Teton National Park is so beautiful and there is something to do for everyone. Some of our family's favorite places to visit in the park are Jenny Lake and the new visitor center. In the summer you can ride a boat over the lake and hike back if you like. Also, make sure to have your kids complete the junior ranger program. You can sign up for this at the visitor center.
I admit it. I am a food snob. I'm also a sucker for stunning mountain vistas, quiet Alpine lakes, and up close wildlife encounters. So, when a park offer all this, in addition to amazing food, well, it is going to rank up there with the Seven Wonders of the World in my book.
Grand Teton may be overlooked by families making the pilgrimage to that other pinnacle of the National Parks, Yellowstone, but I think Grand Teton is more family friendly.
Don't miss Jenny Lake for its Alpine beauty and kid-friendly hikes. Nearby Jackson Lake Lodge has the Pioneer Grille, with an authentic 1950's soda counter and delicious organic, locally sourced diner food. A must stop for kids!!
Further south, we enjoyed the Signal Mountain Lodge which serves excellent food, in a classy setting overlooking Signal Mountain.
Last but not least, we absolutely loved the Moose Visitors Center, which is brand new and has excellent programs for kids.
This park is incredibly grand and beautiful.
Although there isn't a ton for very little ones to do (my two-year-old could do limited hiking trails), you can enjoy the splendor of the mountains, search for wildlife, and get your feet wet in some of the numerous creeks or lakes.
Take advantage the Jr. Ranger program for school-age-kids. They will love learning about the mountains, and you will too!
GrandTeton National Park
1. Ride the tram in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and hike the Rock Springs Trail into Cody Bowl - Although this is just outside of the Park, it was the most fun our family had while there. We rode the 100 passenger tram from the base of Jackson Hole to the top of Rendezvous mountain, a four thousand foot climb. We packed a picnic lunch for our day's adventures at the top of the world. We descended along the ridge line on the Rock Springs Trail into Cody Bowl. We spent our afternoon having snow ball fights, sliding down the glacial snow and rock scrambling. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to homemade waffles at Corbett Cabin. Yum!
2. Kayak (or canoe) Colter andHalf Moon Bays - We rented two two-person kayaks from the Colter Bay Marina for half a day of paddling and wildlife viewing in Colter and Half Moon Bays.
3. Hike around String and Jenny Lakes to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point - We hiked 7.8 miles along the north and west sides of both String and Jenny Lakes. This route is gentle with minimal elevation change. The best part of this hike is taking in the mountain peaks and the lake vistas.
4. Raft the class I and II rapidsof the Snake River - This activity was my son's choice. Grand Teton LodgeCompany was our guide down the Snake River in the Park. This float is gentle enough for a six year old. Daniel, our guide, was experienced at navigating the river and very knowledgeable about the natural history of the Park. We were fortunate to spot two moose, a beaver and an eagle.
5. Camping - Camping is the best way to truly experience everything a national park has to offer from scenery to education. Grand Teton offers five first-come-first-serve campgrounds. They do not take reservations; however, visitors are able to easily get a site in one of the campgrounds. At the entrance stations and visitor centers, there are campground boards providing information on the availability of sites and at what time the campground became full.
This park is amazing. Everything about it is breathtaking. There are only a few trails that are short and easy and doable for kids under five. If you have older children and teenagers there are so many hikes to go on. For any age kid the boat ride across Jenny Lake is a must.
Just outside of Jackson Hole, WY you find Grand Teton National Park. Pictures do not come close to expressing the full grandeur and awe of these mountains. My husband and I have actually been to this park on several occasions, and each time we find something new to explore and enjoy.
My husband's favorite visit was, without question, one we took in March of 2007. Since it was still early in the year, the park had limited areas open to the general public. The main road through the park was open, but to bicycles only. See if you can picture the majesty – the weather cool and crisp in the mid-40's, a perfectly blue sky filled with sunshine and billowy clouds, people walking and biking at the base of huge snow-capped mountains. Doesn’t get much better. The park typically opens the road for pedestrian and cycling traffic sometime in March, but you need to check the website to determine the exact day as it depends on the snow each year (http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm). I'll be honest, I'm not much of a cyclist so I rode for a bit and then went back to the car to read a book and enjoy the crisp mountain air. My husband took the full ride and still talks about that being one of his most memorable trips.
