Grand Teton National Park is located just over 20 miles south of Yellowstone, and no trip to Yellowstone is complete without a visit to the Tetons! There is so much to do in this beautiful park, so I will share the highlights of my time there.
Kayak in Colter Bay
My favorite activity in Grand Teton National Park was kayaking. In Colter Bay you can rent kayaks for $23/hour (though they have a minimum two hour requirement). This beautiful bay is surrounded by towering snow-capped mountains, glassy water and even bald eagles. It was a peaceful (and active) experience.
Take a Boat Ride Across Jenny Lake
Another must-do when visiting the Tetons is exploring Jenny Lake. Not only does Jenny Lake offer some of the best views of the mountain range, but you can also book a short boat ride across the lake to reach hiking trails right on the mountain range. We loved the fresh air and friendly boat captains at Jenny Lake.
Hike to Hidden Falls
If you decide to take the boat ride across Jenny Lake, you can hike a moderate trail leading to Hidden Falls. Don’t be fooled by the first cascading waterfall you see, if you go a bit further, you will be met with a towering waterfall coming down the mountain. Keep your eyes peeled for bears too! On our hike several people saw a momma bear with two cubs wandering around. We never saw her, but we could tell she was close by.
Huckleberries are everywhere in this part of Wyoming – it’s what the black bears eat! There are thousands of huckleberry plants along this trail, so I suggest you go looking for some ripe ones. They taste a little like blueberries and are so yummy! The perfect trail snack.
Take a Photo (or 100) at Mormon Row
If you Google “Grand Teton National Park” you will likely see a photo of a barn in a field set against beautiful backdrop of the Teton Mountain range behind it. This area of the park is called Mormon Row and is a great place for a photo op. In the early 1900s, a group of Mormon settlers came to this area due to their expanding population in Salt Lake City. They set up these “homesteads” where they lived for decades, surviving off the land. I can’t imagine how cold the winters must have been. Though it is mostly deserted now, these barns are a picturesque look into the history of this park.
Note: In August, it is quite common for wildfires to break out in areas out west. While we were visiting the Tetons, there was a wildfire in Montana which brought smoke to the park. Usually the mountains look clearer– there was a haze during our visit.
Stop by the Elk Refuge
If you have time, and especially if you are visiting in autumn, stop by the Elk Refuge which is located near Jackson driving out of Grand Teton National Park. They have a visitor center with a lot of interesting information on wildlife in the park such as wolves, bears, elk, and more. In autumn you would see the Elk Refuge filled with elk coming out to feed and mate before the winter.
Take a trip to Jackson
The town of Jackson, commonly referred to as “Jackson Hole,” is one of the cutest and quaintest little towns I’ve ever visited. I will be writing about Jackson in detail in a future post, so for now just know this town is worth a trip! In fact, most people stay in Jackson when visiting the Grand Tetons due to its proximity to the park. We stayed at a beautiful, comfortable, and clean hotel called the Wyoming Inn in Jackson, which I 100% recommend to anyone traveling in the area.
Take a few days to explore Jackson, admire the streets, savor the western, locally-sourced food, and relax with a cup of coffee at Cowboy Coffee as you reminisce about your wonderful adventures.
Have you ever visited Grand Teton National Park? What are your favorite parts?
Interested in learning more about traveling in Wyoming? Check out these posts:
- The Spirit of the Earth: Yellowstone National Park
- Where and What to Eat in Jackson, Wyoming
- Captured Moments in: Yellowstone
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