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The Amazing Grand Tetons National Park: Ideas of What to See and Do

Wyoming is a spectacularly beautiful state filled to the brim with eye-catching splendor. See some of the images I captured here.

Ox-Bow Bend Turnout of the Snake River in the Grand Tetons

Ox-Bow Bend Turnout of the Snake River in the Grand Tetons

Vacationing in the Grand Tetons

I will share some photos and memories of our vacation in the Grand Tetons National Park in the scenic State of Wyoming here. You can get an idea of what to see and enjoy should you travel to this destination. Fortunate are the people who live in this beautiful area of our country. They get to enjoy these wide-open spaces filled with breath-taking scenery daily. For the rest of us who live elsewhere, this is a destination spot that holds much allure. Visitors are welcome in all seasons, and each season has its unique tourist offerings.

There are many guest ranches where one can pick up the flavor of living and working as a cowboy if one wishes. Also offered are ski resorts since this area has the requisite mountains in which to practice that sport. Hikers are happy as trails lead one to numerous discoveries and vary from easy walking to challenging the most athletic participants. Some fellow tourists with which we conversed had seen llamas transporting gear for avid hikers in the park.

The lakes and rivers provide aquatic fun for people of all ages. Bird and animal lovers can delight in spotting rare species, such as the trumpeter swans, as well as more commonly found ones that make this area their home.

Horseback riding is available at many places in the Grand Tetons National Park. One day my niece and I rode horseback on top of the butte overlooking Jackson Hole. At one point, we were going through a beautiful grove of aspen trees. The glimpses we would get of the valley below us offered a great perspective of the area in general.

Art lovers can enjoy an abundance of museum-quality art in the Jackson Hole galleries.

Comedic live theater productions keep families entertained in this western-flavored town.

An assortment of restaurants tantalizes the most discerning of palates. There is something here for everyone!

Organized Tour

My mother, niece, and I only had two weeks in which to soak up the sounds, sights, and flavors of this fantastic Wyoming destination. We took a tour one of the first days after settling into our cabin at Cross Creek Ranch.

The first stopping-off place was at the Chapel of The Transfiguration. It is just outside the town of Jackson Hole and the National Elk Refuge. This chapel, constructed in a log cabin fashion, was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is a chapel that welcomes everyone to participate in the church services. The very rustic interior with pews made of quaking aspen faces the large glass window at the altar that beautifully frames the majestic Tetons. Nature in all its glory is there to be seen and contemplatively enjoyed.

Our tour guide's name was Grizzly. His appearance fit his name! He was a bearded fellow and had a round shape such as one would think of a grizzly bear. A friendly fellow, he kept us informed but also entertained with his original songs.

You can undoubtedly tell by looking at the photos that this is a one-way road. Animals walk freely throughout this area and the only time that one would see several cars bunched up and stopped along the side of the road was when some elk, or moose, or other animals came into view.

Grizzly described these cars and people gathering places as a "moose jam" or an "elk jam." These occasional "jams" also became great occasions to take photographs. The speed limit on this one-way road was slow. I forget the actual speed, but it allowed one to savor the sights without feeling rushed. Animal sightings became easy to spot at these reduced speeds.

Beautiful Water Views in The Tetons

Leigh Lake is one of several crystal clear lakes surrounded by verdant green foliage and the splendid Teton Mountains.

Grizzly arranged a boat ride on Jenny Lake and what we saw made us determined to return another day and see some of what he described on the hike that we later undertook. Being a songwriter, we encouraged him to sing more of his creations. The sound of his voice lifted in song echoed across the water and delighted us almost as much as viewing the pristine waters and breath-taking scenery.

We spent our lunch break on this tour at Colter Bay Village Visitor Center. Not only was this located in a very scenic spot in the Grand Tetons, but we became more educated as to the formation of these mountains, the indigenous wildlife in the area, and other details. These photos below show the beauty of the locale.

Many people were enjoying themselves in many different types of boats out on Jackson Lake. It would have been fun to have had the time to rent one and go out on this lake, but time did not permit us to do that.

