To really get off the grid and back to nature, Grand Teton National Park is the perfect solution. The lack of tv, phones, sirens, and trucks beeping help you quickly shed the pressures of daily life so you can instead appreciate the fresh air and magnificence of your surroundings. Peaks, rivers and lakes beckon to be enjoyed. There’s so much to see and do in the park and the surrounding area, here’s a list of just ten to get you started.
Ten things to do in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area:
Take a romantic hike: There are over 250 miles of trails in the park with a slew of day hikes ranging from easy to strenuous and varying in elevation. But how could you resist a trail named Inspiration Point? Grab your sweetie and get going, the pay off at the top is bound to be greater than the satisfaction of overlooking beautiful Jenny Lake.
Hit the water: For unparalleled views of the sprawling Teton Mountains take a rafting trip down Snake River or go kayaking on Jackson Lake. The guides are fun and extremely knowledgeable so you’ll pick up a lot of fun facts and anecdotes along the way as well. Don’t forget your camera or you’ll be hating yourself at the end.
Delight your taste buds: Splurge one night at the Mural Room for a surprising dining experience on a calibre far above what you’d expect at a National Park. I can tell you it blew away anything I had at neighboring Glacier Park in Montana. The dishes are masterful in flavor and presentation, albeit with a price tag to match, nonetheless well worth it. It’s located at the Jackson Lake Lodge and accessible to guests staying at any of the three Grand Teton Lodging Company properties. Be sure to make a reservation in advance and request a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows for amazing views of Jackson Lake and Mount Moran to fully appreciate why it’s called the Mural Room.
Watch the sunrise from Signal Mountain: The overlook at the top of Signal Mountain faces Jackson Lake and the Tetons with unobstructed views down the mountain and across the valley, making it an excellent spot to catch the sunrise.
Go huckleberry crazy: It’s easy to do since this star local berry takes center stage in just about everything…lemonade, jam, chocolate, coffee, ice cream, syrup, BBQ sauce…although I highly recommend the cocktail version. We had some very delish huckleberry infused Teton Glacier Vodka sours at Jenny Lake Lodge, made that much better by the incredible backdrop of the Grand Tetons.
Explore by bike: The park has over 100 miles of bike trails along scenic routes with wildlife watching turnouts along the way. There’s also a 40 mile, nearly flat, bike path from Jenny Lake down to Jackson perfect for an overnight excursion with broader views of Jackson Hole valley and National Elk Refuge along the way.
Sling ‘em back cowboy style: After a day of biking there’s no better way to relax your sore muscles than saddling up to a cold one at the Millionaire Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson. Although there’s no mechanical bull, the bar stools are real saddles. Country and western music, line dancing, and stuffed grizzly round out the fun (and photo opps).
Go mile-high: Well, 10,450 feet in 12 minutes. In the summer you can ride the Tram at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort in Teton Village to the top of the mountain. After adjusting to the altitude, gawk at the valley below and the edge of the Teton Ridge, then nosh on made to order waffles like the ski pros at Corbets Cabin. And if you’re really feeling up to it, skip the tram return trip and hike it down.
Take the scenic route: If you’re short on time or just not up for a day of biking, take the 43-mile Scenic Loop Drive that passes by a number of famous turnouts like Jenny Lake Lodge Overlook and Oxbow Bend which is excellent for wildlife watching. Be sure to pack the binoculars!
Enjoy a winter wonderland: The park is actually open all year long, if you’re a winter enthusiast and don’t mind that you’ll see more animals than people, then there’s plenty to do including skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Also Yellowstone Park borders to the North and your park pass is good for admittance to both parks so if you have the time, head up and explore another US National Park treasure.