One Day In Grand Teton National Park: The Must See’s

Share This

Only have one day In Grand Teton? Absolutely no worries! You can cover a lot of ground and see some of the best things to do in Grand Teton National Park. Whether you’re looking for scenic drives, picture perfect photography spots or a bit of hiking, our below guide lists where to go in Grand Teton National Park to make sure you have one epic day.

First, we probably know what you’re thinking, “is one day enough for Grand Teton National Park?” While one day is tight, it’s definitely doable! Our recommended time in Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole area is 2-3 days, but no worries, we’ll get you seeing the “what not to miss” in Grand Teton National Park in one day!

One Day In Grand Teton National Park Itinerary

PIN IT & SAVE IT FOR LATER

Grand Teton National Park Facts

Before we jump into all the fun, it’s always nice to know a little bit about the place you’re visiting. Below are some quick facts about Grand Teton National Park.

  • How big is Grand Teton National Park | 310,000 acres
  • How was Grand Teton formed | millions of years of earthquakes
  • When was Grand Teton established | February 26, 1929
  • How old is the Teton Range | 10 million years, making them the youngest range in North America
  • How tall is Grand Teton | Grand Teton stands tall at 13,776 ft
  • Grand Teton Park annual visitors | Around 3 million people
  • How close is Grand Teton to Jackson Hole | 20 – 25 minutes
  • How close is Grand Teton to Yellowstone | About 1 hour

Best Time To Visit Grand Teton National Park

The best time to visit Grand Teton National Park are the summer months, June to mid-September. Places like the visitor centers, hiking trails and other park activities, like kayaking and biking, are all open and ready for you during these months. If visiting a little before or after this timeframe be prepared for certain trails and roads to be closed as well as some park amenities like the Jenny Lake Boat and in park restaurants.

Note: The Teton Park Road, from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge, is closed from November 1 through April 30. From mid-December to mid-March, the road is available for skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking

How To Get To Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is located in the state of Wyoming, close to the towns of Moose, Jackson and Kelly Wyoming. In order to get to Grand Teton, you should plan to fly into the closet airport to the National Park, Jackson Hole (JAC), Grand Teton National Park’s airport.

Other airport options are:

  • Idaho Falls Airport (IDA): 90 miles, 2 hour drive
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC): 300 miles, 5-6 hour drive
  • Denver Airport (DEN): 550 miles, 8-10 hour drive

Once you are in the vicinity, you can plan to enter Grand Teton National Park from either of its three park entrances 1) Grand Canyon Entrance 2) Moose Entrance 3) Moran Entrance.

Driving in Grand Teton National Park

How to Visit Grand Teton National Park In One Day

First understand that you are able to see the massive, incredible Teton Range without ever going into the National Park itself. From highway 191, you’ll be able to see the expansive glory that is Grand Teton. However, if you are wanting to see Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, do some epic hikes or see popular photography places like Oxbow Bend, you’ll need to pay the entrance fee and go into Grand Teton National Park.

There are a few ways to navigate and visit Grand Teton National Park. The easiest and most popular option is visiting Grand Teton by car. You can easily rent a car at Jackson Hole Airport if you are flying into the area.

The second option is to explore the park by bike. Biking Grand Teton is a fun way to experience that fresh mountain air while getting a little physical activity in. There are bike rentals in Jackson or, you can rent bikes from Dornan’s located right outside the park entrance.

One Day In Grand Tetons Map

Our below one day in Grand Teton map shows you our itinerary and highlights. Click on the map or zoom in to view the route and location of each stop. You’ll go on a wonderful scenic loop through Grand Teton National Park and it’s surrounding areas.

Please note, our below one day in Grand Teton route works best from May to end of September/beginning of October. Visiting Grand Teton during the winter months is doable but many activities, hikes, roads are closed.

Best Way To Spend One Day In Grand Teton National Park

You have a fun filled and jam-packed day of epic exploring! We spent one month in the Jackson Hole area living out of our camper and we’ve put together the ultimate list of things you must do with one day in Grand Teton.

  1. Mormon Row
  2. Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
  3. Signal Mountain
  4. Colter Bay
  5. Jackson Lake
  6. Oxbow Bend
  7. Snake River Overlook
  8. Schwabacher Landing
  9. Teton Village Gondola
  10. The Deck at Piste

Note: We have a few alternate options so you can make a one day in Grand Tetons itineray that works best for you and your trip! Keep reading…

Stop 1: Sunrise at Mormon Row

You’re starting your day off with one of the most iconic views of the Teton Range and that is with a sunrise mission to Mormon Row. Located about 15 miles (24 kms) from Jackson, Mormon Row Historic district is home to two picturesque barns, the more popular of the two being T.A. Moulton Barn.

