Happy Tuesday, friends! Our trip to Jackson Hole was awesome, and Grand Teton was, without a doubt, the best part. Keep on reading to learn exactly what we did in the park, and what you should do, as well!
We were fortunate enough to have a *very* early flight to Wyoming, so we arrived in Jackson around 11:00am! Even after getting our luggage and renting our car, we still had several hours before we needed to buy groceries and check in, so we decided to drive around for a while.
We ended up at the National Elk refuge, which is in between the airport and Jackson and completely stunning. Bring a zoom lens, because the Elk aren't always right next to the road, and take in the stunning sight of the mountains in the background.
One thing everyone needs to do in Grand Teton is take a boat ride across Jenny Lake. Get there early (we arrived around 9:00am) because the afternoons can get crazy! When we drove back by the parking lot later that afternoon, people had begun parking on the street due to the popularity of the spot. Boat rides are $10 per person and incredibly worth it. If you want to make an entire day of Jenny Lake, you can take the hike around the lake (three miles one way, five miles the other).
Once we got to the other side of the lake, we took the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The panoramic views from Inspiration Point are stunning and definitely worth the quick hike, which is about two miles out and back with a 400 foot elevation gain.
After taking the boat back to the Jenny Lake parking lot, head north on Teton Park Road and take the Jenny Lake Scenic Loop. There are stunning views from the pull-offs, which are perfect if you're traveling with people who aren't able to hike.
After leaving the Jenny Lake Scenic loop, we headed back down along Teton Park Road then headed north on Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway to Mormon Row. Not only is the history of early Mormon settlers interesting, but the barns sitting in front of the Teton Range in the background makes for incredible images.
On the second morning, we took a brisk hike to Leigh Lake, which can be accessed by hiking along String Lake for a little less than a mile. Getting there early means beating the crowds and viewing the Teton Range in morning light, which felt incredibly surreal. You can choose to lengthen you hike by taking the entire trail, which is a little less than four miles. We decided to end our hike and turn back once we reached the lake's shore, as we had additional activities planned for the day.
One of my personal favorite activities was renting canoes on Jackson Lake, which is the largest lake in GTNP. People can rent canoes, kayaks, and even motorized boats from Colter Bay Marina. Warning: it says on the website that the canoes can seat three, but this is NOT true, unless you have a small child comfortable sitting on the floor of the central part of the canoe.
The water was crystal clear, and I could see straight to the bottom even when the depth appeared to be around 15 feet. We also were able to witness some of the most beautiful views of the mountain range that the park offered, since we were no longer blocked by a tree line. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as many people said they were able to see a grizzly bear from their canoe earlier on the day that we went!
After canoeing, we made our way to Leek's Marina & Pizzeria, which was highly recommended, for some DELICIOUS pizza with stunning outdoor views. We sat in the shade of the pine trees while munching on this awesome pizza and taking in the beautiful views that the mountains offered. Heart eyes all around.
We made the drive along Moose Wilson Road every morning to get into the park, since our condo was on this road, but it's worth mentioning that EVERYONE needs to make this drive in the early morning or late afternoon, at least once in order to search for wildlife.
We saw our first moose within twenty minutes of our first day in the park, and were treated to several more moose sightings as the week went on. On our final night, a moose stood less than ten feet from the road while eating grass from the creek floor bed, which was INCREDIBLE to witness. This was made even better by the fact that we saw a female moose and her two calves early in the morning on that same day.
I would heavily advise not renting a car and splurging on a vehicle with a higher lift if you're planning on making this drive, as the road was one of the bumpiest we've ever driven (hello, potholes!).
On our final day in the park, we did our longest hike, which was a four mile round-trip hike to Taggart Lake. If you're making this hike in the summer, bring a change of clothes, because my shirt was soaking wet by the time we made it back to the parking lot, and I ended up spending the rest of the day in just my shorts and sports bra. Taggart Lake was stunning, and this was the day we saw the most wildlife while hiking.
We saw a coyote less than five minutes into the hike, and several snakes jumped out at us on the path (and scared the shit out of me), so I would also recommend wearing enclosed hiking shoes rather than open-toed shoes like Chacos. This was the day that I felt most paranoid about bears. We ended up not purchasing bear spray since it was marked up to $50 due to our touristy location, so we were sure to make a decent amount of noise and stay aware of our surroundings at all times.
After our hike, we spent the rest of the day driving up Wyoming Scenic Centennial Byway, which provides several beautiful overlooks, such as Schwabacher's Landing (above) and Snake River Overlook (below).
That concludes our trip! Here are a couple of extra pointers I have when planning your trip to GTNP:
1: Wear layers in the summer. The mornings started out at 45-50 degrees and reached 80 by the afternoons.
2. Ask for a map at the park entrance. Cell phone reception is spotty at best and, while the park is fairly straightforward and well-marked, you don't want to find yourself lost with no way of looking up how to leave.
3. Pack your lunches. We only ate out one time while we were in the park, and brought a small ice chest with us in the car that held fruit, wraps, and a TON of water.
Have you visited Grand Teton? What were your must-do activities? Let me know down below!
My name's Vikka. I'm a Chattanooga fashion and lifestyle blogger. I post a lot of fashion, recipes, and home tips and tricks!
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