Grand Teton National Park
- Type: Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens
- Time to Spend: More than Full Day
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Boasting a whopping 310,000 acres of jagged, snow-capped peaks, verdant forests and crystal-clear alpine lakes, Grand Teton National Park is the highlight of any trip to Jackson Hole. It was amidst these stunning mountains that nomadic Paleo-Indians spent their summers almost 11,000 years ago and that America's 19th-century fur-trading industry really thrived. Now, Grand Teton National Park plays the role of wild wonderland, offering visitors a taste of the mighty wilderness that pioneers encountered a couple of centuries ago.
There are numerous reasons to visit Grand Teton. To get a feel for the park, take a drive along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, which traces the eastern side of the stunning Jackson Lake and continues north to the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. However, don't spend all your time behind the wheel. As one TripAdvisor user writes: "Grand Teton leaves anyone in awe, the peaks of the mountains combined with all the scenery are amazing." Opportunities to hike, mountain climb, cross-country ski and fish are abundant. And keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of Grand Teton's full-time residents, which include moose, elk and bison. Bears and wolves also call the park home, so take extra precautions when heading out on a hike or setting up camp.
Grand Teton National Park is about 26 miles north of Jackson and about 52 miles south of Yellowstone. The park is open to exploration throughout the year; however, many roads close during the winter due to dangerous driving conditions, and several of the visitor's centers only operate during the spring, summer and fall. You will have to pay a fee to get in: For $20, you (and your car) will have access to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone for an entire week. For more information, visit the Grand Teton National Park page of the National Park Service website.