With so much to explore and experience in this majestic park, it can be hard to know where to begin. You’ll find something for everyone in our Grand Teton National Park one day itinerary!
This Grand Teton National Park guide will detail all the best things to see, do, and photograph at this beautiful park!
We share information about planning your 1-day Grand Teton vacation: best time to visit, services available, weather, what to pack, and where to stay.
In order to get the most out of visiting Grand Teton National Park in one day, we recommend getting up early to see and photograph the sunrise, explore the scenic drive, take a hike or two, and photograph the sunset.
Yes, it’s a full day starting early and ending late, but you won’t regret the time spent at Grand Teton!!
Use our Grand Teton National Park packing list to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting any time of year! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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A Photo Tour of Grand Teton National Park
Take a visual tour through Grand Teton National Park to see the stunning landscape and wildlife you’ll find in the park!
Things to Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park
Each season will have different activities and services available when visiting Grand Teton National Park.
The summer and early fall months are the most popular times to visit because the weather is so nice! But that means you’ll need to navigate the crowds.
The spring and winter months are pretty quiet at Grand Teton. It’s a terrific time to enjoy the park if you like doing winter activities!
Pay attention to winter closing dates in late fall and spring opening dates for all Grand Teton road, services, and lodging. Check the website for Grand Teton updated road status.
When is the Best Time to Visit Grand Teton
Use our guide to find the best time to visit Grand Teton National Park that fits your travel style!
Grand Teton in the spring expect cool mild days and cold nights with rain and snow any time. Average spring temperatures: highs range from 40 to 60 degrees / lows range from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grand Teton in the summer are the rainy months with warm days and cool nights. Average summer temperatures: highs between 70 and 80 / lows between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grand Teton in the fall temperatures begin to dip as each month passes. Be prepared for rain or snow any time with average fall temperatures: highs range from 60 down to 35 / lows range from 30 down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit!
Grand Teton in the winter expect cold days and frigid nights, with rain or snow any time. Average winter temperatures: highs 25 degrees / lows 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend you watch the weather for when you’ll be visiting and pack layers so you can enjoy the park from morning to night: winter gloves, insulating hat, winter coat, rain jacket, and fleece jacket.
Grand Teton National Park One Day Itinerary
When people ask us “How Many Days Should I Spend in Grand Teton National Park”, we always recommend at least two days.
But you can still see a lot of Grand Teton in one full day if you’re willing to get an early start in the morning to see the sunrise and stay out until sunset.
Here’s the itinerary we suggest you follow.
Sunrise at Grand Teton’s Schwabacher Landing
There are many sunrise photography spots in Grand Teton National Park. For this 1-day itinerary we suggest you go to Schwabacher Landing for sunrise.
We like the area around the first parking lot to the left. Many people stay in the area near the parking lot, but we suggest you walk a bit farther down the river to the other beaver dam that has created a section of calm water.
Morning Drive Along the Grand Teton Scenic Drive
From Schwabacher Landing, you’ll backtrack a bit to hit Mormon Row along the Antelope Flats Road.
You’ll then hit all the points of interest along the 42-mile Grand Teton National Park scenic drive loop drive.
Use this Grand Teton National Park scenic drive map showing the points of interest to help you navigate through the park.
The historic homesteads at Mormon Row is one of the best places to photograph Grand Teton National Park. The barns and homes here have one of the most scenic backdrops found anywhere in the world!
The two iconic barns at Mormon Row are the T.A. Moulton barn and the John Moulton barn. The T.A. Moulton barn (pointed roof) is south of Antelope Flats road, while the John Moulton barn (rounded roof) is to the north.
From here, head back to the highway the way you came and turn right to continue driving north.
Snake River Overlook
A fun fact about this overlook: it’s the spot where Ansel Adams photographed the bend of the Snake River over 70 years ago, and brought attention to Grand Teton National Park.
Unfortunately, the trees have since grown and obstructed the view so you can’t re-create the famous image.
If you’re looking for a remote spot to get away from the crowds, then head to Cunningham Cabin. It’s a beautiful location with the mountains jutting up in the background.
The cabin was built in 1888 by John and Margaret Cunningham. It has two separate living spaces connected by a breezeway. You can walk into each room to get an idea of what it was like to live there.
Once you’re back on Highway 89/191, drive north until you reach Moran Junction, then turn left. Even though you’ve been driving in the park, this is where you’ll need to pay the fee, or show your National Park Annual Pass.
Visitors hope to photograph the reflection of the Teton mountains in the bend of the Snake River at this location.
Oxbow Bend is home to a variety of birds and animals. We’ve seen elk, pelicans, bald eagles, Great Blue Herons, and muskrats here. Moose and bear are also seen here, we just haven’t been that lucky yet.
