Grand Teton National Park is adjacent to the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. If you in the area then this is a “must see” park. The Grand Teton mountains, lakes, and rivers are simply spectacular. Cameras cannot do justice to places like Grand Teton. The park has a loop road that starts at Jackson Lake. You may want to follow this driving tour of the park. Most of this information was taken from the Drive Tour handout available from the Visitor Center.
- Colter Bay Visitor Center: Ask the rangers for suggestions when hiking, sightseeing, or camping. The rangers know their stuff and are a wealth of valuable information.
- Willow Flats Overlook: Located is about six miles south of Colter Bay. This is an excellent photo spot and you can see a variety of wildlife.
- Jackson Lake Dam: A natural dam one mile west of the Jackson Lake Junction on the Teton Park Road.
- Signal Mountain Summit Road: A 5-mile drive that begins one mile south of Signal Mountain Lodge. This road was closed when I visited but it is reported to have panoramic views of the mountains and lake.
- North Jenny Lake Scenic Drive: Provides close-up views of the mountains and Cascade Canyon. This is 4-mile one-way road that is worth seeing.
- South Jenny Lake: The Visitor Center with geology exhibit and trails to Cascade Canyon, Hidden Falls, and Inspiration Point.
- Menor’s Ferry & Chapel of the Transfiguration: About a 1/2 mile detour north of Moose. It includes a Historic District with examples of homesteading and pioneer life, the chapel, and a replica ferry.
- Schwabacher Road: A lessor known area that ends at a boat launch and Blacktail Ponds. The views of the mountains are remarkable. There are terraced ponds created by a number of beaver dams. This road is VERY to miss. There are no warning signs and when you see the single sign you will have to turn IMMEDIATELY. One of rangers said that this was his favorite spot on the loop drive and it is easy to see why.
- Snake River Overlook: Views of the mountains and the curved path of the Snake River below. This is the site where Ansel Adams took his famous photo of the Tetons and Snake River.
- Cunningham Cabin Historical Site: The oldest historical building remaining in the park. The cabin is a very short walk from the parking lot and there are some other trails also. You get nice views of the flat plains with the Tetons in the background.
- Oxbow Bend Turnout offers an excellent view of the Snake River and the Tetons. I visited in the late spring but the brochure states that the Fall colors are very nice here. You will soon rejoin the main road to the Yellowstone entrance.
- Lewis Waterfall: On the main road at one end of Jackson Lake. The parking area is adjacent to the falls and you can get good pictures from the bridge or from the area just north of the bridge.
Enjoy the splendor and majesty of the Grand Teton National Park. As always, respect the place, the land, and the wildlife. Carry bear spray, do not feed the animals, take only pictures and leave only footprints, and do not be in rush. These rugged mountains are remarkable so take the time to enjoy and appreciate them.