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If you are planning a trip to Grand Teton, then check out this Grand Teton bucket list which ticks off all the things you can’t miss on your first visit to Grand Teton National Park. There is something for everyone in your group, whether you like hiking, photography, leisurely walks, or scenic drives, Grand Teton is a place to do it all!

If you are just getting started with your trip to Grand Teton, then, my recommendation is to begin with the 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive in Grand Teton (24 Best Stops You Can’t-Miss). This Grand Teton Scenic Drive loops around the park and takes you to the best viewpoints.

Next, take a look at the 17 Most Scenic Hikes in Grand Teton where you are guaranteed to see wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

However, without any more delay: let’s get started. Here is a complete list of 15 things you can’t miss on your first visit to Grand Teton. Go through the list and see what sounds the best for you.

15 Things You Can't Miss on First Visit to Grand Teton National Park

NUMBER 1

Drive Grand Teton's 42-Mile Scenic Loop

The 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive is one of the best ways to experience Grand Teton National Park. The loop consists of two roads: HWY 191/89/26 – OUTER ROAD (one road, just shares three numbers) and Teton Park Road – INNER ROAD.

There are at least 24 overlooks, turnouts, and points of interest on the 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive. It takes about 1-2 hours to drive the loop without stopping. However, if you are planning on stopping at each viewpoint, then, it is going to take you at least 8-10 hours to do the entire loop.

If you do not feel like doing the entire loop or do not have the time, then the following are my absolute 4 must-see overlooks on 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive:

Moulton Barns on Mormon Row

I am sure you have seen the pictures of the famous Moulton Barns on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. These are the most photographed barns in the world!

By the way, there are two barns that are the famous ones, so make sure to photograph both of them. The T. A. Moulton Barn has a triangle roof and the John Moulton Barn has a 4-sided roof. Also, make sure to explore the other buildings on the row. You will get a better idea of what 19th-century frontier life was like.

Mormon Row in Grand Teton

The famous Moulton Barns on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. These are the most photographed barns in the world!

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Mormon Row in Grand Teton

Also, make sure to explore the other buildings on the row.

Mormon Row in Grand Teton

You will get a better idea of what 19th-century frontier life was like.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing is one of my favorite spots in Grand Teton National Park! Here, you will see absolutely picture-perfect reflection of the Tetons in the still waters of the Snake River. So, have your camera ready, because you will take a ton of pictures at Schwabacher Landing.

Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton

At Schwabacher Landing will see absolutely picture-perfect reflection of the Tetons in the still waters of Snake River

First Visit to Grand Teton 

There is a trail that starts right at the parking lot and meanders along Snake River. At about two-tenths of a mile from the parking lot, you will come across a beaver dam. And, beavers can be very entertaining to watch!

Quick Read: 

3 Fun Facts About Beavers: 

1. Beavers secrete a goo that smells like vanilla

Castoreum is a chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, which are located under the tail. It is secreted as a brown slime that’s about the consistency of molasses and smells like musky vanilla. It’s an FDA-approved natural flavoring.

2. Beavers are romantics at heart

Or at least they’re monogamous. Dams are usually started by a young male looking for love or by a mated-for-life new couple. A whole beaver family will live in a single dam—mom, dad, young kids, and yearlings.

3. Beavers front teeth are orange

To gnaw through tree trunks, they need extra-strong teeth. Fortunately, their tooth enamel contains iron, which makes them incredibly strong, sharp, and orange. Source: Mental Floss

11 Best Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook is one of the most famous spots in Grand Teton National Park. It was the shooting location for Ansel Adams’ famous 1942 black-and-white photo.

However now, it looks much different. The tree growth obstructs the view of Snake River. However, no matter, that the view of the river has changed since 1942, it is still one of the most iconic views of the Tetons.

Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton

Snake River Overlook is one of the most famous spots in Grand Teton National Park. It was the shooting location for Ansel Adams’ famous 1942 black-and-white photo.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Oxbow Bend Turnout

Oxbow Bend Turnout is another one of my favorite spots on the 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive in Grand Teton National Park. Needless to say, it is a very popular spot for photographers to gather and wait for that perfect light. Oxbow Bend Turnout provides a perfect view of Mount Moran.

Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton

Oxbow Bend Turnout provides a perfect view of Mount Moran.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

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First Visit to grand Teton
First Visit to Grand Teton

NUMBER 2

Go Hiking in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is a hiker’s paradise! It is the best thing to do in Grand Teton National Park!

Whether you like leisurely walks, short and easy tracks or challenging trails, the list of hikes where you are guaranteed to see wildlife and breathtaking scenery is simply endless.

First of all, if you are looking for short or easy hiking trails, then check out my list of 11 Easy Hikes in Grand Teton National Park. Need more ideas, look no further! Check out an extensive list of 17 Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park.

I know! So many choices! What if you could just do a couple of hikes? Then, I say, Hermitage Point Trail is my choice! It offers unsurpassed views of the Grand Tetons. My second recommendation is Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trail. It is a classic hike in Grand Tetons that needs to be on your list.

Hermitage Point Trail

First Visit to Grand Teton

Hermitage Point Trail offers unsurpassed views of the Grand Tetons.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

What you need to know is that the roundtrip distance on this hike is 10 miles. However, you. can shorten it any way you like. Also, the hike is mostly flat, except for a couple of short sections with a short ascent, just to give your heart and your legs an extra exercise.

Easy Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

Map of Hermitage Point Trail in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: NPS

First Visit to Grand Teton 

The hike to Hermitage Point begins from the Hermitage Point Trailhead. The Hermitage Point Trailhead is located at the south end of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. To get to the trailhead, drive about 5.4 miles from the Jackson Lake Junction to the Colter Bay Visitor Center.

Once you get to the Colter Bay Visitor Center take s short road to the boat landing area.  Next, continue south for no more than 0.4 miles until you will get to a junction. Bear right and continue along the shore of Jackson Lake. You will be heading towards Heron Pond. At about 0.7 miles from the trailhead, you will reach a side trail leading to Jackson Lake Overlook.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Hermitage Point Trail in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Next, continue on the side trail, until you connect to the main trail. At about 1.4 miles, you will reach another junction. Bear right and continue south along the shore of Jackson Lake. You will be passing by Heron Pond. Heron Pond is quite a sight when it is covered with lilies. Moreover, be on the lookout for wildlife.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Hermitage Point Trail in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Next, continue your hike until you reach Half Moon Bay Overlook. Take your time here and soak in the views!

From this point, the trail goes through the forested area but gradually the trees thin out and at about 4.4 miles from the trailhead, you will reach the southernmost tip of the peninsula. It is known as Hermitage Point.

Proceed to the rocky beach and take a break here. In my opinion, at this point, you will get some of the best views of the Grand Tetons.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Hermitage Point Trail in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

When you are ready to continue your hike, walk back to the main trail and proceed along the southeastern side of the peninsula until you reach a bit of the incline. Just hang in there, it is all worth it! By the way, as you brave the incline, check out the great views of the southeastern corner of Jackson Lake.

At about 6.7 miles from the trailhead, you will get to a junction, continue straight at the junction. Ahead of you will be a swampy area overgrown with willows. Be on the lookout for moose!

Next, at about 7.5 miles from the trailhead, you will get to a junction. Here, turn left and start heading towards Swan Lake. Swan Lake is beautiful when it is covered with blooming lilies. Take your time here and try to spot a trumpeter swan! Next, continue along the shore of Swan Lake until you reach a junction. At this point, head straight towards the Colter Bay Visitor Center where you started your hike.

Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trail

Another trail that I am recommending is Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trail. It is one of the most popular hikes in Grand Teton National Park where you can take a shuttle to the west side of Jenny Lake and then hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. All in all, the trail is 2.2 miles round trip and it should not take you more than 1-2 hours to complete the hike

The hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point starts at the Jenny Lake Trailhead. To get to the trailhead, turn west off Teton Park Road at the South Jenny Lake Junction. The junction is located about 7.7 miles north of Moose Junction. Once you get to the junction, proceed for no more than 0.5 miles to a large parking lot located next to Jenny Lake Visitor Center.