Jackson Lake Lodge
Just past Oxbow Bend you’ll reach the Jackson Lake Junction. If you want a good place to rest, use the bathroom, and eat, then continue on the highway and head up the road just a bit to Jackson Lodge.
For those who will also visit Yellowstone, you’d keep heading north on Highway 89/191 as well. You’ll drive through the northern part of Grand Teton National Park, exit the park and continue through national forest land, then reach the South Entrance and southern loop of Yellowstone National Park.
Teton Park Road
Once you’ve taken a quick break at Jackson Lake Lodge, head back toward the Jackson Lake Junction and turn right on to the Teton Park Road (this might also be called the Grand Teton Inner Road).
On your way to Jenny Lake, there are many pullouts with similar views of the lake and mountains from different angles. Here are the ones we think are worth the time to stop.
Signal Mountain Lodge
If you didn’t take a break at Jackson Lake Lodge, then you can do it at Signal Mountain Lodge. Trapper Grill has good food where you can eat on the deck overlooking Mt. Moran. Signal Mountain Lodge is on the right side of the road as you drive toward Jenny Lake.
Signal Mountain Summit Road
Look for the sign to access the Signal Mountain Summit Road on the the left. It climbs 800 feet along a narrow, winding road. At the top you’ll enjoy views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole, and Jackson Lake.
When you’re done, drive back to the Teton Park Road and turn left to continue driving toward Jenny Lake.
Mount Moran Turnout
Mount Moran is the dominant peak of the northern Teton Range. There’s a good informational sign here talking about the geography of these mountains. If you stopped at Signal Mountain Lodge, it’s the same mountain you saw there so this one can be skipped based on time.
You’ll also pass Mountain View Turnout if you want to make a quick stop. After this you’ll be heading into the Jenny Lake area.
Most visitors equate Grand Teton with the Jenny Lake area, which means it’s a busy location! When visiting Grand Teton National Park in the summer there are usually traffic jams leading into Jenny Lake during peak travel times, and it will be hard to find a parking spot!
You can reverse this scenic drive itinerary and start your day at Jenny Lake so you can get there before the crowds.
Jenny Lake Road
After the Mount Moran Turnout, watch for the Jenny Lake Road on the right. Along this road you can access the Cathedral Group Turnout, the String and Leigh Lakes trailhead (easy Grand Teton day hikes, but you need to get here EARLY in the morning or later in the afternoon to grab a parking spot), Jenny Lake Lodge, and the Jenny Lake Overlook.
Cathedral Group Turnout
The first stop along the Jenny Lake Road is Cathedral Group where you’ll see the three tallest mountains in the Teton range: Grand Teton (the tallest), Mount Owen, and Teewinot. This stop allows you to take great pictures and read the information boards detailing the different peaks and the geology you see here.
Jenny Lake Overlook
We highly recommend stopping at the Jenny Lake Overlook. It’s one of the best places to photograph the lake surrounded by forests with jutting mountains in the background!!
After this viewpoint, the Jenny Lake Road meets back up with the Teton Park Road. Turn right to continue south to reach the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, campground, and boat dock.
Jenny Lake (skip and come back in late afternoon)
Depending on the time of year you visit, Jenny Lake may be too crowded to find a parking spot at this point. We recommend skipping this for now, then returning in late afternoon to enjoy fun water activities like renting a canoe or kayak to explore Jenny Lake by water. You can also enjoy the shuttle boat ride across the lake (additional fee applies).
It’s also the easiest way to get to the popular Hidden Falls waterfall, which is an easy 1.3-mile Grand Teton day hike from where the boat drops you off. Otherwise, it’s a 2.4-mile hike each way around the lake to get there and back.
Teton Glacier Turnout
As you drive south of Jenny Lake, stop at the Teton Glacier turnout to see one of the few glaciers in Grand Teton National Park.
Chapel of the Transfiguration
Continue south until you reach the Chapel of the Transfiguration. It’s a tiny wood chapel framed by the Teton mountain peaks.
Grand Teton Wildlife Along the Scenic Drive
You never know when you’ll see wildlife at Grand Teton. Here’s a list of great wildlife viewing areas as you drive the loop road:
- Oxbow Bend
- Mormon Row
- Gros Ventre
- Willow Flat
- Moose-Wilson Road
Please be a responsible wildlife observer by maintaining a safe distance of at least 100 yards from wolves and bear, and 25 yards from all other wildlife.