The most recent trip we’ve taken up that way was in 2009 with our then, 9 month old daughter. This was the first leg on a 5 week road trip and we had stopped to visit a family member in the region. We decided it would be great to see the Hidden Falls again, but thought it would be fun to hike with our little one rather than the shuttle boat. We took the Jenny Lake trail to the falls. From where we started it was about a 3 mile hike, roundtrip. Of course, we had a good hiking backpack for the wee one, but as it was such a long trip, she of course fell asleep and her head bobbed around too much for our liking so we had to take turns carrying her as we hiked back. Talk about some tired arms. TIPS FOR INFANTS: Make sure you’ve got the necessities…bottles, formula, diapers, change of clothes. When going with a little one, it might be better to take the shuttle. : )
The nice thing about hiking is that we could really enjoy the nature around us. A deer decided to join our hike and popped on to the trail to lead us toward the falls. Several small creatures greeted us along the way, and we got an awesome surprise on the hike back. A moose was enjoying some mountain air (far enough up the mountain that we felt relatively safe). We just stood for about 10 minutes and watched him nibble and relax.
Pretty much everything in this national park is jaw-dropping awesome, but if possible, get off the main road and do a little hiking to really experience the area. Many of the hikes are easy-to-moderate and all are worth the effort. Grand Teton National Park is definitely a must-see for any family.
Grand Teton National Park is sometimes seen as Yellowstone National Park's little brother. However, I think GTNP is so much more fun than Yellowstone. There's a lot less unnecessary, gas-guzzling driving. The Tetons are just amazing, and there are so many amazing hikes in the park. Jenny Lake is a great place for kids AND grandparents. If you kiddos are a bit older, I recommend Paintbrush Canyon as an amazing hike. If you have only two days in Northwestern Wyoming.... well first of all, poor planning; BUT... make sure to spend at least a full day in GTNP. I also recommend a scenic float trip in the park (make sure it is INSIDE the park... many are south of the park and it's just not as great). Solitude Float Trips is my favorite scenic float trip company in the park.
We spent just a few hours driving around the park. In June, the mountains are still covered in snow and it was BEAUTIFUL! We enjoyed the views by Jenny's Lake, and just barely missed crossing a bear on a path (we heard about it from the rangers). We didn't see any animals the day we were there (except for bison, but we're used to those), but we still enjoyed the leisurely drive!
Grand Teton Nat'l Park should definitely be on your list of places to visit if you're in th Jackson area. The Tetons are breathtaking. The wildlife is everywhere! Expect to see bison, moose, elk, deer, wolves, bears,coyotes, marmots, beavers, otters, eagles. . .the list is endless. GTNP is a great family friend park. There's a bike path for family biking. Groomed trails for family hiking. Numerous lakes for kayaking and rafting. Plan your trip today and I know you won't be disappointed!
We spent over a day here and just didn't have any great agenda. The kids liked running about and splashing on the lakeshore. There were moose in a stream and deer on the lodge grounds to liven things up. The Chapel of the transfiguration was very photogenic, as were the mountains. Driving around with food would be the best thing to do here with kids. We stayed in a lakefront room with kitchenette at SIgnal Mountain lodge and loved it. Gorgeous moonlight and sunrise.
I love this national park - the mountains are classic post card peaks and there is an abundance of wildlife. There is just too much here to describe in one review.
The trails vary from easy to extremely challenging. Be warned this is the real wilderness - for experienced outdoors families only. There are bears in this park and you will see them so be prepared if you have small children. Most are black bears but take advice from rangers on what to do when you meet one on the trail (especially if you are not an experienced hiker). The paths are rugged - so be prepared with sturdy footwear, serious daypacks and babyback packs for little ones, also cold weather gear even in summer is a good idea. The NPS rangers are wonderful and will help you choose a trail that works for your family. Even though our children are young we have no problem with a 2-3 mile hike. If you dont want a long hike try the boat ride across Jenny Lake - even a short hike up the cascade trail in the valley on the opposite side will make you appreciate the real wilderness.
There are plenty of opportunities to see elk, pronghorn, bison from your car. With a little luck and stategic driving you will have a good chance of seeing moose, coyotes, bears, etc.
Typical NPS campsites - great value and family friendly