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Grand Teton Itinerary Help

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Grand Teton Itinerary Help

We are planning a round trip family (two adults, 14yo & 6yo) road trip in late July this year, and will have one full day in Grand Teton National Park. The night before where we'll overnight at an out-of-park hotel/lodge, we haven't made reservations yet.

Below is a list of things we want to do with our time in GTNP:

OxBow or Schwalbacker at sunrise

Visitor Center

Jenny Lake-boat across

Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point Hike

Chapel of the Transfiguration Hike

After leaving GTNP we’ll head toward Yellowstone and want to stop at Moose & Lewis Falls before making it to Grant Village for our overnight. We’ll be eating out of the cooler/backpack for at least lunch, but not sure about dinner.

Which visitor center(s) would you suggest we visit?

What other sights/activities should we plan for the day and in what order?

Should we overnight the night before in Jackson or Moran, or any other place outside of the park?

Any suggestions for dinner enroute to Grant village?

What time would we need to leave GTNP to get to Grant Village by about 9:00pm/sunset?

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

Hello,

I'd recommend staying in Jackson. There is no lodging in Moose. The ideal would be to stay inside Grand Teton Park considering you only have one day here. That would allow you to easily get to Oxbow for the sunrise. Is there a reason you want to stay outside of the park? If you elect to stay in Jackson, and still want to get that sunrise shot, then Schwabacher's would the better alternative. Otherwise, for Oxbow, you'd be driving to the north end of the park at dawn (not the greatest time to be on the road for a long distance), only to drive South to accomplish your other activities, and then drive north again to exit to Yellowstone.

After sunrise, I'd head to the Jenny Lake for your boat ride and hike to Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point. That parking lot gets crowded, so its good to try to get there early. I would allow 3-4 hours for this activity.

Further South back a the Moose Entrance you'll find the Chapel of the Transfiguration & the Craig Thomas Visitor Center. Can you do this the night before? That would help make your road trip flow in a more logical pattern. The other visitor center is on the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, but this is further south on Moose-Wilson road in another area of the park that gets crowded and fills up quickly. I don't know if you would have time for this. The main focus of this area imho is a lovely hike to Phelps Lake. The Visitor Center is nice, but not as interactive or educational as the one in Moose.

It will take you over an hour and 45 minutes to get to Grant Village from the N entrance of GTNP, barring any stops on the way. You'll need to add an additional 45 minutes to that if you are in the southern portion of the park.

Your options for dinner will either be in Grand Teton Park (Dornans, Signal Mountain Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, Colter Bay or Leeks Pizza in order of places traveling S to N), halfway between at the Headwaters Lodge (I do not know anything about their food) , or a late dinner at Grant. I'd probably recommend Jackson Lake Lodge so you can take in some scenery from the back deck or Leeks since it will be the furthest north.

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Oklahoma City...
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2. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

Leeks pizza was one of our favorite places to eat a few years ago!

I would try to stay in the park if you find accommodations -- type & budget -- that work!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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3. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

BlueBirdDay thank you for your generous and informative help.

The main reason for staying outside the park was based upon the cost of lodging inside the park and the fact that it may be very close to sunset when we arrive in the area. We're driving from Tulsa, leaving Thursday about 2pm, with an overnight in the car at a TA-or similar- somewhere near Denver then making the 8 to 9 hour trek to the Jackson area. If we can manage to get into the area earlier we are certainly open to seeing some of the attractions that evening. We are also open to staying in park if we can find lodging that won't break the bank. I see that Jackson Lake Lodge has availability for $259/nt, which is doable. There are also lodging options available in Moran for less.

So if we stay near Moran or at Jackson Lake Lodge...

On our way to our overnight stay, time permiting, Craig Thomas Visitor Center, Chapel of the Transfiguration, Mormon Row, Antelope Flats & Shawbachler with stops at Glacier View & Teton Point Lookouts. How much time should we allow once entering the park to make it to Moran lodging? If we really push it to get to the area it would be about 3pm at the earliest. Is there something I would need to drop from the this itinerary to make it to our lodging before dark? Or anything I should add?

Day of, Oxbow at twilight/sunrise, Jenny Lake shuttle boat, Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point hike, & Chapel of the Sacred Heart, early dinner at Jackson Lake Lodge leaving no later than 5pm toward Grant Village with planned stops at Moose & Lewis Falls. If Moose & Lewis Falls are not that impressive then I am open to skipping them.

We may also have some time in the morning of the start of our two day journey back to Tulsa. I don't yet have loding for my last two nights.

Lodging:

July 17th - TA or similar near Denver

July 18th - North area of GTNP

July 19th - Grant

July 20th - Mammoth

July 21st - Lake (may trade this for a night in W. Yellowstone want to do Saddle & Paddle via Yellowstone Montana Guides-only outfitter that allows my 6yo, one week shy of 7, that I've found)

July 22nd-23rd - OF (will keep trying to swap these days for the24th & 25th and hope to book Roosevelt, Canyon or Lake 22nd-23rd)

July 24th-25th - no lodging yet but hope to book OF-under $200 for one night, maybe a night in W.Yellostone to take a Saddle & Paddle outing and possibly the last night in Grant or Grand Teton

July 26th - TA as close to Denver as possible

July 27th - Home Sweet Home

I don't like all the moving around but since I'm planning late in the game I have to take what I can get at this point.

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4. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

I'll just add one thing about sunrise if you end up staying outside the park. I'm not sure of the status of the road, but last year the road/parking at Schwbacher Landing was closed. To be there for sunrise would require walking in the dark and the rangers recommend bear spray. If you want to stick to sunrise in the southern end of the park, you can try Mormon Row or even Jenny Lake. If you did Mormon Row you could stop at Schwabacher Landing afterwards when there is more light (you can still see mtn reflections during the day in the beaver ponds).

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5. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

Just for clarification - my comment on the lack of Moose Lodging was incorrect. First of all, I meant to say there is no lodging in Moran outside of the park, but that is incorrect too lol. Moran goes further north than just N entrance station for GTNP - it includes areas of Buffalo Valley and Togwotee Pass. Sometimes the line blurs (in my fuzzy head lol) between this area and Dubois. Anyway, I digress. That would not be a bad place for lodging, but I'd still elect to stay in the park. You can also check out Signal Mountain Lodge or cabins at Colter Bay. There is lodging in Moose at Dornans which might be a really good choice for you given your first day/evening activities. http://dornans.com/cabins/

if you stick to the outside park road, it takes a little under an hour to get to Moran above the park entrance (from Jackson), but you'll have to factor in the stops, so I'd add another 2.5- 3 hours on top of this. If sunset is at 9:00, and you get there at 3:00, you should be fine.

Edited: 06 March 2014, 23:58
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
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6. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

1of5, thank you for the tip on Leeks, afterall, pizza and beer is one of my favorite meals.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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7. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

pudgy_groundhog, thank you for the road closure info. I'll make sure to note any road closures before we head out on our trip.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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8. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

BueBird, again thank you for the useful information. The Wyoming, especially GTNP & YNP DEs, group has been very help and friendly.

I checked on Spur, unfortunately there isn't any availability for July 18th. Spur would have been ideal because I could have bought a bottle of wine, or maybe two, and sipped on it/them all evening. LOL. I'll keep chekcing back though.

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Wyoming
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9. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

The drive from Denver to northern part of GTNP will be more like a 10 hour or more drive. Do not drive in the park at night. I would opt for staying in Jackson Hole if you are going to be late arriving.

We have made the Denver to Jackson Hole/GTNP/YNP drive multiple times.

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10. Re: Grand Teton Itinerary Help

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