The Better of Yellowstone and Grand Teton if You Solely Have a Week

A Grand Teton and Yellowstone Nationwide Park trip could appear formidable to plan.  In spite of everything, these two adjoining nationwide parks embody almost 4,000-square-miles and provide a seemingly limitless variety of unimaginable sights, trails and leisure actions. With a fastidiously deliberate itinerary, nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly potential to deal with each parks in a single journey with out feeling such as you’re spending your complete trip within the automobile. One of the best half? We’ve already performed the legwork for you.

Beginning in Jackson, WY, this family-friendly 7-day Grand Teton to Yellowstone itinerary contains concepts for what to do, the place to eat and keep, and different insider information that will help you profit from your time within the area.

The Ultimate Yellowstone and Grand Teton Itinerary if You Only Have a Week

Attending to Jackson, WY

Positioned simply 10 minutes from the southern entrance of Grand Teton Nationwide Park, Jackson, WY is the proper leaping off level for a Grand Teton to Yellowstone journey. The 2 parks sit side-by-side and are linked by the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, a 27-mile scenic stretch of freeway that’s managed by the Nationwide Park Service, permitting guests to simply drive between the 2 parks.

The closest airport is the Jackson Gap Airport, however flights could also be value prohibitive for a lot of vacationers. A extra economical choice is to fly to Salt Lake Metropolis, UT which is a few 5-hour drive to Jackson. Both method, a automobile is a must have for this nationwide park journey, so make sure you examine availability of rental automobiles earlier than you e-book a flight.

Additionally have in mind, chances are you’ll must tack on a day or two for journey on the begining and/or finish of your Grand Teton to Yellowstone journey.

When you’re planning to drive, take a look at these fun-filled street journey itineraries to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

The Final Grand Teton to Yellowstone Itinerary

How to Plan an Epic Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Parks Vacation

Day 1 – Taggart & Bradley Lakes | Snake River | Dornan’s

Begin your Grand Teton Nationwide Park go to with a cease on the spectacular Craig Thomas Discovery & Customer Heart. Not solely is it an amazing spot to plan your time within the park, however you may stroll alongside the “video river” exhibit that’s put in on the ground, or dive into the 24-minute movie for a captivating training on the Grand Teton area.

From right here, it’s a brief drive to the Taggart Lake Trailhead. The reasonable 5.6-mile Taggart and Bradley Lakes loop hike presents expansive views of snow-capped peaks earlier than taking you to 2 beautiful glacial-formed lakes on the base of the Tetons. Each lakes will beckon you for a dip, so come ready for a swim.

When you want a chew to eat, don’t miss pizza and among the best restaurant views anyplace at Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta Firm close to the Moose Junction. Afterward, drive the scenic loop by means of the park. There’s loads of alternatives to cease and take within the myriad wildlife and panoramic views, together with the enduring view from the Snake River Overlook.

Again in Jackson, seize a deal with at Moo’s Connoisseur Ice Cream earlier than snapping a selfie in entrance of the antler arches surrounding the enduring city sq.. Then, settle in for the evening at Mountain Fashionable Resort. This conveniently situated resort within the coronary heart of city has not too long ago rennovated lodging and a pool, which the entire household will love.

The Best Yellowstone and Grand Teton Itinerary

Day 2 – Jackson Lake Kayaking | Snake River Brewery | Jackson Gap Rodeo

For breakfast on-the-go cease at Pearl Avenue Bagels in downtown Jackson for a freshly-made bagel and darkish roast espresso earlier than heading again into Grand Teton Nationwide Park for the day.

Think about a morning paddle session on Jackson Lake beneath towering Mount Moran for a novel perspective of the park away from the crowds. You’ll be able to hire single or double kayaks from Sign Mountain Marina by the hour or day. Bear in mind that winds usually decide up mid-day and might make for difficult paddling situations.

There are a number of restuarants at Sign Mountain Lodge that make for a handy lunch cease after a morning paddle session. Then head to close by Colter Bay to strech your legs on the 3-mile Swan Lake and Heron Pond loop mountaineering path. Look ahead to moose, which frequent the lake.

Tonight, seize dinner again in Jackson on the Snake River Brewery. If you will get tickets for the Jackson Gap Rodeo, don’t miss the possibility to see this entertaining present (Wednesday & Saturday evenings all through the summer season, and a few Fridays). It’s the real-deal cowboy expertise.

What to Do in Jackson, WY - Take the Jackson Hole Resort tram to hiking trails

Day 3 – Rendezvous Mountain | String Lake Swimming | Silver Greenback Bar

For a high-elevation morning hike, head to Jackson Gap Mountain Resort to hop on the Aerial Tram for a 4,000-foot vertical experience to the highest of Rendezvous Mountain which stands at 10,450 ft. From this excessive vantage level within the southern Tetons, you may soak up sweeping panoramic views of distant peaks and entry an in depth community of mountaineering trails that hyperlink the mountain to Grand Teton Nationwide Park. The 4.2-mile Rock Springs and Cody Bowl Loop path is definitely accessible from the tram and presents spectacular alpine surroundings, together with a novel perspective of Grand Teton itself. Afterward, deal with your self to a well-known waffle in Corbett’s Cabin on the base of the tram.

