Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center#4 in Best Things To Do in Grand Teton National Park
The $22 million, 22,000-square-foot Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, which is colloquially called the Moose Visitor Center, was built in 2007 to spread awe among visitors about the majesty of the Teton Mountains, which are on display through the center's enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. Not only does it contain the usual maps and information about hiking trails and ranger programs, it also offers an in-house theater that airs a documentary on the park.
Recent visitors said the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center is a must-do, whether you enter the park from the north or the south since it's filled with such great information and exhibits. Plus, one traveler notes that you can stop in without paying the park's entrance fee.
The Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center is open seasonally from March to late October; hours vary by month, but generally, the center is open from 8, 9 or 10 a.m. to 4, 5 or 7 p.m. It's closed during the winter season, which stretches from Nov. 1 until the beginning of March. You'll find it in Moose, Wyoming, 12 miles north of Jackson off of Teton Park Road. Visit the National Park Service's website for more information.
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#1 Jenny Lake
The 2-mile-long, 250-foot-deep Jenny Lake is the muse of many an artist and photographer –and a great place to base your Grand Teton National Park trip. Depending on the weather, visitors can fish, paddle, swim, or boat its waters, or they can take the moderate 7 ½-mile round-trip hike from the Jenny Lake Trailhead for views of Cascade Canyon, Storm Point, Symmetry Spire and Mount Moran, among others. There is also a much shorter 1 ½ -mile round-trip hike to Hidden Falls, which is a traveler favorite. It's a central spot for visitors wanting to spend a night at the campsite or upscale Jenny Lake Lodge. If travelers would rather boat than hike their way to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, they can hop aboard the Jenny Lake Boating shuttle service, which offers shuttles every 10 to 15 minutes during the day. Taking the shuttle will knock off 2 miles (each way) to the Cascade Canyon trailhead.
Hit this popular trail early to avoid the crowds (the parking at the southern end of Jenny Lake is often full from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), but don't miss it since recent travelers describe it as a "must-see" with "great views." Others called Jenny Lake the "prettiest" in the country.
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