Seven Glorious Stops in Grand Teton National Park You Need to See

By Lkoepke | Dec 6, 2019
North America > United States > Wyoming > Grand Teton National Park

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    Grand Teton doesn't get enough credit. In fact, I hadn't heard of it a few months ago. A sad truth, but I'm thrilled to showcase this lovely park! I considered skipping it to spend an extra day in Yellowstone, however I'm incredibly glad I didn't make that mistake. Here's Seven Glorious Stops in Grand Teton National Park You Need to See...

    1. Oxbow Bend

    This was my first legit stop in the park and man, oh man, did it welcome me nicely. Now that I think about it, why isn't this my lock screen wallpaper? I spent about ten minutes taking pictures level with the water and walked back to my car, which is when I took this one. THE ONE I LOVE THE MOST.

    I really dig that moment because I spent 30 seconds tops on it. I strongly believe experience is much more valuable than evidence. Of course a travel post won't survive without photos, but honey if you can't tell someone how to navigate the park because you spent the whole time on "photography" -- are you really in the game to be helpful?

    Ugh! And the reflection off the lake?! Click the gold headline for its location in the park!

    Oxbow Bend on Google Maps

    2. Jackson Lake Overlook

    If you only have a half hour in the park, STOP HERE. Hands down, my favorite flippin wonderland. It was interesting though, I saw people stop for a few minutes and keep driving. I was super confused?? IT WAS THE COOLEST PLACE I SAW ALL DAY. You bet I stayed for an hour and journaled. Like the snow?? The lake?? How do you not chill here forever? I mean I was psyched it was less crowded, because hey the more space from people, the better lol. Grand Teton's most precious gem in my opinion!

    Jackson Lake on Google Maps

    3. Leek's Marina

    I drove down to the marina to see if they had bathrooms and look at the boats. When I stepped out, I didn't bring my phone. I imagined the stop taking two minutes. As I walked toward the water, I was shocked. The water was insanely calm. The snowy Tetons looked bigger than ever. Fishing boats sat still to the left of the dock. I went back to grab my phone and immediately thought, "Everyone needs to see this."

    I may have mentioned this before, but before each trip, I try to pray about what material I might find. I want these guides to be different for you! I want them to inspire you to ditch the most popular some days, and search for your own hideouts, like Leek's Marina.

    Leek's Marina on Google Maps

    4. Chapel of the Sacred Heart

    The first time I went by this place I said, "I don't have time to stop there. I still have a lot of cool places to go." I said that because I didn't remember reading a single article that recommended going there. It must not be that special. Then I caught myself, "Did I really just say that about God's house?"

    On another note, I had prayed to find spots that need more credit, and there I was driving in the opposite direction? I flipped a U-Turn and toured the church. The inside was cozy and charming. A perfect hideaway from crowds and the heat. I was hoping to say a prayer in one of the pews, but a photographer was taking photos of the full interior. Maybe next time.

    Chapel of the Sacred Heart on Google Maps

    5. Jenny Lake

    This is the busiest spot I encountered on this trip! I didn't make it here until noon, because I loved exploring the area by Jackson Lake! Although, I would make it a priority to head here first. I would try to shoot for sunrise, if you can to beat the crowds. This place was so hoppin, there were no parking spots left! I parked on the main road, but the walk down wasn't too bad.

    Jenny is great for hiking, taking a ride on their scenic shuttle, or renting a kayak! I followed a trail or two and then loaded up to find my most raved about recommendation: Jenny Lake Overlook!

    Jenny Lake on Google Maps
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    *Thanks to my friend Cale for telling me about this place! :)

    6. Jenny Lake Overlook

    Can you imagine having this view out your kitchen window? That'd be so dope. If I had to pick a third favorite, this would be it! Again, I would shoot for early morning to hit this spot. The ledges get a little cramped later in the day and it is a PROJECT tryin to get a pic without someone in it lol!

    Wanna hear somethin embarrassing? I drove by this overlook TWICE before I could get my crap together and turn at the right time! The route is a little tricky. It's a one-way, so if you aren't watching, you'll miss the lot! Try to drive extra slow when you see the sign and pull over even if you have the slightest feeling you might be there! You can always drive forward again, but missing the turn will cause ya to take a 10-15 minute loop back around. I learned that the hard way, TWICE lol.

    7. Jackson Lake Dam

    I didn't even know this park had a dam! Lol my bad. I was stoked when I drove over a bridge and saw this beauty! I highly recommend taking the stairs down by the water. There weren't many people here and I was alone, so I was still in "what if I see a bear mode?!?" Lol, I'm ridiculous. I did see a bear cub in Yellowstone though! :)

    Anyone have dreams of visiting Hoover Dam? I definitely do! This spot is definitely hyping up that dream again.

    Jackson Lake Dam on Google Maps

    Things you should know:

    A seven day pass for Grand Teton is $35 for a private vehicle. Since I was heading to three national parks that week, I bought an America the Beautiful pass for $80. I bought mine at the East Entrance in Grand Teton, so it was super convenient! I would definitely consider getting this pass if you plan on hitting three or more national parks this year. It will save you A LOT! $35 + $35 + $35= $105 (Of course, all parks aren't the same price, but you get the point!) The America the Beautiful pass gets you into all national parks for one year directly after your purchase!

    Yellowstone is about a 10 to 60 minute drive from the Tetons. (depending where you are) ISN'T THAT CRAZY? I never knew that.

    When you see a gas station (I only remember seeing one in the park), fill up. Sometimes you'll go an hour or two without seeing one. Also, bring your own food if you don't plan on sitting down at a restaurant! There is limited options at the gas station. I've read good things about the marina though!

    Where to stay

    Alright, so I stayed at two places! The first night was in Dubois, Wyoming at The Longhorn Ranch Lodge. This place was ADORABLE. It was the nicest place to unwind after driving for 11 hours. This lodge is an hour and fifteen minutes from the East Entrance. (A tiny drive, but welllll worth the soft bed and crazy friendly service.) The photo below is of the lodge! :)

    After exploring the Tetons, I stayed at Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Moran, Wyoming. This hotel is about a 10-40 minute drive, depending on where you end your day in the park. This place was clean and comfortable, but it didn't have a microwave or fridge. Which normally isn't a big deal, but the meals I bought beforehand were microwaveable. I think there was one restaurant nearby however, I was too exhausted to leave my room. I ended up eating warm strawberries and fruit snacks lol.

    Map

    Map of Grand Teton National Park

    Map of Grand Teton National Park

    Before you leave your hotel, screenshot or print directions so you know how to get back or get to your next hotel! In Teton and Yellowstone, they'll be little to NO SERVICE. So your "Maps" will not work. Although navigating the park is quite easy, finding directions to your next hotel without directions is NOT lol.

    Okay homies, that's it! I hope these stops help you plan a bomb trip to the Tetons!

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    Written by Lkoepke

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