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Welcome to the ultimate 9-day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier road trip adventure!

This road trip is an unforgettable journey, that will allow you to witness iconic peaks, marvel at geothermal wonders, and traverse glacial terrains.

Join us as we guide you through each day of this epic 9-day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier road trip, ensuring you make the most of your time in the heart of the Rockies.

GOOD TO KNOW: Your road trip begins at the stunning Grand Teton National Park, situated near Jackson, Wyoming, and wraps up with a departure from Glacier National Park.

  • You’ll start by flying into Jackson Hole Airport, conveniently close to Grand Teton National Park, making it easy to kickstart your adventure. Nestled amidst the Teton Range, this airport serves as a gateway to the park.
  • After exploring Grand Teton, your journey heads northward into the renowned Yellowstone National Park. Famous for its geothermal wonders and abundant wildlife.
  • The final leg of your road trip brings you to the pristine wilderness of Glacier National Park. Here, jagged peaks and glacial valleys await your exploration.

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: From May through September, between 6 am and 3 pm MDT, a reservation ticket is required for entry. Secure your Entrance Pass by reserving it here.

  • To wrap up your adventure, you’ll depart from Glacier Park International Airport, conveniently located near Kalispell, Montana.
  • Since you are visiting three national parks then make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

Map of 9-Day Grand Teton, and Glacier Road Trip Itinerary

Map of 9-Day Road Trip Through Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks 

DAY 1: Arrival to Jackson, Wyoming

Your adventure begins as you touch down at Jackson Hole Airport, the gateway to Grand Teton National Park.

After the landing, make your way to the accommodations for a chance to unwind.

Where to Stay in Jackson?

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: Save time with my trusted Jackson stay recommendations:

Bentwood Inn is a beautiful hotel built from 200-year-old logs. It is located 14 miles from Jackson Hole Airport and Grand Teton National Park is 23 miles away. The rooms are all decorated in Western themes with antique-style furnishings. Each room has a fireplace, upscale linens, and down comforters.

Fireside Resort is another one of my favorites. It is located no more than a 5-minute drive from Teton Village. The cabins at the resort, embrace a ‘tiny house’ concept. They offer a cozy alternative to hotels!

Hotel Jackson is a classy hotel with spacious beautifully decorated rooms that reflect the Jackson Wyoming style. Make sure not to miss the on-site Lebanese restaurant Figs. It is a culinary adventure that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Find More Accommodations Near Grand Teton:

WHERE to STAY in GRAND TETON (7 Personal Picks for the Best Stay)

Once you’re settled, take a leisurely stroll around the town of Jackson. This authentic western town offers a mix of boutiques, galleries, and charming local shops.

For dinner, Jackson has a variety of dining options to suit almost every palate. I don’t know about you, but I love a great pizza. I am recommending that you try Pinky’s G Pizzeria. It is my place to go whenever I am in Jackson Hole. You will not be disappointed.

DAY 2: Grand Teton - Scenic Drive Highlights, Jenny Lake Boat Ride, Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point Hike.

Day 2 in Grand Teton features the best stops along the Scenic Drive, a serene Jenny Lake Boat Ride, and a memorable hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, offering a perfect mix of beautiful scenery and outdoor fun!

Mormon Row

Our first stop, the Moulton Barns on Mormon Row, offers iconic views of the Teton Range and a glimpse into the region’s homesteading history.

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: The Mormon Row is a photographer’s delight! It is best enjoyed in the morning for optimal lighting and fewer crowds.

Sunrise at Mormon Row in Grand Teton

Sunrise at Mormon Row / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Explore Top Photography Spots in Grand Teton:

6 Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton (+Useful Photo Tips)

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing is one of my favorite spots in Grand Teton National Park. Here, you will see a picture-perfect reflection of the Tetons in the still waters of the Snake River.

As you meander along the riverbank, keep an eye out for wildlife; moose, beavers, and elk often make appearances, adding a touch of wilderness to this scenic spot.

