Grand Teton National Park is full of epic mountain adventures — it’s also one of the most iconic national parks in the country! There are so many things to do in Grand Teton, you’ll never run out of fun activities for every member of your group.
My name is Ash, and I’m a former park ranger. I’ve grown up visiting this national park year after year, and I’m excited to share the best things to do in Grand Teton with you.
This article includes information on family activities, hiking, biking, winter activities, and so much more.
Keep reading (or if you want to fast-forward, click on the links below) to find the perfect activities for your specific interests!
The Top 10 Things To Do in Grand Teton
You want to be sure to see all of the highlights when you visit Grand Teton for the first time! Combat your fear of missing out with this list of the top things to do in the park.
If you make it through this top ten list, you can relax knowing that you’ve had a well-rounded, complete tour of Grand Teton!
When you are ready for more detailed information on the top things to do, including driving directions and trip planning help, click over to this list of things you can’t miss on your first visit to Grand Teton.
Antelope Flats Road
The Antelope Flats Road leads to the famous Moulton Barn at Mormon Row. This barn is perfectly situated in the foreground of the Teton Range and is a spot you absolutely won’t want to miss.
This area is also a popular hangout spot for herds of bison or pronghorn, so you get the best of everything while you’re here!
The hike to Taggart Lake highlights everything that is beautiful about the Tetons — a sparkling alpine lake, dramatic mountain views, and the chance to spot a bear or moose! This family-friendly trail is 3 miles long, and you’ll love the majestic views of the Grand Teton as you make your way to the lake.
Hidden Falls is a powerful 100-foot waterfall that has long been one of Grand Teton’s most popular destinations. Add an extra dose of adventure (and cut down on a lot of extra hiking) by taking a boat across Jenny Lake to reach the waterfall. This 1.1-mile hiking and boating experience is usually a favorite with kids!
To make the most out of your time on the other side of Jenny Lake, consider hiking a little further to Inspiration Point or up into Cascade Canyon.
If you imagine the most picturesque swimming spot in your mind, chances are that String Lake will exceed those expectations! This small lake sits at the base of the mountains and is the perfect place to swim and play in the water. The water is clear and shallow, the bottom is sandy, and the views just can’t get any better.
Schwabacher’s Landing is a quiet spot on the banks of the beautiful Snake River. You’ll love the Teton views as they are reflected in the water — stick around for a while and you might even spot a moose in this peaceful part of Grand Teton.
Jenny Lake Scenic Drive
For the best view of Jenny Lake with the jagged Teewinot Mountain in the distance, take a drive along the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. This one-way road is short and sweet, but it’s a great place to go to enjoy views of Grand Teton’s most famous lake.
BEAR SAFETY 101
You may encounter both grizzly bears and black bears while exploring Grand Teton National Park. Learn how to prevent an encounter, what to do if you see a bear, and where to get bear spray so that you can be confident on the trail!
The 3-mile Lakeshore Trail at Colter Bay hugs the shoreline of Jackson Lake. You’ll make your way around two “islands” as you soak in the views of the Teton Range in the distance. Be on the lookout for the many birds, beavers, bears, and moose that live in this beautiful area!
As you make your way to the northern end of the park, Mount Moran starts to dominate the landscape. Oxbow Bend is a slow part of the Snake River where the wildlife is plentiful and the water is glassy, making it the perfect spot to get a beautiful photo of Mount Moran reflected in the water!
Phelps Lake sits at the base of Death Canyon, one of the most recognizable (and imposing) canyons in the Teton Range. The 3-mile Lake Creek Trail is my favorite way to access the shoreline of Phelps Lake and the dramatic views of Death Canyon.
Snake River Overlook
The Snake River Overlook was made famous by an iconic photograph of the Tetons taken by Ansel Adams. Stop at this overlook to see the craggy Teton Mountains with the Snake River meandering far below.
For more trip-planning information (including driving directions) on each of these stops, check out this list of things you can’t miss on your first visit to Grand Teton.
How long does it take to see the top ten things in Grand Teton?
You’ll want no less than two full days of sightseeing to get through this list, but you’ll have to move fast in that amount of time! If you’re able to give yourself at least three full days, you’ll be able to see the best things in Grand Teton while avoiding the crowds and enjoying each stop to the fullest.
If you’d like more help, I have a whole article devoted to helping you figure out how many days to spend in Grand Teton.
Planning a trip to Grand Teton can be overwhelming.
How do you make a solid plan if you’ve never been to the park before? How do you keep everyone in your group excited and engaged?
You can spend hours on the internet searching for things to do, but you still won’t find the insider tips and first-hand knowledge that I’ve gained from working as a park ranger.
If you’re hoping to see the best sights without getting stuck in traffic, circling parking lots, or being surrounded by people, check out this Grand Teton Itinerary.
You will see all of the can’t-miss spots, plus get lodging and dining guides, driving directions, and insider tips!
Grand Teton has an adventure for every age and skill level! Now that we’ve covered the top 10 things to do in the park, it’s time to dig deeper into your own personal interests.
