Fun and Exciting Things to Do Grand Teton National Park
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Grand Teton National Park is a nature conservation park in northwestern Wyoming. This national park went through some struggles in order to become a park, but through the years has become a popular locale for campers and nature enthusiasts around the world. The park features hiking, fishing, and other nature activities while being positioned around the Grand Teton Mountains and surrounding valleys.
Grand Teton National Park arose from the combination of several different areas into one larger park, according to the National Park Service website. The idea of a national park in the area was tossed around as early as 1897, after the creation of Yellowstone National Park.
However, locals within Jackson Hole disagreed with the creation of a park, whether it be an addition to Yellowstone or an independent park. After a meeting in 1923, locals and the National Park Service came to a tentative agreement about the creation of a recreation area in the area that preserved the Old West feeling of Jackson Hole. However, the opposition was prevalent yet again.
During the next few decades, numerous protests and petitions were lodged in an attempt to keep the area free of a monument. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt named the disputed area the Jackson Hole National Monument. Eventually, locals realized that tourism may be a benefit to the area, and in 1950, the Grant Teton National Park came to be, encompassing the Jackson Hole area and the Grand Teton mountain range.
The website Wyoming Tourism notes that the summit of the Grand Tetons reaches 13,770 feet above sea level. Aside from the mountains, Grand Teton National Park features forest areas as well as plains, meadows, and swamps. There are also lakes within the park, including Jenny Lake.
The National Park Service website mentions that the Grand Teton National Park is also home to an impressive array of fossils. Most fossils are of things such as algae, coral, and trilobites. Visitors to the park, if they should find a fossil, are asked to leave it in place for other visitors and scientists to find.
Frommer’s Travel website notes that the Grand Teton National Park is one of two parks that have the highest concentration of free-roaming wildlife among the mainland states, with the other being Yellowstone National Park.
Grand Teton National Park is home to animals such as bison, elk, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. The park also houses coyotes, wolves, moose, and bighorn sheep. The animals can be seen while driving through the park or on hiking trips. Although many of them shy away from human interaction, if you’re patient you can catch a glimpse of the wildlife within the park and snap some pictures for personal collections.
Five campground areas are found throughout the Grand Teton National Park area, as noted by the website Grand Teton National Park Camping Guide. Each campground features modern amenities available, such as toilets and showers. Those coming to the park for camping may only stay a maximum of 14 days.
The campgrounds within the park are Colter Bay, Gros Ventre, Jenny Lake, Lizard Creek, and Signal Mountain. Campers can choose which campground they prefer. Some of the campsites, such as Jenny Lake, feature mostly flat land, and Lizard Creek and Signal Mountain feature hills and are better suited for more experienced campers.
Aside from camping, other outdoor activities are available within the Grand Teton National Park. Visitors can boat and fish on Jenny Lake. Other visitors choose to take scenic drives around roads through the park. For a closer view, hiking trails are available, which can also double as biking trails. During the winter, visitors can snowmobile and ski in Jackson Hole.
Popular summertime activities in the Grand Tetons include hiking, backpacking, boating, and biking. For those visiting in the winter, popular activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Day-hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park range from 0.5-mile easy strolls to strenuous full-day 23.2-mile hikes.
If you have a little more time on your hands, consider taking an overnight backpacking trip. Any backcountry camping trip requires a wilderness permit.
Boating is also popular in the Tetons. Motorized boats are allowed on Jenny and Jackson lakes. Human-powered boats are allowed on Bearpaw, Bradley, Emma Matilda, Jackson, Jenny, Leigh, Phelps, String, Taggart, and Two Ocean lakes. Permits are required for boating; they are available at the visitor centers at the Moose and Colter Bay visitor centers.
There are options for both mountain biking and road cycling in Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton Nation Park has easy, moderate, and difficult trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Sights to See in the Grand Teton National Park
The mountains of Grand Teton National Park provide spectacular scenery; they are breathtaking in their own right.
Spot wildlife at Oxbow Bend in the Grand Tetons National Park. You may catch a glimpse of moose, elk, or osprey. Bald eagles can usually be spotted sitting in the dead trees along the river bank during the day.
National Elk Refuge
Take a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge during the winter months and encounter more than 7,500 elk and an assortment of bulls, buffalo, and coyotes. Pass right by the herd of elk in the horse-driven sleighs as they stand and eat calmly.
Take a boat ride at Jenny Lake. Jenny Lake sits at the heart of the Grand Tetons; it was formed by melting glaciers 60,000 years ago. Begin your trip at Jenny Lake Visitor Center. Afterward, you can set off on a hiking trail around the lake or take a shuttle boat to the other side.
Snowking Mountain Chair Lift
Ride a chair lift to the top of Snow King Mountain; it towers over the town of Jackson. When you reach the top, you can see all the way to Yellowstone National Park. Walk the Snow King Nature Trail through aspens, pines, and wildflowers.
Watch a gunfight in the Jackson town square every summer evening. Hundreds of people turn out to watch this reenactment of a stagecoach, robbery, kidnapping, and the final shoot-out.
This national park has a lot more to offer than just its mountains. Visitors have a broad range of outdoor activities to choose from at Grand Tetons National Park.