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The water was cold in String Lake, and the bottom was very rocky. It hurt our feet trying to wade in barefoot. It is a beautiful area offering a great picnic spot. If we had had more time, we would have liked to have gone back to this area and wade into the refreshing water with sneakers on our feet. Most all the people were wearing some form of foot protection. Some people were rafting and spending the entire day here.

The Snake River looks quiet and calm in the photo below taken of the Ox-bow Bend Turnout. It was a bit more boisterous and challenging on the part of the river that we chose to take our whitewater rafting trip a few days later. This turnout was our last stop of the day on our tour.

During our final day, we spent over two hours at the Signal Mountain boat ramp. We hated to leave this gorgeous spot! The Signal Mountain Lodge is on the southern end of Jackson Lake. Camping facilities are nearby, and many people were enjoying themselves while doing some windsurfing.

Dornan's Chuck Wagon

In Moose, Wyoming is a place called Dornan's Chuck Wagon. Indian tepees grace the grounds, along with a plentiful supply of hand-hewed picnic tables. The grocery store offers a sizable variety of specialty foods and premium cheeses, coffees, fresh produce, and bulk natural foods.

We purchased some delicious deli sandwiches that were so huge that we made two meals from each one of them. Picnicking on these grounds surrounded by the towering Tetons during a bright and sunny day was delightful.

At the adjacent gift shop, one can rent bikes and canoes. There is a mountaineering shop and also a laundromat. Cabins are for rent, and this is an excellent place to purchase necessities like gas and ice. We bought a backpack to carry our water and refreshments for the many outings on our planned itinerary.

Fifteen hundred selections of wine are for sale in their extensive wine shop! Never did I expect to see such an assortment of wines in this country setting! I purchased a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from Stonegate for my mother and me to enjoy at the end of a day in our Cross Creek Cabin, with the cool crisp mountain air outside making our blazing fire in the hearth even more inviting.

Since my husband was not with us, I purchased a souvenir t-shirt from Dornan's that has the following printed on it: "Life is too short to drink cheap wine."

Taggart Lake Trail and Fires

Hiking along the Taggart Lake Trail, we saw evidence of a fire that had passed through this area some time ago. The trees still standing looked scorched, but the ground was covered with new emerging green growing seedlings and shrubs and even blooming flowers.

Many fires were raging in Yellowstone National Park in 1988. In fact, at one point, they had to close access to the park from the southern entrance to assure public safety.

For most of the days we spent in the Tetons, the weather was bright and sunny except for one swiftly passing storm one evening, which made for a spectacular sunset.

But due to the fires and a wind shift, the last day when we were on schedule to leave, smoke was beginning to fill the air, and we wondered if our airplane was going to be able to take off. The plane did take off, and all was well.

After a long and protracted battle up in Yellowstone, the fires finally got under control. Many of them are left to burn naturally, and the debate continues to this day as to what is the best method to treat these naturally occurring events in our nation's national parks and other protected areas.

Taggart Lake Trailhead

Taggart Lake Trailhead

Gros Ventre Slide

Exploring this Gros Ventre Slide one day, it occurred to us how rapidly geologic shifts in the earth can drastically alter a landscape. While this is perhaps not the most scenic area in the Tetons, it is interesting none-the-less.

Lodgepole pine trees that once grew in an upright position near the top of the mountain grabbed a foothold in the debris. They now survive with their trunks in an almost horizontal position with branches reaching upwards towards the sun. It looked like a crazy topsy turvy world!

Cunningham Cabin

There is a self-guided trail that takes one to the Cunningham Cabin. Pierce and Margaret Cunningham were one of the first families to homestead in Jackson Hole. They built a log cabin in 1890 and tried raising cattle. Mr. Cunningham served as a game warden, postmaster, justice of the peace, and county commissioner while living in Jackson Hole for 40 years. They finally departed this area, moving to Idaho.

You can view some of the Cunningham Cabin, plus the Chapel of the Transfiguration, in the video below.