Things to Do in Grand Teton With Kids
Grand Teton has a great variety of short hikes and fun activities for kids. You don’t need to go on a huge hike to get amazing views, see wildlife, or feel like you’re on an adventure!
One of my favorite things to do in Grand Teton with kids is to hang out at a lake. String Lake has some awesome shallow swimming areas that are perfect for young kids. If you want to rent a canoe or kayak, you can do that at Jenny Lake or Jackson Lake. Pack a lunch and plan on swimming and playing for a few hours!
Rent a bike at Dornan’s (they have bikes and trailers for kids!) and enjoy the Teton views from the park’s Multi-Use Pathway. This pathway travels from Jackson all the way up to South Jenny Lake, so you could easily spend a few hours biking around the park.
If your kids get excited by waterfalls, then be sure to ride the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake and hike to Hidden Falls. This activity is always a huge hit with families because it feels adventurous but the hike is short.
The Taggart Lake Trail, Lakeshore Trail, and Leigh Lake Trail are my favorite easy hikes in the park. All of these are scenic hiking trails with things to keep their attention as you go. If you’re hoping to hike with your kids, check out this post on the best easy hikes in Grand Teton.
Don’t forget to pick up a Jr. Ranger book at any park visitor center. These books have activities that your kids can complete to earn their very own ranger badge. This is a great way to keep them engaged and excited about Grand Teton — you’ll probably even learn something too. I know I always do!
And, if you head into Jackson, there’s always the gondola at Teton Village or the nightly shootout at the Jackson Town Square.
Things to Do in Grand Teton if You Love to Hike
If you’re able to hike longer distances and are feeling extra adventurous, Grand Teton has so many epic longer trails that shouldn’t be missed! If you’re looking for a challenge, consider hiking to Lake Solitude, Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes, Death Canyon, Paintbrush Canyon, or along the famous Teton Crest Trail.
The hike to Lake Solitude through Cascade Canyon is the park’s best-known long dayhike. You won’t have this trail to yourself, but you’ll travel deep into the Tetons with the opportunity to see moose and bears, waterfalls, and the Grand Teton reflected in a beautiful alpine lake.
The thigh-burning trail to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes quickly takes you high into the Tetons! You’ll love the views of the Cathedral Group and nearby cliffs from these lakes.
Don’t let the name scare you — the hike up Death Canyon is a spectacular way to spend a day out in the mountains.
The trail up Paintbrush Canyon is another of Grand Teton’s most famous long hikes. It’s a good climb, but you’ll love the dramatic views as you make your way up to Holly Lake. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, continue steeply to the top of the Paintbrush Divide!
And last, but certainly not least, the Teton Crest Trail is a 45-mile hike through some of the best mountain scenery in the country. Need I say more??
Do you love to have a plan?
Get the inside scoop for your upcoming vacation —> this itinerary is the most detailed, epic, and easy-to-follow guide to the park!
Things to Do in Grand Teton if You Don’t Want to Hike
If hiking isn’t something you’re able to do or wanting to do in Grand Teton, you can still see a lot of the park! Floating in a river or lake, signing up for a guided activity/tour, or taking a scenic drive are some great alternative options for your time here.
You can easily see what makes Grand Teton National Park so special from the very first time you see the mountains — no hiking required! There are many majestic views to be seen from your car, and some of my favorite scenic drives in the park are:
- Jenny Lake Scenic Drive (views of Jenny Lake and Teewinot Mountain)
- Teton Park Road (gets you close to the mountains with lots of places to stop)
- Outer Park Road – Highway 191 (expansive views of the whole range and buffalo)
- Moose-Wilson Road (great place to spot a moose)
- Signal Mountain Summit (winding road with Teton and meadow views)
If you like the idea of a guided tour, you can catch one from any of the park’s many lodges or from the town of Jackson. You’ll find a bunch of options such as horseback riding, boat tours, fishing tours, and wildlife tours.
One of the most unique ways to see Grand Teton is from the water! Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard and head to one of the park’s many lakes for an afternoon of floating and swimming. For an added splash of fun, consider signing up for a scenic float or whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River.
Winter Activities in Grand Teton
Winter in Grand Teton is fantastic! Despite the subzero temperatures, this area is bustling with skiers from around the world coming to hit the slopes in Jackson. You don’t have to downhill ski to have fun during this time of year though — if you like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sleigh rides, you’ll love the winter months in this park.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are extremely popular winter activities in Grand Teton. The Teton Park Road is closed and groomed each winter from Taggart Lake to Signal Mountain. If you want to hit a trail with your skis or snowshoes, try Taggart Lake, Colter Bay, the Moose-Wilson Road, or the Antelope Flats Road. If you’d like to spend some time out in the snow, you can rent gear at several outfitters in Jackson or bring your own.
Things to Do in Grand Teton if You Love Ranger Programs
Participating in ranger programs can greatly enhance your experience in Grand Teton. You’ll learn interesting facts, meet other travelers, and connect with someone who loves the park and knows it well! Grand Teton has phenomenal ranger programs, including wildlife talks, guided walks, and campfire programs.
