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LOOKING FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN GRAND TETON OTHER THAN HIKING?
Welcome back to my things to do that aren’t hiking series! This time we’re focusing on Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of my personal favorites, especially in the winter. But, for this post I’ll be focusing on a summer visit.
So, if you’re planning on visiting Grand Teton National Park but don’t have time for hiking, don’t want to hike, want a break from hiking, don’t like hiking, or can’t hike, this is for you.
Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential.
Booking.com – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.
As usual, everything included is either not hiking at all, or a short, easy walk, under one mile round-trip. Because sometimes you just want to do something other than hike.
I don’t include it as a specific item, but we always stop at the visitor center and all the lookouts along the scenic drives, too.
Also, I know I said we’re focusing on summer, but I used winter pictures, too, because they’re just beautiful.
National Park Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking on your trip, or even at home, check out AllTrails! This is my favorite app to find, keep track of, and track my hiking activity. And it’s FREE! Sign up here.
- This Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is a must-have. You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a National Park journal for all of the NPS sites (400+!) to keep track of your travels!
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
Best things to do in Grand Teton National Park other than hiking
There are so many amazing things to do in Grand Teton that involve little to no hiking and I’m here to share all of those with you today!
My favorite thing to do in the Tetons is look for wildlife. We didn’t see any on our trip there in the summer, but we saw sooooo many moose over the winter we worked there. We also saw coyotes, bison, a wolf, bears, bighorn sheep, and elk.
Gros Ventre is a great place to look as well as the Moose-Wilson Junction, any of the open plains, and the Elk Refuge. Seeing wildlife in the Tetons is like, a top tier national park bucket list experience, for sure.
This is a nice, short walk to an old cabin with a great view of the Tetons behind it. It’s especially great at sunrise and sunset. This is also a great thing to do in Grand Teton National Park in winter.
I really enjoyed seeing this with the sun glowing on the mountains behind it. It’s not quite like the barns on Mormon Row, but it’s still worth seeing and makes for good pictures.
Kayak on Jackson Lake
This is a great way to see the park, and lake, from a new perspective, plus it’s a pretty good workout. This is one thing I really wish we did when we were there in the summer.
You can rent kayaks in Coulter Bay or you can use your own. Jackson Lake is huge so you’ll be able to kayak all day to stay busy. Or you can keep it close and just go for a couple of hours.
Kayaking in Grand Teton National Park is a fun way to still be active but without hiking. You’ll get to spend lots of time on the water admiring some of the best park views.
Do some paddling on String Lake
If you want to get on the water but want to be on a smaller lake, try doing some paddling on String Lake or Leigh Lake. This is a fun thing to do in Grand Teton National Park in summer.
We saw tons of people out paddling when we were there and it looked like a great lake for it since it was small, but not too small, and the water was super still. I would also like to do this in the future.
This is a nice alternative to kayaking if you don’t like having to sit. The water was pretty flat, too, so it could be a good place to try SUP for the first time, too. As long as it isn’t windy.
Take the Jenny Lake shuttle
This is also a great way to make the hike to Hidden Falls shorter. If you don’t want to hike all the way to the falls, you can just take the shuttle across Jenny Lake and back.
It’s $18 round-trip and can make the hike to Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon a lot shorter (like, two miles shorter) if you still want to hike but not too far.
There are also scenic cruises and rental boats available if you would prefer that. The scenic cruise might be a better option if you just want to see the lake and not rent a boat.
Do some biking
You can bike on all the paved park roads as well as Two Ocean Lake Road and Grassy Lake Road. Both of those are gravel. Biking isn’t allowed on any of the hiking trails in the park.
For that you’ll have to head over to the Bridger-Teton National Forest. There is also a multi-use pathway you can bike on through the park. Don’t have a bike? Rent one in Jackson!
You know that picture you always see of an old barn in front of the Tetons? Yeah, that one. That’s on Mormon Row. This is outside of the main area of the park and in Gros Ventre, down Antelope Flats Road.
