Two Days In Grand Teton National Park: Everything you need to know
My trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone was honestly the highlight of my summer! This was my first time car camping which started a whole new love for van life and road tripping. In this post I’ll outline some of the best things to do in two days in Grand Teton National Park!
Looking to visit some other National Parks to visit? Check out my guide to six national parks to road trip to in the western U.S
Top Tips for Grand Teton National Park
Bear Safety – When you arrive to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone, there will be plenty of signs warning you about bear safety. It’s something you should absolutely take seriously and be prepared for. We had bear bells and bear spray with us on all of our hikes and if you can, stay in groups of 3 or more. Also, follow guidelines when it comes to storing food and drinks at your campsite.
Wildlife – You’re pretty much guaranteed to see some sort of wildlife on your trip to Grand Teton especially if you check at dusk or dawn. Moose, Elk, Deer and Bison are probably the most common, but you might also see bears, wolves, foxes and more! A few places you’re sure to see animals would be Mormon Row, South Jenny Lake or Moose Bridge. Check out this article for even more places to see wildlife!
Remember to be respectful of the animals and be smart! No matter how tame they may seem, that could change in an instant.
Altitude Sickness – Grand Teton is at an elevation of 13, 776 ft. So, if you’re coming from sea level you are pretty much guaranteed to feel some sort of altitude sickness. The best thing to do is take the first few days pretty easy. No extra strenuous activity or alcohol, tons of water and ample sleep.
What to pack for your trip to Grand Teton
This obviously depends on what time of year you are going and whether you plan to car camp, tent camp of have an RV. Here are a few things not to forget either way!
Personals – Body wipes, toilet paper, deodorant.
Hiking Gear – Bear spray, bear bells, headlamp, backpack, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks.
Clothing– Leggings/ hiking pants, jackets you can layer, hiking boots/ sneakers, hat, sunglasses.
Camping Gear – Camping pots and pans, reusable plates, silverware, and cups. Cooler, garbage bags, reusable water bottle, fire sticks.
Misc. – First aid kit, bluetooth speaker, cards/ board games, camera
Getting to Grand Teton National Park
By Plane – If you are arriving to Wyoming by plane you will most likely fly into Jackson Hole Airport which is located in the park! A few other options are Salt Lake City or Bozeman.
How many days to spend in Grand Teton
We spent two full days in the park and I felt like that wasn’t quite enough. There were more hikes I would have done and overall, I just loved it there and would have liked to stay longer. I suggest spending 3 to 4 days in the park!
Park Entrance fee
The entrance fee for a private vehicle is $35, $30 for motorcycles and $20 If you arrive on foot or bike. Each of these passes are valid for 7 days. I highly suggest looking into the America the Beautiful pass. It is $80 and gets you into all national parks in the US! If you plan to go to 3 or more the pass pays for itself! You can buy the pass ahead of time or at the park entrance!
Where to Stay in Grand Teton National Park
Fast Facts – Starting in 2021 all campgrounds that were first come -first serve will now be on a reservation system through recreation.gov.
Prices range from $32 – $36 a night
Make sure to check which campgrounds are open before your visit as some close during the winter.
We arrived to Colter Bay at around 3pm on a Tuesday and were lucky enough to get a spot, but I wouldn’t risk it like we did.
Colter Bay – We absolutely loved this campground! I personally like to be in an area where I know there are other people around (probably because I listen to true crime wayyy too often) so if you’re like me then you’ll love this campground too. There are restrooms throughout the grounds and showers near the entrance for I believe $5. (though they were not open when we went due to COVID)
Right outside the entrance to the camp grounds is the Colter Bay Village. There was a general store (with literally everything you could ever need), bathrooms and showers, restaurant and a gas station here. This is great in case you forgot any supplies, need gas, etc..but if you’re looking for camping that feels like you are completely alone… you won’t find it here.
Gros Ventre – This is the parks largest campground and is closest to the town of Jackson.
Lizard Creek – One of the most remote campgrounds in the park is Lizard Creek. If you plan to bounce between Grand Teton to Yellowstone this campground might be a good option as it’s between both.
