17 Best Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park with Kids
Grand Teton National Park is amazing! The breathtaking Tetons, the lakes, the wildlife. It is simply a peaceful and beautiful place waiting for your family to explore!
Many people come here for the first time while they are visiting its neighbor Yellowstone. If you are anything like me, you might just prefer it over Yellowstone.
It has so much to offer and is an awesome place for that epic family vacation. You will just have to read my guide to find out why.
Here are the 17 best things to do in Grand Teton National Park with kids.
When to Visit Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is open year-round, but the most popular time to visit is between May and September. Summer is by far the busiest time because the weather is at its best and the kids are out of school. Grand Teton National Park gets very cold during the winter, so most visitor facilities are closed or have reduced hours.
How Many Days Do I Need in Grand Teton National Park?
If you want to get a brief overview of Grand Teton National Park then you could see the main highlights in 1 day by driving the 42-mile scenic drive.
The best way to see Grand Teton National Park though is to spend at least 2-3 days here. Grand Teton National Park has so much beauty and so many places to explore, the only way to really experience it is to stay longer.
17 Things to Do In Grand Teton National Park with Kids
There are so many fun things to do with your kids in Grand Teton National Park. It is an outdoor lovers paradise and a perfect place to make memories with your kids.
Drive the 42-mile Scenic Loop
Driving the whole 42-mile Scenic Loop is a must when visiting Grand Teton National Park. It doesn’t have to be done all on the same day, but you don’t want to miss any of the highlights. There are many places that you will want to stop, get out and take pictures along the way.
TIP: I highly recommend downloading the “Gypsy Guide” app.
This app is amazing. It is an audio tour that our whole family enjoyed listening to. It picks up where you are in the park and gives you the highlights, history, and must-stop places to pull over.
It is only $6.99 for the Grand Teton tour. I purchased the combo Yellowstone & Grand Teton for $14.99. This was our first time using it and we will definitely use it again for other destinations.
Here are some of the must-stop places along the Scenic Loop that are all a quick walk from the parking lot.
1. Mormon Row
Mormon Row is one of the most popular places for photography in Grand Teton National Park. The Mormons began to inhabit this area in the 1890s creating a total of 27 homesteads. Mormon Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 as a Historic District.
The most popular places here are the two Moulton Barns. There is the John Moulton Barn (4 sided roof) and the T.A. Moulton Barn (triangular roof).
The T.A. Moulton Barn is known as the most photographed barn in the world.
This barn was built sometime between 1912 and 1945 by Thomas Alma Moulton and his sons. It took about 30 years to complete.
It photographs so beautifully! People from all over come just to photograph the barn here in front of the Teton Range. We saw people sitting in chairs lined up with tripods waiting to get that perfect picture.
Taking family pictures here is a MUST thing to do in Grand Teton National Park with kids. The setting is just picturesque!
Because the Moulton Barn is so well known, it has become a symbol of Jackson Wyoming.
2. Schwabacher Landing
Schwabacher Landing is about 16 miles north of Jackson just west of Highway 89. This location is another popular spot for photographers because the Teton Mountains are often reflected in the Snake River here.
Schwabacher Landing is a popular launching site for river rafting. You also have a great chance of seeing wildlife here especially beavers.
3. Snake River Overlook
The Snake River Overlook is another spot to jump out of the car, take in the scenery and take that perfect picture. The curving Snake River with the Tetons in the background is just breathtaking!
In fact, this spot is famous for Ansel Adam’s iconic photograph taken in 1942. The spot looks a little different because of the growth of the trees, but still, it is just beautiful!
4. Oxbow Bend
Oxbow Bend is a definite must-stop when driving the Scenic Loop. It is a little over a mile from the Jackson Lake Junction on Highway 89.
The Snake River gets very wide and sometimes Mount Moran is seen reflected in the water here.
This spot took one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever taken. Mount Moran was not in my pictures, but I got clouds instead reflected in the water. Absolutely gorgeous! All with an i-phone!
Oxbow Bend is home to a variety of birds and other animals such as pelicans, otters, moose, and bears. The day after we left here, I heard someone saw Grizzly 399 and her 4 cubs right here in the bushes.
