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Grand Teton National Park Travel & Lodging Guide

 

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8 Reasons To Stay At A National Park Lodge

Choosing the Perfect Lodging

The Perfect Road Trip

Grand Teton Photography Tips

 

8 Reasons To Stay At A National Park Lodge

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Choose the perfect lodging for your Grand Teton National Park Vacation

 
 

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Jackson Lake Lodge Dining Room

Jackson Lake Lodge

Location: Perched on a bluff overlooking Willow Flats, Jackson Lake, and the Teton Range.

Best for: Anyone who wants an eco-resort experience inside Grand Teton National Park (and near Yellowstone).

Jackson Lake Lodge boasts 385 rooms, from the stunning suites in the main lodge to the private cottages that surround.

Jenny Lake Lodge

Location: Near the northern shore of Jenny Lake, nestled beneath the Teton Range.

Best for: Couples, families or friends seeking an exclusive national park experience.

As the only 4-diamond eco-resort in the Park, Jenny Lake Lodge is ideal for those who seek the finest service while still enjoying a National Park vacation.

Jenny Lake Lodge Suite

Colter Bay Village

Location: On the eastern shore of Jackson Lake.

Best for: Families and friends looking for a rustic experience without sacrificing comfort.

The village includes 166 authentic homestead cabins, plus tent cabins, campsites, and an RV resort, so you can choose your level of amenities.

Planning to split your time between Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

Colter Bay is a perfect basecamp, providing all the amenities you’ll want with easy access to all the best of both parks.

Colter Bay Cabins

 
     

Millions of visitors pour into our national parks every year looking for a slice of heaven, a close-up encounter with nature in its purest form. They come seeking the unspoiled beauty that generations upon generations before them have enjoyed.


But what if you could get even closer? What if you didn’t have to leave the splendor of the park at the end of the day?


The truth is, you don’t. When you book lodging inside a national park, you get an exclusive, insider glimpse of public lands that most visitors miss.

Grand Teton National Park
Imagine: You pull yourself out of bed, bring your coffee to the front porch, and there, right in front of you, is a glistening lake, knife-edge mountain range or alpine meadow full of elk, wildflowers, and maybe a moose.

That's the appeal of staying overnight at a national park lodge: nothing else puts you closer to the grandeur.


We asked an expert on the topic, Annette McGivney, an award-winning author who writes for outdoors magazines and specializes in covering national parks what the best reasons to book lodging inside a park are.

 

 Here’s what she had to say:

 

1. Better access to what really matters. “The park lodges are INSIDE the park so you are getting to experience the landscape, wildlife and history of the park more readily -- perhaps even from the deck of where you are staying,” says McGivney.


Also it can reduce driving time and ensure you get the maximum enjoyment from your vacation.

National Parks Are Great Places To Stay
2. You get the best of both worlds – nature and convenience. Communing with nature doesn’t have to mean giving up the comforts of home. National park lodging puts you at nature’s doorstep and gives you everything you need to fully enjoy it.


3. National park lodging is more eco-friendly than traditional lodging. For example, Jackson Lake Lodge, a Grand Teton Lodge Company (GTLC) property, is an eco-friendly resort, offering high-efficiency lighting, water conservation features, recycled content carpets and mattresses, low or zero VOC content in its products, refinished historic furniture, and more.


4. A chance to unplug. National park lodges are comfortable and offer most of the amenities you’d expect from a fine hotel, including nice linens, a pool or fitness center, in-room coffee makers, and restaurants. But one thing you won’t find in most rooms is a television.


You’ll have the chance to unplug, be active, and truly engage with your park experience. (There is complimentary Wi-Fi for those who need to connect).


5. Everything is at your fingertips. You don’t have to spend months planning activities for your national park vacation.

Many resorts, like Colter Bay Village, Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge have onsite gear rentals, outfitters, group activities and guides for everything from park tours, to fishing, boating, bicycling, hiking and more.


whitewater rafting6. Stay with the people who know the park best.  You’ll get the ultimate insider experience. “Compared to chain hotels in a town outside the park, the historic park lodges and cabins attract people from all over the world who are truly interested in experiencing the wonders of that particular park,” says McGivney.


It is interesting to exchange stories with these park visitors and also find out about their travel experiences. “The same goes for people working at the national park lodge -- they are often from all over the world and there because they love the place and have a lot of stories to tell.”


7. Sample a piece of history. Many park lodges in the west were built by notable architects or are historic buildings that have been updated for modern use.

Some are even on the National Register of Historic Places. “These building are historic in their own right and also part of the national park's history and sight-seeing attractions.”


8. Choose how rustic you want to be. The lodges offer a spectrum of comforts, from a four-star luxury hotel experience to historic rustic cabins, RV sites, and even tent platforms.


You can savor the best of National Parks like Grand Teton or Yellowstone while still enjoying creature comforts that make a vacation, well, a vacation.

 

 

 


 

The Perfect Road Trip: How to combine Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and
Yellowstone into one amazing adventure

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Photo Op: How to capture perfect souvenir photos in Grand Teton National Park

 
 

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Cody Barn

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture stunning images of the Tetons or Yellowstone.

Whether you’re armed with a cell phone camera, a point-and-shoot, or fancy DSLR, you can photograph scenes that you will proudly display on your wall.

Jason B. Whitman is a professional photographer and fourth generation native of Wyoming. His landscape, nature and adventure images focus on the beauty of these national parks.

Here he shares his favorite places for photography and tips for capturing the best images on your vacation:

“After years of exploring these parks, I have a couple of easily accessible locations that are particular favorites,” Whitman says.

