Grand Teton is one of the most iconic of the U.S. National Parks, and has amazing mountain views in almost every foot of the 310,000 acres. Grand Teton has an awesome variety of forest, lake, and river habitats that are home to an equally large variety of animal species. Elk, moose, bear, wolves, deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and many other species are commonly seen in the park. We saw so many of them, they were jumping for joy to see us visiting the park! 🙂
The park has more than 200 miles of hiking trails, ranging from very easy to very strenuous. We hiked a couple of the moderate hikes, but they were very rewarding in terms of scenery and wildlife. Our favorite was the Taggart Lake/Bradley Lake/Valley Trail combo. Taggart Lake Trail is a moderate loop trail that winds around for 3.8 miles from a trail head a little more than 2 miles North of Moose Junction. This trail has spectacular views of the Tetons from the very beginning, and great views of the mountains beyond Taggart Lake at the halfway point.
If you take Taggart Lake trail to the right (East), about the 1.1 mile marker you’ll find a trail junction to the right that leads to Bradley Lake. Bradley Lake is the smallest of the glacially carved lakes in the valley, but is tucked up closer to the mountains. It also has the benefit of being a slightly less traveled trail, so you may be lucky enough to have it largely to yourselves like we did. The angle and proximity of Bradley to the mountains makes for even more amazing views from this trail.
The scenery and wildlife along the trail are great, even if the views weren’t so incredible. The trails wind through several different types of forest from thick pines, to Aspen glades, to high desert scrub.
The park and it’s trails are a short ten minute drive from the fun town of Jackson, WY. Jackson is a very well rounded mountain town, and has all the restaurants, breweries, shopping, and entertainment options you might need after a great visit to Grand Teton. Jackson is very pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and has marked bike trails throughout town and all the way to the park.
Jackson is also a great launching area for Yellowstone National Park, which is only another ten minute drive North of Grand Teton NP. Jackson, WY and Grand Teton National Park are great choices for some great hiking, biking, and world class sightseeing.