5. Signal Mountain Summit Road
The Signal Mountain Summit Road is located about a mile from Signal Mountain Lodge. It is a 5 mile narrow, winding road that ends in two different amazing overlooks. Once you arrive at the top you will have beautiful views of the Teton Range, Jackson Lake, Snake River, and Teton Valley.
6. Moose-Wilson Road
Moose-Wilson Road is a scenic 8-mile road that connects the towns of Moose and Wilson. It runs from the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center to Teton Village.
A highlight along this road is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center. This is a beautiful building with exhibits highlighting the Preserve’s plants and wildlife. My favorite thing here was reading all the nature quotes on the walls.
Moose-Wilson Road ends at Teton Village. This is a fun place to stop, shop, dine, ride the tram and explore with the kids.
Hiking in Grand Teton National Park with Kids
7. Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat & Hike
Visiting Jenny Lake is one of the most popular things to do with kids in Grand Teton National Park.
The Jenny Lake area includes a visitor center, gift shop, shuttle boat, and the Jenny Lake Loop Trail which highlights are Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Because Jenny Lake is SO popular, get there EARLY!
Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat Information
Taking the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake is a fun, scenic boat trip for the whole family. It is about a 12-minute cruise. When you get off at the boat dock, you will be at the Cascade Canyon Trailhead. This shortens the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point by 2 miles(one-way) So, I definitely feel this is the way to go with kids.
We got to the dock to catch the shuttle boat at 7 am. We were on the first boat to get across Jenny Lake. After our hike, the line to get on the boat was SO long and the parking lot was SO full. Cars were parked all the way down the road outside of the parking area.
It pays to start your day VERY early!
COST: Shuttle Boat:
$ 18.00 – Adult Round-trip (12 yrs to 61 yrs)
$ 10.00 – Adult One-Way
$ 10.00 – Child Round-trip (2 yrs to 11 yrs)
$ 8.00 – Child One-Way
$ 15.00 – Senior Round-trip (62 yrs and over)
FREE Under 2 years of age and over 80 yrs
The Hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
The hike to Hidden Falls from the dock is about half a mile. It is an easy, beautiful hike passing through a spruce-fir forest and a wood bridge over Cascade Creek.
Hidden Falls is amazing and very impressive. We sat down for a while admired the falls and took lots of pictures.
Once you leave the falls, you have the option to continue on to Inspiration Point or return to the boat dock. The hike to Inspiration Falls is about another half a mile.
The hike to Inspiration Point is absolutely beautiful. As you near Inspiration Point you will be walking very close to the side of a ledge. This can be very dangerous, so proceed with caution. Make sure you hold young kids’ hands and make sure they keep on the side away from the ledge.
Once you reach Inspiration Point you will be at an elevation of 7,200 feet! You will be in awe at the beauty!
We spent a while at Inspiration Point taking in the scenery, taking lots of pictures, and enjoying a snack and some water. We also admired the many chipmunks that inhabit this area. The chipmunks are so friendly and fun to watch.
The trail continues past Inspiration Point towards Cascade Canyon, but we turned around at this point. This was about all my 8-year-old could handle with his shorter legs.
8. String Lake Hike
String Lake is a popular lake for those with young kids. It’s popular because the water is shallow, has no current, and is warmer than the other lakes in the park.
Many families come here to enjoy a day in the water; swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and picnicking.
To get here: You will start your hike at the String Lake Trailhead, which is just north of Jenny Lake. The trail is 3.8 miles round-trip but is a great, easy hike with kids. It is recommended to hike counter-clockwise to get the best views of the mountains on your way to the lake.
9. Taggart Lake Loop Hike
The Taggart Lake Loop Hike was my favorite thing we did in Grand Teton National Park. Actually, it was my favorite thing we did during our whole Teton/Yellowstone trip.
Taggart Lake Loop is a 3.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Moose, Wyoming. This trail has a lot of diversity: the creeks, the forest, the mountains, the lake, the meadows.
This is a great trail for hiking with kids, although if you have younger kids they might get very tired towards the end but still very doable.
