Gazing upon the Tetons for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The mountain range is awe-inspiring in its magnitude and drama. The mountains themselves are also a little intimidating. But visitors need not be nervous. There are countless ways to experience the Tetons, all of them equally extraordinary. Adventures of all sizes await in the Tetons.
The Tetons are renowned for their steep slopes and deep snow. Skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers direct access to the steep and deep. Alternatively, head over to Grand Targhee in Alta for up-close and personal Teton views from the other side.
If you want a more rugged Teton ski experience, local guides offer backcountry tours in and around the Tetons. Backcountry skiing is recommended for strong skiers with avalanche safety knowledge.
You don’t have to be a downhill skier to enjoy the Tetons in the wintertime. On the contrary, cross-country skiing is perhaps an even more intimate way to experience the scenery. Tour through the quiet forests on the way to Taggart Lake and take in the views when you get there. For a more introductory tour, Grand Teton National Park grooms the park road every winter for cross country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing, with three different lanes to accommodate each activity.
One day in the not-so-distant past, an avid cyclist decided a little snow wasn’t going to get in the way of their two-wheeled adventures. Thanks to fat bikes, bicycles equipped with extra fat tires that can maneuver easily over snow, cycling is now a year-round activity. Riding a fat bike is a great, low-impact way to travel in the Teton. Please keep in mind that in Grand Teton National Park, fat bikes are only allowed on roadways where cars can go. They are not allowed on the Teton Park Road, which is only open to cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails that will carry visitors through, up, and around the Tetons. For a choose-your-own-adventure day, start at String or Jenny Lake and pick one of the many trails that venture around the lakes and into the mountains. For a long day, take the Jenny Lake ferry across the lake and head into Cascade Canyon. The roughly 10-mile hike offers a unique view of the Tetons. For a mellower day, take in the views from Hidden Falls or Inspiration Point, or just follow the trail around the lake as far as your legs feel able. Head into the surrounding Bridger-Teton National Forest for even more hiking opportunities outside of the park.
A float down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park forces visitors to slow down and travel only at the speed of water. River trips are among the best ways to see wildlife. From your boat, you can see waterfowl, eagles, even an occasional beaver or river otter. Large mammals like moose also love spending time by the water’s edge. The water through Grand Teton National Park moves slowly, but the river is braided and technical. A river guide is strongly recommended.
Feel like a true Wyomingite and tackle Teton trails on horseback. Plenty of outfitters and raches in the Jackson area offer horseback riding tours for people of all experience levels. Settle into the meditative rhythm of your horse’s gait as it ambles through alpine meadows, creeks, and forests. Take in the scenes and keep a keen eye out for wildlife.
The Tetons are what climbing dreams are made of. Mountaineers from all walks of life dream of climbing the Grand Teton — and thanks to experienced outfitters like Exum Mountain Guides and others, such a feat is entirely possible. But there are plenty of less committal climbs in the Tetons, too. Let a mountain guide show you the ropes (pun intended) and ascend the Tetons’ rugged rock faces.