Located just an hour south of Yellowstone, with magnificent mountain views is Great Tetons National Park. We stayed at Colter Bay RV park which was a full hookup National Park campground in a great central location. It was on the expensive side at around $80/night. Colter Bay Village is the main hub, a short walking distance to the campground with a small store, laundry, and showers. You do pay by shower, it was $4.25 per shower. You can also walk to the marina, a beach area, and there is a 2 mile trail that goes around the lake. You will need bear spray. We did not see any personally, but bear sightings had been reported in the campground. We bought some on Amazon before we left and watched a video on how to use. You can also rent, but if you are going to more then one park this will be cheaper.
The campground also had some nightly programs at the amphitheater. We went to one about rescue dogs and it was great. N got chosen to go hide while the dog tried to find her which she loved!
Cascade Canyon Hike from Jenny Lake
One of the most popular hikes in all of the the Grand Tetons starts from Jenny Lake and goes to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, and into Cascade Canyon. You can walk around the lake to the trailhead of the hike, or take the boat shuttle. We opted to take the shuttle, as it saved 2 miles each way. It was $18 round trip for adults and $10 for kids. We got there early and were on the first shuttle of the day (tickets can be purchased at the Jenny Lake visitor center). Highly recommend getting up early for this one, on the way back we passed so many people and the parking lot was jammed. The boat ride lasts about 15 minutes.
On the other side of the lake, its about a 1/2 mile walk to the first stop, Hidden Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall!
Continue on another 1/2 mile to reach Inspiration Point. Some of the path is narrow, involves some rock scrambles, and it is an uphill climb.
About another mile in you will arrive at Cascade Canyon. You can walk as far as you want into the Canyon. I would definitely recommend going atleast a mile in to experience the views.
When you are finished, turn around and head to the boat dock to shuttle back across Jenny Lake.
Signal Mountain Road
On the way back from the Jenny Lake hike, we drove up Signal Mountain Road. This has a lot of great viewpoints of the Tetons and we saw an elk on the way up! Its a 5 mile drive uphill with some windy roads.
Signal Mountain Lodge
From here we decided to do lunch at the Signal Mountain lodge. The views here are amazing! One of the things we loved about the lodges in the Tetons was the amount of gluten free options. The gluten free bread was amazing! A must try while in the area is anything huckleberry- the kids loved the huckleberry lemonade and I loved the huckleberry margaritas!
After lunch, we rented kayaks from the hut at the back of the lodge and enjoyed some time on the water and the beautiful scenery
We began our day with a pre-reserved raft trip on the Snake River. This was a 2 hour relaxing trip where we saw lots of wildlife and views. it was cold and a little rainy when we went, but the guide was great and provided blankets when it started to drizzle. The trip left from Deadmans Bar, and was about an hour drive for us. We were shuttled upriver, and then floated back down to our car. This was the company we used https://grand-teton-scenic-floats.com/
After our raft trip, we visited Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitors Center. This was the biggest Visitor center in the area, and had beautiful views!
Next we visited Morman Row Historic District. The old buildings from where some of the first settlers arrived are still standing and you can get a close look at many of them.
Snake River Overlook
Not only is this a beautiful overlook, but it is where Ansel Adams took his famous photograph. It was really cool to try to recreate!
Jackson Lake Lodge
The Lodges in the Tetons are just gorgeous. Our second day we stopped at Jackson Lodge. The views, food, and margaritas did not disappoint! We did find the food here to be more expensive and less varied then Signal Mountain Lodge.
I really wished we had another day in this area. The views were breathtaking, and I would have liked to make it to Jackson Hole. Some other popular hikes in the area are String and Lehigh Lake. We were sad to leave, but ready to head to Yellowstone!