Later, head again into the park to take a refreshing afternoon dip. The entire lakes and ponds inside the park are open for swimming, so search for your individual slice of alpine lake bliss.  String Lake, which is definitely accessible (and hotter than most!) is a well-liked spot. Observe the path across the lake only a ½-mile or extra and also you’ll doubtless have the ability to discover a queit spot of your individual.

Cap off your time in Jackson with a go to to the legendary Silver Greenback Bar & Grill. Households can take pleasure in an informal meal right here, however come 7:30 p.m. the Silver Greenback Showroom turns right into a legendary music venue the place you’re certain to discover a foot-stomping good time.

Day 4 – Outdated Trustworthy | Mystic Falls | Grand Prismatic Spring

How to Plan an Epic Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Vacation

Go away downtown Jackson and drive to West Thumb in Yellowstone Nationwide Park. It’s roughly 80 miles and you need to plan for a minimum of a 2-hour drive. Attempt to see Outdated Trustworthy earlier than the crowds and tour buses descend (purpose for 9 AM or earlier). The world-famous geyser erupts each 35 to 120 minutes. Test the schedule and seize a spot with view to attend for the present. Or, attempt to catch the eruption from from a novel vantage level alongside the boardwalk which winds its method by means of the Higher Geyser Basin. Plan for a minimum of two hours to wander right here and don’t miss cool sights like Fortress Geyser, which has a protracted and highly effective eruption that rivals Outdated Trustworthy.

Seize lunch on the Outdated Trustworthy Lodge earlier than making your solution to Biscuit Basin for a day hike to Mystic Falls.  Don’t be scared off by the packed parking space, nearly all of the guests solely discover the small space of geysers and colourful springs that dot the half-mile path and boardwalk resulting in the trailhead. Simply previous the boardwalk, it’s a pleasing 1-mile jaunt into the woods and alongside the Firehole River to 70-foot Mystic Falls. You can also make it an out and again hike or do the three.2-mile loop which entails a little bit of scrambling up some steep switchbacks.

When you nonetheless have some vitality to burn, cease on the iconic Grand Prismatic Spring earlier than driving to Canyon Lodge & Cabins at Canyon Village. This centrally-located, and not too long ago renovated park lodge, is conveniently situated close to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and makes a lot of the driving within the park much more manageable. To snag a room right here, or anyplace within the park for that matter, you need to e-book 9 to 12 months prematurely.  There are serval on-site eating choices out there on your comfort, together with the Canyon Lodge Eatery. Don’t be turned off by this cafeteria-style venue. Their wok-prepared meals with contemporary substances and build-your-own bowls will simply please the entire crew.

Day 5 – Lamar Valley | Tower Falls | Mount Washburn

Lamar Valley Wildlife Viewing Yellowstone National Park itinerary

To see a few of Yellowstone’s extra elusive wildlife like wolves and grizzlies, seize your binoculars and begin your day early by heading to Lamar Valley within the park’s northeast nook. Additionally dwelling to herds of elk and bison, Lamar Valley is taken into account certainly one of Yellowstone’s greatest areas for wildlife viewing.

Afterward, attempt to beat the crowds to spectacular Tower Fall, two miles south of the Roosevelt Lodge space. Take a fast peek from the overlook, or higher but, do the quick, however steep half-mile hike to the bottom of the 132-foot falls.  Then, head to the historic Roosevelt Lodge or discover a scenic picnic spot for an early lunch earlier than tackling a giant afternoon hike.

Ask insiders for a Yellowstone “greatest hike” advice and so they’ll doubtless inform you Mount Washburn. There are two methods up, however from the Dunravan Cross Picnic Space the route is barely extra shaded because the path climbs 1,400-feet and roughly 3 miles one-way. Whereas it’s not a straightforward enterprise to climb to the ten,219-foot peak, the views alone are effectively well worth the effort. On the prime you’ll see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the east, Hayden Valley and Yellowstone Lake to the south, and on a very clear day you may even have the ability to catch a glimpse of the Tetons.

Have fun your accomplishment with dinner and an evening cap again on the Canyon Lodge Eating Room.

Day 6 – Norris Geyser Basin | Mammoth Scorching Springs | Cowboy Cookout

People strolling the boardwalks at Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park

Make your solution to the northwest nook of the park and stroll alongside the boardwalks of the Norris Geyser Basin. This geothermal space, the most popular within the park, presents a surreal expertise as you wind by means of a various assortment of springs, geysers and swimming pools, together with Steamboat Geyser, which is taken into account the tallest on this planet and might attain heights of 380-feet when it erupts.

From right here, it’s a 30-minute drive to the Mammoth Scorching Springs space. When you take pleasure in soaking in pure sizzling springs, you received’t wish to miss the chance to take a dip within the “boiling river” a stretch of the Gardiner River the place a sizzling spring mixes with the cool river to create a pure sizzling tub. The parking space is situated 2.2 miles previous Mammoth Scorching Springs towards the parks north entrance (search for the 45th Parallel signal) and it’s a straightforward .5-mile one-way hike to the “tub.” Your muscle mass will thanks after mountaineering Mount Washburn.

Again in Mammoth Scorching Springs, you may spend a while strolling across the terraces. Or, discover the world’s historic district, which incorporates Fort Yellowstone and different buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s when Yellowstone Nationwide Park was first established.

Later, expertise one other piece of the world’s historical past on Roosevelt Lodge’s Outdated West Dinner CookoutFor this journey, you’ll hop on a horse for a 1- or 2-hour experience to Yancy’s Gap and take pleasure in actual cowboy grub round a crackling campfire—identical to Yellowstone’s first pioneers.

Day 7 – Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone | Yellowstone Lake Kayaking

A family poses in front of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on a Grand Teton to Yellowstone trip

Head south very first thing within the morning to Yellowstone Lake and meet up with an clothes shop for a half-day kayaking journey and a novel exploration of the geysers, sizzling springs and effervescent mud pots on the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Yellowstone Lake Kayaking journeys usually depart within the morning (or at sundown) to keep away from tough paddling situation within the afternoon.

For lunch close by while you get off the water, Wylie’s Canteen at Lake Lodge is a handy choice, or seize a sandwich from the Lake Resort deli within the historic Lake Yellowstone Resort—opened in 1891, it’s the park’s oldest lodge. Then, take pleasure in your ultimate likelihood to absorb the park’s unimaginable wildlife as you drive by means of the bison-rich Hayden Valley. Be ready for an sudden “bison jam” alongside the way in which.

Benefit from Canyon Lodge’s proximity to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and hike the straightforward, 1.5-mile Brink of Decrease Falls path for a cool view from the highest of Decrease Falls. Then, zip over to the canyon’s south rim to absorb the enduring view from Artist Level. When you go later within the night, you may simply miss the crowds at this well-liked spot.

It’s unimaginable to see all of it, however this epic week-long Yellowstone and Grand Teton itinerary will go away you feeling fairly glad along with your nationwide park trip.

Discover Nationwide Park Adventures

Yellowstone & Grand Teton FAQs

See the Best of Yellowstone & Grand Teton if You Only Have a Week
How far is the drive from Grand Teton to Yellowstone?

The driving distance between the northern fringe of Grand Teton and Yellowstone’s South Entrance is simply 7 miles or about 10 minutes. Nonetheless, for those who’re driving by means of Grand Teton Nationwide Park from downtown Jackson, WY to the park it’s 57 miles and nearer to 1 hour and quarter-hour drive time.

Are you able to go to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in a day?

Based mostly on the sheer dimension of each parks, most guests will wish to spend a minimum of 1 day in Grand Teton and 1-2 days in Yellowstone to see the primary sights. Planning 6-7 days within the area gives you the possibility to not solely see the entire greatest sights, but in addition time to discover and revel in actions like mountaineering, paddling and swimming within the parks.

When is the most effective time to go to Yellowstone and Grand Teton?

For many, the most effective time to go to Grand Teton and Yellowstone is late-Could by means of mid-September when the entire park roads are usually open. Nonetheless, visitation may be fairly excessive throughout this timeframe, particularly throughout the peak summer season month. In June, July and August, you need to anticipate crowds and issue parking at the preferred sights. These keen to go to within the slower season from October by means of April, will take pleasure in much less crowds, however climate may be very unpredictable and a few seasonal closures could also be in impact.

The place’s the most effective place to remain?

We advocate staying in two totally different places to maximise your time in every park and cut back the quantity of driving.

Our itinerary recommend a number of nights in Jackson, which is simply quarter-hour outdoors of Grand Teton Nationwide Park and has a big selection of eating and leisure. Nonetheless, there are six lodges inside the park if you wish to be extra immersed within the pure panorama.

There are additionally various lodging choices in Yellowstone. We propose staying at Canyon Lodge & Cabins which is probably the most centrally-located lodging choice. It’s additionally the biggest facility, so be ready for a extra crowded expertise right here. When you’re unable to safe lodging in Yellowstone, you may discover choices in West Yellowstone close to the park’s west entrance, Gardiner, MT close to the park’s north entrance or Cody, WY close to the park’s east entrance.

How far prematurely do I must plan a visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton?

Nationwide park lodging is in excessive demand, particularly throughout the busy summer season months, so it’s greatest to e-book as early as potential. Yellowstone lodging may be reserved as much as 13 months prematurely and Grand Teton lodging may be booked as much as a 12 months prematurely.  The identical rule applies for loging in gateway cities close to the parks like Jackson, Gardiner and Cody that are additionally in excessive demand.


Pictures:  Cari Morgan, James Kaiser, NPS/Jacob W. Frank



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