Three days isn’t enough time to fully appreciate the wonders of this treasured destination, but often it’s all the time families have when combining the Tetons with Yellowstone National Park. I hope my Three Days Grand Tetons gives you a delightful sampling of what this renowned national park and Jackson Hole have to offer.
If possible, make your home base at Jackson Lake Lodge. Like most national park lodging, the rooms are pricey and a bit scruffy, but the location can’t be beat. You’ll find the Lodge’s public areas are welcoming, the outdoor amenities numerous, and the staff aims to please. It’s an easy 35-minute drive to Jackson Town Square, so evenings in downtown Jackson are doable. People rave about the Lodge’s Mural Room, but I’d spend my sunset on the Blue Heron patio. It’s a casual setting with heavenly views that stretch across a sagebrush meadow into the open arms of the Grand Tetons.
The Tetons inspire and make you smile. They pop up from the earth like uncut dazzling diamonds and form a fringe of friendly, jagged mountaintops. The big guy is named Grand Teton. Bring tennis shoes or hiking boots, so you can walk the park trails and get a closer look at the craggy peaks. String Lake and Jenny Lake make enjoyable family hikes. These two alpine jewels twinkle in the morning light and reward early risers with crowd free trails. Treat the kids to a few hours of float time on the Snake River, or book a whitewater excursion for the older kids, and the peaks will appear even grander.
Plant life is grand, here too! Get to know the parks’ trees, shrubs, and flowers. Forests of lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce dot the landscape. Limber pines and white bark pines hang out at the higher elevations. Blue spruce, aspens, and cottonwoods offer cluster near picturesque rivers and marshy ponds. Here, you might catch sight of a lazy moose napping in a pile of damp willow shrubs. Sagebrush is everywhere in Wyoming. They call it big sagebrush in Jackson Hole.
Like the sagebrush, the Grand Tetons are big — and spectacular mountains — with glorious lakes, rivers, forests, plants, and wildlife. Make your trip just as spectacular and worry free by planning ahead. Order maps and visitor information before you go. Plan early, a year in advance, if you want lodging inside the park.
Enjoy your trip! You’re likely to return, so take notes and share your Grand Teton National Park adventure.