Where is Grand Teton National Park
Situated in the northwestern corner of Wyoming is Grand Teton National Park. It’s part of a sweeping range of national parks and forests that cover Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. The area is a vast wilderness of meadows, forest and impressive mountains. Just 10 miles north of Grand Teton is Yellowstone National Park. The Shoshone National Forest lies to the east. Grand Teton national park is less than two hours from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Salt Lake City, Utah is less than 5 hours from the park.
How Big is Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is a big place. It covers roughly 485 square miles. The park is 45 miles long and 26 miles wide. The Teton Range is the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains. Grand Teton mountain reigns supreme as the highest point in the park at an elevation of 13,775 feet. The park features 8 other peaks that stand above 12,000 feet. The lowest point in the park is quaint Fish Creek, in Jackson Hole Valley, at 6,320 feet.
Grand Teton National Park Weather
The weather at Grand Teton National Park is unpredictable year-round. Our National Park Visitors Guide recommends you bring multiple layers when exploring the park. The higher you go in elevation the colder the temperature will be. Seasonally speaking, summer is the warmest. June through August you can expect daily temperatures to range from 70 to 80°F in the valley. Thunderstorms are common. Fall is cool, quiet and short, lasting from September to October. Temperatures are around 60 to 50°F. Snow is usual towards the end of the season. Winter is known for epic amounts of snow. It lasts until early April. The days are bright but temperatures only reach about 20 to 30°F. Spring is short, April to May, and brings chilly rain.
When did Grand Teton become a National Park
The US National Park was established on February 26, 1929, though it would take decades before expansion was complete. The park originally only protected the Teton Range. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Jackson Hole a National Monument. Rockefeller Jr. donated land in 1949. In 1950, congress combined the park, monument, and donated land to protect the park we know today.
Things to do in Grand Teton National Park
There’s so much to see and do in Grand Teton that you might not know where to start! We’ve listed some must see attractions for your next visit down below.
You might as well hit the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park while you're here. The park's namesake is huge! It features gorgeous views, many hiking trails as well as skiing descents. It is a popular place for climbing and mountaineering, with a permit.
The same glacier that formed Cascade Canyon 12,000 years ago also created Jenny Lake. The views are stunning, especially from the ferry. The area is rife with hiking trails and wildlife. The lake is a popular destination, so arrive early to beat the crowds.
Adventure seekers should head to Jackson Hole. It's home to a luxurious ski resort with powdery hills and slopes for miles. Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. You can also try some snow tubing or dog sledding. Hop on a snowmobile or hitch a sleigh ride.
Jackson Lake is a glacial lake that stretches across 15 miles. It is one of the park's most popular destinations. The beach is perfect for sunbathing. The lake attracts fishers and boaters. Bring your own boat or rent one there. Jackson Lake also features camping.
Snake River Rafting
See the park from another perspective on a river rafting excursion. You can go on a guided tour or a self-led trip. There are no rapids, so a rafting trip is peaceful. You’ll have a good chance to see animals like eagles, beavers, and osprey.
Scenic Loop Drive
One of the best ways to tour Grand Teton National Park is to take a trip on the Scenic Loop Drive. The drive is 42 gorgeous miles of wonderful wilderness, and consists of Jenny Lake Scenic Drive, Teton Park Road, and part of Highway 89.
Animals in Grand Teton
Grand Teton National Park has one of the most prolific animal populations in the country - more than 500 species! The park is home to big game, small critters and lots of animals in between. You might see bears, moose, pikas, foxes, wolverines, wolves, and more!
Antelope Flats Road
Get in touch with pioneer history on Antelope Flats Road. The open dirt road leads past the Moulton Barn to Mormon Row with views of mountains towering in the background. Bison roam freely here. Enjoy the animals from a distance though. Threatened bison will charge.
Water flows from the mountains, into Cascade Creek, and crashes down Hidden Falls from a height of 100 feet. This waterfall is the most accessible in the park. You can get to Hidden Falls via hiking trail or across Jenny Lake on a shuttle boat.