“Without a doubt, my favorite location in Grand Teton Park National Park is Jenny Lake.

I highly recommend you take the Jenny Lake Trailhead and follow it up Cascade Canyon.

There will be many awesome photographic opportunities, particularly as the sweet evening light approaches.”

Early morning, late afternoon and early evening provide the best opportunity for photography, as the light is soft and golden, highlighting the details of the mountains, lakes and trees.

Early morning is also ideal for spotting wildlife.

If you have to take photos midday, try to shoot in shaded areas to avoid the harsh shadows caused by the sun being directly overhead.

String Lake

“One of my preferred places to visit in Yellowstone is the Norris Geyser Basin located on the northern section of the Grand Loop.

Its central location is handy in terms of visiting other features in the northern region of the park.

There are a variety of trails in the geyser basin of varying difficulty and length,” Whitman adds.

“For photography, the trail I most enjoy is the Porcelain Basin. It presents a unique combination of stark and desolate landscapes, pleasant pastel colors, and volatile thermal features.

It can be technically challenging but rewarding to shoot.”

Bear

Another photography tip: When framing your image, look not only at your subject but also everything in the background and foreground.

Does your image of the Grand Teton include other tourists?

Tilt your camera or shift your focal point until the entire frame is exactly how you want it.

 
     

Cross two life-changing experiences off your bucket list during the same vacation when you travel to Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone – two of the most beautiful destinations in the world – are within an easy hour’s drive of one another.


Combine these two treasures into one vacation of a lifetime by completing one of these easy road trips. Whether you drive to the starting point or fly into Jackson Hole and rent a car, you’ll find plenty of local resources to help you along the way.


Many of the small towns in and around these parks cater to road-trippers with fabulous dining, family-friendly activities, and western charm.


Don’t feel like driving? There are frequent shuttles within the parks and between the parks, so you can set up a home base at one of Grand Teton Lodge Company’s properties and explore to your heart’s content.

 

Drive #1: Best of Grand Teton and Yellowstone

Start: Jackson Hole


The route: US-89 N to Moran, then northwest to Jackson Lake, continuing north past Lewis Lake to the south entrance of Yellowstone. As time allows, continue on the park road to West Thumb and Upper geyser basin (where Old Faithful lies).


Highlights: This trip allows you to explore the Grand Teton range and Jackson Hole along with Yellowstone, our nation’s first national park. You’ll discover geysers, historic lodges, wildlife, alpine lakes, and more.

Tetons Overlook
The first things you’ll notice, rising 13,000 feet into the sky, are the Tetons.

The drama of these peaks are in the contrast – they rise sharply from a horizon of shimmering lakes, braided river flows, thick forests, and alpine meadows.


There are several overlooks along the route. Lace up your hiking shoes, grab your camera and a bottle of water and get out of the car to explore.

Or just roll down the window and absorb some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the world.


John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway connects Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. The parkway provides a natural link between the parks and tours many features that are iconic of both areas.


At West Thumb, walk the boardwalk through the geyser basin at lake's edge. Exhibits at Grant Village Visitor Center, two miles south of West Thumb, highlight the role of fire in Yellowstone.

Jackson Lake Lodge cottage
Where to stay: Jackson Lake Lodge or Colter Bay Village are just north of Moran and offer easy driving access to both the Tetons and Yellowstone. Rent a charming historic cabin right on the lake at Colter Bay Village, or stay in one of the well appointed, eco-friendly rooms at Jackson Lake Lodge.


Pit stops: Moran is a little outpost that serves as the east entrance to Grand Teton National Park. It’s a great place to stop for some local dining, including fresh game dishes and local produce.

 

 

Drive #2: The Grand Teton Loop

Start: Jackson or Moose


The route: This is a loop, so start wherever is convenient for you. One recommendation is to start in Moose and travel north along US-89 to Jackson Lake and return to Moose via the Teton Park Road.


Highlights: US-89 parallels the Snake River, framed by the jagged peaks of the Teton Mountains to the west. Stop at Teton Point Overlook for wide-open views of the serrated Tetons, blue skies above and the sagebrush-dotted landscape below.

Moose
A few miles ahead, pull off at the Snake River Overlook, grab your camera and capture the sweeping view that was made famous by photographer Ansel Adams.

You’ll see Jackson Hole and the Snake River as it winds in the foreground of the Tetons.


As you approach Moran, notice Mount Moran in the distance, looming at 12,605 feet tall.


About a mile up the road, turn left onto Teton Park Road, close to Jackson Lake where you can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, boating, as well as dining and lodging.


If time allows, make a side trip east onto Signal Mountain Road, a narrow, twisty road that leads 5 miles to the summit of Signal Mountain.


At 1,000 feet above the valley, the summit provides panoramic views of the Tetons, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park.


Continuing south on Teton Park Road, you’ll reach the north portion of the Jenny Lake Loop. For this scenic side trip, turn right and continue to the Cathedral Group Overlook. Then head south to the Jenny Lake Trailhead and stretch your legs on the String and Jenny Lake Trails.


When Jenny Lake Road rejoins Grand Teton Road, turn right to finish the drive. Shortly afterwards, stop at Teton Glacier Overlook to sight one of many glaciers that forms the Teton Mountains.

Jenny Lake Lodge

Where to stay: Jenny Lake Lodge offers a retreat that sits tucked among pines at the base of the Teton Mountain Range.


This four-diamond luxury resort is complete with a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and a five-course dinner with an award-winning wine list.


Pit stop: The little town of Moose offers a variety of services, restaurants and travel information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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