The Grand Teton National Park gets its name from the high, jagged mountain in Wyoming that forms the centerpiece of the area. But that description doesn’t begin to capture the scenic glory of this park. Perfect hiking trails, glorious rivers, and vast plains of breathtaking beauty greet the visitor at every turn.
There are over 200 miles of hiking trails within the park, so no matter what your fitness or skill level you’ll find one that’s just right for you. Whichever you choose, the scenery will be awe-inspiring. Backpacking through the Teton Crest, for example, hikers can cover nearly 40 miles along the park’s southern border, ending at Paintbrush Canyon. Be prepared to camp overnight for a couple of days when making this one.
Be prepared, too, for some sights that will take your breath away. The wildflower-covered Alaska Basin is just one example. As you make your way through the Grand Teton Peaks, you’ll ultimately reach Cascade Canyon. Head over to Lake Solitude before you get so entranced you decide to make it your permanent home.
If you prefer something other than foot-powered transportation, take a rafting trip down the Snake River. With little whitewater, it’s an easy voyage. But paddlers will still get a nice workout as they try to navigate the many twists and turns and avoid logjams. The river even makes it as far as Yellowstone National Park, so you get two park visits for your effort.
For the easiest trip possible, head for the stretch between Jackson Lake Dam and Cattleman’s Bridge. The calm water lets you get the most of the incredibly scenic views.
For those who want to visit the area in winter, head for Jackson Hole. The cross-country skiing here is unmatched. Flagg Canyon on the north side is one of the favorites of locals and visitors from around the world alike.
During summer, you can walk along the Phelps Lake Overlook Trail. Climbing southward through forests filled with lodgepole pine, you come out in an area overlooking Phelps Lake, just as the name promises. Framed by Douglas fir, it’s like something out of a Hollywood movie.
Head over to Colter Bay and take advantage of the chance to see the native wildlife. Everything from snowshoe hares and martens to marmots and deer lives here. You can easily catch sight of a muskrat or beaver and, if you’re patient, a river otter. Moose and elk wander by on a regular basis, too.
If driving is your preferred method of getting around, take the scenic drive along Teton Park Road. Easing through Signal Mountain Road to the top will provide one of the best views of the park, 800 feet above the valley floor.
If you prefer to stay in one spot, you couldn’t do any better than fishing for cutthroat trout in the upper Snake River watershed. Rainbow trout are plentiful, too, along with brook trout and whitefish. Late August or early September is the best time to wade in.
Established in 1929, Grand Teton National Park covers nearly 500 square miles. Come see why every square foot is a delight.