This short but incredible road trip will take you through one of the most spectacular landscapes in America. You'll see incredible mountains, lakes, and natural areas that look like they're right out of a postcard on your way from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park.
The 80-mile road trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park will take about 2 hours to drive. Sights en route are Upper Mesa Falls, Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, Ashton, Oxbow Bend, Jackson Lake Dam, Jackson Lake Overlook, and Jenny Lake.Although this is a quick drive, the landscape will make you feel like you're in another world. Continue on below to learn more about our recommended routes, where to stay, and what to see and do along the way.
How far is Grand Teton National Park from Yellowstone, and how long will the road trip take?
|The Summer Route||80 miles||2 hours|
|The Winter Route||130 miles||2 hours 40 minutes|
The Winter Route is perfect for those driving in the winter and wanting to get the most out of the snowy landscape. This route takes winter road closures into account. You'll drive 130 miles in 2 hours and 40 minutes without stopping.
Of course, this drive is wonderful in the summer as well. The Summer Route is shorter, at 77 miles and 2 hours of driving time. This route takes you by the lakes and picturesque landscapes along the way.
Regardless of which route you choose, we recommend taking 1 to 2 days for this journey. Continue on below to learn more about our selected routes, where to stay, and what to see and do along the way.
Best road trip route from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park
The Winter Route is a short drive that's an ideal day or two-day trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park. You'll discover tons of viewpoints along the way, as well as the small rural community of Ashton in Idaho, where you can stay a night before continuing on your journey.
This route is an ideal journey for the winter, when you can count on the cleanliness of the roads and ensure optimal safety! In the summer and shoulder seasons, it makes for a fun drive as well.
The Summer Route is the shorter route, perfect for summer driving. It's not ideal for driving in the winter due to road conditions and the lakes being too cold for swimming.
This lake-to-lake route is perfect for a summer weekend road trip. There are several stopping points along the way, though you'll find the majority of attractions clustered around the beginning and end of the route.
Regardless, it's quite picturesque the whole way, so you'll be using your camera and taking plenty of picture breaks along the way.
The Winter Route
From Yellowstone National Park, head south on US-20. You'll pass some stunning mountain landscapes which feel like they're continuations of Yellowstone itself.
Continue on until the town of Ashton. Here, you'll enjoy the country charm and some nice restaurants before heading back on route. From Ashton, head back on the route. Continue on into Wyoming and into Grand Teton National Park.
The Summer Route
From Yellowstone Lake, head south through the mountainous terrain and windy valleys of southern Yellowstone National Park.
You'll cover plenty of picturesque scenery and wind your way through lakes, rivers, and mountains. Make a stop in Jackson Lake for a quick swim if it's warm enough.
Continue south along the lake shore. Keep on route until you get to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.
Best places to stop between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
Every though a short road trip, there's plenty to see and do on this short road trip. To make the most out of all the natural beauty, we've selected two places to stop along the way.
Explore the natural wonders of Yellowstone
Towards the beginning of the route is the stunning Yellowstone National Park. This truly is one of the most amazing natural landmarks in the United States.
Yellowstone is full of places to explore and since this is a short drive, why not stay here and make the most out of it? You'll see incredible wildlife and some of the world's most famous natural phenomena like the Old Faithful Geyser.
Once you're in Yellowstone, we recommend staying at the incredibly beautiful and relaxing Bentwood Inn. This highly-rated hotel is full of charming furniture, wonderful amenities, friendly service, and private fireplaces.
You can live your mountain dreams in this cozy luxury hotel. What's more, you're only an hour's drive from Yellowstone National Park's main entrance.
Breakfast is included, and you're close to Wilson, where you can find great restaurants and bars. Guests love the hotel's proximity to the unbeatable natural surroundings most of all.
Soak up the views in Island Park
Island Park is the perfect stopover on the Winter Route. Here, you'll see incredible natural surroundings and unparalleled landscapes.
The area is known for its wildlife, with plenty of wildlife viewing throughout the year, even in winter. You'll find lots of vantage points to get incredible shots of the surrounding mountains and snow-covered forests.
Once you reach Island Park, we recommend staying at the beautiful Sawtelle Mountain Resort. You'll enjoy multiple lodging options, including cabins, suites, and comfortable hotel rooms with plenty of great amenities.
Guests love the friendly staff and hospitality of the hotel and many people choose to come back yearly. You'll feel right at home and taken care of.