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: Do not miss the turn to Schwabacher Landing! It is easy to just drive by it. So slow down and be on the lookout for the sign.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing / 9 Days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton 

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton National Park became famous through the lens of Ansel Adams, a legendary photographer.

This spot offers a timeless view of the Snake River flowing through the Teton Range.

If you’re a fan of Adams’ iconic black-and-white photos, visiting this easily accessible overlook allows you to experience the same breathtaking scenery that inspired one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.

Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park is known for its scenic views and wildlife. The Snake River winds through, providing a reflective backdrop to Mount Moran.

This spot is popular for photography, offering a unique perspective of the mountain. It’s also a prime location for observing wildlife, including moose, elk, and various birds.

Oxbow Bend In Grand Teton

Boat Ride Across Jenny Lake and Hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point

In the afternoon, you will embark on a scenic boat ride across Jenny Lake.

Upon reaching the western shore, you will set out on a hike to Hidden Falls, a stunning 100-foot cascade, and then continue to Inspiration Point for a breathtaking panorama of Jenny Lake and the surrounding peaks.

Following is the map of the hike and all the details:

Easy Hikes in Grand Teton

Map of Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trail in Grand Teton National Park. Image Source: National Park Service 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 2.2 miles
  • Trail Location: Jenny Lake Trailhead
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Begin your journey by taking the shuttle from Jenny Lake East Boat Dock, conveniently located next to Jenny Lake Visitor Center. The brief, scenic shuttle ride takes you across Jenny Lake to the West Boat Dock, where you’ll find signs leading to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead.

GOOD TO KNOW: Shuttles run every 10-15 minutes, with a round-trip ticket costing $18 and a one-way ticket priced at $10.

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton

 Jenny Lake with the Boat Dock Dock in the Distance / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Once you get to the Jenny Lake West Boat Dock follow the signs for the Cascade Canyon Trailhead.

At about 0.5 miles from the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, you will reach the short trail leading to Hidden Falls. It is a beautiful waterfall that drops 100 feet in a series of cascades.

Hidden Falls in Grand Teton

Hidden Falls in Grand Teton / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip 

Next, continue your hike to Inspiration Point. This section of the hike goes at a sharp ascent over a rugged, rocky trail. However, it is a short section and it is all worth the extra effort!

The views are awesome! Right in front of you will be Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole!

Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point

Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Additional Grand Teton Hiking Options:

11 EASY HIKES in GRAND TETON Perfect for Beginners (Maps+Tips)


DAY 3: Grand Teton - Leigh Lake Hike

Day 3 invites you to embark on the Leigh Lake Trail, a standout hike in Grand Teton National Park.

You will begin with a serene stroll along String Lake, enjoying captivating views of the majestic Grand Tetons. Then, you will continue along the eastern edge of Leigh Lake, leading to the peaceful Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes.

Picture four stunning alpine lakes and an ever-changing panorama, with the Grand Tetons casting picturesque reflections on the water!

For expert guidance, find the trail map and step-by-step instructions below:

Map of Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes Trail

Map of Leigh Lake Trail. Image Credit: National Park Service

  • Roundtrip Distance: 11.9 miles
  • Trail Location: String Lake Trailhead
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Start the hike from String Lake Trailhead, positioned just north of Jenny Lake.

Continue your journey along String Lake for about 1.4 miles until you encounter the Leigh Lake Trail Junction. At this point, relish the remarkable views of the Cathedral Group, and observe Mount Moran standing proudly at 12,605 feet.

Mount Moran Mirrored in String Lake

Mount Moran Mirrored in String Lake / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Next, embark on a 2.8-mile trek along the eastern shore of Leigh Lake until you reach Bearpaw and Trapper Lakes Junction. The views are off the charts!

Leigh Lake in Grand Teton

Reflections in Leigh Lake / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Take a right turn, and in a concise 0.4 miles, you’ll find yourself at the picturesque glacial Bearpaw Lake.

