Points of Interest in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is home to striking mountain vistas, gorgeous lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. The park lies just south of Yellowstone and just north of Jackson Hole, so both are worth exploring if you have the time while you’re in the area. With so much to do and see, it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary if you are on a tight schedule. Here, we’ll outline the major points of interest in Grand Teton National Park, starting from the north end of the park and heading south.

From North to South:

Colter Bay Village

A charming rustic village located on Jackson Lake, Colter Bay Village offers camping and lodging accommodations (but be sure to make reservations well in advance as they tend to fill up quickly). This is a great area to enjoy spectacular mountain views and partake in swimming, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. The Colter Bay Visitor Center doubles as the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum, which houses a variety of Native American artifacts.

Jackson Lake

Gorgeous Jackson Lake lies at the north end of the park and offers magnificent views of the Tetons. One of the largest high-altitude lakes in the US at 15 miles long, this is one of the only lakes in Grand Teton National Park that offers boating, including pontoon rental, sailboats, wakeboarding, fishing, waterskiing and more.

Oxbow Bend

Offering incredible views of Mt. Moran reflected in the lake below, Oxbow Bend is a great place to observe a variety of birds and wildlife. One of Grand Teton’s most photographed islands, you can’t miss a trip to Oxbow Bend when you visit the park!

Signal Mountain

One of the more popular summits in Grand Teton National Park, you can access the peak via car or on foot for magnificent views of Jackson Hole and the Tetons. The hiking trail is moderate and is 6.8 miles roundtrip. Driving up the Signal Mountain Summit Road will also take you there quickly and easily.

Hidden Falls

Accessible via the Jenny Lake Trailhead or by shuttle boat across Jenny Lake, you won’t regret a visit to Hidden Falls, a visitor favorite. These powerful and majestic waterfalls will keep you cool with a refreshing mist. Note that these falls are quite popular and can get very crowded during peak season.

Jenny Lake

Perhaps the number one favorite destination for visitors to Grand Teton is Jenny Lake, and for good reason! On a calm day, you’ll be able to see the mountains reflected in this breathtaking lake. Hiking trails around Jenny Lake are incredibly popular and kayaks and canoes are also available for rent here. This area can get extremely crowded, so plan to arrive early in the day or after 4pm to avoid crowds and have options for parking.

Snake River Overlook

A famous location in the park for photo ops, this gorgeous overlook offers views of the stunning Snake River as it winds through lush forest against the backdrop of the splendid Tetons. This iconic lookout point is located just off the highway and can be easy to miss, so you’ll want to drive slowly to keep an eye out for it.

Grand Teton

There’s no question why Grand Teton is the namesake peak of Grand Teton National Park. Standing tall at 13,770 feet, this impressive mountain is visible from as far as Jackson Hole. Only the most experienced climbers will ascend to the summit of Grand Teton, but hikers looking for a more manageable trek with stunning views can opt for the strenuous 19-mile Paintbrush Canyon-Cascade Canyon Loop. 

Schwabacher’s Landing

A relatively off the beaten path destination in Grand Teton National Park, Schwabacher’s Landing takes you down to Snake River and offers splendid views of the Tetons. This is a great location for wildlife viewing and offers a bit of peace and serenity in what can be an otherwise crowded park.

Taggart Lake

Taggart Lake lies at the base of the Grand Tetons and offers beautiful views of the mountain range. A quick and easy 1.5 mile scenic hike to this lake is completely worth it and you can even reward yourself with a dip in the lake! This is a great hike for families with kids.

Mormon Row Historic District

Drive along Antelope Flats Road to reach Mormon Row, a dirt road leading to the iconic Moulton Barn framed by dramatic views of the Tetons. In this historic pioneer settlement, you’ll find a variety of wildlife from bison to antelope, so be sure to keep your distance when you go for that classic photo op!

Menor’s Ferry Historic District

This Old West Historic District was founded when Bill D. Menor settled alongside Snake River and began the ferry service to transport people across Snake River. Menor’s Ferry is currently home to the famed Chapel of the Transfiguration, a still-functioning 1920s chapel whose massive window offers magnificent views of the Grand Tetons.

Jackson

The nearest town to Grand Teton National Park is Jackson. Nearby Jackson Hole is renowned for its ski resorts and phenomenal landscapes. The charming town of Jackson is full of lovely shops, bars, and restaurants and don’t forget to visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art . Jackson is a great option for overnight accommodation outside of Grand Teton National Park. 

Basic Facts about Grand Teton National Park

History

Located in the Rocky Mountains of Northwest Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park officially became a US national park in 1929 with President Calvin Coolidge signing it into law. However, the history of this park stretches back to the 1800s when the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, Colonel S.B.M. Young, proposed an expansion of Yellowstone to the south to encompass the Teton mountain range. His proposal was met with significant resistance from local ranchers who feared expanding the national park would restrict their hunting and grazing lands.

Eventually, national support for the park advanced, leading to its official establishment in 1929. Fascinated by the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole area, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. developed a private business that he used as a front to convince local ranchers to sell him their property, which he would in turn donate to the National Park Service. News of his deceit became public, sparking outrage in the community leading to various legal battles. In the end, a compromise was reached in which some privately owned guest ranches were allowed to remain open, and confined grazing and hunting within the park grounds were also permitted.

Landscape

Grand Teton National Park is characterized by the breathtaking Rocky Mountain range, brimming with panoramic mountain views, crystal clear lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. Shaped over the course of billions of years by erosion, glaciers, and earthquakes, the gorgeous landscape of the Grand Tetons is ideal for hiking, climbing, and skiing.

Location

Grand Teton National Park is located in Northwest Wyoming, just north of Jackson and just south of Yellowstone National Park. The easiest way to access the park by flight is from Jackson and from there it’s only a short distance away.

FAQs

Can you camp at Grand Teton?

Yes. There are various campgrounds located throughout the park, though all backcountry camping will require a permit.

What is the best way to get around Grand Teton National Park?

Driving is the easiest and quickest way to get around the park, as distances are vast and terrain can be rugged. However, biking and hiking are also options for getting around.

How many days do you need at Grand Teton?

5-7 days is a reasonable amount of time to visit Grand Teton National Park and will also allow you a bit of time to explore Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. If you have less time and simply want to focus on the Grand Tetons, 3 days could also be sufficient.

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