Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park
If you’ve seen a photo of Grand Teton National Park, you’ve likely seen Oxbow Bend. Without a doubt, this curved section of the Snake River is the park’s most photographed site, with the river meandering in the foreground reflecting the rugged peaks of Mount Moran. It’s a beautiful setting, and a great place to spot wildlife.
The largest of the glacial lakes in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake sets the scene for some of the park’s best sailing, windsurfing, fishing, and paddling opportunities, all against the backdrop of the towering Teton Range. The Jackson Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, stands on the lake’s eastern shore.
The historic log cabins and barns that make up Mormon Row were constructed by Mormon settlers in the 1980s and still stand against the backdrop of the Teton Mountains in Grand Tetons National Park. Visitors to the site can photograph the historic structures, hike, bike, or snowshoe in the area, and spot the park’s wildlife in the open fields.
A highlight of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, the Jenny Lake area is characterized by thundering waterfalls, canyons, mountain vistas, and the crystalline expanse of Jenny Lake itself. The lake trail runs 7.1 miles (11.4 kilometers) around the water’s edge and passes by Hidden Falls, Cascade Canyon, and Inspiration Point.
Nearly all visitors to Grand Teton National Park will stop at the Colter Bay Visitor Center, whether to pick up supplies, get trail information, or permits for camping and boating. With a nearby campground and set just minutes from the shores of stunning Lake Jackson, the Colter Bay Visitor Center is one of the park’s most popular—and busiest—areas. While here, instead of just swinging through for some maps or quickly arranging your permits, stop to read up on the park information and peruse the cultural exhibits. Most notable is the Indian Arts Museum, which houses 35 rare, American Indian artifacts from the David T. Vernon collection. While the original collection was much larger, the lack of proper facilities at the visitor center forced its relocation, with a handful of artifacts remaining here on the land where they were originally crafted. There are free, ranger-guided talks of the display each morning and afternoon, and once a week they even construct a traditional Native American teepee.
The log-cabin-style Chapel of the Transfiguration sits against the backdrop of the jagged Teton Range near the southern entrance of Grand Tetons National Park. The rustic church was built in 1925 with a window above the alter framing the majestic mountains. Today it still offers services and its scenic setting makes it a popular spot for weddings, sightseeing, and photography.