Evening programs are held nightly at the campground amphitheaters. These programs can range in topics, and you’re guaranteed to learn something interesting. Stop in at the visitor center to see the schedule and topics available while you’re there. My favorite is the astronomy program they do up at Colter Bay!
Daytime ranger programs include wildlife viewing, guided hikes, and talks about the park’s history and features. Be sure to pick up a Jr. Ranger book for your kids — there are special programs just for them as well!
Stop by the Murie Ranch or Menors Ferry to step back into the old west and learn more about the people who settled in the Grand Teton area. These sites are staffed by park rangers or volunteers most days during the summer.
Wheelchair-Friendly Things to Do in Grand Teton
You’ll be able to enjoy many of the best sights if you’re visiting Grand Teton in a wheelchair — there are so many fabulous viewpoints and scenic drives in this park!
Most viewpoints, trailheads, picnic areas, and visitor centers in Grand Teton have handicapped parking stalls and ramps. The official park website has detailed information about each area of the park and its accessibility.
Several of the best wheelchair-friendly trails in Grand Teton are the Multi-Use Pathway, the Colter Bay Marina, and the South Jenny network of trails. You can find out more about each of these trails and a few others in this article (near the end).
Things to Do in Grand Teton With Your Dog
Due to the large amount of wildlife and efforts to protect them, you won’t find many places to take your dog in Grand Teton National Park. For more information on things to do with your dog in Grand Teton, check out this detailed article: Is Grand Teton Dog-Friendly?
High Adventure Activities in Grand Teton
If you’re looking for something to get your adrenaline going, consider rock climbing, whitewater rafting, via ferrata, downhill skiing, or horseback riding while visiting Grand Teton.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a massive mountain in this park that’s perfect for rock climbing. For the ultimate thrill, sign up for a guided climb and summit the Grand Teton! You can’t get much more adventurous than that!
Whitewater rafting is a thrill, and it’s a popular activity right outside of Grand Teton. You’ll find numerous companies that offer guided whitewater rafting trips that leave from the town of Jackson. You can raft the powerful Snake River from here on class III and IV rapids!
Horseback riding is another popular way to experience the Grand Teton area. Guided trail rides leave from the park and surrounding areas daily during the summer, and it’s a great way to see the beautiful Wyoming wilderness.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to climb the Grand Teton, but you still want to climb something. Check out the Via Ferrata in Teton Village (just outside of the park’s Granite Canyon Entrance).
Downhill skiing is extremely popular during the winter season. The Snow King and Jackson Hole Mountain Resorts are located just a few minutes away from Grand Teton. Don’t like to ski? Try tubing or the mountain coaster instead!
Things to Do in Grand Teton if You Love to Bike
If you want to bike in Grand Teton, your only really great option is the Multi-Use Pathway. This paved path runs 20 miles from the town of Jackson up to South Jenny Lake and would easily keep you busy all day. You’ll enjoy spectacular mountain views as you pass by some of Grand Teton’s most popular points of interest.
Biking is not permitted on any trails in Grand Teton National Park, so if you’re looking for mountain biking adventures, you’ll want to head out of the park for that. There are many options in the mountains near Jackson — check them out here.
If you’re also planning to visit Yellowstone while you’re in the area, you’ll find many more bike-friendly trails there. For more information on all the available trails, regulations, and rentals in Yellowstone, click here.
Things to Do Near Grand Teton
The area around Grand Teton could easily keep you busy for a lifetime! If you’re hoping to see another national park while in the area, Yellowstone is just up the road. Other places that might pique your interest include Granite Hot Springs, the Wind Rivers, and Grand Targhee.
Most people combine Grand Teton and Yellowstone in the same trip because they are only separated by an 8-mile road! Yellowstone National Park is an exciting park full of many impressive geysers, hot pools, and waterfalls.
Granite Hot Springs is a small natural hot spring pool located about 1 hour south of the town of Jackson. This swimming hole is a local favorite and is a great way to soothe your tired muscles after a long day of hiking.
The Wind River Range is a spectacular mountain range that rivals the Tetons in beauty without all of the crowds. Pinedale is the main gateway town for accessing some of the most amazing trails in these mountains, and it’s located 1.5 hours from Jackson.
Grand Targhee is a large resort on the Idaho side of the Tetons and is often considered to be the best ski resort in the area. You can enjoy year-round activities here including skiing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to Grand Targhee from Jackson.
I hope you have an amazing time working your way through these things to do in Grand Teton. Happy Trails!
More Grand Teton Trip Planning Information
Grand Teton Itinerary — a detailed hour-by-hour sightseeing schedule.
How to Get to Grand Teton — the best airports and roads in the area.
How Many Days Should I Spend in Grand Teton? — itinerary ideas.
The Best Time to Visit — what to expect during each month of the year.
Weather, Hours, and Closures — important weather info and common closures.
Where Should I Stay? — the best options in and around the park.
All About Camping — learn about the park’s campgrounds and how to get a site.
12 Things You Can’t Miss on Your First Visit to Grand Teton — the top 12 spots.
The Best Easy Hikes — the perfect trails for kids, wheelchairs, and beginners.
The Ultimate Grand Teton Trip Planning Guide — everything you need to know.
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