You can choose to go either clockwise or counter-clockwise on the trail. We went counter-clockwise and were glad that we did. The scenery of the Tetons in the middle of the forest was just amazing.
Once we reached Taggart Lake, we sat on one of the big rocks, took pictures, enjoyed a snack, and enjoyed the peacefulness and beauty of the area.
After leaving Taggart Lake the scenery changed dramatically. Walking through the stunning Alpine forest was just magical.
As I said, this was my absolute favorite thing we did on our trip. This is a MUST-DO with your kids in Grand Teton National Park.
Other Fun Outdoor Activities with Kids in Grand Teton National Park
Biking is a fun activity to do with kids in the Tetons. Grand Teton National Park is one of the most bike-friendly national parks.
Grand Teton has an awesome multi-use pathway made for use by bikes, rollerblades, and walkers. The pathway goes from Jackson and extends into the national park going through the town of Moose and to the Jenny Lake area.
Here are a few places you can rent bikes:
Hoback Sports-located in Jackson Hole
Teton Mountain Bikes-located in Jackson Hole
Adventure Sports-located in Moose at Dornan’s
NOTE: Biking is not allowed on hiking trails in Grand Teton.
11. Horseback Riding
If your kids love horses and have always wanted to ride or if they have been riding, the Teton’s are an amazing place for the kids to go horseback riding.
There are few places that offer horseback riding in the Teton’s: Colter Bay Village, Jackson Lake Lodge, and Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch.
If you have a younger child (age 7 and under) a pony ride would the perfect introduction to horseback riding. You can bring them to the corral at one of these locations for a leaded ride on a pony.
12. Boating and Kayaking
Exploring Grand Teton National Park on the water is an amazing thing to do with kids. The beauty of the water with the Tetons in the backdrop is just stunning.
They are many different options to explore Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake by canoe, kayak, or pontoon boat. There is also the option of taking a scenic cruise out on the water with a guide. Here are a couple of places that offer boat rental in the Teton’s.
Jenny Lake Boating
Signal Mountain Lodge
13. Viewing the Wildlife
Viewing the wildlife is one of the most fun and memorable things for kids in Grand Teton National Park. Grand Teton National Park is home to grizzly bears, bison, moose, elk, pronghorn, and much more.
Being from coastal Alabama, we had never seen any of this wildlife before so this was definitely very exciting.
The first time we saw bison, it was SO exciting! I hopped out of the car and got the closest I could to view them. We were still so far away that I could not get a great picture.
During our stay at the Signal Mountain Lodge, there was a mule deer we saw daily next to our Lakeside Retreat. It was next to the road eating the leaves from the trees every day in the same spot.
We didn’t encounter any grizzly bears or moose on our trip. I’m happy we didn’t encounter any bears on any of our hikes, but I was hoping we would see one while in the car. I was also disappointed not to see any moose. I heard the moose are rarer to see and you just have to be in the right place at the right time!
TIP: Binoculars are helpful to have when viewing wildlife from a distance.
14. Check Out the Visitor Centers
Going to the Visitors Centers in Grand Teton National Park is a fun and educational experience for kids.
We enjoyed the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. It’s a large, beautiful building filled with beautiful artifacts, exhibits, statues, clean restrooms, and a gift shop. It’s open from early spring until the fall.
They have antlers on display, animal hides kids can touch, and a display showing the different animal tracks.
NOTE: Let your kids Be A Junior Ranger
Let your kids earn their Grand Teton National Park Junior Park Ranger Badge. You can sign up to do this at any of the visitor centers. They will give your kid a fun activity book to complete that will help them learn about the wildlife, history, geology, and ecosystems of Grand Teton National Park.
There are different activities and badges based on your kid’s age.
15. Enjoy the Local Fruit- Huckleberries
I never had even heard of huckleberries until we arrived in Jackson Hole and the Teton’s. Huckleberry is most similar to a blueberry, but definitely not the same.
When you arrive in the Teton’s, you will see Huckleberry in everything from food to lotions. Huckleberry season is normally from June through August. if you are here during this season, be on the lookout for huckleberries when walking around in the park.
