In North-Western Wyoming, adventurous travelers can find a massive 310,000 acres of America’s western frontier. Although much of the country has become tame, it is in Grand Teton National Park where travelers can still explore the great wilderness of the west.
Within this national park, hikers, bikers, and your average travelers will bear witness to towering mountains reflected in bubbling brooks and tranquil lakes below. The forests are also teeming with wildlife, with everything from moose to bears.
Grand Teton National Park has more than 200 miles of hiking trails, countless lakes, and many mountains to explore. If you’re short on time, picking just a few of these waterfalls and scenic outlooks is no easy task.
We’ve made deciding on your itinerary to Wyoming a hundred times easier with our list of all the best things to do in Grand Teton National Park.
With all the best trails and lakes in one place, you’ll be able to pick and choose what best fits your style of travel!
Get ready to explore the great outdoors – your adventure to Grand Teton is just a few clicks away.
Don’t leave home without your own: Lonely Planet Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks Travel Guide and the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks [Map Pack Bundle] (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map).
15 Best Things to do in Grand Teton National Park
Table of Contents
1. Explore Jenny Lake
Even though the park is named after the towering Grand Teton, Jenny Lake is the region’s heart.
Not only do these pristine blue waters reflect the majestic nearby mountain range and lush forest, but it is also one of the only places in the park where you can get away from the shore and make some waves out on the water.
Whether you’re a keen angler or just looking to hike some mountain trails, regardless of what kind of traveler you are, you’re sure to find something you love around Jenny Lake.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Parking can be limited and often you will be forced to park on the road and walk-in. We suggest you visit Jenny Lake in the early morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the large crowds of visitors.
2. Uncover History at Menors Ferry
In the good ole days, Menors Ferry was where people took the boat to get across the Snake River.
Although the days of frontier living are long gone, tourists can still visit this historic spot and get a glimpse at what life was like hundreds of years ago in the wild west.
Menors Ferry consists of a rebuilt general store, Bill Menor’s Cabin, and the famous Chapel of Transfiguration.
You won’t be able to spend all day in this historic district of the park, but Menors Ferry does offer a break from the trails and the opportunity to step back in time.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: The Menor’s Ferry site offers great parking for RV’s and cars located just a short distance from the Menor’s Ferry general store/gift shop.
3. Take in the Views of the Grand Teton Mountains
No trip to Grand Teton would be complete without viewing the very mountains the park was named after. The Grand Teton Mountains stand tall, with many forests and lakes surrounding their base.
Being steep pillars of rock, climbing to the summit of these mountains is not on the cards for your average traveler. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the view.
Places such as Snake River Overlook, Togwotee Overlook, and Big Kahuna River Overlook offer some breathtaking views of the mountains.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: The light on the Grand Teton Mountains is best in the morning. By afternoon the sun will bleach out the mountain range.
4. Drive the Teton Park Road
Let’s face it; not all of us are cut out to be mountain climbers. Lucky for you, the park features a fantastic scenic drive.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an older traveler, traveling with children, or just short on time, driving the Teton Park Road is a great way to take in all the sights of the great outdoors from the comfort of your car.
Teton Park Road stretches 20 miles and takes travelers 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Be prepared to stop often for pictures and maybe even a picnic.
Many of the overlooks will have your jaw hitting the ground, and just a few minutes won’t be able to do it justice.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: If you see people pulled over or parked, do the same since this is an indicator that there may be some type of wildlife excitement. This also goes for the early morning sunrise. If people are lined up in a location it may be because of a bear kill last night, so stop and keep your eyes peeled.
5. Take in Mormon Row
Another great place to dive into the history of Teton National Park and the lives of frontiersmen is Mormon Row. In the 1890s, homesteaders built 27 cabins in the region, starting their own township.
Today, there is little left of the settlement, but the rustic barns and farmhouses still make for an idyllic scene with the snowy mountains looming in the distance.
You won’t want to miss the Moulton Barns and Chambers Homestead while exploring Mormon Row. Not to mention, this is one of the hottest places in the park for photography.
If you get a nice day, you can’t really take a bad photo.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Mormon Row is best explored in the morning for the best light on the barns and the mountains behind them.
6. Hike at Phelps Lake
Within Grand Teton National Park, several lakes are sure to capture your mind and inspire you to hike along its shores. One of the lakes that you won’t want to miss out on is Phelps Lake.
With tall trees along its banks and mountains lining its shore, there is so much to explore around Phelps Lake.
Of course, you could set up a picnic or cast a line into the water, but to truly take in the view, you’ll have to go on one of the hikes, such as the Phelps Lake Loop or the Phelps Lake Overlook.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: If you are looking for a great alternative view of Phelps Lake you can drive to the Death Canyon Trailhead and hike to the Phelps Lake Overlook.
7. Take on the Taggart Lake Trail
One of the many lakes that you’ll want to experience is Taggart Lake. And there’s no better way to truly explore the area than by hiking the Taggart Lake Trail.