Jenny Lake – Right by the gorgeous Jenny Lake is the Jenny Lake Campground. You can find amazing views across the lake of Teewinot Mountain, Cascade Canyon and Mount St. John. This camp ground only allows tent or car camping.
CAR CAMPING in Grand Teton National Park
Our situation was a bit unique when it came to our camper van. We started our road trip near Salt Lake City where my sister lives, went to Wyoming and then brought the van back to Salt Lake. We used a company called Nature Vans and we loved it! It had all the basics we needed like a stove top, water container, bear spray, all kitchen supplies and more. Plus, it was the most affordable option we could find. Some other camper van companies I have heard good things about are:
Planning to visit Colorado too? Check out my Colorado guide
two days in Grand Teton itinerary
There is so much to do and see in Grand Teton National Park, unfortunately with only two days we didn’t get to see it all, but what we did do what absolutely amazing. Here are the must see/ do things in Grand Teton National Park.
Spend time on Jackson lake -From the Colter Bay Marina you can rent a kayak or canoe for two hours. We did this first thing in the morning, around 8:30 (when they opened ) and had the entire lake to ourselves for the whole time! The water was like glass, it was stunning! Definitely a must on your two days to Grand Teton!
Jackson Lake Scenic Cruises – Also from the Colter Bay Village Marina you can take a scenic cruise on Jackson Lake. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises for all ages ranging from $20-$70. During the daytime cruises you’ll get the chance to hop off at Elk Island as well!
Jenny Lake Boating Tours – Another option is the boat tours offered on Jenny Lake. They have canoe and kayak rentals, as well as scenic boat tours. The boat tours here do not include any meals and are more geared to learning about the history and geology of the park.
Jenny Lake Loop Hike – One of the most popular hikes in Grand Teton National Park is the Jenny Lake loop. It is possible to get to the start of the trailhead by walking or taking the Jenny Lake Ferry. I suggest walking as its beautiful and not too difficult at all!
So, as the name suggests, this hike is a loop. You can either go right or left at the trailhead. I suggest going left first. This route will have you on a steady incline throughout the hike and a pretty flat walk back along the lake. If you go to the right first you will walk flatly along the lake for most of it and then have a steep incline for about 10 minutes at the end.
Continue to Hidden Falls/ Inspiration Point – Once you get to the point where Jenny Loop Connects you can choose to continue down or go further up to hidden falls. At this point, you might as well see some gorgeous waterfalls! After the falls you can continue a bit further to inspiration point which offers gorgeous views of Jenny Lake!
Two days in Grand Teton national park
Hike to Delta Lake – So we didn’t actually have time to do this hike, but I’ve heard it’s incredible! Apparently it’s a little bit off the beaten path as most of the path is overgrown and not totally straight forward, but the end offers gorgeous lake views. If you’re up for it you can get all the details over on Taverna Travels Blog.
Mormon Row – Head to Mormon Row for either sunrise or sunset to see gorgeous views of the Tetons. We parked our van and opened the back doors and just enjoyed the views for a while. This is a well known spot for photographers, but definitely worth it for anyone heading to the Tetons.
Drive up Signal Mountain Road – This is about a 5 mile, 20 minute drive to the top. From the entrance at Moose Junction head about 15 miles North on Grand Teton loop road and turn right onto Signal Mountain Road. The views from the top are incredible. You can look out to the valley on the left or see the Tetons on the right. Be sure to bring bug spray though!! We were almost eaten alive up there!
Picnic on Jackson lake – From our campsite we could easily walk over to Jackson Lake and hang out on the beach. We noticed some small camp fires set up so we decided to make our dinner there and watch the sun set. 10/10 would recommend!
Drinks at Dornans Restaurant – Obviously I had to add at least one place to get a drink! This spot has a cute rooftop with great views of the Tetons. If you need a break from hotdogs over the fire, this is a great option!
Visit Jackson Hole – 20 minutes outside of the park is the town of Jackson Hole. If you have time I suggest spending an afternoon here walking around town, enjoying some great food and the shops!
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