Summary: Grand Teton National Park has a ton to offer but with only one full day in our itinerary here, we paired it down to just a few stops, namely: Mormon Row (for photos), Taggart Lake Loop Hike, Jenny Lake ferry and hike to Inspiration Point, and the Grand Tetons Visitor Center. We ended the day back in Jackson where we enjoyed dinner and time in the downtown square. The photos from here are spectacular. If you love photography, this is a "must do," destination. We were mesmerized by the Teton Mountain Range from the moment we flew into Jackson Hole Airport. This National Park place definitely makes the list for the most beautiful places we have ever visited.
What Gear You Should Bring. We packed sandwiches, a ton of snacks and lots of water so we wouldn't be caught trying to find a place to eat here. We also brought layers to accommodate the changing temperatures, rain jackets, and ponchos, though we were lucky to avoid any rain on our trip. Sun screen, a hat, and a good pair hiking shoes is preferred since the terrain is often without shade and rocky.
Arrival Time. We left our Air BnB very early to try to at least beat the crowds for the first part of the day. Note: We stayed in Victor, Idaho instead of Jackson to save money on lodging. This added 30 minutes to the drive from Jackson. For us, it was just fine and worth the cost savings.
Park Background. Grand Teton National Park is just outside of Jackson, Wyoming. Named after the largest mountain in the Teton Mountain Range, the Park was established in 1929, under President Calvin Coolidge. This 310,000 acre park, features the world-famous 40-mile mountain range, as well as lakes, fishing, wildlife and miles and miles of beautiful trails.
Early Morning Photos. Prior to starting our day in the Tetons, the photographer of the family (Brian), stopped to take some sunrise photos of the Grand Tetons. This is the best time of day to capture this breathtaking mountain range. Photos below are of John Moulton Barn in Mormon Row.
Next Stop, Taggart Lake. Our first stop official stop was a short but gorgeous 3.8 mile hike to Taggart Lake and back. See our separate blog post on this family-friendly hike.
Jenny Lake & Inspiration Point. Next, we drove just 10 minutes up the road to Jenny Lake to take the Ferry across the Lake and hike up to Inspiration Point. At the Lake, the lot was completely full so we parked on the street. Bear this in mind if you are concerned about distance because you do have to cover a fair amount of ground before you even get to the Ferry. Tickets for the Ferry ($18/person roundtrip, $10/person one-way), may be purchased at the dock. Before getting there, stop in at the Jenny Lake Visitors Center for more information about the Lake or to use the restrooms before heading to the ferry dock. As we had already hiked Taggart Lake earlier, we opted to skip the Jenny Lake hike but many folks hiked the 5.5 (round trip), in addition to the Inspiration Point (1.8 m) hike, or took a one-way boat and hiked back to the Visitor's Center.
The line to the Ferry was quite long but it actually moved quickly so don't fret if you see long lines. The same is true for the return Ferry. Time on the lake is somewhat brief but the breeze is great and the views are awesome. Upon arrival, signs point you in the right direction to Inspiration Point. On this pretty hike, you will cross over a creek a couple of times.
On the way, be sure to take the brief detour to stop at Hidden Falls.
The hike to Inspiration Point is short but steep. As this is a popular destination, there were a ton of people on the trail. Be ready to take your time going up and down this trail as there are people of all abilities on this trail. The top, though, is very rewarding. Since we knew this hike was going to be super busy, we just rolled it, especially since it's such a quick hike.
More Barn Pictures. Next we headed back towards Jackson and stop for a couple more barn pictures. This iconic landscape couldn't be missed. All barns we visited are in the Mormon Row Historic District.
Visitor Center. We stopped at the Grand Teton Visitor Center. As Visitor Centers go, this one was actually pretty cool and worth the stop.
Drive Back to Jackson, then AirBnB: In Jackson, we arrived early enough to beat the dinner crowds. We had tried previously a couple nights earlier, only to find that each place at a 2+ hour wait (!). As it was only 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, we were able to get a table at a Tex-Mex restaurant with just a 20 minute wait. If you go here, and you like spicy, you need to try the jalapeño margarita. So good....still thinking about this one!
After dinner, we walked around central Jackson. The town square is a great spot for people watching. It is also lined with shops with Wyoming souvenirs if you like to pick up shirts and hats like we do.
At the end of the day, we headed back to our awesome AirBnB in Victor, Idaho. Grand Teton National Park is truly remarkable. We definitely fell in love with this mountain range.
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