Visiting Grand Teton National Park in the Winter

Wondering what it’s like to visit Grand Teton National Park in the winter? The winter months are quiet times to enjoy the snowy landscape. You can enjoy winter activities at Grand Teton National Park like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and photography!

Use this Grand Teton National Park guide and the information below to know what to pack, where to stay, things to do and weather conditions to expect in the winter.

Grand Teton in the winter

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. We live only a few hours away from Grand Teton and have visited the park many times during all four seasons. The tips we provide here are based on our travels to the park during the winters.

The number one tip is to pack winter clothing so you can enjoy your time at the park! Use our Grand Teton National Park packing list to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the winter! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Grand Teton packing list Optin box
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.

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!

Visiting 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.

Grand Teton is open 24 hours, every day of the year. All services are closed during the winter. You can call and talk to a ranger for trip planning, see the Grand Teton National 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.

The park campgrounds and lodges are closed in the winter, but you can find hotels near Grand Teton National Park in nearby Jackson.

We’ve written specific guides about what it’s like to visit Grand Teton for each month during the winter season:

snowy and icy road through Grand Teton in the winter
Snowy and icy road through Grand Teton in the winter

Road Closures at Grand Teton in the Winter

When visiting the Tetons in the winter, pay attention to winter closing dates. Check the NPS website for updated road status at Grand Teton.

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 Weather

In the winter expect cold days and frigid nights, with rain or snow any time. Check the Grand Teton weather and what to expect for the dates you’ll be there.

  • 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

Be prepared with the right winter clothing to enjoy the outdoor activities.

winter hiking gear

Grand Teton Winter Activities

There are quite a few Grand Teton National Park winter activities to enjoy! Grand Teton transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a unique experience that’s not to be missed!

Grand Teton Winter Tours

You’ll find a variety of Grand Teton National Park winter tours. Many of the tours will determine stops based on the road conditions, weather conditions, and needs or interests of each group.

Most winter tours do NOT include the Grand Teton National Park entrance fee (be sure to have your National Park pass!)

Snowshoeing at Grand Teton

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Grand Teton in the Winter

Grand Teton 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.

There are etiquette aspects to keep in mind:

  • Do not walk or snowshoe on ski trails
  • Leave your skis on and side-step down or detour around steep sections
  • Snowshoe parallel to the ski track
  • Yield to faster skiers
  • Step out of the track for a break
woman-on-a-snowmobile-in-the-winter (1)
Winter snowmobiling

Snowmobiling at Grand Teton in the Winter

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.

Visit the Yellowstone National Park Web site for information regarding snowmobile and snowcoach tours and for non-commercial snowmobile access.

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.

Teton mountains in the winter
Teton mountains in the winter

Winter Backcountry Access at Grand Teton

The backcountry of the Grand Teton National Park in the winter is a harsh environment.

Backcountry safety at Grand Teton 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
Snake River Overlook in the winter
Snake River Overlook in the winter

Grand Teton Photography in the Winter

Winter photography at Grand Teton can be a bit tricky due to road and trail closures, making it hard to get to many of the best photo spots at Grand Teton.

Here’s our list of favorite places to photograph Grand Teton National Park, 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

Be ready with your WINTER camera gear to capture images the landscape and wildlife as you drive along the road, or ski along the trails. We especially love photography gloves and rechargeable hand warmers!

elk refuge near Grand Teton in the winter
Elk refuge near Grand Teton

Grand Teton Wildlife in the Winter

In the winter the wildlife at Grand Teton National Park contrasts against the white snow making it easier to spot them.

You’ll see many elk at the Elk Refuge between the park and the town of Jackson. You can take a Elk Refuge sleigh ride tour to see the elk up close! Tours usually start mid-December.

If you’re lucky you may see eagles, coyotes, foxes, bison, deer, wolves, trumpeter swans and more on the tour… as well as on the roads or trails that are open in the park.

Grand Teton maps and guides

AMAZON: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Guides and Maps

Grand Teton Winter Lodging

Since all the lodges and campgrounds are closed in the winter, you’ll need to stay in nearby Jackson. Here’s a list of our favorite places to stay:
visiting Grand Teton in the winter

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *