Grand Teton National Park guide

Relax under purple mountain majesties, where quite literally the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope still play

Your best three days in Grand Teton

From river rafting and hiking to gallery-hopping and fine dining, we compiled the ultimate 3-day trip itinerary  

Kayaking and river rafting on Snake River

Paddle your kayak along the Snake River as it meanders through Grand Teton National Park. Ten-mile float trips offer chances for wildlife-viewing and photography.

Dave Lauridsen

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DAY ONE

Starting point. The new, strikingly handsome Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center is a good first stop,for its exhibits and the raft of maps and printed guides you can find here.

Hike Cascade Canyon. The easiest access into the Tetons, it offers both easy hikes and backpacking opportunities. A great, longer day trip is the 9-mile roundtrip to Forks of Cascade. Access the trail via the 10-minute boat ride ($7.50) from South Jenny Lake.

Jackson Point Overlook. For one of the best views in the park (or anywhere) head to this viewpoint along Signal Mountain Road, south of the Jackson Lake Junction.

Elegant dining. The dining room at Jenny Lake Lodge offers some of the swankest dining in Wyoming. Reservations (and jackets for men) requested. (See Where to eat.)

DAY TWO

Ride the river. Half-day commercial raft trips down the Snake are gentle and scenic, with lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing. For a full list of outfitters, visit nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/boat.htm.

Explore Jackson. After your river trip, dry off by strolling around Jackson. Highlights here include the antler-bedecked town square, the excellent Jackson Hole Community Center for the Arts and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, dozens of private galleries, and great shopping and dining ops.

DAY THREE

Climb a mountain. If you’ve ever wanted to try rock or mountain climbing Grand Teton is the place to do it. While the highest peaks may be for experts only, two good guide services offer beginners’ outings as well. For details, contact Exum Mountain Guides (exumguides.com) and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (jhmg.com).

Or take a hike. If you’re not into climbing, explore the newest portion of the park―the 1,106-acre Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. The Rockefeller family helped establish the park; now they’ve expanded it by donating what once had been their family ranch. The preserve center is a fine example of eco-friendly design. And the park’s 8-mile trail network that provides access to views of Phelps Lake and the Tetons.

Meal with a view. Enjoy pizza, pasta and a great mountain view from the outside deck at Dornan's. (See The best restaurants at Grand Teton.)

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