Craving outdoor adventure? Get your fill this summer at Grand Teton National Park, where pristine lakes, spectacular mountains and plenty of recreational activities set the scene for an unforgettable adventure. We’ve rounded up nine of our favorite ways to enjoy the fantastic landscape in and around Grand Teton National Park. Whether you decide to ride, raft, pedal, or paddle, you’re sure to have the time of your life.
1. Go horseback riding.
Get ready to saddle up and experience the West in true cowboy form. Choose from a variety of guided horseback rides that promise a view of sweeping vistas that include the Tetons, Christian Pond and Oxbow Bend on the Snake River.
2. Take a scenic rafting trip.
Float down the relaxing Snake River while enjoying spectacular views of dense forests and the majestic Tetons. On a guided raft trip, you will learn about Wyoming’s flora and fauna and get a chance to spot local wildlife such as moose, bison, bald eagles, elk and beavers. For adventurers seeking a bit of excitement, opt for a guided whitewater rapids excursion, which will take you through canyons and Class III rapids—a guaranteed good time.
3. Play a round of golf.
Tee off amid jutting, snow-dusted mountains, lush fairways and serene lakes on the 18-hole course at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club. This golf course is consistently named the best in Wyoming and recently underwent a $15 million renovation project, which added amenities like extra tee boxes, cart paths, practice facilities, a new fleet of club cars and a 12,000 square-foot LEED certified clubhouse.
4. Pedal the paths on a bike.
Although biking on trails is not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, cyclists are allowed to pedal on roadways. Don’t miss a ride along the paved, multi-use pathway that stretches eight miles, from Moose Junction all the way to South Jenny Lake. To get in some off-road biking, head to Jackson Hole and take advantage of its numerous trails. You can rent a bike in Jackson, too.
5. Spend the day fishing.
With its abundance of deep blue lakes, spring streams and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park offers plenty of options for fishermen looking to snag their next big catch. Head to Colter Bay Village Marina on Jackson Lake for fishing licenses and boat rentals, or schedule a guided fly-fishing tour.
6. Climb the Tetons.
Experienced and novice hikers alike will love the range of scenic trails scattered throughout the park. Beginners should try a low-elevation route like the 1.2-mile hike to Phelps Lake, whereas advanced adventurers can opt for a challenging trek up Hanging Canyon. Hikers looking for a moderate challenge with wildflower-filled valleys and peaceful pools of water should try the trail leading to Solitude Lake. The 16-mile journey starts at South Jenny Lake and leads you through Cascade Canyon. Bring camping gear and make it an overnight trip.
7. Drive around Jenny Lake.
This scenic drive takes you along the east shore of Jenny Lake. It is almost two square miles of cold mountain lake and provides awe-inspiring views of the peaks to the Tetons. The short 30-minute drive gives you a unique view while offering a chance to catch a glimpse of wildlife in the area. It is also where you will find the famous Cascade Canyon Overlook, a must stop destination in the Grand Tetons.
8. View local wildlife.
Sixty species of mammals, more than 300 species of birds and a half dozen game fish call this area home, so spotting critters in their natural habitats should be easy — as long as you know where to look. Bring a pair of binoculars to scout various winged species like fox sparrows, ospreys, mountain bluebirds and bald eagles. For larger animals, such as elk, coyotes and muskrats, try these areas.
9. Camp under the stars.
Visitors to Wyoming often remark on the state’s star-filled night sky. Thanks to the lack of light pollution in the Tetons – aided by Wyoming’s distinction as the least populated state in the Union – clear nights are memorable. Bring your warm clothes (even summer nights get chilly) and your camera. Campgrounds are open in the summer, and backcountry camping permits are issued year-round.