Best Way to See Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park
These parks are full of options. We will share the best ways to get there and some of the top spots you have to see. Located within a 10 minute drive from each other, these parks are a must see. Grand Teton overwhelms you as you approach the majestic peaks. Yellowstone has a diversity of landscape and wildlife. Here's how we made the most of our trip to these epic parks.
We flew into SLC airport in Utah. Arriving in the morning allowed us to pickup our rental, load up on some food and stop by REI for the things that can't fly (stove fuel, bear spray, bug spray etc). The drive up to Grand Teton NP from Salt Lake was a scenic 4.5 hour drive. We stopped in GTNP the first night, hiked there the second day then drove on to Yellowstone for 2 nights of camping before coming back through GPNP for 2 nights on the way home. GTNP was more our style (hiking, biking, more
From the moment you begin to see the Tetons on the horizon, you're hooked. Visions of hiking, biking and sightseeing overwhelm your senses. Both parks have so much to offer. There's no way to see everything, but you can see a lot of the parks in 5 days. Here are some top recommendations we knocked out.
Here are some of our favorites in Grand Teton NP:
Cascade Canyon Trail
Oxbow Bend at Sunset/Sunrise
Biking from Grand Tetons into Jackson Hole
Taggart Lake Trail
Biking from Jenny Lake to Jackson Hole
Here are some of our favorites in Yellowstone NP:
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Grand prismatic Spring
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Fountain Paint Pot
Driving on the dirt roads whenever we got a chance to explore
Always opt for 4wd
We went in the summer, so the weather was near perfect. It was chilly at night, but not cold. Be sure to bring jackets and dress in layers. You won't regret it. Bear spray is a necessity. A bear canister is required for many campsites. Drive something comfortable. You'll be in the car a lot, especially at Yellowstone. We rented a large SUV for a cozy ride and a place to camp if the weather turned. We rented bikes, but if you can bring them you should. There are lots of great places to ride.
We camped in the SUV one night just outside the park.
Best time to visit
Summer was perfect for camping. We went late August. Crowds begin thinning by then. September is cooler, but more secluded. Spring is also an option, but there will be snow on many trails. We live on the east coast so the lack of humidity made our trip quite relaxing. The peak season is JUNE-AUGUST. The parks are large enough to handle the crowds though. You'll still find plenty of open spaces and solitary hikes.
Where will you go first?
Who should go?
We'd say Yellowstone is best for people who want to see a National Park, but aren't necessarily into hiking and camping. There are nice resorts and lodges all over Yellowstone. It definitely felt touristy. That being said we came on the week of the total lunar eclipse in 2017. So crowds were expected. Grand Teton was right up our alley. It felt more secluded. Offered lots of hiking trails with big rewards (views, waterfalls, creek crossings, wildlife, etc). Additionally, the view of those peaks rising up out of the plain is just other worldly. We couldn't take our eyes off of them.