busiest time to visit Mormon Row, mainly for photographers, but I recommend the late morning or early afternoon and reserve your mornings for hiking. Sunset is okay, but during the summertime, the sun sets behind the mountains, so it’s mostly a silhouette you’ll see. It’s still very beautiful don’t get me wrong, but not as ideal.

 

Search for Wildlife

One of the beautiful parts about visiting Grand Teton National Park is the abundance of wildlife. Whether you’re taking a hike, taking in the views, or heading down the scenic drive, you will ALWAYS see some type of wildlife. Grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, bison, pronghorn, pika, and an impressive array of birds, and more, all call this place home. While you can see wildlife no matter where you go, there are some highlighted spots, if you want to see a particular animal, that you can visit to increase your chances:

OXBOW BEND | See river otters, osprey, bald eagles, beavers, muskrats, elk, trout, moose, and white pelicans.

TIMBERED ISLAND | Find pronghorn antelope, the fastest land animal in North America, and elk.

CASCADE CANYON | See lots of small animals like squirrels, pika, mule deer, marmots (my personal favorite), and songbirds.

BLACKTAIL POND | Watch elk and moose grazing near the river.

I’ve seen a moose going down Death Canyon, an elk, and a black bear hiking up to Delta Lake, marmots, pika, bald eagles, and everything in between without even searching for it! If there is one thing I can guarantee on this Grand Teton National Park itinerary, it’s that you WILL see some amazing animals!

 

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Go Backpacking in the Grand Teton Wilderness

My all-time FAVORITE thing to do in Grand Teton is to head to the wilderness for some quality, uninterrupted time in the backcountry on a backcountry camping trip. ‘Backpacking’ or ‘backcountry camping’ basically means that you pack everything you need for camping and survival into a backpack for a day, a few days, or even weeks. The crowds are zero. The wildflowers are vibrant, and the scenery is unlike ANYTHING you’ll experience on the main trails in the park.

Please only consider backpacking in the Tetons once you’ve done your research and have proper planning and preparation. Nature, while beautiful, is unforgiving, so you must ensure your own safety when planning a trip like this to avoid making some big mistakes. Ready to get planning? Here are some of my favorite and recommended routes:

CASCADE CANYON TO PAINTBRUSH CANYON | (20-miles) This route can be done as an overnight trip, or if you’re fast and in good shape, some people tackle this loop as a day hike! Experience scattered waterfalls, lush forests, crystalline lakes, beautiful glaciers, vistas, and of course, all with a backdrop of the jagged peaks. All of this makes this loop one of the most popular trails in the park, even for day hikers, so start this one early to experiences slices of it to yourself. Walk next to glittering waterfalls going up Cascade Canyon, conquer the infamous Paintbrush Divide, take a dip in Holly Lake or Lake Solitude, and hike down Paintbrush Canyon for a scenic two-day backpacking trip.

GRANITE CANYON TO DEATH CANYON | (25-miles) Granite Canyon and Death Canyon both make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a storybook. Granite Canyon is one of my favorite hiking routes in the park, especially in the summertime because you can pick fresh blueberries on your way up and have butterflies dance around you as you walk through forests flooded with golden sun rays. That sounds like an exaggeration, but I PROMISE it’s not. Death Canyon has rich green tones and fields of wildflowers and a stream flowing down into the alpine lakes at the base of the mountain range. Go up Granite Canyon, camp at Marion Lake, one of my favorite camping spots in Grand Teton, take a refreshing dip, then end the route going over Fox Creek Pass and down Death Canyon.

DEATH CANYON LOOP | (28-miles) Ditch all the crowds going to Cascade and Paintbrush Canyon and find complete solitude following the river up Death Canyon into the dense green pine forest and nooks of wildflowers. Search for black bears munching on juicy huckleberries as you arrive at the mouth of the canyon, then head west where the dramatic granite peaks emerge. The next day, cross Fox Creek Pass and Mt. Meek Pass to take the Sheep Steps into the Alaska Basin camping zones. Finish the second day off with a push to Static Peak Divide, and hike back into civilization via Death Canyon.

TETON CREST TRAIL | (50-miles) This trail, although a backpacking trail, is the CROWN JEWEL of hiking in Grand Teton National Park. From the Philips Pass Trailhead to the String Lake Parking Area is nothing short of the most expansive, colorful, and awe-inspiring views you’ll experience in your life. You’ll get to experience the best of the BEST views of Hurricane Pass, Marion Lake, Death Canyon, and Paintbrush Divide all in a single go.

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary 1 Day

For this Grand Teton one day itinerary, you’ll want to make the most of your day in the park and see the iconic locations. You’ll start your day with a sunrise at Mormon Row, then head over to Schwabacher Landing to take in one of the most beautiful views in the park. From there, you’ll hit the trails and hike to Taggart & Bradley Lakes. These lakes are perfect for sunbathing, paddling, and swimming, so pack your swimsuit and take a dip in these glacial lakes! Rest your legs and refuel in Jackson Hole that afternoon, then head back out and if time and your legs allow it, consider the Jenny Lake Loop, otherwise head to the Snake River Overlook to end the day for sunset.

