After we left Yellowstone, we headed on to Grand Teton National Park. The park is famous for the Teton mountains, with the Grand Teton right in the middle. These mountains are estimated to be only 6-10 million years old, making them some of the youngest in the world. The valley was then further flattened over time by glaciers, so the mountains seem to rise right out of the meadows.
The park is adjacent to the south edge of Yellowstone, and just north of the town of Jackson, WY. You’ve may have also heard references to Jackson Hole, which is the valley containing the town.
The whole area is very bike-friendly. The valley floor is quite flat, and there is a great bike trail that goes from the town of Jackson to Jenny Lake in the middle of the park. There are also trails and paths downtown, plus mountain biking trails on the mountain if you’re feeling adventurous. I found a great area map from friends of Pathways here.
It’s $30 to get into the park with one car, or $50 to get a pass that will also get you into Yellowstone for a week. Keep in mind you can buy a national park pass for $80 that will get you into every National Park for the full year, which might be a better deal.
There are a lot of campgrounds in the park, ranging from $22-24 for a tent spot. We stayed at Gros Ventre. It’s not a pretty spot, and it’s big and crowded, but it is first come first serve and it doesn’t usually fill up until later in the afternoon. This makes it a great spot to head for if you’re driving into the park and can’t make it there first thing in the morning.
We did not do any backcountry camping in this park. Permits are a whopping $25 per night, compared with free – $10 at most parks. If anyone knows why they’re so pricey at this park, please let me know.
We also had a good time exploring the bars, restaurants, and rodeo in Jackson, WY, which happens most Sunday and Wednesday nights there. It’s less than a half hour drive from camp into town, so we hit up a few places, most notably the Snake River Brewery which had great food and solid brews.
Grand Teton was the last of the National Parks on our summer tour, as you’ve probably guessed from the power rankings. We will be headed to southeast Asia before too long, so keep an eye out for a completely different type of adventure tale!