Next, head to Trapper Lake. Simply follow the sign for Trapper Lake, located approximately 0.9 miles away.

Trapper Lake in Grand Teton

Trapper Lake in Grand Teton / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Concluding your journey, you’ll reach String Lake Outlet and a footbridge. Cross it and continue for no more than 0.3 miles until you find yourself back at the String Lake Trailhead, completing a fulfilling and picturesque expedition.

DAY 4: Drive to Yellowstone, Explore Upper Geyser Basin and Grand Prismatic Spring

Today, you will drive about 60 miles from Grand Teton to Yellowstone through the beautiful John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

Next, you will witness the famous eruptions of Old Faithful and explore the intriguing geothermal wonders of the Upper Geyser Area.

Finally, you will wrap up your day at Biscuit Basin ending with the vibrant colors of the Grand Prismatic Pool.

Tonight’s stay in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Upper Geyser Basin

There are 5 distinct sections in the Upper Geyser Basin.

For in-depth insights and detailed maps refer to: Guide to the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone (5 Sections, Trails, Best Attractions+Maps)

Here, we will highlight each section and the best features you cannot miss:

  • Old Faithful Geyser Area -The true superstar of the Old Faithful Geyser Area and the entire Upper Geyser Basin is undoubtedly Old Faithful itself. This remarkable geyser is a geological wonder that leaves everyone in awe.

Like clockwork, Old Faithful graces visitors with its awe-inspiring eruptions approximately every 90 minutes.

These eruptions, shooting superheated water and towering columns of steam skyward, reach heights that often span from 130 to 185 feet.

Old Faithful in Yellowstone

Old Faithful in the Upper Geyser Area /9 -Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

  • Castle Geyser to Morning Glory Pool Section – The trail for this section spans approximately 2.4 miles round trip.

This section is a treasure trove of diverse geothermal features, plus it contains the Grand Geyser, the tallest geyser on Earth and undoubtedly the highlight of the Upper Geyser Basin.

Here, you will also find a stunning Crested Pool, known for its scorching temperatures averaging around 191.1°F (88.4°C). It is almost perpetually in a state of boiling, occasionally reaching heights of 6 feet (2 m) or more. The intense heat creates an environment where bacterial growth is inhibited, contributing to the pool’s remarkably clear blue water.

Crested Pool in Yellowstone

Stunning Crested Pool in Yellowstone / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Also, do not miss the Morning Glory Pool. It is renowned for its breathtaking colors that resemble the Morning Glory flower, hence its name. This vibrant hot spring boasts striking shades of blue and green. The pool reaches a depth of about 25 feet and maintains a warm temperature of around 165°F due to the geothermal activity beneath the park.

  • Biscuit Basin Section – Exploring Biscuit Basin is a fun experience, and you can do so effortlessly on a brief loop trail made of wooden boardwalks.

The star of the Biscuit Basin Section is, in my opinion, the Sapphire Pool. It is a stunning geothermal feature renowned for its azure-blue color. The pool measures approximately 18 meters (56 feet) in diameter and reaches depths of up to 15 meters (50 feet), making it one of the larger thermal features in the park.

The vivid blue hue of Sapphire Pool is a result of its high water clarity, allowing sunlight to penetrate deep into the spring and scatter blue wavelengths, much like the effect seen in clear ocean waters.

Sapphire Pool in Yellowstone

Sapphire Pool / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Grand Prismatic Spring

Next on the itinerary is the dazzling Grand Prismatic Spring.

This colossal marvel stretches an impressive 370 feet in width, making it Yellowstone’s largest hot water pool and the third largest in the world!

What sets Grand Prismatic Spring apart are its vibrant bands of color, pulsating with shades of yellow, green, red, and orange, a mesmerizing display created by thriving algae.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

GOOD TO KNOW: Here’s a fascinating tidbit – on a sunny day, as you observe Grand Prismatic Spring from the road, you will witness an optical wonder. The steam rising above the spring mirrors the colors of the water below, appearing blue in the center and transitioning to brown or orange around the periphery.