If you’re a more experienced hiker, I recommend starting the morning on the Delta Lake Trail, then following the rest of the Grand Teton itinerary, omitting Jenny Lake.

DAY ONE | Mormon Row, Schwabacher Landing, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake Loop, sunset at Snake River Overlook

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary 2 Days

For the first day on this Grand Teton 2 day itinerary, follow the first-day description from above.

Day two on this Grand Teton itinerary starts on the Phelps Lake Trail. This hike gets extremely popular in the summer months, so you want to get here as early as you can to get a parking spot. If you try to show up at 9-10:00 am, then you’ll have to wait in a queue to park. This is one of the best lakes in the park for a lake day because you can relax on Phelps Beach, go cliff-jumping, and hike up to the Death Canyon Patrol Cabin or Static Peak Divide for an additional adventure, all without extra driving. This is a perfect starting off point for loads of fun things to do. I highly recommend going up Death Canyon in the morning, and then coming back down to take a dip in the lake once the weather warms up. After you’re done here, consider giving the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center a visit to learn about the plants, animals, and history within Grand Teton National Park. Enjoy lunch in Jackson and end the day at the Schwabacher Landing.

DAY ONE | Mormon Row, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake Loop, sunset at Snake River Overlook

DAY TWO | Phelps Lake, Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, sunset at Schwabacher Landing

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary 3 Days

For days 1-2 on this Grand Teton itinerary, follow the day’s description above.

On the final day of this 3-day Grand Teton itinerary, you’re going to be starting on one of my favorite trails, Death Canyon. This trail leads you all the way up to the patrol cabin at the top of the canyon and takes you through lush green forests along Death Canyon Creek. Then, spend the afternoon hiking, swimming, or paddling on String Lake, whatever your legs are up for. If you have extra time on this day, I highly recommend driving one of the scenic roads, my favorite is the Teton Park Road for views and Moose-Wilson for wildlife.

DAY ONE | Mormon Row, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake Loop, sunset at Snake River Overlook

DAY TWO | Phelps Lake, Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, sunset at Schwabacher Landing

DAY THREE | Death Canyon Trail, afternoon hike/swim/paddle at String Lake

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary 4 Days

For days 1-3 on this Grand Teton itinerary, follow the day’s description above.

This Grand Teton 4 day itinerary begins on none OTHER than the Delta Lake Trail. This is a trail for experienced hikers for its difficulty and light scrambling in the last half mile, so if this sounds like something you may need more experience for, head to Leigh Lake first this morning. Delta Lake is a 7-mile trail leading to the most scenic lake in the Tetons. Even seasoned visitors of Grand Teton National Park crown this as their favorite trail. With over 2,000 feet of elevation gain in just shy of four miles, this trail isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s more than worth the challenge to get there. If you conquered Delta Lake in the morning, head over to Leigh Lake for a nice scenic trail along the lakeside in the afternoon. This trail has great views along the whole way, but you can really go as far as you’d like on this one, depending on if you’re leaving the park this day.

DAY ONE | Mormon Row, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake Loop, sunset at Snake River Overlook

DAY TWO | Phelps Lake, Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, sunset at Schwabacher Landing

DAY THREE | Death Canyon Trail, afternoon swimming/paddling at String Lake

DAY FOUR | Delta Lake, Leigh Lake

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary 5 Days

For days 1-4 on this Grand Teton itinerary, follow the day’s description above. Days three or four can also be swapped for a day trip to Yellowstone National Park depending on your interests. Yellowstone is just a little bit north of Grand Teton and is bursting at the seams with wildlife and is home to the iconic Grand Prismatic Spring and West Thumb Geyser Basin. With 5 days in Grand Teton, you can also consider adding a short backpacking trip into your itinerary.

On the last day of this Grand Teton itinerary for 5 days, you’ll start on the Cascade Canyon or the Granite Canyon Trail. Both of these are great options and are around the same difficulty levels, so it’s entirely up to you. Granite Canyon is going to be a whole lot less busy than Cascade Canyon, but Cascade Canyon has the fan-favorite views. What I like about both of these trails is that they’re out-and-back, so you can hike as far in as you’d like and then turn around. I will say, the further into each canyon you go, the better the views! Spend the afternoon fueling up in Jackson and then pick up some bikes to cruise down the Teton Park Road. I like this local company because they have e-bikes you can rent, therefore you can bike and take in views with very minimal effort. Which, after five days of hiking, you’ll be thankful for this. Enjoy the sunset at Oxbow Bend.

DAY ONE | Mormon Row, Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake Loop, sunset at Snake River Overlook

DAY TWO | Phelps Lake, Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, sunset at Schwabacher Landing

DAY THREE | Death Canyon Trail, afternoon at String Lake

DAY FOUR | Delta Lake, Leigh Lake

DAY FIVE | Granite or Cascade Canyon Trail, bike the Teton Park Road, sunset at Oxbow Bend

 


 

Grand Teton Itinerary Map

Use this map to help you locate all the things to do in Grand Teton! For best use, download this map to your smartphone so you can use it offline (instructions here).

