Wander Always & Stay Wilde


Grand Teton National Park in the Spring

Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park spans 310,000 acres and features the 40-mile-long Teton Mountain Range as well as the northern sections of the Jackson Hole Valley. The park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Mountain Range at 13,775 feet, and the park’s border is only ten miles south of Yellowstone National Park. Along with the surrounding national forests, this area is home to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, spanning parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and is one of the world’s largest intact, mid-latitude, and temperate ecosystems.

Grand Teton National Park is a popular destination for hiking, mountaineering, fishing, and other forms of recreation. There are over 200 miles of hiking trails and more than 1,000 drive-in campsites within the park. There are also several National Park Service-run visitor centers and privately owned concessions, lodges, gas stations, and arenas for visitors to the park.

For the past few years, my dad and I have been planning a National Parks trip together and Grand Teton (and the nearby Yellowstone National Park) has been on our list for a while! We started our trip from the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), roughly a 4-hour drive to where we stayed in Jackson, Wyoming. Although it was quite a drive, I highly recommend staying in Jackson, Wyoming while you visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. It is a roughly 8-minute drive to the south border of Grand Teton National Park and an hour and 15 minutes to the South entrance of Yellowstone National Park, making this a great location to explore! The best time to visit this area would be in mid-May when the South entrance to Yellowstone National Park is open. Our travels to Grand Teton were in late April/ early May, and this meant that not only was there still some snow remaining from the winter, but the only entrances to Yellowstone National Park that were open were the North and West entrances. Most hiking trails and roads were closed due to the inclement weather, but there were still some areas of the park that were accessible to visit at that time of year, and the park and Teton Mountain Range are breathtakingly beautiful!


Established as a National Park: February 26, 1929. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed the act creating Grand Teton National Park. At the time, the park was half of its current size. In 1943, the Jackson Hole National Monument was created. Both the original park, the National Monument, and surrounding lands owned and donated by John D. Rockefeller were combined by Congress in 1950 to create the present-day Grand Teton National Park.

Location: 103 Headquarters Loop, Moose, WY 83012

Best time of year to visit: From mid-May to late September, all of the visitor centers, hiking trails, and other park activities are open in the park. Due to inclement weather, the park begins to shut down most of its facilities and roads in October,

How many days are needed inside the Park: 1-2 days

Closest airport(s): Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is located within Grand Teton National Park, Idaho Falls Airport (IDA) 90 miles, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) 167 miles, and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) 306 miles.

Closest major cities: Jackson Hole, WY (3.4 miles), Jackson, WY (13 miles), Teton Village, 25.3 miles, Driggs, ID (45.8 miles), Bozeman, MT (164.7 miles)

Notable sites to see: Jenny Lake, Teton Park Road, Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Taggart Lake Trail, Menors Ferry Historic District, and Mormon Row Historic District.

The Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center is worth a stop while in the park! It is located at the south end of the park, off of Teton Park Road, and is open from early spring until the fall.


The Taggart Lake Loop trail is a 3.8-mile, heavily trafficked loop trail located within Grand Teton National Park. Located in the town of Moose, Wyoming, this trail features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is most visited from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

While hiking this trail, the majority of the path was covered in snow, and in some areas, it was up to my knees. Be sure to pack proper footwear and ice cleats when hiking in areas with heavy snow and ice. Although we were able to complete the loop hike in the heavy snow (with the help of the trail map on AllTrails), the path was very difficult to decipher in the snow. I suggest if the path is too difficult to see with the weather conditions, turn the hike into an out-and-back hike once you reach Taggart Lake. If you can only hike one trail in the park, the Taggart Lake Loop is an excellent one. The views of the Teton Range are incredible!

Length: 3.8 mi | Elevation gain: 419 ft | Route type: Loop

If you are looking for another sign of Grand Teton National Park for an additional photo op, you can find this one at the Jackson Hole airport.


Jackson, Wyoming is a town located in the Jackson Hole Valley and is a gateway town to the National Parks located to the north of the valley. Its population is roughly 10,000 and it is the largest town in Teton County. It is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to 3 different ski areas, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort as well as Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

During our visit to Grand Teton National Park, we stayed at the Springhill Suites Jackson Hole for two nights. This hotel is in a great location and within walking distance (under a 5-minute walk) of the downtown area. It is a roughly 8-minute drive to the south border of Grand Teton National Park and an hour and 15 minutes to the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Each night was spent walking the downtown area and exploring the different shops and local restaurants in this quaint town. In the downtown area, you will find arches of elk antlers that are located on each corner of the town square and are provided by the National Elk Refuge. Since this town is a tourist area, the town square has developed a shopping and eating district and is bordered by several galleries, custom jewelers, and clothing retailers.

Established in 1937, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, located off of the town square, is a popular location for visitors! It is a landmark watering hole in the heart of the city and is a unique Western drinking and entertainment venue. When visiting, it was closed for the season, but inside, you can grab a drink at the bar where each stool is a saddle!


Pinky G’s Pizzeria is a great local pizzeria in town, right in the middle of downtown. This place was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” and for a good reason! We got a plain cheese pie with a balsamic glaze drizzle as an add-on. The pizza was delicious!

Another great spot in Jackson Hole is Big Hole BBQ. We went here for lunch and ordered burnt ends, wings, and a beet salad. Everything was very good! A quick tip: if you want to order ribs here, they are only available for dinner after 5 pm.

Have you ever been to Grand Teton National Park or Jackson Hole, Wyoming?

What are your favorite places to visit, stay, and eat?

Comment below!

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