Mormon settlers first arrived to the area around around the 1890s and planted their roots. What remains of them today are the two settlements which offer a stunning backdrop of the Teton Range. Not a bad way to start the day at all, if you ask us!

Sunrise at Mormon Row

Stop 2: Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Hike

After you’ve had your fill of Mormon Row, it’s time to head into Grand Teton National Park! Stop 2 is one, if not THE most popular thing to do in Grand Teton, which is why we have you going early to beat the crowds. The Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point is an easy to moderate hike and a great way to see three iconic destinations in one activity.

View from Inspiration Point at Jenny Lake

The hike starts on the southern lake shore of Jenny Lake (Jenny Lake Trailhead) and takes you 2.4 miles along the lake shore. Once on the western side of the lake, you can hike up to Hidden Falls and then 0.5 miles onto Inspiration Point. The total round trip is 5.8 miles if you decide to hike the whole thing or 2 miles if you decide to take the boat both ways.

For us, we did the full hike there and opted to take the boat back. Best of both worlds if you ask us!

Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle – Schedule & Pricing

  • June 7th to September 6th: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • September 7th to September 30: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Price: $18 (adult round-trip), $10 (adult one-way)
  • Shuttle boat runs every 10 to 15 minutes
  • Reservations are not available, boats depart on a first-come first-served basis.
Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle at Grand Teton

OPTIONAL: Before heading to Signal Mountain, you can do the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. Jenny Lake scenic drive is a 3 mile drive that takes you along the eastern side of Jenny Lake. This is a short little add on that lets you see more of the park!

Stop 3: Drive Up To Signal Mountain

Once you’ve had a little fun hike under your belt, it’s time to get in your car again and head towards Signal Mountain. Standing 7,720 feet above sea level, Signal Mountain overlook gives you a nice little view of the park below. The drive up to Signal Mountain is 4.4 miles (one-way) and is only open from Mid-may to November. At the top you can expect to find a parking lot with a short little walk to the scenic overlooks.

Stop 4: Have Lunch At Colter Bay

After a short little stop at Signal Mountain, it’s time to head to the largest lake in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake. Not to mention, you’re probably a little hungry. After all, you’ve been up and on the move for a couple hours by now!

Colter Bay is nestled on the banks of Jackson Lake. Offering picnic tables for those who packed a lunch, a convenience store were you can buy coffees, beverages and some sandwiches and two restaurants, Café Court Pizzeria and Ranch House. Whichever route you choose, Colter Bay makes a great stop for lunch and views of Jackson Lake.

Stop 5: Go Kayaking or Canoeing on Jackson Lake

Another great activity to do if you have one day in Grand Tetons is to get on the water! Colter Bay Marina offers canoe, kayak and motorboat rentals. All rentals are first-come, first-serve and require a 2 hour minimum when renting. Prices vary from $25-$48 per hour and are worth every penny. Paddle the alpine lake, soak in the sun and enjoy the Teton views!

Tip: Jackson Lake is the only lake dogs are allowed on, so grab your pup and take them along for the ride!

Stop 6: Take In The Sights at Oxbow Bend

After several hours paddling or cruising around Jackson Lake, it’s time to chill and take in some scenic drive sights and overlooks. Grand Tetons National Park is nothing short on views. From wildlife to stunning, dramatic mountainous backdrops, every turn has something the previous one did not.

Your first scenic overlook of the afternoon is Oxbow Bend. Oxbow Bend is not only a great spot for photography, but if you’re lucky, a great spot to see some wildlife! From wild birds to moose to bears, you’ll never know what will be relaxing on the river when you arrive.

Views of the Tetons from Oxbow Bend

Stop 7: Visit Schwabacher Landing and Snake River Overlook

Continuing along with scenic overlooks, no trip to theTeton Range is complete without a visit to Schwabacher Landing and Snake River Overlook. Located along highway 191, you’ll drive past a handful of scenic overlooks and pull-offs, two of which being 1) Schwabacher Landing and 2) Snake River Overlook.

Coming from Oxbow Bend, your first scenic overlook will be Snake River Overlook. Made famous by Ansel Adams, an American landscape photographer and environmentalist, Ansel took a photo here in 1942 and showed the world just how beautiful Grand Teton is. Recreate his work or just take in the view, either way, this viewpoint is a must stop.