Be sure to take your kids to try huckleberry ice cream. Eating local food is always fun when traveling! I tried Huckleberry ice cream from two different shops in Jackson Hole; Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Jackson Drug.
Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream by far had the best huckleberry ice cream! It was AMAZING. The line here gets very long so be prepared to wait! But the wait is worth it! Don’t leave the Teton’s without letting the kids grab some ice cream from this place.
Tours & Guides
16. Snake River Rafting and Float Trips
There are two different options for exploring the Snake River. One is a scenic float trip and the other is a more adventurous whitewater rafting trip. Both are very popular things to do in Grand Teton National Park with kids.
The beautiful setting of the Tetons on the Snake River makes for a fun adventure with kids. There is also a good opportunity that you just might see some wildlife such as moose, beavers, eagles, elk, and bears.
The scenic float trip is a great activity for those with younger kids or those seeking a more calm adventure. The whitewater rafting trip is fun for those with older kids or kids age 6 and up that are looking for a little more thrilling, exciting adventure.
For a great scenic float trip in the Tetons click here!
For a great whitewater rafting trip in the Tetons click here!
17. Fly Fishing
Fishing is a fun thing to do in Grand Teton National Park with kids. There are many great spots to fish while taking in the beautiful Teton scenery.
Fly fishing is also a very popular thing to do in Wyoming. Snake River, Jenny Lake, Leigh Lake, Jackson Lake, and Cascade Creek are all popular places to fly fish in the Teton’s.
Click here for a great fly fishing tour guide in the Tetons!
How to Get to Grand Teton National Park
You might be driving into Grand Teton National Park as a side trip from neighboring Yellowstone. If you are flying in, here are a couple of your best choices.
Jackson Hole Airport: If you have the opportunity to fly into Jackson Hole Airport, I highly recommend it. The Jackson Hole Airport is located within Grand Teton National Park. Yes, within!
It is the only commercial airport located within a National Park. I got my first glimpse of the amazing Teton range as soon as we landed.
The Jackson Hole airport is very small and easy to navigate. It is also amazingly unique and beautiful. You can purchase your bear spray right there next to the baggage carousel.
The rental cars are all right there too. So easy and convenient. There is no hopping on a shuttle to get to the rental car destination.
Salt Lake City International Airport: Salt Lake City International Airport is a popular airport for traveling to the Teton’s. It is about a 5-hour drive from Salt Lake to Grand Teton National Park. Many people fly into Salt Lake because the cost is much more affordable.
What to Bring to Grand Teton National Park
Bear Spray! You are in Bear Country. Bear spray is a must. You don’t want to be on one of the trails without bear spray. I saw bear spray at The Jackson Hole airport, visitors centers, and Alberton’s (grocery store) in Jackson Hole. If you are flying, I recommend renting because you cannot fly home with it.
We rented ours from the Jackson Hole Airport. It was a little more affordable than purchasing if you don’t have to use it. Purchasing can cost around $50 a can.
Variety of Clothing! The weather can fluctuate a lot in the Teton’s. We were there towards the end of July. Early mornings were very cold. We wore jackets in the morning and by afternoon it was very, very hot! So definitely dress in layers and be prepared for everything from shorts and tank tops to pants and jackets!
Backpack! Bringing a backpack is a must for hiking. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for the kids.
Cooler with food/snacks! Having a cooler with food, drinks, and snacks is a must. You are in a national park, so you may not have easy access to food and drinks at all times.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Into Grand Teton National Park?
Grand Teton Entrance Fee–
Vehicle- $35 for 7 days
Motorcycle-$30 for 7 days
Hiker/biker-$20 for 7 days
America the Beautiful Pass– $80 for a year. Worth it, if you plan on visiting Grand Teton and Yellowstone both because you can also use them over the next year at any other national park. I purchased ours online at REI.
TIP: If you have a 4th grader, get the Every Kid Outdoors pass. This pass enables your 4th grader and the whole family to get into National Parks for free!
