There is no shortage of things to do in Grand Teton, especially for outdoor lovers. Formally established in 1929, Grand Teton National Park became the 20th national park in the United States, following in the footsteps of Yellowstone National Park, located just 5 miles north. Yellowstone holds the distinction of being the first national park in both the United States and the world. The mountain range found in Grand Teton National Park received its name from French trappers of the early 19th century, who referred to it as les trois tetons, meaning ‘the three teats.’
The elk is the most frequently encountered species among the park’s diverse range of large mammals. These majestic creatures migrate through the park during the spring and fall, traveling between the National Elk Refuge near Jackson and Yellowstone National Park.
Additionally, visitors may have the chance to observe bison, moose, black bears, and grizzly bears.
The area has several lakes situated at the foot of the Teton range. While Jenny Lake is the most renowned and frequently visited, other notable lakes include Jackson, Phelps, Taggart, Bradley, and Leigh Lakes. These lakes provide ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, depending on the lake you choose to explore.
Many more activities and attractions await visitors beyond these activities, such as:
The Phelps Lake Loop
Phelps Lake is highly regarded as a hidden treasure in the local community. The Phelps Lake Loop contains minimal elevation changes. It follows the shoreline, except for an initial stretch of forested area with some elevation gain extending for about a mile and a half. When traversing the loop counterclockwise, hikers observe endless and awe-inspiring Teton Mountain Range and Death Canyon vistas.
One notable feature along the route is the iconic and popular jumping rock, which offers fantastic views of Death Canyon. The jump involves an exhilarating plunge of around thirty feet into the refreshing waters of the mountain. It’s impossible to miss the jumping rock, as it is a familiar gathering spot for local teenagers and visiting hikers who enjoy sunbathing on it and taking the thrilling leap into the deep glacial water below. Even if you choose not to jump, the jumping rock is entertaining along the trail.
The Jenny Lake Loop Trail
The Jenny Lake Loop trail is the most easily accessible and well-liked trail network within Grand Teton National Park. Its popularity stems from several factors: minimal changes in elevation, the lake’s status as the second-largest in the park, and the trail’s ability to maintain a serene and breathtaking atmosphere despite heavy foot traffic. Most of the path follows the sandy shores of the lake, offering uninterrupted and picturesque vistas of the majestic Teton Mountain Range. This exceptional feature contributes to its immense popularity, as the views surpass those of any other hike within Grand Teton. The trail presents unparalleled opportunities for photography that are unmatched anywhere else in the United States.
The Lake Solitude Trail
The Lake Solitude trail stands out as one of the most demanding yet gratifying hikes in Grand Teton. Starting from the Jenny Lake Visitor’s Center, this trail spans approximately 20 miles round trip and involves a substantial elevation gain of around 2,700 feet. If you’re seeking a multi-day backpacking adventure, this trail is a commendable choice, as it provides an immersive experience through diverse landscapes, including meadows, woodlands, and lakes. Each of these habitats is teeming with abundant wildlife, adding to the allure and excitement of the journey.
Even More Activities
If hiking isn’t your thing, we’ve compiled a list of a bunch of other activities for people of all ages to explore in and around Jackson Hole. Once you’re finished, come rest and rejuvenate in our luxurious spa before turning in for the night in our authentic and rustic Jackson Hole accommodations. Book your stay at The Parkway Inn by visiting our online portal or calling 307-733-3143 today!