Tips for Visiting Grand Teton in October
October in Grand Teton: Are you thinking of visiting Grand Teton in October? October is a wonderful time to visit Grand Teton National Park.
October is one of the less busy months of the year to visit Grand Teton but I have included tips and tricks for visiting that will help you plan your trip.
In October, everything in Grand Teton is open. Every month is unique and different in the park so make sure to take advantage of the days.
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National Park Entrance Fees
To enter the National Parks, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or have a National Parks Pass also known as American the Beautiful Pass.
I purchased my first one in 2016 and it’s such a money-saver! Plus 10% of sale proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.
15 Things to do in Grand Teton in October
It’s time to kick back and enjoy some scenic roadside panoramas and overlooks. Grand Teton National Park offers spectacular views. There’s something new to see, from wildlife to stunning, dramatic mountain vistas around every turn.
If you visit October at Grand Teton and want to see animals, this is the place to go. Oxbow Bend is a picturesque overlook located between Jackson Lake Junction and Moran Junction. Mount Moran and the Snake River are likewise breathtakingly beautiful.
It is unquestionably the best place to watch wild wildlife such as moose, black bears, and river otters. Birders will be enthralled by the abundance of waterfowl and birds of prey.
It’s stunning when the light catches the ocean just right at sunset. The mountain’s near-perfect reflection in the river will captivate photographers.
Several Mormon families moved from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole in the 1890s, establishing homesteads in Grand Teton National Park. The National Register of Historic Places lists the now-defunct Mormon Row settlement.
The wooden barns with the Teton Range in the background are the area’s most recognizable view. Mormon Row is a renowned photographic and tourist destination.
The T.A. Moulton Barn and the John Moulton Barn are the two most popular sites here. They are named after the Moulton family who built them.
A visit to Grand Teton’s Mormon Row Historic District is a great way to start the day. The famous photo-famous barns and the gorgeous Tetons behind them are illuminated by the early morning glow shortly after sunrise.
Jenny Lake Scenic Drive
This quick drive around the Jenny Lake area is a fantastic detour off the 42-mile scenic drive and provides incredible vistas without the need to hike.
Jenny Lake Scenic Drive is a three-mile one-way road that begins at Teton Park Road. You’ll first come across Cathedral Group Turnout, which offers spectacular vistas of the Tetons’ tallest peaks.
Moreover, Jenny Lake Overlook is the pinnacle of the brief detour. Cascade Canyon and the beautiful Teton peaks are visible through a break in the trees.
You can also hike around Jenny Lake, String Lake, or Leigh Lake from the parking lot along this gorgeous drive if you want to get some exercise.
Taggart Lake Trail
Taggart Lake is a popular and simple hike in Grand Teton National Park. Don’t miss this trail if you’re searching for a shorter trip that’s perfect for families and low-impact hikers.
The hike begins at the Taggart Lake Trailhead, which is located immediately off Teton Park Road. Then, following Taggart Creek, you’ll gradually ascend through beautiful woodland. The calm creek adds to the tranquility of this section of the trip. In the fall, the aspens along the trail create lovely flashes of color.
Taggart Lake is reached after almost 2 kilometers on the path. Taggart Lake is the perfect location for a picnic lunch on the beach, with amazing views of the Tetons.
This trail can be hiked as an out-and-back or as a loop. On the way back to the trailhead, hiking in a counterclockwise loop provides new, breathtaking views.
Snake River Overlook
Head north on US-191 for about 20 miles until you reach the Snake River Overlook on the left side of the road.
When Ansel Adams captured the Teton Range with the Snake River winding through the forests, he made the Snake River Overlook famous. You can now admire the grandeur of these mountains by taking the same photo he did.
If you’re speeding, the overlook’s turnout is easy to miss because it’s on the highway. There are many other fun things to do in this area, so check out this itinerary if you want to do more.
The Cascade Canyon Trail is one of Grand Teton’s most popular hikes, and for good reason. It’s one of the most picturesque and quiet hikes in the country, with spectacular vistas of the Tetons, babbling Cascade Creek along the way, and wildflowers galore.
