Exploring the Tetons
It’s hard to miss the Teton Range towering high above the lush valley floor, mountain meadows, and alpine lakes of Grand Teton National Park. Considered by many to be Wyoming’s most iconic landmark, Grand Teton National park is 310,000 acres of jaw-dropping mountain scenery and provides over 200 hiking trails to explore.
Whether you’re a mountain lover, avid adventurer or road tripper looking to immerse yourself in an incredible landscape, Grand Teton is the place for you. Below are some of our favorite things to do in Grand Teton National Park.
Scenic Overlooks and Drives
We get it, hiking isn’t for everyone - one of the best things about Grand Teton National Park, is that it offers visitors the opportunity to experience the scale of the Teton Range, without requiring a trek into the backcountry. There are a ton of highly accessible scenic overlooks and picturesque drives that are an enjoyable alternative to trekking for miles into the woods. Below are some of our favorites.
Looking for wildlife? You’re in luck - Oxbow bend is known for wildlife sightings! If you want to increase your chances of seeing moose, elk, osprey, bald eagles, or a variety of other wildlife, you’ll want to visit at dusk or dawn. In addition to wildlife, you’re guaranteed to experience one of the park’s most picturesque overlooks. Mount Moran, a distinct peak of the Teton Range, dominates the landscape and can be seen reflecting in the still waters of the Snake River at sunrise.
Pro Tip: Grand Teton is considered a sunrise park, which means you’ll want to pack an ample amount of coffee and cold-weather attire, like a durable Heated Jacket, to catch the first-light over the Tetons.
A must-see at sunrise, Schawbacher’s landing offers unparalleled views of the Teton Range along the shores of the Snake River. At sunrise, the peaks of the Teton Range turn subtle shades of pink and purple and reflect perfectly off of the glassy, meandering Snake River. There is a four-mile hiking trail that wanders along the banks of the Snake River, providing ample photo opportunities and places to take in the views. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Moose or Bison, hanging out on the marshy shores of a nearby pond.
Pro Tip: Early Mornings in the Tetons get chilly, it’s a great idea to pack a quality, lightweight jacket, like the Ororo Camo Heated Jacket, or a versatile, insulated vest like the Ororo Heated Vest, so you can handle whatever the weather throws your way.
Teton Park Road
Teton Park Road is a 21-mile scenic drive that follows the base of the Teton Range from Moose to Jackson Lake Junction. Along the drive, you can expect to see wildlife grazing in open fields, as well as a variety of scenic turnouts, day-use areas, and popular trailheads.
The weather along this route can be unpredictable and it’s not uncommon for a beautiful sunny day to suddenly change into moderate snowfall or heavy rainfall. For this reason, it’s recommended that you bring along a rain-resistant, well-insulated jacket, like the Ororo Heated Jacket, so you won’t have to stay cooped up in the car.
There’s no denying that Grand Teton is hiker heaven. A variety of accessible hiking trails are scattered throughout the park and provide adventurous travelers the opportunity to experience incredible alpine scenery, pristine mountain lakes, and towering waterfalls.
The Cascade Canyon Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park offers hikers an intimate trek through the heart of the Tetons. The canyon is lined with rugged rock formations, glacial-fed waterfalls, and vibrant wildflowers. Because this hike is at a higher elevation, you should always be prepared for the weather to change rapidly – don’t forget to pack your Ororo Heated Jacket for a safe and memorable experience in the mountains!
If you’re not quite up for a hefty trek into the mountains, you can still experience stunning views of Mount Moran on the shore of Leigh Lake, an easy 5-mile trail, or take a gently walk around the perimeter of the glistening green String Lake along the String Lake Trail.
One thing is certain, regardless of where you go or what you do in Grand Teton, the park is sure to leave a lasting impression. Pack safe and happy hiking!
*Guest blogger: Morgan Shannon