In a survey done by National Parks Traveler, 52% of the park’s visitors come for the hiking – thanks to the park’s network of trails which interlink the most scenic vistas of lakes, mountains, and forests. Many trails pass through grizzly and black bear territory, so carry bear spray for safety.
Perhaps the park’s most popular hiking trail, the Cascade Canyon Loop begins on the western part of Jenny Lake, a sightseeing highlight. Hike for 9.5 miles until you reach Lake Solitude and Paintbrush Divide, then trace your way back by following the 10-mile Paintbrush Canyon Trail. The highest point opens onto rewarding views of Leigh Lake and Jackson Hole Valley.
For a seasoned hiker, this is a moderately challenging trail. The unmatched scenic views from the historic Death Canyon Barn, which also functions as a patrol cabin, make the hike totally worth it.
A perfect hike for beginners, this route allows you to soak in the park's pure alpine beauty with ease. The end of the trail leads to splendid views of the dikes streaming down Middle Teton in black, formed by molten rock in the mountain's youth.
The panoramic subalpine views here bring many to the same conclusion: Amphitheater Lake is the park's best mountain lake hike. Hiking this route introduces you to several important peaks, including Grand Teton, Disappointment Peak, Middle Teton, Teewinot Mountain, and Mt. Owen.
The park spoils visitors with a plethora of bodies of water. So dive right in! Go whitewater rafting, boating, fishing, or all of the above. The trails and mountains, on the other hand, create opportunities for adventure seekers craving some good hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
Raft along the scenic stretch of Snake River in Jackson Hole. And sign up for a guided river tour to learn about the park’s unique geology, history, flora, and fauna.
In the summer, fly fishing enjoys great popularity among visitors, who fish for different species of trout thriving in the park's numerous lakes and streams. Many opt for guided fly fishing trips along the Snake River.
Enjoy private boating or guided cruises on this beautiful lake with sweeping views of Mount Teewinot.
The 100 miles of paved roads in the park promise stunning views of the Teton Range and chance wildlife encounters as you make your way through various ecological habitats. Biking is the best mode of transport for exploring the Jenny Lake Scenic Loop. The Two Ocean Lake Loop and the old Native American Grassy Lake Road epitomize excellent mountain biking.
The park beckons families with kids. Children between 6 to 12 years old journal about their park experiences in the Nature Explorer’s Backpack Program, while children of all ages partake in the National Junior Rangers Program by completing an activity booklet and attending a workshop. Also, families participate in several group activities together.
If you're not staying in one of the many Grand Teton National Park cabins, camp out instead. Walk-in camping is allowed in Colter Bay and Jenny Lake campgrounds. Reserve in advance for backcountry camping.
Go for a relaxing cruise on Jackson Lake and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast, lunch, or dinner onboard. The cruise also includes a narration of local history and lake folklore.
Sign up for wildlife safaris, ranging from half a day to several days. Personalized guides, extensive viewing of bison, coyotes, grizzlies, and moose, among others, as well as countless photo opportunities make for a perfect family trip with kids. Moose Wilson Road, Kelly Loop, Antelope Flats, and Oxbow Bend hold the best opportunities for seeing animals in the wild. And winter is prime time for spotting elks in the National Elk Refuge.
Take a long scenic drive along this route to observe the park’s beautiful scenery. Keep your eyes peeled for creatures and critters as you take in the spectacular views of Teton Range, Jackson Lake, and Jackson Hole Valley.
Go rock climbing on the iconic Grand Teton peak, the highest in the whole park. Mountain guides give climbing classes geared towards families and kids.