Points of Interest in Grand Teton National Park
by Joseph A. Sprince – Photography by Gerald B. Allen
The Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks Travel Guides are a resource for those planning to tour Yellowstone National Park and/or Grand Teton National Park. The adjacent national parks are typically visited at the same time and offer very different experiences. Yellowstone offers the world's largest concentration of thermal features such as geysers and hot pools. Grand Teton features one of the world's most spectacular mountain ranges. Both parks offer outstanding opportunities to view wildlife.
Driving through Grand Teton National Park
The main highway through Grand Teton National Park is US-191 from north of Jackson to Moran Junction, Wyoming, running concurrently with US-26 and US-89 (about 30.4 miles, opened year-round). The highway meets US-287 at Moran Junction, inside the park. US-191, US-89, and US-287 continues north for another 27.7 miles through the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway and then ends at Yellowstone National Park at the park’s South Entrance. The only other road north into Grand Teton is the Moose-Wilson Road (See details below), about 20.2 miles from Jackson via Wyoming-22 to Moose Junction, Wyoming.
The Teton Park Road, the main scenic drive, follows the base of the Teton Range from Moose to Jackson Lake Junction, about 20 miles. Both Teton Park Road and a section of Moose-Wilson Road are closed in winter.
Many turnouts along park roads offer exhibits on park geology, wildlife and plants. Turnouts also provide safe places to enjoy scenic views, view wildlife, and take photographs. Watch for large animals on the road. Drive slowly at night. Elk, bison, and mule deer frequently migrate at night and may be difficult to see. Moose use roads as travel corridors. Do not stop in the middle of the road to view wildlife.
Whether you are in your vehicle or on foot, you must maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from all other wildlife.
The following is a list of suggested points of interest, vista points, and several scenic drives:
Points of Interest Along Teton Park Road
Signal Mountain Summit Road climbs 800 feet (242 meters) to panoramic views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole valley, and Jackson Lake. Signal Mountain stands by itself and offers views in all directions from the top. Look for the turn off on Teton Park Road just south of Signal Mountain Lodge. You can also hike to the top but it’s a pretty steep climb. Closed to motorized vehicles from November 1st through April 30th.
Mountain View Turnout. On Teton Park Road just north of North Jenny Lake Junction. Great view of Mount Moran.
The Jenny Lake Scenic Drive skirts the east shore of Jenny Lake and provides spectacular views of the peaks. Access the scenic drive from North Jenny Lake Junction. Drive west toward the mountains, and turn left (south) onto the one-way scenic drive. The scenic road returns to the Teton Park Road just north of South Jenny Lake.
Jenny Lake. One of most popular attractions in the park, the lake sits right at the base of the mountains below Cascade Canyon and Grand Teton peak. Very intimate feeling around lake, beautiful views. Easy peaceful hikes around lake. Jenny Lake Shuttle goes across the lake to the start of the Cascade Canyon Trail. The inexpensive shuttle ride is worthwhile even if you don’t go hiking. The mountain views on the lake are spectacular.
Hidden Falls. One of the park’s best scenic attractions, this 250 foot tall waterfall is on the Cascade Canyon Trail, about 1/2 mile up the trail from the boat dock. Inspiration Point is another 1/2 mile up the trail and offers one of the park’s best vista points.
Inspiration Point. One mile up the Cascade Canyon Trail from the boat dock, Inspiration Point offers an unforgettable view of Jackson Hole with mountains in the background. Please see our Outdoor Activities in Grand Teton National Park page for more details on the Cascade Canyon Trail.
Jenny Lake Overlook. About two miles south of Jenny Lake Lodge. Beautiful view of mountains rising directly behind lake.
Moose-Wilson Road. This scenic drive goes from the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center (Moose Visitor Center) to the town of Wilson on Wyoming-22, passing Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Teton Village ski area along the way. Within the national park, the road passes a very marshy area where there is an excellent chance to observe moose. Our experience was spotting a female moose and its calf. Be careful if you stop, the road is very narrow. Due to the narrow road, trailers and vehicles over 23.3 feet are prohibited on the Moose-Wilson Road. Closed to motorized vehicles from the Death Canyon Trailhead to the Granite Canyon Trailhead from November 1st through April 30th.
Points of Interest Along US-191/US-89 through Grand Teton National Park
Oxbow Bend. Sight made famous by Ansel Adams. Probably the most popular vista point in the park for photographers. Spectacular view of the mountains behind the cut off bend in the river. You must be ready to take pictures just before sunrise.
Cunningham Cabin. The remains of a 19th century ranch located in Jackson Hole. The main cabin is substantially intact while there are remnants of the corrals and other buildings. A short pleasant hike from the parking area on US-89.
Snake River Overlook. One of several vista points on US-89 between Moose and Moran Junction. The overlook features the jagged Teton Range in profile with the Snake River in profile. Site made famous by Ansel Adams.
Antelope Flats. This scenic drive can start and end on US-89. Go on the Gros Ventre River Road to the village of Kelly. Continue north, then turn left on Antelope Flats Road. This area is very rich in wildflowers and is also frequented by buffalo. There is also remnants of a Mormon Row barn which offers an outstanding photo with the mountains as a backdrop. Closed to motorized vehicles from November 1st through April 30th.
Gros Ventre River Road (pronounced GROW-VAUNT). This scenic drive goes to the village of Kelly. After the road turns north, take the first right into Bridger-Teton National Forest. The beautiful route goes to Lower Slide Lake where the road becomes unpaved and continues for many miles. There are three small NFS campgrounds at Slide Lake and beyond. Also, hiking trails. During our drive here, we observed many antlered deer.
Points of Interest near Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. At Teton Village via Moose-Wilson Road, the winter ski resort is open all year. The aerial tram from Teton Village ski area has long provided easy summer access to the Grand Teton high country. Tram Building Location: 3265 West Village Drive, Jackson, WY 83025, Phone: (307) 733-2292.
Jackson, Wyoming. The southern gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is a major supply point and center of activity for area visitors. The town features shopping, arts and culture, museums, special events, upscale restaurants, lodging and more. The National Elk Refuge just north of town is the winter home to a herd of 7,500 elk.