moulton barn grand teton national park

The Grand Tetons With Kids: The Best National Park Guide!

Why visit the Grand Tetons with kids?

Grand Teton National Park was the very first national park that we visited with our first kid, when he was just 3 months old and it’s definitely one of our favorite National Parks. The Teton Mountain Range was created by earthquakes and is one of the youngest mountain ranges in North America. Erosion has impacted these mountains less, which is why the incredible jagged peaks you will see stand so tall compared to many other mountain ranges. The Teton Mountains are absolutely stunning! Since this was our first trip as a family of three, we have the best memories of hiking in the Tetons with our baby! Jackson Hole has incredible scenery everywhere you look, amazing wildlife, and has tons of family friendly activities which makes the Grand Tetons a great vacation to take with kids. It is also much less crowded than it’s neighboring park Yellowstone (also stunning – but more crowded)!

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How to get to Grand Teton National Park:

Grand Teton National Park is located just outside of Jackson, Wyoming so flying into Jackson Hole Airport is going to be the closest option. Interestingly, this airport is actually located inside of the National Park! Another option is to fly into Bozeman, Montana and drive about four and a half hours to the park. This is a great option, especially if you are visiting Yellowstone National Park on the same trip. Lastly, Salt Lake City, Utah is about a five hour drive from the park. Any of these options are doable and you will definitely have a scenic drive on the way in. I’m also always an advocate for a long road trip if you live within driving distance (we drove about 8 hours to get here!).

Getting around:

I would highly recommend renting a car. The 42 mile scenic loop drive is great to be able to explore this at your own pace, especially with kids. Driving the scenic loop and exploring the different stops is a huge part of the experience of this park and definitely one of the most scenic drives near Jackson Hole. See all of our favorite stops on the Grand Teton Scenic Loop map below!

We’ve saved a ton of money booking our rental cars through Economy Bookings! We’ve even had success cancelling a prior car reservation we’ve had and booking through Economy Bookings closer to our travel date to save a ton of money.

You will need a National Park Pass which can be obtained at the park. Or get an America the Beautiful pass for $80 that will get you into every national park in the United States for the following 12 months, including Yellowstone National Park nearby!

Grand Teton National Park Map

Where to stay when visiting Grand Teton National Park:

Hotels & Lodges in Grand Teton National Park

The lodges in the park are stunning, but can be a little pricey. If you visit during shoulder season (spring or fall), you may be able to get a better deal. Use this link to book your lodge experience!

  • Jackson Lake Lodge – this lodge has one of the most beautiful views of any park lodge I’ve ever seen and would be my choice as far as luxury hotels in Grand Teton National Park!
  • Jenny Lake Lodge
  • Colter Bay Village
  • Headwaters Lodge
Campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park

We camped at the Colter Bay Campground. This was a great campground that was nearby to several facilities including a restaurant, a grocery store, the beach, and was just a short drive to the Jackson Lake Lodge. Because it’s up towards the North side of the park it is one of the best place to stay near Yellowstone and Grand Teton if you plan on visiting both.

NOTE: all campgrounds are by reservation only. Campgrounds open up six months in advance, reserve here.

  • Jenny Lake
  • Lizard Creek
  • Signal Mountain
  • Colter Bay Campground, Tent Village, and RV Park (3 separate campgrounds)
  • Gros Ventre
  • Headwaters Campground at Flagg Ranch

Tetons Vacation Rentals

If you’re traveling with a group, you will definitely want to check out this STUNNING home with incredible views of the Tetons through the large windows. Staying here would make for an unforgettable experience. See the property here!

Looking for something more modest and budget friendly? This townhome also has beautiful views of the mountains as well as access to a pool and hot tub. Check out the home here!

Things to do in the Grand Tetons with Kids:

Easy Hikes Grand Teton National Park

*If you are new to hiking with your little one, check out our favorite front pack and hiking backpack carrier!

1. Jackson Lake Overlook

Distance: 2.5 miles roundtrip
The Jackson Lake Overlook is one of the easy hikes in Grand Teton National Park with beautiful views of the Teton Mountains. Also very close to the Colter Bay Campground if you’re staying there. If you’re staying in the area, it would be a good hike to do on the first day of your trip!

2. Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point

Distance: ~6.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation: ~1000 ft of elevation

This is a great hike and one of the best family hikes in Jackson Hole and the best Grand Teton hikes in general. If you want to shorten your hiking distance and still make it to both Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, you can take the ferry across Jenny Lake. This would shorten your hike to only about 1.8 miles roundtrip with 400 ft of elevation.

NOTE: There is a steep part of the hike with a significant drop off on the hike up to Inspiration Point. Be very careful if you have mobile little ones that aren’t in your pack! The drop off at the top of Inspiration Point is also very high (both pictured below).

ANOTHER NOTE: Make sure to hike with bear spray. We came up on a black bear with a cub and were way too close for comfort by the time we saw them. It is a good idea to carry bear spray on any of the hikes you do in this park.