Snake River Overlook in Grand Tetons National Park

Just down the road on highway 191, you’ll come to Schwabacher Landing. Schwabacher Landing is the place to get a beautiful reflection photo of the Tetons in the Snake River. If it’s not too windy, the water is calm allowing you to get a oh-so-lovely reflection photo. Plus, you never know what wildlife you might encounter here!

Stop 8: Ride The Teton Village Gondola

Now it’s time to head into Teton Village, the Ski mecca of Wyoming. Skiing now? No, no, no (unless you’re there in the winter :)), you’re taking a ride on the Gondola! Free starting at 5pm or $45 per person prior, the Teton Village Gondola is a fun 12 minute ride to the top of Jackson Valley.

Riding the Gondola in Teton Village

Tip: The gondola being free at 5pm is a big draw. If you’re wanting to be one of the first to go up at 5pm, we suggest getting there early as there will be a line of people in queue. If you need to go before 5pm, you can save $7 and buy your tickets online making it $38 per person.

Stop 9: Dinner and Happy Hour at The Deck at Piste

Once you exit the Gondola, you’re greeted with panoramic views and an amazing deck patio. The Deck at Piste is an absolute perfect way to end your one day in Grand Teton. Sip on happy hour drink specials, enjoy some appetizers and you take in the view and reminisce about your day.

The Deck at Piste

Tip: Happy hour starts at 4:30pm and the last gondola ride down is at 8:30pm.

One Day In Grand Teton Alternatives

Now, we loved our one day in Grand Teton itinerary. However, there are definitely a few things you can add in or replace. After all, this is your trip, so make it exactly how you want it!

Check out our 2, 3 and 4 day Grand Teton itineray for additional inspiration!

If you want to skip the Gondola and drinks at Piste, right outside the Grand Teton National Park there is a restaurant called Dornan’s. They have great pizza, a full bar and local beers on tap, plus you can’t beat the patio view!

Beers on Dornan's Patio with a view of Grand Tetons

Tip: Dornan’s also offers bike rentals and river rafting tours if you have more time to spend in the park.

If you want to experience downtown Jackson a bit more, plan to grab dinner at either Roadhouse Brewery, Hatch Taqueria & Tequilas or Bin22. After dinner in Jackson stumble into The Cowboy Bar for an after dinner drink and this historic establishment.

If you want to get another hike in, there are a few easy to moderate trails that can be added to or swapped into our one day in Grand Tetons guide. Some of our favorites and most popular are:

  • Phelps Lake Overlook: 2 miles | difficulty level: easy | elevation gain: 413 ft
  • Lake Creek-Woodland Trail Loop: 3.3 miles | difficulty level: moderate | elevation gain: 272 ft
  • String Lake Trail Loop: 4.4 miles | difficulty level: easy | elevation gain: 291 ft
  • Taggart to Bradley Lake: 6 miles | difficulty level: moderate | elevation gain: 761 ft
  • Leigh Lake Shoreline: 7 miles | difficulty level: easy | elevation gain: 111 ft
Phelps Lake Overlook at Grand Tetons

Where To Stay Inside Grand Teton National Park

If you’re looking to stay within Grand Teton National Park, there are a handful of lodges, campground and RV sites for you to choose from. These reservations go fast so once you plan your trip dates, we highly suggest making reservations at least 6 months ahead of time.

  • Jenny Lake Lodge: Considered the nicest lodge in the park, but that makes it the most expensive. However, the location is spot on (walkable to Jenny Lake) and the cabins are nice.
  • Jackson Lake Lodge: Located close to Jackson Lake and Oxbow Bend and has nice views of the lake and Tetons.
  • Signal Mountain Lodge Located on Signal Mountain, making this centrally located to all activities in Grand Tetons National Park.
  • Colter Bay Village: This accommodation option happens to be the furthest north making it great if you’re planning to visit Yellowstone, but for everything else in Grand Tetons, you’re a decent drive away.

Just outside the park, two of the closest accommodations are Triangle X or Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch

Where To Stay In Jackson

Jackson is a great little downtown that’s the popular choice to stay for folks visiting Grand Teton National Park or Teton Ski Valley. Jackson has everything from luxury accommodations like Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole, The Rustic Creekside in and The Lodge at Jackson Hole to boutique hotels like Hotel Jackson, Anvil Hotel and The Wort. Or, opt for a cozy roadside inn’s like The Antler Inn.

Best Places To See Wildlife in Grand Teton

It’s no secret that moose, black bears, grizzly bears, elk, antelope, bison and loads of other animals call Grand Teton home. Some of the best places to see wildlife is at sunrise or late afternoon along rivers or brush fields.

