An Alluring Visit to Grand Teton National Park

We quickly fell in love with Grand Teton National Park when we arrived and ended up staying for a full week despite our original plans to only stay for a couple of days. When we set out on our cross-country adventure, the Tetons were merely a park to check off the list. We didn’t know anything about this park at all, we just knew it was worth visiting prior to heading into Yellowstone National Park! Little did we know that it would remain one of our favorites to this day.

The Tetons are a relatively small park, just 14% of the size of Yellowstone, so it’s easy to hop in a car and hit all the scenic photo-op spots of the towering mountains in one day. We made sure to hit the road early and were rewarded with an abundance of wildlife sightings every morning (moose, elk, bears, bison, etc!) After our first day driving around the park, we drove down into Jackson Hole and spent the evening exploring the cute little tourist town. This town is the hub for all of the main hotels, restaurants, and stores in the area so it’s absolutely worth the visit. 

What I love most about the Tetons is that some of the most beautiful hikes are available to people of all experience levels. We were still in the early days of our big cross-country adventure so my hiking skills were certainly not up to par yet for completing any major hikes. Our first hike was around Jenny Lake via Moose Pond. The trail also continued up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, which is worth doing if you can. Rather than doing the full loop around Jenny Lake, we opted to take the ferry back to the visitor center and parking area across the lake. The ferry in itself is a fun way to experience the mountains from a new perspective. For more about this specific hike, check out my previous post “Grand Teton Hikes: Jenny Lake & Hidden Falls

Another short hike that we enjoyed was around String Lake early in the morning. We were blessed with amazing reflection views of the sunlit mountains on the lakes. This trail also takes you through a variety of different terrains, including a wildfire-scarred portion of downed trees, so it remains interesting the entire time, despite the lack of difficulty. For more about this specific hike, check out my previous post “Grand Teton Hikes: String Lake Loop.

We dream all the time of returning to Grand Teton National Park, especially now that we’ve been around the entire country and have more National Parks under our belts. During our next visit to the Tetons, we will definitely look into securing a backcountry camping permit and hiking farther into the mountains. Securing permits to hike up to glacial lakes, such as Lake Solitude, or through the popular Cascade & Paintbrush Canyons, are a perfect opportunity to escape the crowds and get deeper into nature.

The best months to visit Grand Teton National Park is from mid-May to late September when the weather is mild. We visited in September of 2021 and the weather didn’t quite cooperate enough for us to rent canoes and kayaks, so that is also on our list for when we return. The boat launch has rentals available and easily accessible so you can experience the park from the serenity of the water below the jagged mountain ridge. We can’t wait to return someday and experience even more of what Grand Teton National Park has to offer. 

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