This is where Mormon Pioneers settled and formed a community, but now it’s represented by two picturesque barns. This is definitely one of the most iconic and best things to do in Grand Teton National Park.
If you like horses or have always wanted to try horseback riding, this is a great place to go! Headwaters Lodge, Grand Teton Lodge Company, and Triangle X Ranch are the only operators allowed to lead horseback trips in the park.
This could be a fun way to see the park that not tons of visitors get to (or decide to) do while still getting of the main roads and into the park.
Stargazing is always a good idea and what better place to do it than the Tetons? Whether you’re camping or staying in Jackson, try and spend some time outside one night to admire the stars and Milky Way.
Always wanted to try rafting? Good news! You can do that on the Snake River in the park. This is a great way to see the park from a totally different perspective. Plus, it’s an adventurous way to see the park.
I haven’t tried this and won’t lie, I probably won’t, but if you like water and have always wanted to try it, this is a great option if you want something adventurous to do in the Tetons. Here are a few rafting trip options.
Visit the Chapel of Transfiguration
Even if you’re not religious, this can be a cool stop. It’s a small log chapel in the community of Moose at the end of the park closer to Jackson. I still haven’t been here, but remember driving past it a few times. Someday I’ll stop!
Admire Schwabacher Landing
The best time to come to this iconic overlook would be sunrise or sunset, but it will probably be busiest then, too. There will be no bad time to see it but that’s the best.
I actually haven’t stopped here yet but it’s on my priority list for next time! It’s definitely national park bucket list worthy, that’s for sure.
Grand Teton tours
- Four hour wildlife safari
- Grand Teton and National Elk Refuge day trip
- Seven-mile Snake River float with Teton views
- Snake River class 2-3 rafting adventure
- 13 mile scenic float with Teton views
- Grand Teton National Park and petroglyph tour
Where to stay near Grand Teton
Rustic Inn – I LOVE the Rustic. Like, so much. I’ve stayed there a few times and would 100% stay again. It’s beautiful in a wonderful location not too far from downtown. It’s not particularly budget-friendly, but it is amazing.
The Wort – This is another really fancy, not budget-friendly hotel, but The Wort is even closer to the town square. It has a modern log cabin vibe in a gorgeous building.
Elk Refuge Inn – This little Inn is a couple miles from the town square, but it’s right across from the National Elk Refuge and all the rooms have a view. It’s decently priced and probably totally worth it for the view.
Antler Inn – I haven’t stayed here but know it’s a great budget option right in town. It has rustic-looking cabin themed rooms and it’s perfect for walking around town.
Camping in Grand Teton
There are six campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park varying in size and offerings. Most are only open in the summer, but Colter Bay is open year-round.
Grand Teton FAQ for visiting
Have questions about visiting Grand Teton National Park or Jackson Hole? I can help! If I didn’t answer it here, leave a comment and I’ll answer there!
Is Grand Teton worth visiting?
Yes! Just know it’s extremely busy in the summer and parking can be hard to come by. But it’s still worth visiting, just go prepared with a plan and a backup.
Best time to visit Grand Teton National Park
Well, winter is extremely snowy and most of the park is inaccessible (but it’s my favorite time there) and spring can have remains of winter.
Fall will be beautiful with the leaves changing and weather could be cool, it could snow, but I think it would be great.
And summer is usually the best, though it is busiest. But if you want to hike or do almost anything on this list, you kind of have to go in the summer.
Is hiking in Yellowstone or Grand Teton better?
That mostly depends on what you want to see. If you want to see thermal features, Yellowstone. If you want alpine lakes and mountains, Teton.
How many days in Grand Teton is enough?
I would say two days would be good if you want to do a lot of hiking or hiking and a tour or two.
If you’re not hiking at all, you could probably see the highlights in one day. Maybe a day and a half to see highlights and do a tour.
Have you been to Grand Teton National Park? What is your favorite thing to do there?