After a therapeutic snowshoe trek out to Taggart Lake, we decided it was time to explore some of the gorgeous surrounding wilderness with a one-day Grand Teton road trip. This impromptu driving adventure turned out to be the most wildlife rich day of our 4 days in Jackson Hole, blessing us with amazing shots of river otters, pronghorn antelope, fully-grown hawks, a baby bald eagle and our one-and-only moose.
If you’re looking for a picturesque road trip that offers a diverse mix of wildlife outside of Jackson Hole, then hop in the driver’s seat and enjoy the highlights from this incredible Grand Teton road trip. It’s 120 miles total, so you can knock it out in a half day, or do what we did: take your time and stretch it to 6-8 hours.
Our advice: pack a cooler full of food for the day, bring some blankets, fold-up chairs, binoculars and plenty of memory cards for your cameras, and make a day of it. You could easily spend half a day just relaxing in Oxbow Bend—our favorite stop along the way, and possibly one of the most picture-perfect corners of the USA.
Grand Teton road trip itinerary
The famous antler arches of Jackson Town Square mark the beginning of this Grand Teton road trip. From here, it’s about 60 miles to the Yellowstone South Entrance.
Before your trip, check road conditions here.
Main stops, south to north
- Moose Junction
- Teton Point Turnout
- Oxbow Bend
- Willow Flats Overlook
- Colter Bay Village
- Jackson Lake Overlook
- Flagg Ranch
- Yellowstone South Entrance
travelhelix tip: Oxbow Bend was the undisputed highlight of the day. If your time is limited, stop here, soak it all in, and then head south again. This will cut your road trip down to 70 miles roundtrip (vs. 120 miles roundtrip for the complete route).
Accommodation along the way
There are several places to stay along this beautiful stretch of wilderness, from Jenny Lake all the way up to Flagg Ranch. Be sure to check opening and closing dates if you want to stay in any of these areas. During our visit in mid-April, all of them were closed.
Search all Jackson Hole accommodation here
Highlights of our Grand Teton road trip
Here are some visual highlights of this unforgettable Grand Teton road trip.
Fittingly, Moose Junction was home to our one-and-only moose sighting! We happened to catch a glimpse of this dark figure while driving along the 191, and immediately pulled over. He/she was over 100 yards away, and we weren’t 100% sure it was a moose at the time.
Post-production, we feel fairly confident in confirming: we have a moose.
Teton Point Turnout
Consider this an optional stop along the way. Nice view of the Tetons, but if your time is limited, skip it and keep driving.
The undisputed highlight of the day, filled with wildlife. We stopped here for 30 minutes on the way up and another 30 minutes on the way back.
In hindsight, we could have spent all day soaking in the sights & sounds around this serene corner of the Snake River.
Colter Bay Village
Colter Bay is a hotspot that’s full of activity in the summer. In mid-April—somehow charmingly—it felt like a snow-filled ghost town.
Yellowstone South Entrance
We made it! And this time of year, we literally cannot go any further. Time to turn around and begin heading south toward Jackson Hole.
Jackson Lake Overlook
About 20 minutes south of the Yellowstone South Entrance, we pulled over on the side of the road to capture this incredible scene: a thick blanket of white covering Jackson Lake, with those majestic Tetons in the background. Simply gorgeous.
Willow Flats Overlook
Oxbow Bend was the overall wildlife highlight of the day, but nearby Willow Flats Overlook comes in a close second, thanks to some surreal hawks circling overhead.
Somewhere between Moose Junction & Jackson Hole
In much the same fashion that we found our moose friend, a quick pull-over to the side of the road blessed us with our first and only pronghorn antelope encounter!
Where to re-fuel after a long day
That night would be our last in Jackson Hole, and for dinner, we managed to save the best for last. The house-pulled mozzarella and melt-off-the-bone short ribs at Bin22 offered a mouthwatering ending to a gorgeous day.
Check out our guide to eating in Jackson Hole during the offseason for some other great dining options after your own Grand Teton road trip.