Settle Into Your Accommodations in West Yellowstone, Montana

Here are my top recommendations for a comfortable stay in West Yellowstone, ensuring the perfect end to your day of exploration in Yellowstone National Park:

Explorer Cabins near the West Entrance are a top-notch choice that I highly recommend. These cabins offer a delightful blend of modern comfort and rustic charm. Picture this: you are only 0.6 miles away from Yellowstone’s wonders, with the convenience of a kitchenette, cozy fireplace, and your very own private entrance.

Kelly Inn in West Yellowstone is a fantastic family-friendly place! It is packed with amenities like an indoor pool, hot tub, and free WiFi, plus a complimentary breakfast. It is just a 2-minute walk to the National Geographic IMAX Theater and a quick 3-minute drive to Yellowstone Park’s West Entrance.

Clubhouse Inn is another great choice, just a 3-minute drive from the West Entrance! They offer an indoor pool, hot tub, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms feature a fridge, microwave, and coffee machine. Plus, let’s not forget a complimentary breakfast.

DAY 5: Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

On Day 5, you will enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone as you visit Mammoth Hot Springs and the stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

It truly is a day filled with amazing sights and natural beauty!

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone is like a magical world waiting to be explored!

Imagine hot water bubbling up from deep inside the Earth, mixing with loads of limestone around, and creating these fantastic terraces. It’s like nature’s own staircase, inviting you to marvel at its artistic touch.

GOOD TO KNOW:  When that hot water meets the surface, it brings along some carbon dioxide, and that’s the secret sauce for making something cool called calcium carbonate. This special substance forms the stunning travertine formations – think of them as Mother Nature’s unique sculptures, shaped over time.

Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: Make sure not to miss Minerva Terrace, named after a Roman goddess. This place flaunts stunning white and gold colors, showcasing a mix of minerals. Also, make sure to visit Canary Spring, which adds a burst of vibrant orange and yellow tones, turning the landscape into a masterpiece.

What’s neat is that these terraces are like living art; they’re always changing. The heat, water, and the ground keep things in constant motion.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is like a massive, jaw-dropping painting in Yellowstone National Park!

It’s about 20 miles long and has beautiful colors like red, yellow, and ochre. The main attraction is the Lower Falls, a huge waterfall that’s 308 feet high. The waterfall starts when the Yellowstone River goes on a wild ride through the canyon, making this amazing cascade that echoes off the cliffs.

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: If you want the best view, go to Artist Point on the south rim – it’s like the VIP spot for a stunning look at the canyon and the powerful Lower Falls.

9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

View from Artist Point in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

DAY 6: Drive to Glacier, Lewis and Clark Caverns Tour, Gates of the Mountain Boat Tour

Lewis and Clark Caverns Tour

Day 6 brings an exciting, however long about 6-hour drive towards Glacier. But, the drive offers opportunities to explore captivating stops along the way.

Our first destination is Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in Montana, the state’s inaugural and most renowned State Park. Home to one of the largest and most adorned limestone caverns in the Northwest, the park features various tours.

The Paradise Tour is specifically designed for visitors with small children or mobility challenges. Alternatively, the Classic Tour, spanning nearly 2 miles, takes visitors through highly decorated cave passageways, revealing fascinating rooms such as Decision Rock, the Cathedral Room, and the Brown Waterfall Room.

Lewis and Clark Caverns

Lewis and Clark Caverns, Montana / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Gates to the Mountains Boat Tour

Continuing our journey, the next stop is the Gates of the Mountains, a natural area best explored through a two-hour boat tour.

The tour begins at the Marina, and as you glide along in an open-air boat, you’ll witness towering limestone walls, and wildlife like bighorn sheep, eagles, and otters, and learn about Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the Mann Gulch Fire, and the collapse of Hauser Dam.