This hike begins at the Jenny Lake West Shore Boat Dock and requires transportation from the visitor center via the Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle. If you forego the boat shuttle, your hike will be 5 miles round trip.
You may climb to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point from the boat dock, with the latter offering spectacular views of Jenny Lake. The trail then descends into the canyon, passing through the Teton Range’s Cathedral Group.
The hike through Cascade Canyon is long but reasonable at a 9 km round trip. While there is some height gain, most of it is used to get to Inspiration Point. Following that, the climb is relatively moderate.
The Cascade Canyon hike provides plenty of opportunities to see wildlife such as moose, bears, and pika, thanks to the Cascade Creek that runs parallel to the trail.
The trail eventually comes to an end at the Cascade Canyon Forks. Continue hiking for another 5 km round trip to Lake Solitude if you want to continue. Cascade Canyon is an out-and-back trail, making it simple to turn around. About 2 kilometers past Inspiration Point are the best views.
If you’re visiting Grand Teton National Park in October for a week or longer, make sure to stop by Blacktail Ponds Overlook. Spectacular views of the beautiful mountains are available at sunrise and sunset. These are also the best times to watch the local wildlife.
The overlook, which is located east of the Snake River, provides views of all five of the park’s wildlife habitats. Look west to the mountains, where marmots and pikas live on the frequently snow-covered high peaks. Black bears roam just below the tree line, among the massive lodgepole pines and other forest tree species.
Look around the overlook to the meadows. Elk and bison frequently migrate in herds through this area, nibbling on meadows. The sagebrush areas nearby offer scrubbier vegetation that antelope prefer. Finally, beavers are drawn to river wetlands, marshy areas, and ponds. Moose frequently visit for water, which is fitting considering the name of the nearby community of Moose. Set up for a long period to quietly look for animals with binoculars and refreshments.
The contrasts and shadows of the mountain range to the west are complemented by the early morning sunlight streaming on the wooden planks and peaked roof of the old farm building. This is one of the world’s most photographed barns.
Grand Teton National Park charges an entrance fee. At Blacktail Ponds Overlook, a weekly pass makes it very simple to return each day to see the varied lighting on the mountains and see exciting wildlife activities.
The Lakeshore Trail offers spectacular views of the Teton Range and Jackson Lake while hiking along the water. This is a great spot to see wildlife and photograph Mount Moran with the Grand Teton in the background!
The Lakeshore Trail is great for a family hike because it is short and flat. You can branch off the trail in a few locations to have a private space on the lake.
Pets are also not allowed on this 2-mile round-trip walk. From the Moran Entrance Station, drive 9.5 miles north until you see the Colter Bay Village turnoff on your left. The trail begins behind the Visitor Center.
Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
The Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trail is one of Grand Teton National Park’s most popular hikes. This short yet steep trail offers spectacular views of Jenny Lake.
You can either take the Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle or hike an additional 2.4 miles each way from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center parking lot to the start of the hike. The shuttle here runs on a first-come, first-served basis and is well worth the 5 miles of hiking it saves. The hike is 2 miles roundtrip from the boat dock on Jenny Lake’s west side.
Furthermore, the Hidden Falls, a lovely cascade tucked into the mountainside, is the trail’s first stop. The trail climbs another 0.5 miles to Inspiration Point after passing by the waterfall. The gradient is high, with occasional dramatic drop-offs.
The views of Jenny Lake and the eastern side of Grand Teton National Park are spectacular from Inspiration Point.
42-Mile Scenic Drive
The 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive is one of the best ways to experience Grand Teton, National Park. This loop connects Highway 191 and Teton Park Road, passing through many of the park’s most popular sights.
Don’t miss these scenic stops along the scenic drive, such as the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Teton Glacier Turnout, Jenny Lake Overlook, Cathedral Group Turnout, Mountain View Turnout, Signal Mountain Summit Road, Willow Flats Overlook, Oxbow Bend, Elk Ranch Flats Turnout, Snake River Overlook, Teton Point Turnout, Glacier View Turnout, and Blacktail Ponds Overlook.
Since Teton Park Road is only available from May to October, this scenic journey is best experienced in the spring or early fall.
