Often overshadowed by next-door Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park offers a whole new world of adventure, just 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of its more famous sibling. Protecting some of the most iconic peaks on the continent, this park is a land of sparkling lakes, alpine meadows, 200-plus miles (320-plus kilometers) of hiking trails, a crystal-clear river, scores of wildlife habitats, and more. If the kids don’t find something to attract their attention, they must be asleep.
You’ll have much to do, too, whether this is your first time ever or just your first time with the kids. With three days to explore, you’ll get a good taste of this wild world—here’s what to do.
Trails can have snow through June, so come prepared.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Jenny Lake for its visitor center, picnic area, overlooks, and trails.
Rugged Grand Teton National Park is a fraction of Yellowstone's size, but there's still much to do. Start at Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center for exhibits, a short film, and ranger talks. Pack a picnic or stop at Dornan’s Chuckwagon for pizza, salads, sandwiches, and ice cream.
Start with an early-morning wildlife appointment. Grizzly and black bears, bison, moose, elk, and pronghorn wake up early to munch through the meadows. The earlier you arrive, the fewer people you'll encounter. Hop on a wildlife safari tour, or head to the Oxbow Bend Turnout or Antelope Flats Road to try your luck.
On your final day, you have options. There's the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) hike around Moose Ponds, from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. There's the famous homestead barns along Mormon Row, framed against the Tetons. There's a horseback ride across the Bridger-Teton National Forest, or, having an e-bike delivered.
If you’re visiting closer to winter, don't miss the National Elk Refuge. As temperatures cool, Teton’s resident elk herd moves to the meadows. See them on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Moose, bison, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, and more also hang out here in winter.