Located right to the south of Yellowstone National Park, in Northern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is a different kind of beauty as compared to Yellowstone. It preserves a spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and beautiful glaciers. It is a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking, fishing and other forms of recreation.
The 2 Day Itinerary for Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is a great place to relax, absorb the tranquility of the scenery, and spend time doing activities. For travelers from nearby who can carry gear and spend time camping, boating, hiking, certainly many days can be spent relaxing in Grand Teton. However, if you are a traveler coming from a farther place and can’t afford a longer stay, this 2 day itinerary is for you.
A Note on Getting to Grand Teton National Park
For my trip, we spent 5 days visiting Yellowstone and decided to spend 2 more days exploring Grand Teton. To get to Grand Teton National Park from Yellowstone, it’s a less than an hour drive from the Yellowstone south entrance to Grand Teton’s north entrance.
Usually, you would need a separate park pass to enter Grand Teton. However, if you are coming from Yellowstone via the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, no entrance fee is charged when entering Grand Teton. That was the case for my trip, but be sure to check out the current park pass details here.
Before We Begin
To quickly summarize the itinerary, the trip begins in the north by making the way down from Yellowstone and heading south, as illustrated in the map below.
If you would like to camp in the park, check out the camp grounds here. We were unable to camp during our trip, so we decided to stay at an Airbnb in Victor, Idaho, which was a little bit far out to the west from Grand Teton, but still a manageable distance. If you decide against camping, check out the numerous lodging options in Jackson, a lovely ski town and an ideal distance from Grand Teton.
- Day 1: Mountain View Turnout, String Lake, Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
- Day 2: Jackson, Mormon Row, Taggart Lake Trailhead
Day 1: Mountain View Turnout, String Lake, Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
Mountain View Turnout
On the way into Grand Teton from the north side or Yellowstone, make the first stop at Mountain View Turnout. It gives you a grand view of the Tetons. It’s absolutely stunning and a picturesque spot to capture the beauty of the Tetons.
Next, explore the String Lake area. This is a leisure spot with plenty of hiking trails around a picturesque mountain lake. Lots of people bring their boats and kayaks to hang out here. There is a trail (roughly 3 miles) that loops around String Lake. It’s a very flat walk and good if you are looking to take a quiet and relaxing stroll. Neighboring String Lake is Leigh Lake which also has a nice view and trail.
Next, head to Jenny Lake, a beautiful, serene glacially-carved lake which is also one of the most popular spots in Grand Teton (it was also my favorite spot!) Enter the visitor center area, which leads to Jenny Lake’s boating dock, where you can purchase a round trip ticket for the boat that takes passengers across Jenny lake to the other side. At the time of my trip, it is $18 for a roundtrip ticket and the boat comes and leaves frequently every 15 minutes or so. It’s a nice ride across the lake, but also easy for getting to the famous Cascade Canyon Trail. You do have the option of walking around the Lake to get to the other side as well, though it takes quite some time.
If you have time, also check out the kayaking rentals on Jenny Lake. It costs about $20 per hour for a two person kayak, and is a very leisurely and fun experience.
Cascade Canyon Trail, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
At Inspiration Point, get stunning views of Jenny Lake, Jackson Hole, and the vast mountains in the background. Most people turn back at this point (we did too), as beyond Inspiration Point is a long trail (see the pin on the map below) that we did not have time for, which was my biggest regret. If you can and are feeling adventurous, do explore the full trail, as Cascade Canyon is full of nature’s beauty. You will be rewarded with sights of bears, moose, huckleberry, thimbleberry, wild raspberry patches, and just be surrounded by pure nature.
Day 2: Jackson, Mormon Row, Taggart Lake Trailhead
Close to Grand Teton, about a 30-min drive, is Jackson, a lovely ski town to spend time at. It’s the ideal place to lodge, and spend the morning exploring the restaurants, cafes, and fun shops along the street.
The Mormon Row
When ready, head back into Grand Teton National Park for the Mormon Row Historic District, a community of 27 homesteads built in the 1890s by Mormons sent to settle the area. This is a must-see place, not even just from a historical point of view, but the scenery is in itself stunning. The tall grass and the wild flowers against the vast backdrop of glaciers is so calming. Not surprisingly, lots of travelers sit here for hours to paint the scenery.
Taggart Lake Trailhead
Get some hiking in for the day by choosing one of the popular trailheads, the Taggart Lake Trailhead. From the parking lots, it’s an easy 1.5 miles walk to Lake Taggart, then you have the option to turn back or take the Beaver Creek Trail for another 2 miles. The path down Beaver Creek is so serene and scenic. I highly recommend this part of the trail as it isn’t as crowded and adds a little bit more of a challenge. As we hiked in the late afternoon, the landscape was beautiful and golden under the sun set. We also spotted a fox, which was a novel experience!
Some Other Things to Do
If you have some extra time, explore the many other sights in the park. There’s also the popular Phelps Lake Loop Trail and the Albright View Overlook. We ended up going back to Jenny Lake to spend some more time kayaking there.
This was a relaxing 2 day itinerary for Grand Teton National Park, which is not over-packed but still explores some of the major scenic spots. A another bonus thing we did the next morning before leaving was to wake up early and watch the sunrise at Schwabacher Landing. There is really an endless number of things you can do in this wonderful place, so I hope you make the best of your trip and spend your time doing all the things you love.