Teton Park Road
Teton Park Road winds around the base of the Teton Range, giving visitors a 360-degree vista of the park, including views of the Tetons, Menor’s Ferry Historic District, Snake River Overlook, and Jenny Lake. You’re likely to spot elk, moose, bison, and possibly even a bear or two.
Teton Park Road also has several pull-offs and viewpoints where you may stop and take in the scenery and perspectives. The gorgeous trail winds across large valleys and woodlands for about 20 miles, with numerous rising mountains and sparkling lakes flanking the way. While the Teton Range provides beautiful views the entire way, moose, bison, and bears can occasionally be seen in the pristine wilderness on either side.
Teton Park Road is accessible from the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center. Before getting in the car for the scenic drive, visitors need to stop inside the center to pick up a map of the route. Keep in mind that the road is only open from May to October, as heavy snow makes it impossible in the winter. The drive is accessible for free with park entry.
The Murie Ranch is located immediately south of the Moose-to-Wilson Road near the southern end of Grand Teton National Park. The complex is divided into three sections: main residential buildings; secondary guest cabins with outhouses; and utilitarian structures.
In 1990, the Olaus Murie residence and studio were added to the National Register of Historic Places due to their role in area conservation. The property listing was expanded in 1998 to include the adjacent buildings, which were originally part of the 1920s STS Dude Ranch but were later used as Adolph Murie’s home and office space, as housing and meeting space for the Wilderness Society Council’s annual meeting in 1953, and as seasonal housing for the students, friends, and writers who converged on the Murie Ranch throughout the late 1940s to 1960s.
Drive about 12 miles north of Jackson and turn left at Moose Junction toward Moose. At the four-way stop signs, turn left again into the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center parking area. Drive to the visitor center and park.
An instructive wayside exhibit and a walkway leading into the forest can be seen from the courtyard. To get to the Murie Ranch, walk 1/2-mile one way. Alternatively, continue west until you reach the Moose-Wilson Road intersection, turn left. Turn left after approximately a tenth of a mile onto an unpaved road that goes to the Murie Ranch.
It’s no surprise that this is one of the park’s most photographed locations. This tranquil and lovely setting is ideal for a morning photoshoot or a mid-afternoon picnic. The reflection of the mountain in the beaver ponds is the stuff of photographers’ dreams.
There is a little 1.8-mile hiking trail at Schwabacher’s Landing that is both easy and enjoyable. The trees open to provide a stunning picture of the Tetons and the river beneath. If you bring your fishing rod, the landing is also a great place for rafters and anglers to cast a line.
You might even see beavers, moose, ducks, and other photographers taking pictures of the mountains as you go. Despite the trail’s short length (about 2 miles one way), you may find yourself staying at Schwabacher Landing for longer than you anticipated merely to take in the view.
You can either walk from the parking lot to the river and take a picture or continue on the trail to see the Tetons from a different perspective.
Jackson Lake Lodge
The Jackson Lake Lodge is without a doubt one of America’s most magnificent national park lodges. This magnificent lodge, which was built in 1950, flawlessly blends picturesque vistas with a modern mountain ambiance.
The lodge’s biggest feature is its floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Jackson Lake and the Teton Range. Get a drink at the Blue Heron Lounge and take in the views from the front terrace or the seating area in front of the windows.
The Mural Room provides breathtaking views as well as a high-quality dining experience. If you wish to eat here, make reservations at least a month ahead of time.
In Grand Teton National Park, there are numerous opportunities to see wildlife. Grand Teton is home to approximately 60 mammal species and countless non-mammal species!
Grizzly bears, black bears, elk, pronghorn, moose, beavers, bald eagles, mule deer, and more can be found in the Grand Teton. The best part is that you don’t need to go into the woods to witness wildlife.
The best places to see wildlife in Grand Teton include Oxbow Bend, Cattleman’s Bridge, Moose-Wilson Road, Antelope Flat Roads, and many more.
The hour after sunrise or the hour before dusk is the best time to see wildlife. Wildlife comes out to feed in Grand Teton’s abundant rivers, creeks, and lakes throughout the dark and dawn hours.
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