Frequently lying in the shadow of Yellowstone National Park because its location, Grand Teton National Park is a majestic area of natural beauty that we recently visited during our epic drive from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone. The Grand Tetons are a gorgeous mountain range with a myriad of majestic landscapes that will literally take your breath away.
We want to share our experiences driving through this part of Wyoming and hopefully inspire you to explore the Grand Tetons for yourselves.
Admission into Grand Teton National Park is $30 per vehicle if you are only planning on visiting this park.
If you have read many of our other national park posts, you will know that we are huge proponents of the America is Beautiful annual pass which for $80 is pretty much a no-brainer if you have any plans or thoughts of visiting multiple parks.
With Utah’s national park system and Yellowstone in close proximity, this is certainly something worth considering before arriving at the entrance.
If you don’t want to stay inside the national park, Jackson (part of the Jackson Hole valley) is only a few miles south of the entrance and provides an excellent town as a resource for accommodation, food and other attractions that you may be interested in experiencing.
But that’s enough about the basic information surrounding the Grand Tetons, I am sure you are all ready to see some of the breathtaking images that this national park has to offer.
The Grand Tetons
As we passed through the entrance we paid a short visit to the Visitor Center, but we were immediately encapsulated by the sight of the Teton Range in the distance. The beauty of taking the Teton Park Road loop is that the Teton Range will be directly to your left all the way as you drive north. The highlight of the Grand Tetons is the collection of the tallest mountains, commonly referred to as ‘The Cathedral Group.
Although there are a number of peaks within the Cathedral Group, the most notable are Grand Teton which stands at 13,770 feet, Middle Teton which is over 12,000 feet and South Teton, also over 12,000 feet.
It’s fairly easy to spot each of these mountains as you gaze up from the side of the road but there are several viewpoints that provide handy guides so you can cross-reference and identify each of these iconic peaks.
Mount Owen standing at just under 13,000 feet alongside Grand Teton and Teewinot Mountain (12,325 feet) surround the Teton Glacier which is another great view and many believe these three peaks alone should be classified as the Cathedral Group.
Driving along Teton Park Road, you will notice countless overlooks and turnouts that offer magical views over the Teton Range.
On the other side views across the lowlands are equally as beautiful, especially if you manage to see some of the wildlife wandering around Grand Teton National Park. We didn’t have much luck here but certainly made up for this later in the trip when we experienced the wildlife in Yellowstone.
The Teton Glacier Turnout is located about 8 miles from Moose Junction and is probably one of the best spots for views across the Teton Range. What is more impressive here though is being able to identify the glacier that is retreating over the years.
A detailed history with analysis of how much this glacier is retreating is available at this overlook. If you love geology, you will love this spot! If you love stunning scenery, you will love this spot.
Further north after passing Jenny Lake is the Mount Moran Turnout which provides great views overlooking this 12,605 feet peak. This also represented the southern tip of Jackson Lake which is a substantial mass of water that offers great views with the mountain range as a perfect backdrop.
Lakes of Grand Teton National Park
It’t not just the majestic mountain range in the Grand Tetons that makes this such an attractive national park. The park’s largest lake is Jackson Lake and along with several smaller lakes, these were formed thousands of years ago when the glaciers carved the present day shapes.
Fishing is obviously a primary activity at Jackson Lake with whitefish and trout two of the more popular species found here. Fishing trips can be organized but for us simply pulling over in yet another of the scenic overlooks and breathing in the fresh air was enough to satisfy our appetite. The views are unbelievable and honestly unlike anything else I have seen before.
Meanwhile, further south is the smaller Jenny Lake. It may be smaller in size but it certainly packs a punch with the views of the Cathedral Group looming in the background.
The dramatic scenery is only the beginning though as hiking trails deep into the Cascade Canyon and Hanging Canyon are available, with landmarks such as Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point waiting for those fearless enough to hike that far off the beaten path.
Grand Teton National Park may not receive the same media attention as Yellowstone but after you visit this part of Wyoming you will likely have your own opinions on the stunning beauty that you experienced. Gorgeous alpine peaks are prevalent throughout the panoramic views but with lakes, lush lowland areas and a thriving wildlife community to experience, the Grand Tetons are well worth paying a visit.
Before driving on to Yellowstone along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, be sure to cherish those memories you experienced in Grand Teton because it won’t be long before you are marveling at the scenery throughout America’s oldest national park. But for now let’s appreciate Grand Teton and allow it time in the spotlight that it richly deserves!
Have you visited Grand Teton National Park? If so, what is your favorite attraction here?