Almost everyone, even worldwide, has heard of Yellowstone National Park. After all, it was America’s first National Park! But many people don’t realize that Yellowstone shares a border with the majestic, lesser-know, Grand Teton National Park. One of Wyoming’s greatest gems, the Grand Tetons are one of the most unique, breathtaking mountain ranges in the country! With countless lakes, jaw-dropping views and opportunities to see wildlife, you won’t be disappointed with your time there. So if you’re interested in planning a trip to this incredible park, here is a 3-day itinerary that includes all of the main “must-dos”.
*I recommend giving yourself at least 3 full days in the park. So factor in travel around these 3, jam-packed days!*
Morning: Start your day early with a big hike to Delta Lake! This is a roughly 8 mile hike to a stunning lake. You will park at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead to access this hike. Plan to get there early to ensure a parking spot and factor in about 5 hours total for this activity (give or take based on fitness levels of your group). If a shorter hike is more likely in the cards for you, I recommend the 5 mile hike to Bradley lake, which begins at the same trailhead!
Afternoon: Spend your afternoon cooling off at Colter Bay! There you have lake access to Lake Jackson and kayak rentals. I recommend stopping at the Colter Bay grocery store to grab some snacks for the lake day post-hike, then having dinner at John Colter’s Ranch House.
Evening: Head to Signal Mountain Summit Road for a stunning sunset overlooking the Tetons backed by vibrant colors!
Morning: Get an early start and head to the Jackson Lake Dam for sunrise (or as early as possible). First thing in the morning, the water is like glass, perfectly reflecting the Teton range creating a mirror effect. From there, continue on to Jenny Lake. Take the ferry across the lake ($18 per person roundtrip and $10 for a one-way) and enjoy the scenic ride! Once you reach the other side of the lake, you’ll arrive at several trail systems where there’s a hike for all ability levels! Here are my top recommendations for each level:
Difficult: Cascade Canyon Trail (10 miles)
Moderate: Hidden Falls (4 miles including walk back instead of taking the ferry)
Easy: Moose Ponds Trail (3 miles)
Spend as much time as possible in this area, soaking up the views and maybe even some wildlife! I recommend packing a lunch, snacks and plenty of water since you may spend a large part of your day here.
Afternoon: Depending on how long your hiking adventures take, spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing and swimming at String Lake. It’s the perfect spot to cool off, wind down and enjoy an idyllic evening picnic!
Evening: If you have just a litttttttle bit more energy, complete the small hike to Leigh Lake for sunset. It’s only 1.5-2 miles total out and back!
Morning: Make the most of your last day by starting early at Schwabacher’s Landing. Going first thing in the morning is the best time to potentially spy some wildlife, and enjoy the beauty before the crowds arrive. From there, head to your final hike in the park, which will begin at Rockefeller’s Parking area. Here you will spend the morning hiking Phelps Lake Trail, a 7 mile easy loop. Soak in those views!
Afternoon: Post-hike, head to Mormon Row to snap some photos of the iconic barn, which is said to be the most photographed barn in history! You can also designate this time to hit up any last minute shops for souvenirs you’ve been wanting.
Evening: On your final evening in this incredible area, I recommend heading to the nearby town of Jackson for dinner. If you haven’t visited before, you will enjoy an ever-buzzing energy and a culture of cowboy meets mountain town.
I hope you enjoy your trip to this gorgeous, magical park! Always remember to practice Leave No Trace principles, picking up after yourself, and leaving the park just as beautiful as you found it. If you found this guide helpful, drop me a note below!!