Today we present a sample itinerary for a full week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The itinerary assumes you start and finish in Salt Lake City, but you can easily adjust it according to your needs.
- Day 1: Arrive to GTNP, Moose Junction, Moulton Barns, Jackson Lodge, Phelps Lake, Oxbow Bend
- Day 2: Day Trip – Jenny Lake, Cascade Canyon , Paintbrush Divide
- Day 3: Travel to Yellowstone, Old Faithfull, Geyser Basins, Firehole Drive, Madison River
- Day 4: Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces, Boiling River, Backcountry camping
- Day 5: Lamar Valley, Tower Falls, Canyon Village
- Day 6: Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Kayaking in Tetons
- Day 7: Jackson Hole, Whitewater rafting
Day 1: Arrive to GTNP, Moose Junction, Burns, Oxbow Bend, Lodge, Phelps Lake
It was already afternoon so we decided to find a camping spot. We got one of the last 10 available at Colter Bay. After setting up the tent we decided to do more sightseeing. First, we visited the Jackson Lake Lodge – one of the oldest hotels in the area with the spectacular view at Tetons:
Next, we drove the Teton Park Road for even better views at the mountains. We stopped at Leigh Lake for an afternoon relax. We also had our first wildlife encounter:
On our way back we met a Moose family at the… Moose Wilson road (who would expect? ;)):
- Ticket is 50$ / person / week and it’s valid for both parks. With the ticket you get a detailed park map.
Day 2 – Grand Teton day trip
On the next day we woke up very early and drove to Jenny Lake. On our way there we had again marvelous views at Tetons.
After reserving a camping spot at the Jenny Lake campground we took one of the first boats to the other side of the lake. It was the beginning of our very long day trip. From the boat landing we went up and reached the Inspiration Point after 20 minutes:
From there we went down through the Paintbrush Canyon, then along the Leigh Lake and finally along the Jenny Lake shore to reach the boat landing and go back to the campground with the last return boat.
It was a very exhausting trip and after a short swim in the Jenny Lake we fall asleep almost immediately. You can tell how tired we were by looking at the tent setup 😉
- Return ticket for Jenny Lake boat ride costs 15$. You can also choose the one way ride for 9$ and walk back along the lake shore.
Day 3 – Entering Yellowstone, Old Faithfull and Geyser Basins
Next day we drove north to the Yellowstone National Park. The plan for the rest of the week was to drive along the Grand Loop clockwise and see all major park attractions.
First stop on our way was the famous Old Faithful Geyser. It erupts every 1.5h and the water stream reaches 50m of height.
Some other geysers:
Driving further north, before reaching Madison, we recommend to take a de-tour and drive the Firehole Canyon Road. There is a spot where a cold river waters mix with warm geysers. In results you have a perfect spot for afternoon swim!
Day 4 – Norris, Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces, Boiling River, Backcountry camping
On next day we returned the same way to Yellowstone park and drove to the Artists Point:
On our way we met a stubborn bison, who didn’t want to move from the road and caused some traffic jams:
Also, we saw some new colors:
And a lot of interesting fauna:
We liked Canary Spring most because of its contrasting colors:
After a quick bite (Bison Hot-Dog) we drove to boiling waters to relax in hot, geyser-powered river:
- Backcountry permit costs 3$
Day 5: Lamar Valley, Tower Falls, Canyon Village
Next day we woke up at sunrise:
The valley is often compared to Serengeti due to large amounts of wildlife you can encounter there. Bisons are literally everywhere:
We ended that that at another Backcountry camping, this time at less spectacular spot (4G4).
Day 6: Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Kayaking in Tetons
We stopped at the Mud Volcano to see some more Bisons:
- Outside of national park and inside of National Forrest you can camp for free pretty much everywhere with no permit.
After rafting we drove back to Slat Lack City, passing the Bear Lake on our way.
Here is a short video summarizing our trip:
It was an intense but fun week!