Thursday

Explore Grand Teton National Park



The United States is filled with incredible national parks, but few capture the true essence of the wild west as much as Grand Teton National Park located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. Millions of people visit Grand Teton each year for a variety of reasons and the park is considered a fan favorite for many. Its epic beauty alone is worth the trip, but this park offers more than just awe-inspiring views. Grand Teton National Park is filled with a rich history, a variety of terrains, vast wildlife, and activities for all different kinds of travelers, from a family with young children or teenagers to a couple or single individual. We’ll take a deep dive into why this park is a favorite and talk about why you should add Grand Teton to your summer RV bucket list.

So, Why Grand Teton?

That’s a great question. There are 50+ national parks across the United States, so why add Grand Teton to your list? The park itself is stunning, towering over Jackson Hole Valley, Grand Tetons is perfect for hikers, history buffs, or anyone looking for the perfect photo-op. The park is huge (310,000 acres) and diverse, made up of the famous Grand Teton Mountain range, lush valleys, powerful waterfalls, and meadows as far as the eye can see. One of our favorite aspects of the park is that it has activities for every season, whether you’re into hiking or snowshoeing - there’s truly something for everyone. If you’re into water activities, Grand Teton caters to you as well with the Snake River and Jackson Lake to float or fish to your heart's delight. You’ll never be bored at Grand Teton National Park, and if you’re looking for adventure, this park is your ideal destination. 

Image: National Park Service

What to Do While You’re There?
  • Hiking & Biking - Two of the best ways to take in all that Grand Teton National Park has to offer is on foot or by bike. The park is a renown hiking destination with more than 230 miles of trails, so whether you’re an expert hiker or if you prefer a more mellow pace, you’ll find a hike to suit your needs. Check out a few of our favorite hikes:
- Hidden Falls Trail - This trail is a 4.9 loop that features stunning lake views and, you guessed it, an incredible waterfall. This hike is categorized as easy and good for the whole family. You have the option of taking a boat back if you want to shorten your trip. 

- Cascade Canyon Trail - This trail is one of the most popular in Grand Teton and for good reason - the hike is absolutely stunning. Cascade Canyon is a moderate hike that starts near Jenny Lake and ascends steeply towards Lake Solitude. You will also get a great few of Hidden Falls on this trail and if you continue, you will reach Inspiration Point (a viewpoint where you can see Jenny Lake and the Teton Mountain Range). 
 
- Death Canyon - Don’t let the name scare you, Death Canyon is a beautiful hike that you can complete in a day. The beginning of the hike is the hardest and about 1.2 miles from the trailhead you’ll hit Phelps Lake Overview where the views are breathtaking. 

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to stay hydrated, dress in layers, and bring bear spray (trust us on that one).

Image: National Park Service
  • Water Activities - During the summer months, Grand Teton is an excellent place for boating or floating. The Snake River allows world-class fishing & rafting and Jackson Lake is a great spot for those that sail, canoe, water ski, or windsurf. Speaking of fishing, Snake River is home to a variety of fish like Mackinaw and Whitefish as well as Rainbow, Brown, Lake, and Cutthroat Trout. Anglers take note: the Snake River Fine-Spotted Cutthroat Trout are indigenous fish to this area, found nowhere else in the world. If your looking to take out a boat, motorboats are permitted at Jenny and Jackson lake (10 horsepower max). If you want to bring a motorboat to the park, you will need to obtain a motorized craft permit for $40.00 at the visitor center. Boat, paddle board and floats are also available for rent. Want to take a quick dip? We suggest visiting String Lake where the water is warm in the summer months and you can picnic along the shore.
Image: National Park Service
  • Wildlife Watching - The park is home to a vast amount of wildlife including bison, bear, elk, bald eagles, and smaller animals like ducks, otters, and a variety of birds. Grand Teton puts safety as a top priority so if you are watching wildlife, they recommend maintaining a distance of at least 25 yards. Sign up for a wildlife tour at the park and experience all of these amazing creatures for yourself.
Image: National Park Service
  • Catch Up on Your History - Humans began visiting the Jackson Hole area around 10,000 years ago - so the grounds in and around Grand Teton are rich with history. We suggest attending a ranger-led program to learn more about the native people, explorers, and homesteaders that once inhabited the park. And don’t miss the following historical attraction:
- Mormon Row is one of the park’s most popular attractions. This line of 6 uniform buildings settled in the 1890s by Mormons from the Salt Lake region can be found in the southeastern corner of the park and is a perfect spot for a photo-op. 

  • Snow Activities - While winter in the Tetons is not for the faint of heart, there are activities that cater to all the snow bunnies out there. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are some of the most popular activities during the winter months.
  • Ranger-Led Programs - A variety of ranger-led programs take place during the summer months (early June through Labor Day weekend) in Grand Teton National Park. During these programs, you have the opportunity to learn about the park’s wildlife, history, and geology. There are also cultural programs as well as hiking and evening activities scheduled.
  • Scenic Driving - If you’re interested in covering a lot of ground in minimal time, we recommend a driving tour of Grand Teton. The park has a 42-mile scenic loop where you can take in its epic beauty and wildlife. Depending on the stops you make along the way, the drive typically takes one to two hours.
What’s Nearby? 

Yellowstone National Park -
Extend your trip - Yellowstone National Park, home to Old Faithful, is just 10 miles south of Grand Teton National Park. If you’re looking to cross two major national parks off of your bucket list, Grand Teton is a great place to start.

Jackson, WY - Jackson is a town located in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Valley, just 10 minutes from Grand Teton National Park. It includes three widely popular ski areas including Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee Resort, and Snow King Mountain Resort. The town of Jackson also boasts many restaurants and great shopping if you’re looking for a quick break from all things outdoors or in case you forgot some essentials.

When to Visit / Length of Stay - 

The summer months are the most popular visiting times at Grand Teton National Park because of the great weather. But as we mentioned earlier, there are a variety of year-round activities available depending on what you’re into. The foliage is incredible in the fall and views of the snowy peaks of the Teton Mountains are jaw-dropping in the winter. 

We recommend spending a minimum of three days at Grand Teton National park considering there is SO much to do. If you can swing a longer stay we definitely recommend extending your trip, especially if you plan on visiting Yellowstone National Park.

Where to park your RV / Campsites?
There are a variety of RV Campgrounds in Grand Teton, but they do fill up quickly in the summer months so we recommend calling well in advance to secure your site. Check out Grand Teton National Park’s helpful comparison chart to find the perfect site to fit all of your RVing needs.


Image: Grand Teton National Park Serice

If you’re on the hunt for your next great adventure, we think visiting Grand Teton should be at the top of your list. Do you have any insider tips or tricks you would like to share with your fellow RVers? Share your insights in the comments below and we might feature your tip in a future blog post!
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