Where to Stay in Grand Teton National Park with Kids
There are quite a few different lodging/camping options in Grand Teton National Park. I will break apart the different places to stay below.
Lodging in Grand Teton National Park
Signal Mountain Lodge
Signal Mountain Lodge offers lodge-style rooms, cabins, lakefront retreats, and camping. It is one of two lodges within the park that sits on Jackson Lake. They have many activities, amenities, and multiple dining options. They also have an on-site marina with boat rentals(kayaks, pontoon boats), a gift shop, a general store, and a laundromat.
I highly recommend Signal Mountain Lodge when visiting Grand Teton National Park with kids. We stayed here for a few nights and it was my favorite place we stayed during our trip.
We stayed in an amazing, spacious Lakefront Retreat. We had a bedroom with two queen beds, a large bathroom, a separate living room with a sofa bed, and a kitchen with a full-size refrigerator and stove.
The Lakeview Retreat offers beautiful views of Jackson Lake and the Teton Mountain Range. We were only steps away from the lake. We walked down to the lake many times and the kids enjoyed skipping stones.
We enjoyed the easy convenience of walking to the General Store to get snacks and drinks. There was also a coffee shop inside the General Store where I stopped many times to get lattes.
Signal Mountain Lodge also has a yummy restaurant the Trapper Grill which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
My kids enjoyed the free hot chocolate in the main office building every morning and I enjoyed the free coffee. Sipping our morning drinks from our Lakeview Retreat with the cool mountain air was amazing!
Jackson Lake Lodge
Jackson Lake Lodge is another wonderful place for families to stay with amazing views of the Teton Mountains. Many people come to Jackson Lake Lodge even if they are not staying here to check it out, which is what we did.
Jackson Lake Lodge has been designated as a National Historic Landmark due to its architecture, landscape architecture, conservation, and recreation. Jackson Lake Lodge has 37 guests rooms in the main lodge and 348 rooms in adjacent cottages. The rooms are decorated in an American Indian motif.
Jackson Lake Lodge also has many retail shops, dining options, and a swimming pool.
Jenny Lake Lodge
Jenny Lake Lodge is a 4-diamond all-inclusive eco-resort offering rustically elegant cabins and award-winning dining. Included in your stay are daily breakfast and a 5-course dinner. Also included in your stay are guest activities such as complimentary horseback riding and cruiser-style bike rentals.
Jenny Lake Lodge is located near some of the best hiking in the Teton’s and of course near Jenny Lake.
Colter Bay Village
Colter Bay Village is an affordable family-friendly property that sits on the shores of Jackson Lake. They offer log cabins or tent cabins. They also offer a couple of restaurants, laundry facilities, a gift shop, and a marina.
Campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park
There are quite a few places to pitch a tent or park your RV. Here is a list of places to camp in Grand Teton National Park.
Jenny Lake Campground
Signal Mountain Campground
Colter Bay Campground
Colter Bay RV Park
Gros Ventre Campground
Lizard Creek Campground
Click here for more information on camping in the Grand Tetons.
Where to Stay Near Grand Teton National Park with Kids
Jackson is the main gateway to Grand Teton National Park. Jackson offers many things to do including shopping and dining in the popular Jackson Town Square.
Jackson offers many different types of lodging. I will say the cost of staying in Jackson is very high. Be prepared to book early and be prepared for the high cost of lodging.
We stayed at 2 different places in Jackson. We stayed at the Mountain Modern Motel for 1 night after flying in. And then we stayed at Cowboy Village Resort our last night before flying back home. Both are great places to stay with kids while visiting Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park.
Mountain Modern Motel
Mountain Modern Motel is a cute boutique motel located right in the heart of Jackson and close to everything. It’s located about 2 blocks from Town Square, so you are very close to lots of restaurants and shops.
As the name implies, this motel is very “modern.” I loved the simple, yet the functional style of the rooms. I also loved the “Teton” theme wall decor such as a map of Grand Teton National Park.
The rooms are very unique, in that there were bunk beds above the main beds. Plenty of sleeping room for a family of 5.
Amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub. They also have a cafe where you can pick up doughnuts, pastries, and specialty coffees to start your day.
