Tips for Visiting Grand Teton National Park
Here in Teton Valley, Idaho, we’re very lucky to be near an abundance of national parks that are some of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. These parks are filled with exciting outdoor activities, interesting history, and breathtaking scenery that will create memories that last a lifetime. One of the most popular parks in our area is Grand Teton National Park, which is less than an hour away from our vacation rentals in Victor and Driggs, Idaho. If you’re planning on visiting Grand Teton National Park, here are a few tips to help you plan your day:
From Teton Valley (Driggs and Victor) just take Hwy 33 toward Jackson over the Teton Pass. Once you pass the state line, it turns into the 22. Once you pass through the town of Wilson on the other side of the mountain, you’ll take a left and go north on the 390 which will take you through Teton Village and past the world-famous Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. From there you can continue on the very scenic drive of Moose-Wilson Road where the scenery and wildlife are abundant and you feel like you can almost reach out and touch the Grand Teton mountains.
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes construction can close Moose-Wilson road, please check ahead of your drive to make sure it’s open and plan accordingly. The alternate route through the town of Jackson will take a little longer, but you’ll still get plenty of great scenery along the way.
Basic Park Information
Located in the spectacular Jackson Hole Valley and encompassing nearly 500 square miles, Grand Teton National Park boasts an awe-inspiring array of pristine wilderness, glacial lakes, winding rivers, diverse wildlife, and the magnificent Teton Range.
Standard passes range from $20-35 per vehicle OR if you plan to visit more than one national park within the next year, you can also plan ahead and purchase the America the Beautiful Pass which gets you into all National Parks, Forests, Monuments, and more including 2,000 sites for a one-time $80 fee.
Biking and Hiking Paradise
Some of the most beautiful hiking trails in America happen to be in Grand Teton. A few favorite hikes include:
- Taggart Lake Loop
- String Lake Loop
- Death Canyon
- Cascade Canyon Trail
- Jenny Lake Loop
- Amphitheater Lake Loop
If you’d like to explore Grand Teton National Park by bike, there is a multi-use paved path that heads north from Jackson paralleling US 26/89/191 to Moose Junction; then follows the Teton Park Road to South Jenny Lake, all open to bicycles. Additionally, mountain bikes are permitted on Two Ocean Lakes Road and Grassy Lakes Road, both of which are dirt roads.
Grand Teton is home to an incredible array of wildlife, much of which can be viewed safely and easily when following best practices. Bison, Elk, Beavers, Wolves, Black Bears, Brown Bears, Moose, Deer, Pikas, Marmots, and so many more animals can be seen here thriving in their natural habitat.
Remember to treat wildlife with proper caution and respect. The safety of these animals, as well as your safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple guidelines from the National Park Service:
- Give animals room. The best way to stay safe when watching wildlife is to give animals room to move. Many parks require you to stay a minimum distance of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves. Parks provide a unique opportunity to view animals’ natural behavior in the wild. In general, if animals react to your presence you are too close. If you’re close enough for a selfie, you’re definitely too close.
- Do not disturb. Even when you’re farther away, leaving wildlife alone can help your viewing experience—plus it’s the law. It’s illegal to feed, touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife. Remember that wildlife in parks are wild and can be unpredictable when they’re disturbed or surprised. Interacting with wildlife also can cause harm to both people and wildlife, including injury and disease. Stay on trails to help keep human presence in predictable areas.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Vehicle strikes are one of the most deadly types of encounters for wildlife in parks. Roads cut through their habitats or migration routes. Be sure to always follow the speed limits and watch for wildlife that may dart into the road. When you want to stop to watch wildlife, pull your vehicle completely off of the road into a designated pull-out—this keeps wildlife safe as well as other motorists.
If you want to pack some food for later in the day, be sure to stop by Victor Valley Market for some sandwiches to go. They’ve also got great breakfast burritos for some early morning fuel. If you need coffee, check out the Alpine Air coffee hut in Victor, or stop on your way through Teton Village at Persephone for gourmet coffee, pastries, and breakfast.
At the South entrance to Grand Teton is a little village with multiple food options, including Italian, BBQ and a full-service market and deli. In good weather you can sit on the rooftop at Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta restaurant for amazing direct views of the Teton mountain range.
Now that you know a little more about Grand Teton National Park, be sure to check out our website to find the perfect vacation rental home near Grand Teton to make your trip the best it can be!