Gates to the Mountains, Montana

Gates to the Mountains, Montana / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Settle Into Your Accommodations

You’ll be staying on the east side of Glacier National Park.

Settle into your comfy place from our recommended options, tested for a great stay:

Many Glacier Hotel, nestled in the heart of Glacier National Park, is a historic and iconic destination! With its stunning location overlooking Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounded by majestic mountains, the hotel offers breathtaking views. This is no doubt one of my favorite places to stay whenever I am visiting Glacier, however, it needs to be booked at least a year in advance.

Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is a handy choice for exploring the stunning surroundings. Close to Swiftcurrent Lake, it is perfect for hiking and wildlife adventures. The inn’s cozy rooms have what you need for a chill stay. Plus, there’s a restaurant on-site with killer natural views.

St. Mary Village in the town of St. Mary is a comfy spot with various lodging options – cabins and motel rooms. It’s a village-style setup, making your stay comfy and easy while you explore Glacier National Park.

The Cottages at Glacier is my go-to place whenever I am visiting Glacier National Park! They are a cozy and charming stay with peaceful surroundings. These cottages offer a tranquil retreat, letting you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Glacier National Park.

DAY 7: Glacier - Grinnell Glacier Hike

Today is Day 7, and it’s all about the Grinnell Glacier Trail in Glacier National Park. Offering stunning views and wildlife encounters, this trail promises an unforgettable hiking experience. Your ultimate reward? Reaching the iconic Grinnell Glacier.

INTREPID’S SCOUT TIP: Get an early start to beat the crowds and secure a parking spot. Note that once the parking lot is full, park rangers may turn away visitors at the Many Glacier Entrance.

Grinnell Glacier Trail Map

 Grinnell Glacier Trail Map / Image Credit: NPS 

  • Roundtrip Distance: 10.6 miles
  • Trail Location: Grinnell Glacier Trailhead (Many Glacier Valley Region of Glacier National Park)
  • Time: 5-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous

INTREPID’S PRO TIP:  If you’re looking to cut down the 10.6-mile roundtrip, consider taking two shuttle boats. The first boat crosses Swiftcurrent Lake (10-minute ride), followed by the second boat across Lake Josephine (15-minute ride). To make the most of this option, be sure to reserve your spots in advance.

Start your hike on the Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail, a scenic 0.8-mile route along Swiftcurrent Lake.

The trail then continues for about 1.3 miles along the captivating shores of Lake Josephine.

At 2.1 miles, the ascent begins, offering improved views of Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine.

9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Grinnell Glacier Hike / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

The most challenging section precedes the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint, featuring a steady climb.

Upon reaching the viewpoint at 2.1 miles, marvel at the panoramic view of the 152-acre Grinnell Glacier, Upper Grinnell Lake, the Garden Wall, and Mount Gould.

9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Grinnell Glacier Hike / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: For an even better view, walk closer to Upper Grinnell Lake, but use caution, especially if tempted to venture onto the glacier. Be aware of hidden openings under the snow.

Ultimately, the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint provides an awesome vantage point to take a break, relax, and enjoy the surroundings before heading back.

DAY 8: Glacier - Best Stops and Hikes Along Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road is legendary, stretching 50 miles through Montana’s Glacier National Park. It’s not just a road; it’s an adventure through some of North America’s most stunning landscapes.

Built between 1921 and 1932, it’s more than a drive – it’s a journey. You’ll cross the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, treating yourself to breathtaking views, glacial lakes, lush forests, and high-altitude meadows.

But it’s not just about the drive; it’s a gateway to outdoor adventures. Hiking, wildlife encounters, and immersing yourself in the pristine beauty of Glacier National Park await. Ready for a legendary journey?

St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island Lookout

St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island Lookout is the first stop on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

St. Mary Lake stands as a breathtaking gem, holding the title of the second-largest lake in Glacier National Park, surpassed only by Lake McDonald.

