Visit Teton National Park - Wyoming Magazine


Visit Teton National Park


When most people think about national parks and Wyoming, they naturally think about Yellowstone National Park. After all, it is arguably the most iconic park in our national park system. Nevertheless, if you restrict yourself to just this one Wyoming park, you will miss one of the most unique destinations in America.


Wyoming Cabins at Night by Grand Teton National Park

Photo Courtesy of Kim Seng

Grand Teton National Park, located in northern Wyoming and only about 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, is one of the nation’s most frequently visited parks: drawing over 2 million visitors every year.

A Pristine Ecosystem With Much to Offer

One of the most compelling features of Teton National Park is that it has largely remained unmarred by human activity. The nearest major urban or industrial location is over 100 miles away.

This allows visitors to enjoy a nearly undefiled experience in exploring a natural environment that includes mountains, lakes, and even glaciers. The park has a wide variety of plant and animal life including bison, elk, and a rare subspecies of trout.

Tetons with clouds and milky way

Tetons with Clouds and Milky Way. Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Haslam 

With such a wide range of topography and ecology, there is much to keep you busy at Teton National Park. Here are three experiences you can look forward to during your visit.

  1. Viewing the Tetons and Grand Teton

The park is so named because of the Teton mountain range which runs through it. The tallest mountain in this range, Grand Teton, is one of the park’s most recognizable features.

As such, this is a popular destination for mountaineers of all skill levels. Moreover, because the mountains are easily accessible from the roads and no permits are required, prospective mountain climbers are at liberty to explore as they see fit.

Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park

Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park

Photo Courtesy of Diana Robinson

One does not have to be particularly adventurous to enjoy the beauty of the Tetons, however. They are visible from almost any location in the park. In fact, you can get a tremendous view just from the valley floor as the peaks rise 7,000 feet above the valley.

If one wants to get closer to the mountains, a number of trails of varying difficulty wind throughout the park. Furthermore, the roadways have multiple turn off areas where you can park in order to absorb the full panorama of the Tetons.

  2. Enjoy the Waterways

In addition to the mountainous terrain, Teton National Park is also known for its pristine lakes and rivers. One of the most popular destinations in the park is Jenny Lake. Not only does the lake make for a stunning backdrop for photography, but this natural wonder, which is over 250 feet deep, serves as a central location for all sorts of recreational opportunities. Many visitors use the lake as a starting point as it provides easy access to some of the more popular trails that lead to features such as Cascade Canyon, Hidden Falls, and Inspiration Point.

Cascade Canyon Hidden Falls

Cascade Canyon Hidden Falls. Photo Courtesy of Kelli Koob

For those who are most excited about the lake itself, this is one of the few areas in the park with ample boating opportunities. A ferry is available to transport visitors across the lake and an evening cruise offers a nice way to conclude a long day of exploring. For those who enjoy personal boating, kayaks and canoes are available to rent.

Another well known waterway in the park is Snake River. Scenic raft and other non-motorized boat trips are available. Snake River is also home to the Snake River cutthroat trout, a unique subspecies of fish with very fine spots, which makes its home in the eponymous river.

For this reason and the general diversity of fish, the waterways of Grand Teton National park are a popular fishing destination.

  1. Explore the Hiking Trails

No visit to a national park would be complete without exploring at least some of the trails that wind through the park. Teton National Park is no exception.

One of the most beloved trails is the Cascade Canyon trail. It usually starts with a boat ride across Jenny Lake. Then it’s on to Hidden Falls along a dirt path. The falls are a refreshing stop, but continuing along a now more rocky route will lead the visitor to Inspiration Point. This location is appropriately named because it provides an amazing view of both the lake and valley below. Finally, the visitor will reach Cascade Canyon, replete with granite walls, boulders, and streams: a perfectly serene environment.

Two Ocean Lake Trail

Two Ocean Lake Trail. Photo Courtesy of redbikegirl

Other trails include Death Canyon, a challenging trek but with rewarding sights and Two Ocean Lake Trail, which offers great views from a less congested portion of the park. There are, however, several more trail-heads within the park and nearly thirty total trails to explore.




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