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Next, take the Jenny Lake boat shuttle across Jenny Lake.

Shuttles are operated by Jenny Lake Boating. They run every 10-15 minutes. You can purchase the tickets at the Jenny Lake East Boat Dock. Tickets cost $18 for a round-trip and $10 for a one-way trip. You might want to buy just a one-way ticket and take the shuttle to the west shore of Jenny Lake, do the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point and then walk back to Jenny Lake Visitor Center, where you parked your vehicle. It is about a 2.4-mile hike from Inspiration Point back to Jenny Lake Visitor Center.

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

First Visit to Grand Teton

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Next, start your hike along Cascade Canyon Trail. First, you will be hiking through a forested area, however, pretty soon, you will cross over Cascade Canyon Creek and the area will open up.

At about 0.5 miles from the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, you will reach the short trail leading to Hidden Falls. At this point, turn left and proceed 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 National Park 

Hidden Falls in Grand Teton

Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park 

When you are ready, turn around and traced your steps back to Cascade Canyon Trail. Once you are back on the trail, turn right and 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!

As you gradually gain elevation, the famous Cathedral Group will come into your view.

At 1.1 miles from the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, you will reach Inspiration Point. The views are awesome! Right in front of you will be Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole, and to the east, you will see the Gros Ventre Range.

Jenny Lake in grand Teton

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

NUMBER 3

Take a Gondola Ride to Rendezvous Mountain

Teton Village has both an aerial tram and a gondola which you can take to Rendezvous Mountain. The ticket to ride a gondola costs $37 for an adult. However, starting at 5 pm, the gondola ride is free!

If you want to go for free, then you need to plan ahead! People start lining up around 4 pm. So be there no later than 4 pm! But, once 5 pm hits, the line starts moving pretty fast. The ride to Rendezvous Mountain takes about 12 minutes.

First Visit to Grand Teton

View from Rendezvous Mountain in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Intrepid’s Tip:

What you need to keep in mind is that the last gondola ride up is at 8:30 pm. and the last gondola down is at 9 pm (just a reminder, so that you don’t get stuck up there). Also, my recommendation is to take a break (lunch) at Piste Mountain Bistro and enjoy the spectacular views

Another idea is to ride the gondola to Rendezvous Mountain in the morning (unfortunately, it will not be free) and then hike to Marion Lake. It is a great hike with awesome views along the way.

NUMBER 4

Go Fishing in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is fishing heaven! It does not matter if you are a bait, spinner angler, or fly fisherman. I assure you that you will have a great time fishing in Grand Teton National Park. The lakes and streams in Grand Teton National Park offer some excellent trout fishing opportunities. Cutthroat, brown, rainbow, and lake trout can all be caught in the park’s waters.

Here are my favorite (actually my daughter’s favorite) fishing spots in Grand Teton National Park:

Snake River (just below Jackson Lake Dam)

One of the best fishing spots is on Snake River just below Jackson Lake Dam. You can float or wade this section of Snake River. It is about a 5-mile stretch that offers some good fishing until you reach Pacific Creek.

Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

One of the best spots is on Snake River just below Jackson Lake Dam. You can float or wade this section of Snake River.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Jackson Lake (close to Jackson Lake Dam)

There are a number of access points around Jackson Lake. In my opinion, the best spots are anywhere close to the dam.

Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

There are a number of good access points around Jackson Lake.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Jenny Lake

There are plenty of access points around Jenny Lake. However, it does get busy, so do not expect any solitude.

Leigh Lake

It is a bit of a hike to get to Leigh Lake, but it is my favorite fishing spot. If you do not mind hiking then head directly to Leigh Lake.  Actually, my recommendation is to do some hiking and fishing. There is a hike that is absolutely perfect for it.

