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Grand Teton National Park, WY: Best Hikes, Sites & More

| Updated May 31, 2023

If you have an extra day in your Yellowstone adventure, there is no better companion than taking a drive through Grand Teton National Park.

To get to the Tetons you’ll take US-191 (the main road in Yellowstone) south from West Thumb until you hit the South Entrance of Yellowstone. There it turns into the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway which stretches down through to Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton National Park map
Follow this or use Grand Teton National Park map

This main road continues down through the town of Moran and follows Snake River all the way into Jackson, WY, and is open year-round.

There is a second main road, the Teton Park Road, that more closely follows Jackson Lake and offers access to several trailheads however it is only open from May 1 – Oct 31.

Jutting up magnificently as the backdrop to Jackson Lake, the Tetons are one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the US.

Here is a map of the roads and campgrounds in Grand Teton. Here is a Grand Teton National Park map with different features you can toggle between.

The best way to see Grand Teton National Park is to make a large winding loop from the Jackson Lake Junction to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and then back up following the Snake River to Moran.

Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

There’s a lot to do in Grand Teton National Park and unfortunately, we didn’t get to it all but we’ve picked out some of the must-see areas.

The hiking in Grand Teton is incredible, there are a ton of different trails. Here is a full list of hikes in Grand Teton but we’ll also share our favorites below.

Colter Bay Village

If you need to stock up on gas and other amenities, make a visit to the charming Colter Bay Village on the northeast side of Jackson Lake. It's like a summer camp for the entire family.

This is basically the main hub inside Grand Teton, there is a campground here, a general store, a Visitor Center, a marina/boat launch, a small beach, a few restaurants, and an outdoor amphitheater where rangers give talks every evening.

On top of that, there are several hiking trails you can enjoy. The 3.2-mile round-trip loop to Heron Pond and Swan Lake is a particularly beautiful hike.

Signal Mountain

Going further south, it’s worth the time to take a drive up Signal Mountain.

Located 3 miles south of the Jackson Lake Junction on Teton Park Road, you’ll take a left on to Signal Mountain Road.

The 5-mile winding road has a number of viewpoints, and at the top, you'll be treated to a panoramic view of the Teton Range, the Snake River, and Jackson Hole Valley.

There’s also a trailhead here, if you’re feeling up to it the hike up Signal Mountain is about 7 miles round-trip. If you're taking your kids or dog with you, be sure to check out the Best Hiking Strollers and Hiking Dog Harnesses.

String Lake

A few miles south of Signal Mountain you’ll see a turn off for North Jenny Lake Junction, take that and follow it to the String Lake Trailhead.

The hike around String Lake is an easy 3.8-mile loop and an iconic piece of the Grand Tetons. Enjoy the mountains reflected in the shallow, warm lake waters. Swimming is allowed and it’s also a great place to rent a kayak.

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Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point

From String Lake either hop back in your rig and go to the South Jenny Lake Junction or continue on the 1.4-mile trail over to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

If you decide to take the short drive to Jenny Lake, you can take a shuttle across the lake to avoid the 2-mile hike in each way. Shuttles run every 10-15 minutes and are $18/person round-trip.

If you decide to take the shuttle it’s only a 1-mile round-trip hike to Hidden Falls or a 2-mile round-trip hike to Inspiration Point.

Cascade Canyon

If you’re feeling up for it, you can also access Cascade Canyon from this area. Just continue on the trail west in between the mountains. The trail narrows in the canyon and ends about 4 miles later at the Forks of Cascade Canyon so it’s quite a hike in but you can turn back at any time if you want to shorten it.

All of this area around String Lake and Jenny Lake is bear country, especially if you head into the canyon so make sure to make noise as you’re hiking and carry bear spray.

Taggart Lake

About 5 miles further down the road is the trailhead for Taggart Lake.

This is a gorgeous 3-mile round-trip trail that cuts through a mixed forest of spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine as well as new undergrowth from an area burned during a wildfire in the ‘80s before arriving at Taggart Lake.

From the lake, you’ll have great views of the awe-inspiring Grand Teton.

Moose, WY

As you continue down Teton Park Road you’ll hit the town of Moose, WY which houses the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and the Menor’s Ferry Historic District.

The Visitor Center explores the themes of place, people, preservation, and mountaineering. Exhibits include a collection of Native American Indian artifacts from the Vernon Collection and a raised relief map of the park that provides a birds-eye-view of the valley, canyons, lakes, and peaks.

Menor’s Ferry gives you a look at what homesteading and pioneer life looked like in the late 1800s. Depending on water levels you can ride a replica of the ferry that crossed the Snake River at the turn of the century.

From this junction, you can continue down to the town of Jackson, WY, or turn back up and follow US-191 along the Snake River up to Moran. On your way back up make sure to stop at Snake River Overlook and get a picture!

Mike and Jennifer Wendland's Yellowstone Travel Guide

3 Beautiful Boondocking Sites Outside Yellowstone

At the top of every RVers bucket list, it is a place so majestic, so wild, and so big that it calls us to return, to explore, to get to know the diversity of its land and animals over and over again.

Everywhere you look are waterfalls, fast-moving rivers, geysers, sheer rock faces, towering lodgepole pines, all framed by mountains under the bright blue cloudless sky.

It’s spectacular for those who love the wilderness and getting up close and personal with it. Enjoy Yellowstone for RV travel.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-12-16

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

One Response to “Grand Teton National Park, WY: Best Hikes, Sites & More”

December 17, 2021at8:33 am, Bev Parkison said:

Loved Grand Tetons National Park! In October 2019 it was gorgeous and not crowded. Jackson WY is a fun town to hang out. We stayed at an RV resort in Victor ID just a half hour drive from the Tetons. The huge hot tub pool there was heavenly after a day of hiking. Can’t wait to return.


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