  • Oxbow Bend, close to Gros Ventre campground along the Gros Ventre river and Moose-Wilson Road are great places to try and see a moose! For us, we saw a mama moose and baby at least four times along Gros Ventre river, just outside Gros Ventre campground.
  • Elk Flats Overlook is a great place to catch bison grazing and antelope running – we saw so many!
  • Bears are the tricky ones. We are told that Moose-Wilson Road and Pilgrim Creek are popular spots but for us, we actually saw a bear cub on our way up to Delta Lake!

Long story short, you’r not guaranteed to see anything. These are wild animals that roam where they please, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see one of these amazing animals!

One Day In Grand Teton Important Planning Information

  • Grand Teton National Park Entrance Fee: $35/vehicle, $30/motorcycle, $20/hiker or biker (entrance fee is good for 7 consecutive days)
  • Grand Teton Park Hours: 24 hours every day, all year-round
  • In Park Bathrooms: Restrooms can be found at the Visitor Center and many popular hiking trailheads
  • Grand Teton Restaurants: You can find snacks and to-go food at the Colter Bay Convenience Store and places for a sit down lunch or dinner at places like Trapper Grill, Mural Room, Pioneer Grill, Blue Heron Lounge and Peaks Dining Room (note, restaurants only operate during the summer months)
  • In Park Gas Stations: There are two gas stations located within Grand Tetons National Park. The first is Signal Mountain Gas Station and the second can be found at Colter Bay Village Convenience Store. A third filing station is located in between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park on the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway called Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch.
  • Grand Teton Cell Phone Reception: Two park rangers we met called it “Teton LTE” meaning you’ll have LTE bars, but no reception. If you need to make any important calls, social media posts, or google some information, be sure to do it well before we enter Grand Teton National Park.

Note, if you plan on visiting other National Parks, you should consider purchasing the National Parks pass. It’ll save you money on National Park entrance fees!

One Day In Grand Teton For Travelers With Accessibility Needs

For those visiting Grand Teton National Park that require ADA compliant paths and activities, we have a great list of some options just below.

  • Grand Teton Wildlife Tour: While seeing wildlife from your car is very likely when visiting Tetons, if you want to book a wildlife tour, Wyoming Wilds offer ADA compliant tours.
  • Drive The 42 Mile Grand Teton Scenic Loop Drive: Enjoy some of the best sites of the park from the comfort of your own vehicle. Pull over at scenic overlooks to snap pictures and take in the beauty of the park.
  • Jenny Lake Visitor Center / Paved Walking Path: The Jenny Lake Visitors center offers and part os. the Jeyny Lake trail are paved, allowing those in wheelchair to get up and close and personal with Jenny Lake.
  • Colter Bay & Colter Bay Visitor Center: Paved walk ways also those with accessibility requirements to see Jackson Lake from up close. Also, you can swing into the visitor center as well!
  • Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center: Learn about the Rockefeller’s contribution to Grand Tetons and explore some nearby paved trails.

One Day In Grand Teton For Families and Kids:

Our list above is great for kids and families, but a few more options never hurt! Check out some additional kid-fun and family friendly activities in Teton National Park.

  • Rent bikes at Dornan’s and bike the park using the multi-use bike path
  • Book a river rafting tour down the Snake River
  • Go swimming in Jackson Lake and have a picnic on one of it’s many beaches
  • Rent some poles and go fishing
  • Book a horseback riding tour
  • Check out a wildlife viewing tour

One Day In Grand Teton For Hikers

If you only have one day, and you’re a hiker. You need to get an epic one in, right?! There are loads of amazing hikes in Grand Tetons, but if you only have one day, we recommend tackling one of the below.

  • Cascade Canyon (9 miles) – note, you’ll see hidden falls, jenny lake and inspiration point on this hike
  • Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude (16 miles)
  • Phelps Lake to Death Canyon to Patrol Cabin (9 miles)
  • Death Canyon to Static Peak Divide (16 miles)
  • Delta Lake + Amphitheater Lake + Surprise Lake (11.5 miles)

More United States Adventures

Arches National Park in One Day

12 Incredible Things To Do in Telluride

First Timers Guide To Visiting Monument Valley

Your Guide To Visiting Antelope Canyon

Havasu Falls Hike Planning Guide

Visiting Grand Canyon In A Day

10 Things To Do In Great Sand Dunes National Park

PIN IT FOR LATER!

One Day In Grand Tetons Pin

For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstusPinterest and on Facebook. Oh and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

What do you think? Leave us a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: