Grand Teton National Park in the Winter is a quiet time to enjoy the snowy landscape.
You can enjoy winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and photography!
As you plan your winter Grand Teton National Park vacation, you need to know what to pack, where to stay, things to do and weather conditions to expect.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE WINTER
1. US National Parks Pass
2. Hiking Gear
- Waterproof hiking boots or shoes
- Insulated boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Where to Stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:
There are a variety of lodging options in Grand Teton and nearby Jackson. Here are the 3 favorite places we recommend:
- 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 – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
- Hotels in Jackson Hole
What to Expect at Grand Teton National Park in the Winter
The best time to visit Grand Teton National Park depends on the type of activities you want to do.
The winter months of December, January and February are pretty quiet at Grand Teton.
All services are closed during the winter. You can call and talk to a ranger for trip planning, see the park website.
Highway 191 is the only road open to vehicles from Jackson to Moran. Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake to Signal Mountain Lodge is only open for non-motorized use.
Grand Teton Winter Weather
In the winter expect cold days and frigid nights, with rain or snow any time.
- December temperatures: highs 25 degrees / lows 3 degrees Fahrenheit
- January temperatures: highs 25 degrees / lows 0 degrees Fahrenheit
- February temperatures: highs 30 degrees / lows 2 degrees Fahrenheit
Road Closures in the Winter
When visiting the Tetons in the winter, pay attention to winter closing dates. Check the NPS website for updated road status.
The Teton Park Road is closed November 1 to April 30 from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge. During this time the road is used for skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking from mid-December to mid-March.
Moose-Wilson Road is usually closed to vehicles until mid-May. When it’s snow-packed it’s open to skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.
Highway 191 from Jackson to Moran is open.
Vehicles with four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or all-weather tires are recommended for winter travel. Roads may be closed during blizzards.
Drive at or below posted speed limits as conditions warrant; moose and other wildlife are often seen crossing roads during the winter.
Grand Teton Winter Activities
There are so many fun things to do at Grand Teton, especially during the winter.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are the most popular winter activities to do at the Tetons.
The Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge is intermittently groomed for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
You can also explore areas around Colter Bay, Antelope Flats Road, Taggart Lake and Flagg Ranch.
Moose-Wilson Road is another fun trail, be sure to park at Granite Canyon Trailhead or Death Canyon Road.
Snowmobile use along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is limited to Grassy Lake Road when open. Off-road travel anywhere in Rockefeller Parkway is prohibited.
The only location in Grand Teton where you can snowmobile is the frozen surface of Jackson Lake for ice fshing access only. Access is limited to the Colter Bay Swim Beach and Best Available Technology(BAT) snowmobiles is required. For the latest BAT approved snowmobile list please refer to Yellowstone Best Available Technology(BAT) Snowmobiles.
The backcountry of the Grand Teton National Park in the winter is a harsh environment.
Safety and preparedness are your responsibility:
- how to read a map and use a GPS
- how to use a compass
- download the BackcountrySOS App
- plan for the day and let someone else know
- acknowledge your and your party’s limits
- what to do in an avalanche and how to rescue others
- winter gear and clothing essentials
Winter photography at Grand Teton can be a bit tricky due to road and trail closures.
Here’s our list of favorite places to photograph Grand Teton, that you should be able to access in the winter by car, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing:
- Overlooks along Highway 191/89
- Moulton Barn / Mormon Row
- Snake River Overlook
- Oxbow Bend
- Coulter Bay