String, Leigh, Bearpaw, and Trapper Lakes Loop Trail is a super cool hike. The trail goes along four beautiful alpine lakes. You will get to enjoy the ever-changing scenery with the Grand Tetons reflecting in the waters of the lakes and you can do some fishing as well!

Best Hikes in Grand Teton

Map of String, Leigh, Bearpaw, and Trapper Lakes Loop Trail. It is a a super cool hike. The trail goes along four beautiful alpine lakes.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

The round-trip distance for this hike is about 12 miles and you need about 5-6 hours to do the hike, plus some fishing, then, all in all, I would plan for an entire day. The trail starts at the String Lake Trailhead. The trailhead is located north of Jenny Lake.

To get there, turn west off Teton Park Road at the North Jenny Lake Junction. North Jenny Lake Junction is located about 10.6 miles of Moose Junction, and 10 miles south of Jackson Lake Junction. Once you turn west off Teton Park Road, continue driving for about 1.4 miles until you get to the parking lot located right at String Lake Trailhead.

Leigh Lake in Grand Teton

Fishing at Leigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Intrepid’s Tip:

What you need to know about fishing in Grand Teton National Park is that a Wyoming fishing license is required.

  • License fees are following: Resident – Annual $27.00, One-Day $6.00, Youth (14-17, annual) $3.00, Under 14 (creel limit applies) free. Non-resident – Annual $102.00, One-Day $14.00, Five-Day $56.00, Youth (14-17, annual) $15.00, Under 14 (creel limit applies) free.

You can purchase fishing licenses at Wyoming Game and Fish offices, online, or license vendors throughout the state. Also, you can purchase a fishing license within the park at Snake River Anglers at Dornans, Signal Mountain Lodge front desk, Colter Bay Village Store, and the Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch.

Lakes within Grand Teton National Park are open to fishing year-round with the following exception of Jackson Lake, which is closed to fishing from October 1 through 31. Source: NPS

NUMBER 5

Take a Dip in Granite Hot Springs Pool

Granite Hot Springs Pool needs to be on your list of things to do in Grand Teton National Park! Nothing can feel better than a dip in a hot pool to relax your sore muscles after a long day of hiking.

Granite Hot Springs Pool is located at the end of the Granite Creek Road, south of Jackson, Wyoming, and of Highway 189. If you are driving from Jackson, then it will take you about 1 hour to reach Granite Hot Springs. Granite Creek Road is just a bumpy dirt road, so slow down and watch out for potholes. However, it is all worth it!

Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

Granite Hot Springs. Photo Credit: Pychap via Flickr 

First Visit to Grand Teton 

NUMBER 6

Watch Sunrise in Grand Teton National Park

The Teton Mountain Range faces east, so sunrise provides the best light to illuminate the face of the mountains. However, sunsets can be as spectacular as sunrises in Grand Teton National Park. The scenery alone is dramatic with the craggy peaks rising above the flat plains.

To top it off, you have Snake River winding its way through pine forests and lush meadows. And, Jenny Lake or Jackson Lake with the most incredible reflections of the Tetons in the water. I have to honestly say that grand Teton National Park is a photographer’s dream!

Following are some of my favorite locations to watch the sunrise:

Mormon Row

Mormon Row is a famous spot for sunrise photography in Grand Teton National Park. I have to honestly say that it is one of my favorite spots to photograph the Teton Mountain Range bathed in the morning sunlight! Thomas Alma Moulton Barn with the pointed roof and John Moulton Barn with the rounded roof in front of the towering Tetons are iconic sights.

Mormon Row in Grand Teton

Mormon Row is a famous spot for sunrise photography in Grand Teton National Park.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Mormon Row in Grand Teton

Mormon Row is a famous spot for sunrise photography in Grand Teton National Park.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing is is another very popular spot to watch the sunrise in the Grand Teton Mountains. My recommendation is to take time and find your perfect spot.