You can enjoy the BBQ and volleyball net and horseshoe pits which are fun for the whole family. Just a short drive away is the fun Playmill Theater and Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, which make perfect stops in between.
On-site, there's a fantastic restaurant and lounge featuring American cuisine, cocktails, and local beers. To relax even more, enjoy the indoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna. There's even a fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment so you can recharge before completing your drive the next day.
The hotel is equipped with outdoor fire pits and picnic areas, and on-site parking. If you are traveling with a furry friend, no problem. It has pet-friendly accommodations with designated pet-friendly rooms available upon request.
Where to stay once you reach Grand Teton National Park
Once you reach your destination of Grand Teton, we recommend staying at the beautiful and luxurious Cody. This fantastic and elegant hotel is full of mountain vibes and plenty of natural wonders surrounding it.
You'll love the spacious and comfortable guest rooms with mountain views. Inside, the hotel features plenty of amenities, comfortable furnishings and friendly staff ready to help you get the most out of your visit.
The hotel has a wonderful restaurant featuring farm-to-table cuisine, cocktails, and local beers. There's also an indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment so you can relax in style and prepare for your trek into the wilderness.
There's an outdoor patio with a fire pit and seating area, and on-site parking. Another added bonus is the pet-friendly accommodation with designated pet-friendly rooms available upon request.
If you're on business between spending time in the great outdoors, take advantage of the business center and meeting rooms for business and events. If you need, the hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle service so you can get to where you need to go quickly and hassle-free.
Things to see on a road trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park
There's a lot to see and do along both routes. Below are our top highlights to experience along the way so you can get the most out of this one-of-a-kind of mountain adventure.
The Winter Route
- West Thumb Geyser Basin - A beautiful thermal area that has several geysers, hot springs, and pools, as well as a boardwalk for visitors to explore.
- Upper Mesa Falls - This waterfall is over 100 feet tall and can be viewed from a scenic overlook.
- Mesa Falls Scenic Byway - This drive offers stunning views of the Teton Mountain Range and the Snake River.
- Oxbow Bend - A popular spot for photography, this bend in the Snake River offers gorgeous views of the Teton Range.
- Signal Mountain Summit Road - This drive leads to a summit with panoramic views of the Teton Range and Jackson Hole Valley.
- Jackson Lake Overlook - This viewpoint offers stunning views of the lake and the Teton Range.
The Summer Route
- Jackson Lake Dam - Explore this dam on the Snake River, which offers views of the Teton Range and is a popular spot for photography.
- Jackson Lake Overlook - Take in this viewpoint that offers stunning views of Jackson Lake and the Teton Range.
- Colter Bay Village - This village offers a range of amenities for visitors, including lodging, dining, and shopping.
- Jenny Lake - A glacial lake offering stunning views of the Teton Range. Jenny Lake is a popular spot for hiking and boating.
- Hidden Falls - This waterfall can be accessed via a hiking trail from Jenny Lake and offers stunning views of the Teton Range.
Best time to go on a road trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park
You can visit Grand Teton Park any time of year, though be aware that during the wintertime it can be quite cold and parts of the park may be closed. No matter when you visit, the landscape will be filled with natural beauty and scenic views that will stick with you for a lifetime.
Summer is the busiest season in Grand Teton National Park, with peak visitation in July and August. Temperatures range from 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit, with occasional thunderstorms and rain showers.
Visitors should book accommodation in advance in summer, as lodging and camping can fill up quickly. The park's scenic drives, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities are all accessible during the summer months.
The Teton Photography Symposium takes place in June and features workshops and seminars on landscape photography. Later in the summer, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival takes place in September and celebrates the arts and culture of the region.
Winter is the off-season for Grand Teton National Park, with fewer visitors and colder temperatures ranging from 0 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Some facilities, including campgrounds and visitor centers, may be closed during this season.
The winter months offer opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing, and visitors should come prepared with appropriate gear. An added bonus is the fewer crowds and spectacular snowcapped mountain views.
Spring and fall offer mild weather and fewer crowds in Grand Teton National Park. Temperatures in the spring range from 20 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while fall temperatures range from 30 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
These seasons offer great opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and fall foliage. Visitors should be prepared for sudden weather changes and should check the park's website for any road closures or construction.
The Annual Elk Antler Auction, which features the sale of antlers shed by elk in the park, takes place in May. Visitors love staying for this one of a kind experience.