Updated: Jan 4
The iconic mountain range of the Grand Tetons stretches 40-miles long and is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world.
Table of Contents
What should I see in Grand Tetons National Park?
[7.9 Miles; 623 ft. Elevation Gain; Loop; Difficulty: Moderate]
This is a moderately difficult loop trail around Jenny Lake, offering beautiful views of the Tetons, as well as, the crystal clear lake. There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife on this trail, including moose and bear. This trail also connects to hidden falls and inspiration point on the opposite side of the lake from the visitors center. These are two shorter hikes off of the Jenny Lake Trail that you can also access via boat shuttle. We included these hikes as part of the Cascade Canyon Trail described below.
[9.1 Miles; 1102 ft. Elevation Gain; Out & Back; Difficulty: Moderate]
This is an out and back trail through the beautiful Cascade Canyon. It will add 6 miles (round trip) to hike from Jenny Lake visitors center to this trailhead rather than taking the boat ($18 round trip). We decided to take the boat in order to allow more time for the Cascade Canyon trail.
Boat Tickets: $18 Round Trip
During our hike, there was a grizzly bear spotted that came up to a group of more than 10 people, therefore, be sure to bring your bear spray and know your bear safety before hiking back into the canyon. With all of the vegetation, wildlife, and water on this trail, there is a higher probability of hiking through a bear's territory. With that being said, this is an incredible trail following along the river of the canyon. The views are breathtaking and we highly recommend you hike (at least a part of) this trail!
J&L Recommended: Our favorite hike in Grand Tetons!
[7.4 Miles; 2,316 ft Elevation Gain; Out & Back; Difficulty: Hard]
This is an out and back trail to the beautiful Delta Lake. Although we did not have time during our trip to hike this trail, we received numerous recommendations to hike this trail which is why it is first on our list when we go back!
The offshoot to Delta Lake (from Amphitheater Lake Trail) technically is not recognized by NPS, however, the trail is heavily trafficked and decently marked. We recommend you downloading this trail on the AllTrails app ahead of time to make sure you stay on the correct trail. The more challenging part of the trail comes right after the offshoot, where you will have to scramble across three rock fields, however, the lake is only 0.4 miles past the shoot-off and leads to magnificent views of the lake.
Recommendation: Advanced hikers only
[3.8 Miles; 419 ft Elevation Gain; Loop; Difficulty: Easy]
With all of the intense hikes mentioned above, we thought we would include an easier (yet equally as epic) hike with minimal elevation. This is a loop trail (recommend starting to the right) leading to the beautiful Taggart Lake. Once at the lake, the Tetons are beautifully positioned in the backdrop, allowing for a great spot to kick it back, relax for a bit, and take in the epic views.
Tip: picture-perfect backdrops!
What food is Jackson Hole known for?
1. Camping Food
We stopped at the grocery store before heading into the park, stocked up on bread, pasta, beans, fruits, veggies, and other non-refrigerated goods. These groceries lasted us the whole trip. For quick warm meals, we would highly recommend a Jet Boil.
American-style bar food that offers the triple threat of Noms, Brews and Views. This quaint, log cabin restaurant offers rooftop outdoor dining with magnificent views of the Tetons. All in all, this is a noteworthy choice to stop for sizable pizza and beers with a view.
Also Read: Yellowstone National Park Complete Guide
A lovely option on Jackson Lake, centrally located within the park. Trappers offers outside dining with magnificent views of the lake and Tetons. They are most known for their incredible breakfasts and huge nachos. Whether you are stopping by for a hot meal before heading out on a hike, or stopping for post-hike nachos with a view, Trappers Grill is an excellent option.
Craft Breweries near Grand Tetons
An Asian-inspired brewpub by Melvin Brewing Company with over 40 years of experience brewing incredible beers. Their fun-loving atmosphere is easily complimented by their quirky beers. Be sure to try their "Back in da Haze" [Hazy IPA] and 2x4 [Double IPA]. Being IPA fans ourselves, a particular selling point for us was their "experimental series" of hazy IPA's. Be sure to check out all of their beers on your next trip to Jackson!
Also Read: Glacier National Park Complete Guide
2. Snake River Brewing [Jackson, WY]
This is Wyoming's oldest brewery and definitely worth a stop! It has won several "small brewery of the year" awards for its unique flavors and recipes. Be sure to taste the Jenny Lake Lager and Pako's IPA.
Also Read: Asheville Brew Tour
Specializing in beer created with water from the Glacial runoff of the Teton Valley, their brews are refreshing and flavorful. A bit outside of Jackson, WY, however, worth a stop if you are driving through during your travels. Be sure to try their core value series; "Teton Ale Amber", "Sweetgrass APA", Teton Range IPA", and "Bitch Creek Brown Ale".
Planning Your Trip
How much time do you need at Grand Tetons National Park?
Depending on the activities you plan to do within the park, we would allow 1-2 days to complete our recommended Grand Teton activities outlined in this guide.
J&L Recommended: 1-2 Days
What is the best time of year to visit Grand Tetons National Park?
May through September is when the visitors center, as well as, most hiking and activities will be open and accessible.
J&L Recommended: May - September
Where should I stay when visiting Grand Tetons National Park?
All of the campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park are first come, first serve. However, we recommend Colter Bay Campground over Jenny Lake because it is much larger, leading to a higher likelihood of getting a campsite. We also enjoyed our stay at Colter Bay and especially loved its access to the lake, beachfront grills, and proximity to a general store. If you would prefer to backpack instead of drive-up camp, be sure to review these backcountry camping guidelines ahead of time.
J&L Recommended Camping: Colter Bay Campground
Grand Tetons Camping & Hiking Safety Tips
Read up on Bear Safety ahead of your trip - 700 grizzly bears live in the yellowstone ecosystem (inclusive of Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole). This is a great video demonstrating how and when to use your bear spray.
Before entering the park, buy bear mace from a store in Jackson Hole - We used Frontiersmen and although we never needed to use it, felt it was a reliable choice.
Bring a separate set of clothes to only wear in the tent to avoid the scent of food that could be on your clothes throughout the day
Bring waterproof jackets/pants
Bring winter clothes for sleeping at night (warm during the day but drops significantly at night)
Also Read: Hiking in Bear Territory
Does Grand Tetons National Park have shuttles?
The best way to get around Grand Tetons is by car. Unless you plan on purchasing a ticket from an outside tour-group, there are no bus shuttles that take you around Grand Tetons. The below itinerary was completed with a car.
Also Read: Camping Hacks
Is there cell service in Grand Tetons National Park?
Plan on there being NO SERVICE within Grand Tetons National Park. SAFETY TIP: learn how to download interactive maps to your phone that can give you driving, walking, & biking directions even without cellular service! Visit our Exclusive Content to learn more.