There is a trail that starts at the parking lot and goes along Snake River. At about two-tenths of a mile from the parking lot, you will get to a beaver dam. This spot is the best place to see some wildlife. Be on the lookout for moose, elk, and bison that like to graze in the grassy meadows along the river. It is a perfect place to see bald eagles, osprey, and great blue herons.

Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton

Schwabacher Landing is a is another very popular spot to watch sunrise in the Grand Teton Mountains.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton

Be on the lookout for moose, elk, and bison that like to graze in the grassy meadows along the river.

Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton

It is a perfect place to see bald eagles, osprey and great blue herons.

NUMBER 7

Observe Wildlife in Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is home to a wide variety of animals. Grizzly and black bears, bison, moose, elk, pronghorn, and more live throughout the park. Some of my favorite places to see wildlife in Grand Teton National Park are:

8-Mile Scenic Section of Moose-Wilson Road

Hands down, the 8-Mile Scenic Section of Moose-Wilson Road is one of the best drives for observing wildlife in Grand Teton. Your chances of spotting moose are pretty good! Be on the lookout for mule deer, elk, and black and grizzly bears.

First Visit to Grand Teton

8-Mile Scenic Section of Moose-Wilson Road is one of the best drives for observing wildlife in Grand Teton. Your chances of spotting moose are pretty good! Be on the lookout for mule deer, elk, black and grizzly bears.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Blacktail Pond

Blacktail Pond is a great place to see wildlife. It is located about 0.5 miles north of Moose on US Highway 191/89/26. There are some beaver ponds that have been filled with sediment and now support grassy meadows where elk graze and moose munch on willows growing along the river.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Blacktail Pond is a great place to see wildlife.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

First Visit to Grand Teton

There are some beaver ponds that have been filled with sediment and now support grassy meadows where elk graze and moose munch on willows growing along the river.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

NUMBER 8

Rent a Kayak or a Canoe in Grand Teton National Park

Of more than 100 lakes in Grand Teton National Park, 10 are available for human-powered vessels. The most popular lakes to kayak or canoe are Jenny Lake, String Lake, and Leigh Lake. All three of them are easily accessible making them very convenient for kayaking or canoeing. Plus, a bonus! You are surrounded by the towering Teton Mountains.

If you want some solitude then you should look into Bradley Lake, Taggart Lake, and Phelps Lake. However, to get to these lakes requires a bit of a hike! Plus, you have to carry your equipment.

Now, if you can, then bring your own kayak or a canoe. It is the best alternative, because, all you will need to do is get a permit.

If you do not have your own kayak or a canoe, then it is not a problem. I have rented kayaks in Grand Tetons several times. So that you know, there are three places in Grand Teton NP where you can rent kayaks or canoes:

Kayaks at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton

Kayaks at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park 

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Colter Bay Marina Boat Rentals – A single kayak is $30 per hour (2-hour minimum), and double kayak is $40 per hour (2-hour minimum). Canoes are $25 per hour (2-hour minimum, 3 people max). You can rent a motorboat as well.

Jenny Lake Boating – At Jenny Lake Boating, you can rent only non-motorized vessels (kayaks and canoes). The cost is $20 per hour (1-hour minimum) and $80 per day.

Jackson Lake Boat rentals (Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake) – A single kayak is $22 per hour and $95 per day, and double kayak is $27 per hour and $115 per day. You can rent canoes as well for $25 per hour and $99 per day (max 3 people).

