They Don’t Call It Grand for Nothing – Summer Adventures in Grand Teton National Park


Though I grew up in the area, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I visited Grand Teton National Park for the first time. I fell in love with the area and now make sure we visit at least once every summer. Though the drive is not my favorite, especially going over the pass, it’s worth it to be surrounded by the majestic beauty in the park. I would definitely visit more often if the drive wasn’t quite as stressful although driving through Alpine makes it easier.  We have camped and hiked and floated in the Tetons a few times so I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with knowing my way around.

There is something for everyone to enjoy whether you like to hike, bike, kayak, fish, boat, or just view wildlife. You could spend days in the park and still not see all there is to see!  

When my kids were younger, we hiked around the northside of Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls. I would not recommend this hike with small children as it is right on the side of a cliff for part of the trail and you are in bear country. Let’s just say we sang songs pretty loud on that hike. Paying to ride the ferry over would be safer unless your kids are older, but Hidden Falls is definitely worth seeing. 

Swimming and floating around at String Lake is one of our favorite adventures. This summer, we hiked past String Lake to Leah Lake. It is only 1 mile each way and perfect to hike with kids. Most of the hike is shady and only the very last part is uphill. I was impressed with all the kayaks up at Leah Lake as I wouldn’t want to hike up with a kayak but kudos to them. It was a beautiful mountain lake to see and seemed like a private oasis. There was a bear in the area and though many get excited about such things, I would rather see them from a much further distance. We enjoyed paddleboarding around String Lake after our hike. Parking can be a struggle at any of these lakes so get there early or practice patience. There are flushing bathrooms and rangers at both Jenny and String Lakes. 

There is lots of information online or at the Visitor’s Center for whatever adventures you’d like to take in Grand Teton National Park.

After a fun day exploring, we love to ride a gondola at Jackson Hole Resort which is free weekdays after 5:00 pm in the summers. It is such an incredible view from the top of the mountain. You can take the Teton Village Road over to the resort from the park.

Going into the town of Jackson Hole is an adventure all of its own. Taking a picture in front of the antler arches in the town square is a tourist must. I mean, did you even go to Jackson if you didn’t get a picture under the antlers? My kids enjoy visiting the Yippy-I-O Candy Store and looking around at the unique shops. We also enjoy eating at the local restaurants. There are lots of other things to do in Jackson Hole including swimming at the Rec Center, riding the Alpine Slide at Snow King Mountain Resort, visiting the many art galleries, and going white water rafting. 

Next time you need to just “get out of town” or want to go somewhere for a day trip, visiting Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole is worth the drive!

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Edee is a wife and proud mother of 3. She has lived in Southeast Idaho her whole life and loves raising her children here. She works at a local school as a paraprofessional and dreams of publishing a book someday! She loves being a soccer mom and supporting her kids in their activities. She enjoys cooking and baking, writing, the mountains and the beach, organizing and writing lists she hopes to check off , and spending time with her family!