This glacial finger lake stretches 9.9 miles long, reaching a depth of 300 feet, and sits 1,500 feet higher than Lake McDonald at an elevation of 4,484 feet.

A must-see within the lake is the famous Wild Goose Island, a tiny yet iconic island featured in the movie “The Shining.”

9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Wild Goose Island / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

St. Mary Falls Hike

The next stop on Going-to-the-Sun Road is St. Mary Falls Trailhead where you will start your hike to beautiful St. Mary Falls.

St. Mary Falls Trail is short and easy (1.9 miles roundtrip and elevation change of 452 feet) and it will get you in no time to the falls.

St. Mary Fall in Glacier

St. Mary Falls / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: If you have time, then continue on this hike for another 0.8 miles to Virginia Falls.

Logan Pass

Logan Pass is the highest point reachable by a vehicle on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It sits at an elevation of 6,646 feet.

The views are awesome here. So, take a few minutes and enjoy the picturesque views of Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain in the distance, along with meadows of wildflowers. Also, the views of the Bearhat Mountian right behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center are stunning!

INTREPID’S PRO TIP: Before jumping back into your vehicle and continuing on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, make sure to take a peek into the Logan Pass Visitor Center, use the restroom, and refill your water bottles.

Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier

Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun-Road / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake Hike

The Trail of the Cedars is the next stop on Going-to-the-Sun Road. It is a short and easy hike. The trail is a loop and you can do it either way. Most people start on the east side and continue along a raised boardwalk. The trail will take you through a forest of ancient western cedars.

Trail of the Cedars in Glacier

Trail of the Cedars / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

At about halfway point, you will reach a footbridge over Avalanche Creek and get to enjoy awesome views of the lower Avalanche Gorge.

Just past this section is a junction to the Avalanche Lake Trail. If you are up to it, then hike for no more than 600 feet and you will reach a narrow gorge with cascading water. It is a strenuous section, entirely up the hill at a steep incline. However, it is so worth the effort!

The trail continues to Avalanche Lake. If you are up to it, then I want to encourage you to hike to Avalanche Lake. It will be 2.3 miles from the trailhead before you reach the lake and ahead of you will be a moderate climb to reach the lake.

However, you will not be disappointed, because the views of this gorgeous lake are simply off the charts. It sits in a bowl-shaped canyon surrounded by Bearhat Mountain, Little Matterhorn, and Mount Brown with numerous waterfalls cascading down into the lake.

Avalanche Lake in Glacier

Avalanche Lake / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Settle Into Your Accommodations

Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake Hike concludes day 8 of your Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier road trip itinerary. It is time to settle into your accommodations.

You will be staying on the west side of Glacier National Park. Here are my top recommendations for a comfortable stay:

Belton Chalet, close to the west entrance of Glacier National Park. Built in 1910, this chalet has rustic elegance mixed with modern comforts.

Great Northern Resort, close to the west entrance of Glacier National Park, is a family-owned spot, it offers cozy cabins and spacious suites.

Glacier Guides Lodge snuggled near the west entrance of Glacier National Park, is a top pick for outdoor lovers. Run by Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, it’s a mix of comfort and adventure. The rooms are set up with modern stuff to give you a good rest after exploring.

DAY 9: Glacier - Lake Mcdonald and Flight Back Home

The 9-day road trip to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier concludes today. Enjoy a leisurely exploration of Lake McDonald’s shores before heading home.

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. It is a classic glacial fjord-like lake filling the basin carved out by erosion and Ice Age Glaciers. It is 10 miles long, over a mile wide, and 472 feet deep.

The views of the turquoise waters surrounded by towering mountains in the distance are picture-perfect!

There are many access points to the lake on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. And, besides enjoying the views, you can swim in the lake, kayak, or paddleboard.

GOOD TO KNOW:  Glacier Outfitters is a place to get all your rentals. They have single, tandem, child, fishing kayaks, and paddle boards. Also, they rent bikes!