Kayaking at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton

Kayaks at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Intrepid’s Tips: 

  • Always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) and do not take it off as long as you are on the water.
  • Make sure to wear synthetic quick-drying clothing. Do not wear anything made out of cotton. It sucks up all the moisture and dries slowly.
  • It can be cold in the morning, and the weather can change fast. So, dress in layers. Also, protect yourself from the sun (wear a hat and long sleeve shirt).
  • Hands down, mornings and evenings are the best time to go kayaking or canoeing in Grand Teton National Park! Mornings and evenings tend to be calmer on the lakes. The wind starts to pick up by the early afternoon.
  • Keep in mind that the weather can change very fast, so make sure to check the weather forecast before heading to the boat rental place.
Kayaking in Grand Teton

Kayaking at Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park

First Visit to Grand Teton 

NUMBER 9

Go Bike Riding in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is probably the most bike-friendly park in the United States. It claims to have the most paved trails out of any national park and to top it off, with the most recent completion of the Jenny Lake Pathway, I am sure it can boast to have the best-paved trails.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is probably the most bike-friendly park in the United States.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Some of my favorite biking routes are:

  • Moose to Jenny Lake – 7.1 miles one-way
  • Teton Village to Moose – 8.8 miles one-way, and
  • Wilson to Teton Village – 6.1 miles one-way

My recommendation is to check out Friends of Pathways (friends of Pathways is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on promoting and advocating a complete pathway system, safer streets, and great trails in Jackson Hole) for more ideas.

Map with Biking Routes in Grand Teton

Map of Biking Routes in Grand Teton National Park and Vicinity. Image Source: Friends of Pathways

If you have a bike, then, by all means, bring it with you and you are ready to go!

If you need to rent a bike, then check out some of the bike rental places. Prices vary depending on what type of bike you are planning to rent and for how long. My recommendation is to stick with a ‘road bike’ and rent it for a day. By the way, on-way rentals are available as well:

In Jackson: Hoback Sports

In Teton Village: Jackson Hole Sports

In Moose: Adventure Sports – Dornans

Also, make sure to check out START Bike. It is a community bike share program servicing the town of Jackson.

NUMBER 10

Check Out Some Best Places to Eat in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is located is a cute little town surrounded by awesome views of the Teton Mountains.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Jackson Hole is located is a cute little town.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

First of all, make sure to stop by and snap a couple of pictures of the famous antler arches and head on and try some of the best places to eat in Jackson Hole!

First Visit to Grand Teton

Make sure to stop by and snap a couple of pictures of the famous antler arches.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

Here is my list of places that you need to check out:

Persephone Bakery – If you are staying in Jackson Hole, then I guarantee that you are going to go back again and again to Persephone Bakery. They have excellent pastries, yummy breakfasts, and delicious sandwiches. Their coffees are creations of art.

Picnic – Make sure to visit Picnic! It serves the most amazing breakfasts and lunches. The sandwiches and salads are top-notch. Try their coffees as well. They know what they are doing!

Moo Ice Cream – Their huckleberry ice cream is to die for! It won the Food Network 2013 Best Dessert in Wyoming. But, make sure to try their boysenberry sorbet. It is simply delicious.

Pinky’s G Pizzeria – I don’t know about you, but I love great pizza. I am recommending Pinky’s G Pizzeria. It is my place to go whenever I am in Jackson Hole. You will not be disappointed.

NUMBER 11

Go Horseback Riding in Grand Teton

If you can splurge a little, then consider horseback riding in Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the most fun things to do in Grand Teton NP!

My recommendation is to check out Teton Village Trail Rides and give it a try. They offer 1-hour rides for $55 or 2-hour rides for $75.

First Visit to Grand Teton

Consider horseback riding in Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the most fun things to do in Grand Teton NP!

First Visit to Grand Teton 

NUMBER 12

Buy America the Beautiful Pass Instead of a Single Entrance Ticket

I don’t even know how many America the Beautiful Passes I bought over the years! Hands down, it is a great deal! If you are visiting several national parks during your vacation (or during the entire year), you should buy an annual pass and save some money.

The cost of the annual pass is $80. However, the annual pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, such as national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and grasslands.

You can purchase the pass online at America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass

If you are planning a trip to Grand Teton National Park, then you should look into visiting Yellowstone National Park as well. Both parks make for an awesome road trip!

What you need to know is that the 7-Day Entrance Permit to Grand Teton National Parks costs:

  • Private Vehicle – $35
  • Motorcycle – $30
  • Hiker/Biker – $20

NUMBER 13

Visit Grand Teton National Park in the Summer or Early Fall

  • Summer (June – August)

Hands down, summer is the best time to visit Grand Teton National Park.