Cowboy Village Resort
Cowboy Village Resort is another great place to stay. Cowboy Village Resort is a log cabin resort with modern amenities and is conveniently located near Jackson Town Square also.
This place is amazing! The log cabins are so cute! Our cabin was very clean. We had a bedroom, a separate living area with a sofa bed, and a kitchen area. Plenty of room for our family. The front porch of the cabin had a picnic-style table and chairs for relaxing.
Amenities here include an indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness room.
If we return to Jackson again, I will definitely book this place again and stay longer than 1 night.
Teton Village Area
The Teton Village area is another great area to stay. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the town of Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. There are a few different hotel options including the Snake River Lodge & Spa and the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole.
Teton Village is a cute little village area where you can walk around, shop, and dine at one of the many restaurants including the popular, family-friendly Mangy Moose, and ride the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to the top of the mountain.
Where to Eat in Grand Teton National Park with Kids
There are not many great options or convenient options when it comes to eating in Grand Teton National Park. I recommend hitting up the grocery store in Jackson. We purchased a styrofoam cooler at Albertson’s (grocery store) in Jackson that we used to carry lunches and drinks during our stay.
There are also many General Stores located throughout Grand Teton National Park where you can purchase food, snacks, drinks, and toiletries also.
Here are a couple of great places to dine with kids in Grand Teton National Park:
Dornan’s is located in a great location in Moose with amazing views of the Teton’s. Your kids will love their pizza and pasta.
Trapper Grill is a family-friendly restaurant located at Signal Mountain Lodge with many different options such as salads, soups, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and quesadillas.
Each area with lodging in the National Park has restaurant options and General Stores: Signal Mountain Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, Colter Bay Village, Jenny Lake Lodge all have general stores and places to eat.
Where to Eat in Jackson Hole with Kids
One of our favorite things to do while traveling is dining out and trying new places where we cannot eat at home. Jackson Hole has many great options for those with kids.
Jackson Hole is close to the Teton’s, so it’s not a bad drive to make for dinner if you are staying in the park. We did this many times. Here are a few places that we ate that I definitely recommend.
The Gun Barrel is a great dining experience for the whole family. The restaurant is beautiful inside. It has a rustic, Western lodge atmosphere. When you walk in your eyes will be drawn to the giant bison in the entryway. There are other taxidermy animals throughout the restaurant and other western, Wyoming decor that make you feel that you are definitely in Wyoming.
This is a great place to try some game food such as bison and elk. Or if you are not brave enough, they do have common food such as chicken too.
The Gun Barrel is a great place for a celebration dinner in Jackson. We ate here for my 40th birthday dinner and it was a perfect choice! Make sure to book a reservation here as it’s a popular place to eat!
The Bunnery Bakery & Restaurant is a must-eat breakfast spot with kids. It’s a cozy restaurant located in Town Square. It’s very popular so get here early when they open or be prepared to wait in a long line. We waited in a long line, but I went inside and purchased a Starbucks latte to drink while waiting.
The Merry Piglets Mexican Grill is a family-friendly Mexican restaurant also located in Town Square. The bright, colorful decor with the fun pig theme wall decor makes for a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Mexican food is a family favorite of ours and this place did not disappoint!
Again, like all restaurants in Jackson, be prepared to wait. We walked around town and shopped until our table was ready.
Hand Fire Pizza is a yummy place to get some pizza in Jackson. It is located in Jackson Town Square in the historic Teton Theater. It’s an open kitchen, so you can watch them make pizzas while you are waiting at your table. We had fun trying to guess which food was our as they were rolling out the dough and putting toppings on the pizza.
The Wrap-Up: Grand Teton National Park with Kids
Visiting Grand Teton National Park makes for that perfect epic family vacation. There is so much to do here and enjoy! It should be much more than just a quick stop while visiting Yellowstone.
I hope my guide of the 17 best things to do in Grand Teton National Park with kids has inspired you to go or to help you fill that itinerary with things to do!
READ NEXT: Check out my guide to the 25 most amazing things to do in Sedona with kids.