Check out our tips and gear for taking pictures of wildlife:
- Wildlife photo tips and ideas
- Best cameras for wildlife photography
- Best tripods for wildlife photography
- Best lenses for wildlife photography
Midday Activities at Grand Teton National Park
The scenic drive ends in Moose. From here we recommend driving Moose Wilson Road that takes you to Teton Village. Keep in mind the Moose Wilson Road is closed from November through May.
Here’s a list of fun things to do at Teton Village for a few hours:
Aerial Tram to Rendezvous Peak
Jackson Hole Aerial Tram is a 12-minute ride that climbs 4,139 vertical feet, taking you to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain. This is the easiest way to stand at the top of the Teton Range.
Here you’ll get breathtaking 360-degree views of the Jackson Hole valley, the Grand Tetons, and the surrounding mountain ranges; all offering fabulous photo opportunities.
Grand Adventure Park
Grand Adventure Park is a series of outdoor activities located at the base of the Gondola in Teton Village at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
There are fun activities for the entire family like the bungee trampoline, climbing wall, and ropes course.
With a Grand Adventure Pass you can get unlimited access to those plus the Teewinot chairlift, Tram and Gondola.
Other activities include riding the bike park, playing disc golf, or hiking one of the many beautiful trails offered from Teton Village Resort.
Teton Village Trail Rides
If you’re looking for a true authentic Cowboy experience you must check out the Teton trails on horseback. A favorite in the area, Teton Village Trail Rides allows new and experienced riders the chance to get reacquainted with nature and the past.
At Teton Village Trail Rides you can take advantage of a 1- or 2-hour horseback ride where you’ll ride up the mountain and through meadows with stunning views of the Teton mountains.
Teton Village Trail Rides allows children ages 6 or older to ride, and horses are suited for riders of every experience level. They also offer parent lead pony rides for children under 6, making this a fun family activity for everyone.
Yellowstone & Grand Teton AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Late Afternoon at Grand Teton National Park
During the peak summer months, the Jenny Lake Boat shuttle operates from 7 am to 7 pm. Schedule your day so you time the shuttle ride no later than 4:00 pm so you have time to complete the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point hike!
Hidden Falls + Inspiration Point Hike
- Hike length: 1.3 miles roundtrip
- Time required: 1 to 2 hours
- Hike difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead Location: Jenny Lake
The hike to Hidden Falls begins at the Jenny Lake Trailhead. You can hike the Jenny Lake Trail around the south end of Jenny Lake, or you can take the shuttle boat across the lake to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead. The 12 minute boat ride shortens the hike by 2.4 miles each way. But there is a fee for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat.
From the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, located at the west shore boat dock, the trail begins climbing through a conifer forest. You’ll soon cross over Cascade Canyon Creek. Around three-tenths of a mile, you’ll come to the Valley Trail, which also serves as the western portion of the loop hike around Jenny Lake.
About one half mile from the boat dock you’ll pass the horse trail leading up from Jenny Lake, where you’ll proceed straight ahead at this junction.
Soon after you’ll reach the short side trail that leads to Hidden Falls. Turn left here to enjoy the viewing area of this awesome waterfall that drops one hundred feet along rock steps.
Keep in mind this trail is very popular and gets crowded. We like to hike this trail in the early morning and early evening.
We recommend continuing your hike to visit Inspiration Point for amazing views of Jenny Lake. This section only adds another 200 feet of climbing to your overall roundtrip hike.
Grand Teton Hiking Trails
You can definitely adjust this one day itinerary to include more Grand Teton day hikes like:
- Hike length: 2 miles roundtrip
- Time required: 1-2 hours
- Hike difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead Location: Colter Bay Visitor Center
Phelps Lake Overlook
- Hike length: 2 miles roundtrip
- Time required: 1-2 hours
- Hike difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead Location: Death Canyon Trailhead
String and Leigh Lakes
- Hike length: 3.7 mile loop trail
- Time required: 2-3 hours
- Hike difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead Location: String Lake Trailhead
Always carry and know how to use BEAR SPRAY when visiting Grand Teton National Park, especially if you’ll be exploring the hiking trails in the park.
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Winter Clothing for Hiking
- Photography Gear for Hiking
Plan a Grand Teton Vacation
- Visiting Grand Teton National Park
- Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park
- Photograph Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton National Park Activities
Where to Stay in Jackson Near Grand Teton
- Where to Stay Near Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton National Park Lodging
- Grand Teton National Park Camping
- RV Parks near Grand Teton National Park
- Glamping Near Grand Teton National Park
Here’s a list of our favorite places to stay:
- Elk Refuge Inn – this is right across from the refuge and the closes hotel to the park entrance – our favorite place to stay!
- Elk Country Inn – awesome property if you want to be in town.
- Vacation Rentals near Grand Teton – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
- Hotels in Jackson Hole