In the summer months, specifically, beginning in mid-June, most of the entire park is accessible and open. You will be able to get to pretty much all the hikes, overlooks, and points of interest. All the visitor centers will be open and tours, as well as programs, will be in full swing.

Also, you will have many lodging and dining options to choose from.

However, the park is most crowded during the summer months. Be prepared to share hiking trails with many other visitors to the park. Be prepared to wait for a parking spot as well.

  • Fall (September -October)

This is my favorite time to visit Grand Teton National Park! if possible, plan your visit for early September through the beginning of October.

The crowds of visitors are mostly gone and you will be able to enjoy some solitude. Fall is truly beautiful in the Grand Tetons! When the aspens start to change color and turn yellow and orange, it is simply breathtaking.

First Visit to Grand Teton

When the aspens start to change color and turn yellow and orange, it is simply breathtaking.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

First Visit to Grand Teton

My recommendation is to plan your trip to Grand Teton National Park in the first part of September.

First Visit to Grand Teton 

  • Winter (November -April)

To experience Grand Teton National Park blanketed in snow is a truly magical experience. What you need to know is that during the winter months, the inner park road (from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain) is closed to all vehicles. The outer road (Hwy 191/89/26) is open year-round (weather permitting). Park facilities are closed for most of the winter months.

  • Spring (May) 

Spring in Grand Teton National Park is a long-awaited time of the year. Finally, the long winter is winding down and wildlife starts to emerge looking for food. However, expect snow to cover most of the trails. The Teton Park Road (inner road) opens on May 1st each year.

Intrepid’s Tip:

My recommendation is to plan your trip to Grand Teton National Park in the first part of September. If you go later than mid-September, then be prepared for pretty unpredictable weather – rain, snow, freezing temperatures, or just simply stunning sunny days as well.

Also, keep in mind that most of the campgrounds and lodges within the park are closed starting at the beginning of October.

NUMBER 14

Make Reservations for Your Accommodations Way in Advance

Nothing beats staying inside the park! You are close to all the major attractions and hiking trails. If you are planning on staying inside the park, then, hands down, you need to make reservations for your accommodations way in advance.

Jenny Lake Lodge is by far my favorite place to stay when I am visiting Grand Teton National Park. It is located right in the middle of the park.

Accommodations are elegant and you can choose from a duplex cabin, freestanding cabin (my recommendation!), suite cabin, and deluxe suite cabin.

Make sure to check out my post: Where to Stay in Grand Teton National Park: 7 Amazing Places to Stay

NUMBER 15

Fly into One of the Closest Airports and Rent a Car

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming.

The closest airports to Grand Teton National Park are:

Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) – 8 min

Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) – 2 hours and 11 min

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – 5 hours

Salt Lake City International Airport is a major airport and all major airlines fly into this area from large cities all over the U.S. and internationally.

Intrepid Scout's 3 Top Tips for Your First Visit to Grand Teton

That is quite a list of things to do in Grand Teton National Park, right? What if you only have time to do a couple of things?

No problem! Here are my absolute 3 you simply cannot miss on your first visit to Grand Teton National Park:

  • Hands down, of all the things to do in Grand Teton National Park, the number one is to drive a 42-Mile Scenic Loop. It is the best way to experience the beauty of the Teton Mountains from the comfort of your car. You can do it in one hour or you can take your time and stop and explore at every turnout and overlook.
  • Second, take the boat shuttle to the west side of Jenny Lake and then hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.
  • And finally, watch the sunrise at Schwabacher’s Landing. It is one of the things you will remember forever!

Finally, if you are looking for more ideas of things to do in Grand Teton National Park, then check out some of my posts:

17 Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

11 Easy Hikes In Grand Teton National Park 

42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive in Grand Teton National Park 

Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton National Park

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First Visit to Grand Teton
First Visit to Grand Teton

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