Hopefully, this gives you a few ideas of how you can spend precious time in the Grand Tetons. I have written other articles about the town of Jackson Hole, hiking to Hidden Falls, etc. You will never forget vacationing in this most scenic national park.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

— Albert Einstein


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2021:

Hi Devika,

It will be wonderful when we can all safely travel again. The Grand Tetons National Park is a beauty! I hope you get to see it someday.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 07, 2021:

Peggy W this sounds a great adventure and a must see place. I like th ideas and is a plan for when I can travel again. It is interesting and most helpful and in detail of a different national park.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

It is with great pleasure that I can share some of the beauty of visiting the Grand Tetons National Park with you and other readers. We loved spending time there. Thanks for your comment.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on March 07, 2021:

You have shared a fantastic hub, Peggy

very Informational

I love the way you share your experience of exploring nature

I enjoyed reading the article and the beautiful pictures

Thanks for sharing


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2021:

Hi Patricia,

It was hard to leave this type of beauty behind, but I have my photos and memories. I would happily return there someday!

Patricia on March 06, 2021:

Thank you for showing such natural beauty. I'll bet is was difficult to leave.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2013:

Hi Shyron,

So happy to know that you enjoyed seeing these many photos and learning some things about the Grand Tetons National Park. Thanks for the votes, share and pin.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Hope you are able to visit this most beautiful national park someday. Thanks for the 5 star rating, votes and the share.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on August 06, 2013:

Peg, I really enjoyed this hub. I would love to visit there sometime. The pictures on her are just awesome. Voted-up, Awesome, Beautiful and Interesting, shared and pinned.

C E Clark from North Texas on August 06, 2013:

This is a trip I would love to have made! Beautiful photos. Almost got to Wyoming and Montana, but almost doesn't count. Great information and a fantastic hub as always. Voted up, BAUI and will share with my followers. Oh, nearly forgot. gave you 5 more stars, too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 29, 2011:

Hello Angelique Rea,

Will definitely check out your hub. Obviously the major landmarks have not changed in the Grand Tetons National Park so will be interested to see what you have featured. Thanks for your comment.

Angelique Rea on November 29, 2011:

Your Hub showed up as related to mine when I published my Hub for GTNP, so of course I had to check out your Hub.... It is interesting to see your photos (which are great!!) and some of the differences that have happened in the park since your visit.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2011:

Hello jaclin,

Since you are so nicely leaving comments on each hub, I too am reliving our trip there to the stunning Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. THANK YOU! The mountains had a little snow as you can see from these pictures but probably not nearly as much as you saw since we were there a month later. Aren't those lakes beautiful...such crystal clear water! Again...thanks!

jaclin on February 23, 2011:

Today I am slowly reliving my 2010 road trip across the States by visiting various hubs that you have written... we spent about a week in total around this area - and I remember vividly the afternoon that we drove towards the Teton Mountain range... still covered in snow - even though it was June... looking at your photos and reading your account of your journey just brings back stunning memories... Thankyou...

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2010:

Hi Ann,

That is actually what I meant to indicate...even had a link to the Chapel of the Transfiguration. Have changed the wording to make it more accurate. Thanks for reading and commenting on this Grand Tetons National Park hub and leaving your comment. I appreciate it.

Ann on August 27, 2010:

The church is actually an Episcopal Church not non-denominational - but all are welcome to participate in worship and communion.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 19, 2010:

Hello Attraction in Australia,

What a colorful comment! Nice! We did travel to the Grand Tetons National Park in summer and while the roads may seem packed to those that live there in quieter times of the seemed not crowded a bit to us who came from Houston, Texas. Guess it is all a matter of perspective! Ha!

Have not visited Australia yet, but friends of ours who have been there loved it as well as New Zealand which is closeby. Thanks for the comment.

