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Grand Teton National Park has one of the most scenic mountain ranges in the world. However, it’s often skipped over for the nearby, and much more famous, Yellowstone National Park. You could make an entire trip out of visiting Grand Teton, but if you are just stopping through your way to Yellowstone, this One Day in Grand Teton National Park Itinerary has everything you need to know about spending a day in the Grand Tetons.
Before jumping into exactly how to spend one day in Grand Teton National Park, let’s talk about how to get there and where to stay.
How to Get to Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is often seen as just a gateway to Yellowstone, but it’s a park worthy of its own visit. It sits just north of Jackson, Wyoming and south of Yellowstone. If you are entering Grand Teton from the east, you are coming on Highway 26 via Moran, Wyoming, and Highway 33 via Victor, Idaho.
It is worth visiting Jackson, especially if you have kids or are looking to go to a city and want restaurants, shops, or bars.
Remember that you will need a US National Park Pass in order to enter Grand Teton National Park. If you are going to visit Yellowstone, or any other national parks, before or after Grand Teton, buy the $80 annual pass. It is good for one calendar year from the date of purchase!
Where to Stay in Grand Teton National Park
When visiting Grand Teton National Park, you can stay in the park, Jackson, or Teton Village. Where you stay will all depend on the type of accommodation you want.
You might not even be staying in the park for a night since this is a one day itinerary for Grand Teton, but if you are, those are your options.
One Day in Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is full of great hikes, drives, wildlife spotting, and more adventurous activities like climbing. However, it’s difficult to decide what to do for just one day there.
This itinerary for Grand Teton in one day has a mix of spectacular views, a little hiking, wildlife viewing, and a stop in Jackson, so you get a little taste of what Grand Teton has to offer!
Grand Teton Views and Mormon Cabins
When you are driving into Grand Teton National Park make sure to take your time. Look for wildlife. Pull over and take in the views of one of the most iconic mountain ranges in the world. Simply enjoy the park.
The two roads you will want to take during your one day in Grand Teton are Highway 191 on the east side of the Snake River and Moose Wilson Road and Teton Park Road on the west side of the Snake River.
These two roads will give you dramatic views of the Teton Mountain Range and the surrounding valley.
On Highway 191 on the east side of the river, there are numerous places to stop and see the historic Mormon cabins that were built here years ago. The Moulton Barns and Chambers Homestead are some of the most famous Mormon remains that are still there. This is known as Mormon Row. To get to it, turn off 191 on Antelope Flats Road.
Assuming you aren’t staying in Jackson, Wyoming overnight, stop here for lunch and explore the town.
If you are visiting in summer it will be the hottest part of the day and a great place to relax in the shade. Expect crowds though. Jackson is a pretty famous town, and also the only one around.
Check out Cultivate Cafe for a fantastic and healthy place to eat in Jackson!
West Side of the Snake River
Following lunch and exploring Jackson, you will leave Jackson and head to the western side of the Snake River along Moose Wilson Road and drive north into Grand Teton National Park. You will spend the rest of your day in Grand Teton.
On this side of the river, you will eventually enter the National Park again. Here, you will have to show your US National Park Pass or pay to enter. The Granite Canyon Entrance is just north of Teton Village.
Upon entering Grand Teton, keep an eye out for wildlife. We spotted a moose eating in a river shortly after entering the park.
As you drive through the park, there are plenty of trailheads you can stop at for day hikes. Some are shorter and some are longer. Obviously, you could always just do longer hikes like Cascade Canyon, Delta Lake, or Lake Solitude. Check out AllTrails.com for more hikes.
Check out this Complete Day Hike Packing List for everything you need to pack for a day hike during your one day in Grand Teton National Park!
Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Hike
Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point are not only some of the top rated hikes in the park, but they also fit perfectly into your one day in Grand Teton National Park itinerary.
This trailhead is located at the Jenny Lake stop. You have the option of taking the ferry across the lake for $10 one way or $18 round trip.
The ferry is a good option if you are short on time or just don’t want to hike as far. Although the hike around Jenny Lake is very easy and pretty scenic as its in the forest right next to the lake. If it’s busy season, the ferry lines might be long, so the hike might actually be faster too.
Once you are on the other side of Jenny Lake, either by hiking or taking the ferry, you hike up to Hidden Falls. It’s a little bit up in elevation, but not a challenging hike by any means. The falls are picturesque and definitely something you should see.
From Hidden Falls, you can cross the river and head up to Inspiration Point to get a fantastic view over Jenny Lake and back at the Tetons. Hiking up to Inspiration Point is short but steep. However, it’s worth it. It’s less crowded than down by Hidden Falls and gives you a different view of the park.
From Inspiration Point, you can continue on to Cascade Canyon if you are looking for a longer hike.
With any day hikes, you will want to be prepared, so make sure you are carrying enough water and have a durable backpack. We recommend the Osprey Talon 22 for day hikes with either a water reservoir bladder or Hydro Flask water bottle.
As your one day in Grand Teton National park comes to an end, enjoy the drive to wherever you are staying and continue to keep an eye out for wildlife, especially around dusk.
If you are not staying in Grand Teton but continuing up to Yellowstone, make sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to 3 Days in Yellowstone National Park.
The drive from Grand Teton to Yellowstone is very scenic and easy. It’s a great place to spot wildlife, especially at dusk, and makes for a great end to your day in Grand Teton and transition into exploring Yellowstone.
If you are headed out of Grand Teton in a different direction, enjoy the drive, keep an eye out for wildlife, and have fun exploring wherever you are traveling next!