 


 

Where To Stay In Grand Teton National Park

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK | There are a few main places you can stay in Grand Teton National Park that are actually IN the park: Jackson Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Campground, and Colter Bay Campground. No matter which one of these you choose, you need to book FAR in advance. Ideally, start looking at all of these more than six months away from your trip. These are the most popular places to stay in Grand Teton National Park because they’re closest to the park.

The Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge are two of the most popular places to stay in the Tetons. Jenny Lake Lodge is in a prime location next to three glacial lakes and most of the main trails in the park: Jenny Lake Trail, String Lake Trail, Lupine Meadows Trailhead, and Cascade Canyon. It’s the perfect blend of modern comfort and Old West charm, but make sure you book FAR in advance as this place books up extremely fast. Jackson Lake Lodge is situated more north in Grand Teton next to Jackson Lake, Signal Mountain, and Oxbow Bend Overlook. With 60-foot high windows framing Jackson Lake and the Teton mountain range, this view alone is enough to bring traveler’s all around the country to stay in this stunning lodge.

The two main campgrounds in Grand Teton are Jenny Lake and Colter Bay Campgrounds. Both offer similar amenities, but Colter Bay is around 40-minutes away from all the main areas vs. Jenny Lake being right in the heart of the park. It’s best to book either of these campsites as soon as possible, otherwise, browse the other campsites in Grand Teton.

TETON VILLAGE | Teton Village is in the south of Grand Teton National Park near Moose-Wilson Road and Granite Canyon. It really is like a small village since it has a whole slew of different hotels, restaurants, and general stores. This is a nice place to base yourself if you want to be surrounded by amenities and a handful of nice trailheads. The Teton Mountain Lodge is perfect for coming back to ALL the amenities after a full day of adventure: spa access, the pool, a hot tub, and a full-service bar at the Spur Restaurant.

The Alpenhof is a historical property where you can feel the warmth of a small bed and breakfast with hotel amenities. This hotel goes back to the very beginning of Teton Village when Swiss German purchased this land to make a retreat that reflected the stays in Bavarian Europe. With the guest service trainees being Molly and Lucy, two adorable dogs, and a menu inspired by the alps, what more could you want?!

For a more casual stay, The Hostel is one of my favorite places to stay in Teton Village because it’s cheap and it has basic amenities without the frills. After a strenuous backpacking trip or a camping trip with no showers, this place saves the day with a laundromat, wifi, and mini-game room. They even have Lionel, an adorable black cat, to welcome you to your stay!

JACKSON HOLE | Jackson or Jackson Hole is the adorable town south of Grand Teton. If you’re not concerned with being close to the park, this is a nice spot to base yourself because you’re surrounded by all the best coffee and food joints in town. Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole and The Lodge At Jackson Hole are around a 30-minute drive to the Mormon Row Historic District and even closer to Teton Village and the Jackson Hole Airport.


Booking.com

 


 

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Best Time To Visit Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is open year-round, but depending on what you want to do, some seasons are better than others. The most popular months to visit are going to be May through September, with the busiest months being June, July, and August when most of the snow is melted and the Teton Park Road is fully accessible and open. If you want to avoid crowds in Grand Teton, and you’re just going hiking, I recommend going around late August or early September. If you’re backpacking, shoot for the end of July to mid-August. 

Grand Teton National Park in the springtime is quiet. Winter holds on at higher elevations and some lakes at the base of the Teton range may still have ice. If you’re planning a spring visit, stay updated on road statuses and remember that the Teton Park Road is closed from November 1 to April 30 and used for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking once winter rolls around.

The summers in Grand Teton National Park are filled with an abundance of wildlife, vibrant wildflowers in the mountains, and glittering alpine lakes perfect for swimming. It’s an experience unlike any other. I’ve spent two summers in Grand Teton now and it never gets old no matter the crowds. All the snow is melted at lower elevations, trails are open, wildlife is blooming. The park truly comes alive this time of year, and I would recommend a summer visit to everyone for their Grand Teton itinerary.

If you want to avoid crowds, but still have trail and road access before everything closes, fall is another good time to visit Grand Teton. Quaking Aspens, Narrowleaf Cottonwoods, Black Hawthorn, and Willow Trees fill the park with orange and yellow hues and you can watch winter slowly roll on top of the peaks of the Teton mountain range as they’re blanketed in snow.

While most trails and roads are closed in Grand Teton during the winter, this is the best time of year to visit if you want to ski, snowshoe, or snowboard. I don’t recommend a winter visit to Grand Teton, specifically for first-timers, since the main highlights of the park aren’t accessible and trail options are slim.

 


 

HELPFUL GUIDES FOR YOUR GRAND TETON ITINERARY:

–  Packing For A Day Hike: 12 Adventure Essentials To Get You Exploring

– 11 Beginner Mistakes I Made On My First Backpacking Trip

– 14 Best Hikes In Grand Teton National Park

– Hiking The Teton Crest Trail (Complete Guide)

 

LOOKING FOR MORE US NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT? CHECK THESE OUT:

– The ONLY Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary You Need

– 2 Days In Zion: The Ultimate Zion National Park 2 Day Itinerary

– One Day In Bryce Canyon: The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary

 


 

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