For picturesque views of the Teton Range and peaceful place to picnic visit Oxbow Bend. Moose and otters frequent the area along Snake River, which often reflects Mount Moran in the tranquil waters. Visit early in the morning for the best chance to spot wildlife.
When to go to Grand Teton National Park
There is no right or wrong time to visit Grand Teton National Park, it is open year round. Each season offers something unique to guests. The most popular time for visitors is May through September. The park is fully open during this time, including visitor centers, restaurants, scenic roads and hiking trails. It is a great time of year for swimming, fishing and kayaking. Wildlife activity peaks during this time. During the winter season, much of that park is closed due to the massive amounts of snow. If you’re seeking solitude and scenic wonder, it is an excellent time to visit. Many animals go into hibernation at this time, including bears. The snow offers ample snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities.
Must-Have things to bring to Grand Teton
Whenever you’re out in the wild enjoying and exploring nature there are some items that you should always bring. List of Parks compiled a quick list below for Grand Teton National Park.
Water is the elixir of life! You need to stay hydrated on the trails. Bring your own water bottles as there are no fountains on the trail. If you want to utilize lakes and streams to refill your bottles, invest in a hydration filtration system.
You’re going to want snacks for the trails and a good meal when you’re done hiking. If you’re visiting in the off season (not summer), park food options are very limited. Bring a cooler for perishable items. Store all food in bear boxes or canisters.
The best footwear to bring depends on what you’re going to do at the park. Comfortable sneakers are fine for indoors and paved trails. If you want to get in the water, hard-soled water shoes are recommended. If you want to hike, bring hiking boots.
Lots of Layers
The temperature at the park varies greatly between the valleys and peaks. The weather is also unpredictable. It could be sunny now and raining or snowing next. The best thing you can do is dress in lots of light layers and bring a rain jacket.
The sun shines brightly at the park, and the rays are more powerful at higher elevations. Protect yourself from getting sunburnt or worse by bringing a wide-brimmed hat, 100% UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen. Use at least SPF 30 sunscreen. Apply sunscreen liberally and reapply often.
Don’t get lost while you’re out exploring the wilderness, bring along a park map! The park will have both park maps and trail guides. You can take preparation a step further and even find free digital maps for your phone or GPS that are interactive.
The best way to safely watch big animals like bears and moose are from afar. Get a better look with some binoculars. You’ll also be able to spot mountain climbers and sheep. For those hiking, a lightweight, compact and powerful pair are the best option.
Bears are frequently spotted in the park. They are amazing at a distance, but there’s a chance you’ll have an up close encounter. You’ll need bear spray in case you get too close. Be sure you know how to use the spray before going out.
Summertime is camping season, but it's also mosquito season. You’ll find that ticks and flies are out too. The best way to avoid bugs and being bitten is to bring along bug spray. You can opt for other types of insect repellent if you prefer.
First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for an accident while you’re out in nature. A basic first aid kit will get you back on the trail after a minor injury, and can be the difference between life and death in a serious emergency.
Where to stay in Grand Teton National Park
There are many choices for staying overnight in Grand Teton. There are rustic cabins, robust ranches, and illustrious lodges sprinkled throughout the park. The park also features 5 front-country campgrounds, most can accommodate RVs and large groups. There is another campground on the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. These campgrounds are only open during summertime. During the winter, primitive camping can be done near the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
Food Nearby Grand Teton
When it comes to finding hot, delicious meals around Grand Teton National Park, you won’t have any trouble. There are several restaurants inside, though many are only operational during the summer season. Most visitors eat one park meal and bring enough food for the rest of their stay. There are also many great eateries in the towns around the park.
Airports near Grand Teton National Park
Flying to Grand Teton National Park is quick and easy. The most convenient airport is Jackson Hole Airport. It is located right inside the park! Idaho Falls Regional Airport is the next closest option at just under 2 hours away. Yellowstone Regional Airport, in Cody, Wyoming, is only about 3 hours away. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is another great option.