3. Lunch Tree Hill

Distance: 0.5 miles
Elevation: Relatively flat

Lunch Tree Hill is an interpretive trail where you can see a beautiful view of the Tetons, interesting foliage, and read some of the signs about the history of the park. This is a great spot to bring your binoculars, we saw some elk in the meadow in front of the mountains. This spot is called Lunch Tree Hill because Horace Albright, the Yellowstone National Park Superintendent was concerned about the development of the Grand Tetons area and he met with John D. Rockefeller, Jr in the area. He then fell in love with the view and later vowed to protect this beautiful place!

lunch tree hill view of grand teton mountain range
4. Swan Lake and Heron Pond Trail (optional extension to Hermitage Point)

Distance: 3.1 mile loop
Elevation: 320 feet of elevation

Less epic views than some of the other trails mentioned, but this is a nice quiet trail through the trees.

TIP: If you want to further extend your hike you can continue on to Hermitage Point which makes this a 9 mile, 930 feet of elevation hike. This further part of the trail is much less kid friendly and ends at the point which provides lake access. However, it is very rocky and would not be easy for kids to navigate.

view of teton mountain range from heron pond

Other things to do in the Grand Tetons with kids:

Drive the 42 mile scenic loop drive

There are several stops along this beautiful 42 mile scenic loop and I would highly recommend doing this if you have time. To avoid crowds and get some of the best views, plan to arrive early in the morning or at dusk. You’ll also have a better chance of viewing wildlife at those times of day. Our favorite stops along this Grand Teton scenic drive are listed below!

*Moulton Barns on Mormon Row
*Schwabacher Landing
*Snake River Overlook
*Oxbow Bend
*Signal Mountain Lodge

There are many more places you can stop along this beautiful drive, so be on the lookout for signs, stop when you see something exciting, and enjoy the adventure!

Watch Sunset at Oxbow Bend

One of my favorite sunset Grand Teton spots is Oxbow Bend (it’s also a great sunrise Grand Teton spots!) It is one of the best places in the park to watch wildlife as well. We parked our truck along the side of the road, and set up our camp chairs in the back to enjoy the view. While we weren’t lucky enough to see any wildlife, it was one of my favorite sunsets I’ve ever seen and one of the best views in Grand Teton National Park!

sunset at oxbow bend grand teton national park
Explore the Town of Jackson

We didn’t spend a ton of time in Jackson because we were excited to start exploring the park. However, there are endless family friendly activities around Jackson if you want to spend more time in this area. In case you’re wondering what’s the difference between Jackson and Jackson Hole? Jackson is the name of this town and Jackson Hole encompasses the whole Valley including many different towns!

  • Get your souvenir fix at some of the local shops including the Jackson Hole Mercantile
  • Browse the incredible selection of art galleries in town (my favorite is Mountain Trails Gallery)
  • Take a picture under the iconic Jackson Hole Antler Arch, located in the downtown square
  • Eat ice cream at Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream
antler arch jackson wyoming
Get drinks and watch sunset at the Jackson Lake Lodge

The Jackson Lake Lodge is absolutely stunning. The view is one of the best of any of the park lodges and it is an amazing place to watch sunset. Inside the lodge is the Blue Heron Lounge where you can order drinks and sit on the deck watching the sunset. This was one of my favorite experiences of the entire trip. If you can’t make it work to watch sunset here, definitely take the time to go see the lodge.

TIP: Bring your binoculars! Especially in the mornings or evenings you can see animals from a distance while on the deck of the lodge.

Take a scenic boat ride around Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake offers round trip or one-way options for shuttle boat rides as I mentioned because it will cut about 2 miles off your hike each way to Hidden Falls or Inspiration Point. Check here for current prices and availability. Scenic cruises are also available here! And if a kayak or canoe is more your style they have those available for rent as well. You can also make a stop at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center for souvenirs or a passport stamp.

Enjoy the sunshine at Colter Bay Beach

We set up for an afternoon at one of the picnic tables where we played cards and enjoyed the sun. This beach is very rocky so it wasn’t the best beach for swimming, but there were still many kids in the water. We love this big beach towel for beach days or this packable beach blanket.

colter bay beach grand teton national park

Where to eat and drink near the Grand Tetons:

Snake River Brewing Company – if you’re visiting in the summer, I would recommend trying to get a seat outside. It is a great place for kids to run around. Starting your trip with some local beer is never a bad idea!

Dornan’s Pizza and Pasta Company – views of the Tetons and kid friendly meal options.

Jackson Lake Lodge – Restaurants are available here including the mural room, and the Blue Heron Lounge. The Blue Heron Lounge has tasty drinks with a view!

Nothing beats a good campfire meal! We had a lot of these while visiting this park.

Overall thoughts on the Grand Tetons with kids:

I absolutely loved visiting the Grand Tetons, and I think it is a great place to travel with kids. I love that it is a less crowded park than Yellowstone, but still offers tons of incredible outdoor activities, wildlife, and amazing views. We will definitely be back to visit again!

Must see: Jackson Lake Lodge, Sunset at Oxbow Bend
Would skip: Swan Lake and Heron Pond Trail, this is a great trail just to get out in nature, but has less views than some of the other options
Next time: I would love to do one of the longer hikes when the kids get older, it’s also a bucket list item for me to stay the night in the Jackson Lake Lodge!

Want help planning your itinerary? Here is our One, Two, or Three Day Itinerary for Grand Teton National Park with Kids!

family with baby in front of hidden falls grand teton national park

Looking to travel more within the United States with your kids? Click the links below to check out some of our other posts.

Visiting Yellowstone National Park on this trip also? Here are some of our favorite things to do with kids in Yellowstone!

Happy travels!

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