You can certainly enjoy the outdoors year-round on your Grand Teton National Park vacation, but summer offers the most things to do.
The warmer weather offers up the opportunity to enjoy everything the park has to offer, and the summer activities at Grand Teton promises fun for everyone, young and old.
There are a ton of things you can do at Grand Teton in summer. Below is a list of our favorites you don’t want to miss out on!
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK VACATION IN THE SUMMER
DOWNLOAD our US National Park checklists to make it easy to pack what you need for your next trip!
1. US National Parks Pass
You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
→ BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.
2. Hiking Gear
- Hiking shoes & boots: → Check out our FAVORITE hiking shoes/boots!
- Hiking socks: → Check out the BEST SOCKS EVER!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- WATER: → We carry water bottles or hydration backpacks
- FOOD: → Check out our favorite healthy snacks
- Flashlight: → Check out the headlamps we like
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellant
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Guide books
- Camera Gear – DOWNLOAD our free checklist!
- Photography gear for hiking
Summer Activities at Grand Teton National Park
Hike the Grand Teton Trails
The greatest hikes aren’t always the longest.
With over 100 hiking trails, Grand Teton has something for all ages and every skill level.
The Grand Teton trails offer incredible views whether you’re seeking a short, easy hike for the whole family or something more difficult to challenge yourself.
Here are a few popular and highly recommended Grand Teton trails you should consider:
- Inspiration Point via Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle
- Hidden Falls Trail
- Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail
- Oxbow Bend and Overlook
- Cunningham Historic Cabin
Take a Scenic Drive
One of the best ways to get acquainted with the Teton Mountain Range is with a scenic drive through Grand Teton National Park.
The Grand Teton Scenic Loop drive is 42-miles of stunning views. Here you can see an abundance of wildlife, exhibits, and majestic views of the Grand Teton Mountain Range.
This scenic loop has plenty of pull-offs with opportunities for taking great photos at Grand Teton.
There are three access points to the loop: Moose junction, Jackson Lake junction, and Moran junction.
It will take 2 hours or most of the day to finish this 42-mile drive depending on how many stops you make along the way.
Here are a few of the stops you won’t want to miss:
- Chapel of the Transfiguration: A tiny, historical, and unique church with perfect views of the Tetons.
- Jenny Lake: Ride the Jenny Lake Boat across the lake and hike to Hidden Falls (steep) or access the Jenny Lake Loop Rd off the main road to take in scenic lake views.
- Oxbow Bend: A popular wildlife viewing hotspot, and a personal favorite of mine.
- Snake River Overlook: One of the best and beautiful views of Snake River.
- Mormon Row: A unique opportunity to see a historic homestead up close at Mormon Row.
Enjoy Berry Season
Late summer is berry season in the Teton area.
When visiting Grand Teton or Yellowstone, definitely sample the wide variety or products made with Huckleberries – ice cream, milk shakes, jams and jellies, even hand lotion!
Huckleberries (or Mountain Blueberries) are a smaller, sweeter version of a blueberry. You’ll also find these other berries in the Tetons: service berry, choke cherry, thimbleberries, wild strawberries, and wild raspberries!
Fruits, berries, and nuts may be gathered by hand for personal use and consumption at Grand Teton. There is a limit of one quart per species per person per day.
Remember the park is also home to a number of poisonous species. Be certain it’s an edible berry before eating. Reputable guidebooks can help with species identification.
It’s important to be considerate to other berry pickers, but also to wildlife, like bears, who rely on this food source to survive our harsh winters. Practice restraint, and always leave at least twice as much as you take.
Observe Wildlife in their Natural Environment
Grand Teton National Park has a vast abundance of wildlife; moose, bear, elk, beaver, and waterfowl are just a few of the more popular residents.
Hiking trails, landmarks, lakes and rivers, and the overlooks all offer an opportunity to see wildlife in their natural home environment.
Viewing wildlife brings you closer to nature and is both magical and artistic, if you’re lucky enough you can also capture amazing photos.
When viewing wildlife stay at a distance, animals will protect themselves and can be unpredictable at times. Remember, respect the animals, respect the land.
Become a Junior Ranger
Most national parks offer young visitors an opportunity to become part of the National Park Service family as a Junior Ranger.
This is an excellent activity for parents to do with their children. The Junior Ranger program is a wonderful way to get children interested in national parks and the outdoors.
At Grand Teton National Park those interested will have to complete The Grand Adventure, a kid-friendly activity booklet to become a Junior ranger. Completing the activities for your age group will earn you the Junior Ranger badge.
The Grand Adventure is available at the park visitor center and online. The visitor center and ranger led programs are a great way to get activities and ideas that will help you complete the booklet and become a Junior ranger.
Check out more fun things kids can do when visiting national parks!