If you like fishing, then Lake McDonald is a good spot. My daughter, who is an avid fisherwoman, likes to fish here. You will find numerous native trout species at Lake McDonald: westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and bull trout.

Lake McDonald in Glacier

Lake McDonald / 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Flight Back Home

Wrapping up the 9-day expedition through Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. After a series of incredible experiences, it’s time to head back home.

Reflect on the diverse landscapes, wildlife encounters, and overall adventure before catching your flight. Safe travels back!

Intrepid Scout's Tips for 9-Day Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier Road Trip

Grand Teton National Park:

  • Rise and Shine at Schwabacher Landing: Trust me, catching the sunrise here with the Teton Range reflecting in the Snake River is pure magic. It’s like a postcard come to life.
  • Wildlife Hangouts: Moose fans, head to Moose-Wilson Road for some close encounters. Also, Signal Mountain is a hotspot for bison and elk sightings.

Yellowstone National Park:

  • Beyond Old Faithful: While Old Faithful is a must-see, don’t miss out on the Grand Prismatic Spring and Norris Geyser Basin for some mind-blowing geothermal wonders.
  • Wildlife Watch: Lamar Valley is your go-to for wolves, and if you’re into grizzlies and bison herds, Hayden Valley is where it’s at.

Glacier National Park:

  • Early Drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road: This road is famous for a reason. Do it early morning or late afternoon to dodge the crowds and soak in those jaw-dropping views.
  • Off the Beaten Path: Two Medicine and Many Glacier are less crowded but just as stunning. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall Tips:

  • Weather Rollercoaster: Brace yourself for sudden weather changes, especially in Glacier. Pack layers – it’s a lifesaver.
  • Respect the Wild: These parks are home to some incredible wildlife. Keep your distance, follow the rules, and let’s ensure their homes stay pristine. Support initiatives like Yellowstone Forever and Glacier National Park Conservancy.

More Helpful Posts About Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks

Yellowstone National Park:

Guide to the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone (5 Sections, Trails, Best Attractions+Maps)

Perfect One Day in Yellowstone (8 Things You Can’t Miss!)

Guide to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 3 Scenic Drives, Hikes and Amazing Viewpoints

12 Best Photography Locations in Yellowstone (Plus Useful Photo Tips)

5 Entrances to Yellowstone (Which One Is the Best Gateway to the Park)

17 Short and Easy Hikes in Yellowstone Perfect for All Ages (Maps+Useful Tips)

Where to Stay When Visiting Yellowstone (20 Best Lodging Options Inside or Near the Park)

23 Best Stops on Yellowstone Lower Loop Drive (Maps+Useful Tips)

16 Best Stops on Yellowstone Grand Loop Drive (Maps+Useful Tips)


Grand Teton National Park: 

7 Amazing Places to Stay in Grand Teton National Park

17 Most Scenic Hikes in Grand Teton National Park You Need to Explore

6 Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton (+Useful Photo Tips)

11 GRAND TETON TIPS (Insider Advice for First-Time Visitors)

42-Mile SCENIC LOOP DRIVE in GRAND TETON (24 Stops You Can’t Miss)

11 EASY HIKES in GRAND TETON Perfect for Beginners (Maps+Tips)

5 Best Places to See WILDLIFE in GRAND TETON (Maps+ Practical Tips)


Glacier National Park: 

9 TIPS for FIRST VISIT to GLACIER National Park to Have an Unforgettable Visit

8 FUN and EASY HIKES in GLACIER National Park (Maps and Useful Tips)

9 Best PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS in GLACIER National Park (+Useful Photo Tips)

9 Most SCENIC HIKES in GLACIER National Park You Need to Explore (MAPS+TIPS)

14 Perfect PLACES to STAY in GLACIER NATIONAL PARK (Inside, West, and East Side)

18 Can’t Miss STOPS on GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD in Glacier National Park

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