Grand Teton National Park
For as often as we boast (brag? Tout? Toot our own horn?) about being Jackson’s closest motel to Grand Teton National Park, it’s surprising that we’ve never yet dedicated an entire post to the wonders and beauty of this historic park. With over 250 miles of hiking trails, lakes, and plenty of wildlife, Grand Teton National Park is the perfect destination for those who want to see and interact with some of the most majestic scenery in the West.
What is the best time to visit?
While the park is open year-round, many seasonal closures may affect the type of experience you’re hoping to have. Peak months are May through September, but many travelers find that going from mid-June to early July provides the best opportunities for seeing wildlife. (More on said wildlife below.)
What is the closest town?
You know where this is going, right? Jackson is the closest town to Grand Teton National Park and the perfect place to grab a meal, do some shopping, or just relax after a day in the park. At around 3 miles from the Grand Teton National Park sign, Flat Creek Inn is the closest motel to the park (you may have heard us mention that once or twice before). Situated across the street from the peaceful and fascinating elk reserve, Flat Creek Inn is the ideal home base for your Grand Teton adventures.
Where should I stay?
See above. Flat Creek Inn, obviously. All kidding aside (are we kidding?), Jackson boasts amazing lodging, both luxury and budget-friendly options to suit whatever type of vacation you are looking for. Aside from lodging in Jackson, you can get a good night’s sleep in the park and walk out your door in the morning ready for the day’s adventures. Whether you’re looking for a lodge, cabin, cottage, motel-style room, or a night under the stars at one of the eight campgrounds available, there’s literally an option for everyone. Park lodging is seasonal with varying opening and closing months dependent on the location. Be sure to check the seasonal openings for your preferred location. Also note that all campsites do require reservations that must be made online.
What is there to see?
Do you mean besides the Grand Teton? Well, thanks to the National Parks Service website, we have this oddly comprehensive list of all the flora and fauna you’re able to see:
- 22 species of rodents
- 17 species of carnivores (black and grizzly bears)
- 6 species of hoofed mammals
- 3 species of rabbits/hares
- 6 species of bats
- 4 species of reptiles (none venomous—this is very important)
- 6 species of amphibians
- 16 species of fish
- 300+ species of birds
- Numerous invertebrates (no venomous spiders—this is also very important)
- 7 species of coniferous trees
- 900+ species of flowering plants
A little much? Yeah, probably. Besides this very fascinating list of plants and animals, there are over 250 miles of hiking trails ranging from short, family-friendly walks to backcountry excursions and even some of the best mountaineering in the West. The park also boasts six morainal lakes and over 100 alpine backcountry lakes. Looking for something a little more low-key? Attend a ranger-led program! These programs are a great way to learn about what makes the park special. Rangers are the experts and can help you discover things you may not have been able to learn on your own. While the 2023 calendar isn’t available yet (2022 programming started in early-mid June), keep an eye on the event calendar or visit one of the four visitor centers to learn what’s available.
How long should I spend there?
This completely depends on what type of experience you’re hoping to have. For the average traveler, two days would give you enough time to hit the scenic points and do one or two short-ish hikes. That being said, staying for three or more days allows you to fully immerse yourself in the park.
Ready to go see all that Grand Teton has to offer? Come stay with us! Or even if you’re just passing through, stop by and chat. We’d love to hear about your experiences with the park and tell you more about our favorite things to do. See you soon!
Breanne Kunz was raised in the Pacific Northwest but grew up spending summers in Idaho and frequently visiting Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. She is a wife and mom who likes to write. She occasionally travels (not as much as she’d like) and always eats.
Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Chascar, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons