Before the valley’s rugged mountain range was federally protected as Grand Teton National Park in 1929, the native Shoshone people referred to this valley as Teewinot, meaning “many pinnacles.”
In 1950, the park was expanded to include the 310,000-acre wilderness we know today. More than 3 million people visit Grand Teton National Park annually.
For locals and visitors alike, GTNP offers wild adventure right outside your door.
President Theodore Roosevelt summed up the Tetons best: “These are what mountains are supposed to look like.” But the Tetons, often snow-capped into July and home to a handful of glaciers, don’t just make for spectacular scenery. Depending on the season, you can hike, rock climb, Nordic and backcountry ski, boat, snowshoe, backpack, kayak, float, fish, and watch wildlife here.
None of the facilities in Grand Teton are open year-round. Campgrounds, restaurants, and lodges begin to open in mid-April depending on the operation, with all facilities open by mid-June. Everything remains open into mid-September, when campgrounds, restaurants, and hotels start closing for the season. You can expect all facilities to be closed by mid-October. The Inner Loop Road between the Bradley-Taggart Lakes Trailhead and Signal Mountain Lodge is closed to cars from November 1 to April 30. The Outer Loop Road, aka Highway 191/26, is open year-round. It’s near the Snake River Overlook on this road that photographer Ansel Adams took his iconic 1942 image The Tetons and Snake River.
Grand Teton National Park is dramatically different from season to season. Summer in the Tetons is in July and August, and during these months almost all the park’s 242 miles of trails are snow-free. A favorite time of year to visit for most people, summer offers a display of blooming wildflowers, scenic raft trips on the Snake River, and even the opportunity to take a dip in one of the park’s many lakes (a forewarning: the lakes rarely reach above 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fall is in early to mid-September into October. During this time you might experience peaceful sunny days, blazing fall colors, snowstorms, or all of the above. It’s also one of the best times to spot wildlife as bears begin to fatten up for hibernation, elk are in rut, and bison migrate to their winter range.
Winter comes to the park in November and lasts through March. During this time an average of 10 feet of snow covers the park’s lowest elevations and the lakes are deeply frozen. The Nordic and backcountry ski seasons usually run from November through April.
Spring in Grand Teton National Park is in April, May, and June. This is the best time to visit if you’re most interested in scenic drives, wildlife watching, and hiking on low-elevation trails.
There are many ways to have the perfect summer day in Jackson. Here are a few of my favorites.
However you choose to explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in the winter, you’ll find incredible scenery, adventure, and experiences.
Jackson Hole is one of the last few tourist destinations in the West that boasts incredibly dark and easily accessible views of a nearly pristine night sky.
Leaf-peepers and wildlife enthusiasts alike will love autumn since it’s a perfect time for hiking, scenic drives, photography, and wildlife watching.
From awe-inspiring encounters with nature to wild and western activities every kind, Jackson Hole offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences, 365 days a year.
Eager to glimpse your first bear, moose, or wolf? Challenge yourself with a run down black diamonds or class III rapids? Hook an 18-inch cutthroat? Meet a real cowboy? Watch a Teton sunset? This place is full of experiences you won't find that at home, or anywhere else for that matter. In Jackson Hole, wild adventures aren't just possible—they're already here waiting for you.
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