Grand Tetons Visitors Guide
Do you love loading up in the car and heading out to see the sights of the back ways and byways in a new area? If so, then the Grand Tetons National Park has a few you will want to explore. Just off Jackson Hole Highway, 1 mile north of Moose Junction is the Antelope Flats Road. As you travel east, you will see vast plains with sagebrush and many of the pronghorn, bison, and moose who live there.
For up close views of the Tetons, travel along Jenny Lake Scenic Drive. As you reach the midway point (approximately 2 miles) you will see the Cathedral Group Turnout, Mount Owen (12,928 feet), and Mount Teewinot (12,321 feet). The Signal Mountain Road is an exciting drive that climbs 700 feet along a 5 mile stretch of switchbacks. Along the way, you will see Jackson Hole and all of the 40 mile Teton Range.
As you visit the Tetons, be sure to stop at the Chapel of the Transfiguration. Built in 1925, this tiny chapel with its spectacular mountain backdrop is still used today for weddings and church services. At the Indian Arts Museum you will find Plains Indian weaponry, clothing, and during the summer months there are craft demonstrations, ranger led tours, and a 45 minute presentation on the culture of the American Indian. The Moose Visitor Center has displays of rare and endangered species as well as geology and the natural history of the Greater Yellowstone area.
The Grand Tetons have numerous outdoor adventures waiting to be enjoyed. The Snake River is a favorite if you live for the rush of whitewater rafting. However, it is recommended that you hire a guide from one of the local groups (Baker-Ewing Float Trips-800.365.1800, Lewis & Clark Expeditions-800.824.5375, Solitude Float Trips-307.733.2871 or Triple X Float Trips- 307.733.5500).
Due to the areaís scenery and topography, there are many cyclist in the Jackson Hole / Grand Teton area. The roads have a number of long gradual inclines with well marked shoulders. However, when you ride in the Tetons, be alert for vehicles as there are not many designated bike paths. For specified bike lanes, travel northbound on Jenny Lake Logs Road or the River Road just 4 miles from Moose. If you prefer a guided bike tour, contact the professionals at Teton Mountain Bike Tours (800.733.0788).
Other backcountry fun can be found by enlisting the Colter Bay Village Corral. Here, you can rent horses for 1-3 hour guided rides, some of which include breakfast or dinner along the trail. To experience the Tetons as the early pioneers did, take a guided covered wagon trip from the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone with a wagon master at the Teton Wagon Train and Horse Adventure (307.734.6101). Trips last 4 days and all basic amenities are included.
While there are many lodging choices in nearby towns, donít overlook the chance to spend the night in the Tetons. At Jackson Lake there are lodges and campgrounds which overlook the lakes. You will also find Jackson Lake is a great place for fishing, sailing, and windsurfing. Though wildlife can be seen through the Grand Tetons, the Oxbow Bend is a great place to see white herons, bald eagles, ospreys, moose beaver, and otter.
The Grand Teton National Park is open year round and from mid May through September, you can enjoy an assortment of outdoor activities and a variety of museums in nearby towns. If you're planning a hike in the Grand Tetons get hiking tips and more at our hiking blog where we'll share the best of hiking with you.
Photo Credits: Grand Teton Banner photo by C Amalia; NPS sign in snow by DJ Walter; Girl on Rock by David King; Teton Range by Jay Galvin