Are you looking for the perfect outdoor adventure that allows you to get up close and personal with nature while supporting social distancing? Look no further than a scenic loop drive in Grand Teton National Park.
Picture yourself driving through breathtaking landscapes of majestic mountains and meadows surrounded by wildlife. At just over 42 miles, this incredible tour will give you plenty of time to experience all the beauty Grand Teton offers without wearing out your car’s brakes!
After reading this complete guide, you’ll know everything necessary to make your trip as picture-perfect as possible.
Overview And History Of Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929, and it’s named after the tallest mountain in the Teton Range, Grand Teton, which stands at 13,775 feet.
The park is renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and bison.
The park is also home to several glaciers, pristine lakes, and some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the country.
Planning Your Visit
Before heading to Grand Teton National Park, there are a few things you’ll need to know.
Best time to visit Grand Teton National Park
The best time to visit Grand Teton National Park is from May to September when the weather is mild, and the park is open for visitors. During this time, the park’s facilities and services, including campgrounds, lodges, and restaurants, are all open.
Getting to the park
Grand Teton National Park is located in western Wyoming, approximately 5 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. The closest airport is Jackson Hole Airport, which several airlines serve. Visitors can also reach the park by car via US Highway 89.
The entrance fee for Grand Teton National Park is $35 per vehicle, and it’s valid for seven days. Annual passes are also available for $70, which provides entry to all national parks and federal recreational lands in the US.
There are several accommodation options available in and around Grand Teton National Park, including campgrounds, lodges, cabins, and hotels. Visitors are advised to book their accommodations well in advance, especially during peak season.
Food and supplies
There are several restaurants, cafes, and general stores located within the park, which offer a range of food and supplies. Visitors are also advised to bring their food and supplies, especially if they plan to camp or hike in the park.
The 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive
Now that you know all about Grand Teton National Park, it’s time to explore! The 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive is the perfect way to experience the park and its stunning scenery.
Route of the drive
The 42-mile scenic loop drive starts and ends at Moose Junction and takes visitors through some of the park’s most spectacular scenery. The route takes approximately two to four hours to complete, depending on how many stops you make along the way.
Stops along the way
Here are some of the best Stops on the Loop road:
- Chapel of the Transfiguration – A beautiful log chapel with stunning views of the Teton Range.
- Jenny Lake – One of the most popular spots in the park, Jenny Lake scenic drive offers stunning views of the mountains and is a great spot for hiking, boating, and fishing.
- Signal Mountain: A scenic drive up to the summit of Signal Mountain Road offers panoramic views of the park.
- Snake River Overlook – This is the spot where Ansel Adams took his iconic photograph of the Snake River and the Teton park road.
- Oxbow Bend – A popular spot for wildlife watching, Oxbow Bend offers stunning views of the Teton Range reflected in the waters of the Snake River.
- Colter Bay Village – A historic village that offers several accommodation options, including cabins, campgrounds, and lodges.
- Jackson Lake junction – A beautiful lodge on the shore of Jackson Lake dam, with stunning views of the Teton Range.
- Moose Junction – The endpoint of the scenic loop drive, Moose Wilson Road is a great spot for wildlife watching and offers a variety of restaurants and shops.
These are just some of the highlights along the 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive. As you explore the park, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife and don’t forget your camera!
Tips For Driving the Loop
Driving the scenic loop can be an incredible experience, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Visitors should be aware of wildlife crossings, especially during dawn and dusk when animals are most active. It’s also important to obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits.
Hiking and Other Activities
There are many opportunities for hiking and other activities within Grand Teton National Park.
Hiking trails along the loop
There are several hiking trails located along the scenic loop, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. Some of the most popular trails include the Hidden Falls Trail, Cascade Canyon Trail, and the Taggart Lake Trail.
Other activities in the park
In addition to hiking, there are several other activities to enjoy in Grand Teton National Park. Visitors can go…
- Horseback riding
- Take guided tours to learn more
It’s easy to get a good overview of the park in one day, but if you want to learn more about the area and its history, consider taking a guided tour.
Now that you know about the 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive, it’s important to remember safety when visiting Grand Teton NP.
The weather in Grand Teton National Park can be unpredictable, and visitors should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before heading out and to dress in layers.
Visitors should always keep a safe distance from wildlife and never approach or feed them. It’s also important to store food and trash in bear-proof containers or lockers to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife.
General safety tips
Visitors should always stay on marked trails, bring plenty of water and snacks, and carry a map and compass. It’s also important to let someone know your itinerary and expected return time.
Is it Worth it?
The 42-mile scenic loop drive is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Grand Teton National Park.
The drive takes visitors through some of the park’s most stunning scenery, including majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the scenic loop drive is a must-do activity that’s well worth the time and effort.