Are you looking for the best activities in Grand Teton National Park? Are you celebrating an anniversary or a honeymoon in Jackson Hole? Or are you planning a road trip with family or friends? No matter the type of trip you are on, these activities are unforgettable! These are our top 10 activities to do in Grand Teton National Park.
1. Wild & Scenic Rafting the Snake River
Enjoy a wild and scenic raft trip on the Snake River with a knowledgeable guide. Guests often see wildlife such as moose, beavers, eagles, osprey, and more. Guides share their knowledge of the wildlife, history, and geology. They can also answer any questions you have along the way. Raft trips with a freshly prepared lunch or dinner along the bank of the Snake River can be booked as well.
Snake River rafting in Grand Teton National Park is scenic rafting and without whitewater rapids. Be sure to bring your camera for fantastic pictures!
2. Jackson Lake Cruise with Breakfast or Dinner
Colter Bay Marina offers Breakfast and Dinner Lake Cruises to Elk Island, which is a unique and exclusive activity in Grand Teton. Once on the island, you’ll find a hot buffet waiting for you. Breakfast includes trout, pancakes, potatoes, eggs, yogurt, pastries, fruit, cowboy coffee, and more. Dinner features steak and trout with a variety of sides. Enjoy your meal with Mount Moran directly in front of you, rising out of the lake. After your meal, take time to explore the island and hike a short overlook trail.
3. The 42 Mile Scenic Loop Drive
This drive is your personal tour of Grand Teton National Park! The loop is comprised of the Teton Park Road, the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive (one way), and Highway 89. Along this drive you’ll be able to visit Jenny Lake, the Craig Thomas Visitor Center in Moose, Schwabacher’s Landing, Snake River Overlook, Cunningham Cabin, Oxbow Bend, the Signal Mounain Summit Road, and so much more.
A Grand Teton road map can be found here.
4. Horseback Rides
Spend a morning or afternoon in Grand Teton horseback riding and experience the views the same way the early explorers did. Jackson Lake Lodge horseback riding also offers one and two hour scenic rides where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Tetons, Oxbow Bend, and the Snake River. Colter Bay Village along the shores of Swan and Heron Ponds and include panoramic mountain views from wildflower meadows.
Are you looking for the best day hikes in Grand Teton national park? There are plenty to choose from but none will disappoint! The most popular short hikes are Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, String Lake, Leigh Lake, and Swan and Heron Pond. Are you looking for a full-day hike that is more challenging? Choose Cascade Canyon, Death Canyon, or Paintbrush Canyon and experience towering granite peaks and beautiful remote lakes – a hike you will never forget!
View more detailed hiking information and Grand Teton trail map PDFs on the National Park Service website.
6. Ranger & Naturalist Programs
Join a park ranger for a guided hike, a campfire program, or a Tipi Demo. Naturalists and area historians at Colter Bay Village and Jackson Lake Lodge offer a variety of complimentary programs throughout the week, including live raptor programs, grizzly presentations, and historical tours. And be sure to take part in the Junior Ranger program. (Hint, it’s not just for kids!) Regularly scheduled Ranger programs with times and descriptions can be found on the National Park Service website or at any of the park Visitor Centers.
Whether it’s fly fishing or lake fishing you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Grand Teton. Fishing Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, or the Snake River is often the highlight the entire vacation for guests. Fly fishing and lake fishing can both be done on an individual basis or with a guide. When you book a trip with a guide, all equipment is included for the day, with the exception of a fishing license. Going on a guided trip is often a great option for those flying in to the area. Fishing in the park requires a Wyoming state fishing license, which can be purchased at the Colter Bay Marina, Signal Mountain Marina, or in the town of Jackson. Please review National Park fishing guidelines.
8. Wildlife Viewing
Grand Teton wildlife viewing is regularly referred to some of the best in the US. Bear, Bison, Moose, Elk, Pronghorn, Eagles, and more are regularly seen throughout the park. Looking for the best place to see bears in Grand Teton National Park? These places change regularly, and your best option is to ask at a Visitor Center or Activity Desk once you are in the park. The Activity Desk at Jackson Lake Lodge keeps a log of recent animal sightings. However, some of the best spots for wildlife viewing generally are the Willow Flats in front of Jackson Lake Lodge, Oxbow Bend, Elk Ranch Flats, and Moose.
9. Boat Rentals
Jackson Lake boat rentals allow you to spend a few serene hours exploring the Colter Bay, Half Moon Bay, and other surrounding bays and islands. The Colter Bay Marina rents kayaks (double and single), canoes, and motorboats. Maps, lifejackets, and radios are provided with your boat rental. Boating is a fantastic way to spend a few hours relaxing in the morning or afternoon.
10. Bus Tours of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks
Grand Teton tours via bus with a guide is the perfect introduction to the park. Look for wildlife, learn the history of the park, and visit popular sites throughout the park. You’ll experience panoramic Tetons views along the way, and tours include frequent stops to explore the park as well. Plan a bus tour at the beginning of your trip to allow you time to revisit the places that inspire you.
Bonus Activity: Picnic and Swim at String Lake or Colter Bay Swim Beach
There aren’t many places that you can swim in a lake as clear and as pristine as these! Both locations have picnic tables, grills, nearby parking, and plenty of shoreline for swimming. Both lakes are also great for paddle boarding. (Paddle boards can be rented in the town of Jackson.) Did we mention that the mountains appear to rise up out of the far side of the shore?
Do you need picnic and grilling supplies? Visit the Colter Bay Grocery Store to stock up. Just be sure to follow all picnicking guidelines posted at each lake. There’s no better place to spend a hot afternoon after a morning of adventure!