Attraction in Australia on August 18, 2010:

The best season to visit Grand Teton is between the Fourth of July and Labor Day, when the Northern Rockies come to life. Flowers bloom, fish jump, bison calves frolic and tourists tour. The park roads are crowded with trailers, with the well-known spots jammed with a significant portion of the millions who make their treks to Montana and Wyoming every year. Wildlife are typically visible in the park year-round. Common mammal sightings include moose, elk, bison, coyote and marmots. Common bird sightings include eagles, ospreys, sage grouse and Western tanagers.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2010:

Hi kiwi91,

Happy to hear that you got to enjoy the Grand Tetons National Park as we did. Such gorgeous scenery in that part of Wyoming. Obviously the fact that you have a photo hanging in your living room, you cherish the memories. Thanks for the comment.

kiwi91 from USA on July 20, 2010:

I was in Grand Teton National Park a few years ago. It was an amazing experience. I have a photo of Jackson Lake and the Tetons in the background hanging in my living room. Beautiful hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 01, 2009:

Hello David,

I found the photo that you meant and you are right. The photo of my mother was taken at the Signal Mountain boatramp, but the Tetons form the backdrop behind Lake Jackson. Will make that change right now. Thanks for your "eagle eye" in spotting this! Do you live in the area?

David on October 01, 2009:

signal mountain is not part of the tetons, and would be located directly behind the camera....Mt. Moran is the one you are thinking of

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2009:

Hi TamCor,

The scenery in the Grand Tetons National Park is so breathtakingly beautiful that I can fully understand why your son is still talking about it. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for commenting.

Tammy Cornett from Ohio on August 10, 2009:

Peggy--Our son Larkin went there on a senior trip in high school a couple of years ago, and he is STILL talking about how wonderful it was. I'm going to point this hub out to him, so he can read about your experience, and see your beautiful pics!

Thanks for a great read! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2009:

Hi Journey,

The Grand Tetons are truly lovely and one can definitely find peace there as well. Thanks for viewing and commenting.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on August 10, 2009:

It looks really lovely and peaceful there. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2009:

Hello Matthew,

Thanks for your comment and adding a bit more information about the Grand Tetons National Park for folks who have not been there. This might encourage them to plan a trip there. We also loved it! Hope you took some photos of your own?

Matthew on August 10, 2009:

I was in the Grand Teton region July 6-11, 2009. These photos are a great reminder. I'm well traveled, and confess that the Teton Range is my favorite place on Earth. We hiked 6 to 7 miles every day. The one thing photos can't capture is the cold nip in the air, even on 80-degree days. . .crisp. I can't imagine a world without such a beautiful place.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 03, 2009:

Hi loveroflife,

Yes my mother, niece and I did have some great vacations together...mostly in natural areas visiting National Parks and the like. The Grand Tetons, for people who have not been there, are well worth a visit.

Hope you have been to the Tetons or get to go someday.

Thanks for the comment.

loveroflife on August 03, 2009:

More beautiful photos. This time the Grand Tetons. You certainly experienced some great vacations.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 31, 2009:

Hi MellasViews, If you liked this, be sure and check out my hub on Jenny Lake and also Jackson Hole. I divided them up because I could never have fit them all into one hub. If you have extra time.......Yellowstone can also be seen. If not, spend all your time in the Tetons. You will not be disappointed!

Each and every National Park in the U.S. is so distinctive and worth one's time in visiting. I think that sometimes we think of far off destinations as being worth a vacation........and they ARE! But many people neglect the ones in our own country.

Our experince.......our National Parks are LOADED with foreign visitors!!!

MellasViews from Earth on January 30, 2009:

loved the beautiful photos... I want to go here!!!!! Going away this upcoming fall, we already re-booked a trip back to the bahamas... but these photos you have shared are spectacular... a place I defwant to explore.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 26, 2009:

Glad that I could help! Ha! I remember those frigid days when we lived in Central Wisconsin. Brrr! The winters are really nice in Houston but then we pay for it with our hot and humid summer days. Guess few places are perfect. Bundle up and stay warm, rockinjoe.

Joseph Addams from Standing right behind you! on January 26, 2009:

How beautiful. Thanks for sharing your vacation. It's 7 degrees where I am today. You've made me feel MUCH warmer:)

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