This 3.3-mile trail is easily completed by travelers of all experience levels, just lace up your boots and go. To make this a longer hike that takes in more of the area, combine it with the trail to Bradley Lake for a 6-mile trail.
Along the lake, you’ll be dazzled with stunning views of the famous Teton Mountain Range and the surrounding woods.
Crossing over rivers and streams, there is no better place in the park to get in touch with the great outdoors.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Do you have the right hiking gear for exploring Grand Teton National Park? We have put together 40 Hiking Essentials: The Ultimate Hiking Packing List.
8. Hang Out in Jackson Hole
Not everyone wants to rough it in the woods and go backcountry camping. If you’re looking for a taste of civilization while exploring the beauty of Teton National Park and nearby Yellowstone, there is no better place to call home than Jackson Hole.
When you aren’t out exploring the parks, Jackson Hole is the perfect place to relax. With tons of hotels, resorts, and restaurants, you can enjoy all the pleasures of the city while being a stone’s throw away from the wild west.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Jackson Hole is a great rainy day backup plan to the Grand Teton National Park or we suggest visiting it in the afternoon for lunch before heading back to the park.
9. See the Hidden Falls
Hikers of all experience levels and ages can enjoy the beauty of Hidden Falls.
Tucked into the dense forests of Teton National Park, Hidden Falls can be reached either by Jenny Lake Loop Trail or by shuttle boat, which significantly cuts down the hike time.
Hidden Falls is a popular tourist attraction, and for good reason. Even with the crowds, the falls’ 100ft drop is truly mesmerizing, making for the perfect afternoon trip between visiting the other sights of the park.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Hidden Falls is the most accessible waterfall in Grand Teton National Park.
10. Hike the Lakeshore Trail
Taking you out from Colter Bay to explore the banks of Jackson Lake, the Lakeshore Trail is an excellent way to see a different side of Teton National Park.
With its calm waters reflecting the breathtaking mountains in the distance, hikers will constantly be in awe of the surrounding nature.
Lakeshore Trail starts at Colter Bay Visitor Center and stretches 2.1 miles; it is easily completed by even the most novice hikers. With stunning views of the park, you won’t want to miss out on this experience.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Drones are not allowed in Grand Teton National Park, any offenders can be fined. If you do see someone flying a drone, take their photo and turn them into the National Park office.
11. Visit the Colter Bay Village
If you’re looking for a great place to base yourself while exploring the great outdoors of Grand Teton National Park, be sure to check out Colter Bay Village.
This settlement along the banks of Jackson Lake has all kinds of accommodations, from boat rentals to cabins.
Colter Bay Village not only puts you in the heart of the wilderness of Wyoming, it will also provide you with everything you need to make the most of your vacation.
With swimming, horseback riding, and fishing, Colter Bay Village is your gateway to fun in Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: For great eats: Jackson Lake Lodge has a wonderful breakfast buffet, Signal Mountain Lodge offers amazing mile-high nachos, Leeks pizza has the best pizza in Grand Teton National Park, or relax with a drink in your hand at Dornan’s for wonderful views on top of a rooftop deck.
12. Check Out the National Elk Refuge
One of the main reasons travelers visit Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park is to view the abundant wildlife. There is no better place in the state to see animals come out into the open than the National Elk Refuge.
Located right outside the park by Jackson Hole, the National Elk Refuge is home to more than 5,000 elks, one of the world’s biggest herds!
With hiking trails and guided tours, this is the place where you can truly get up and personal with nature.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Who doesn’t love little elk babies? Calves are born between May and June.
13. Drive the Antelope Flats Road
Get ready to hop in your car and see all of the best of Grand Teton National Park showcased along the way; Antelope Flats Road is the way to go if you’re looking for a leisurely drive to experience the park.
Be sure to have your camera ready because, during your trip, you’re bound to see some bison grazing out in the fields.
Passing by Mormon Row and the Gros Ventre Mountains, travelers will get to see all of the best of the park flashing by the window.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: Take a Sunrise Drive around Antelope Flats for the best light and best chances of seeing wildlife.
14. Enjoy the Snake River
No trip to Grand Teton National Park could be complete without checking out Snake River.
Not only is this stream of rushing water one of the best sights in the state, but it is also one of the best places to view wildlife.
While you’re fishing, rafting, or even surfing on Snake River, don’t be surprised if you come across elk, deer, or bison.
With so much to do and breathtaking views, Snake River is a must-do within the park and you’ll be hard pressed to miss it.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: For the adventurous, you must go whitewater rafting down the Snake River.
15. Drive to the Top of Signal Mountain
Signal Mountain is a small town located within Grand Teton National Park. Serving as your home base, you’ll find plenty of cozy lodges and places to eat within the village.
Not only is Signal Mountain a place to relax, but it is also the perfect place to kick off your adventure. With jaw-dropping views of the river valley from Signal Mountain overlook, you’re sure to fall head over heels in love.
Grand Teton National Park Insiders Tip: The view from the first overlook on the road is the best for long-range viewing of the Teton range offered in the National Park.
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