Grand Teton to Yellowstone: The Best 7-Day Road Trip Itinerary

Grand Tetons reflected in the lake in Grand Teton National Park

Are you planning a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton but aren’t sure where to start?

From dramatic, jagged mountain peaks to unique, jaw-dropping geothermal pools and geysers, Yellowstone and Grand Teton are two of the most visited and scenic national parks in the United States. There is so much to see and do, from hikes to scenic drives between these two epic parks. 

This itinerary covers the ultimate way to spend seven days on a road trip from Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park.

You’ll also find tips on when to visit, how many days you need, where to stay, getting around, and more!

Let’s start planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

Are you looking for more ideas for your trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks? Check out these posts!

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Best Time to Visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone

Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton experience harsh, long winters with plenty of snow and freezing temperatures. Due to the short tourism season, summer tends to be incredibly crowded, particularly in July and August.

The best time to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton is from mid-June to early October. However, consider visiting in June or September to early October to avoid crowds.

Visiting during this season ensures all park roads in Yellowstone and Grand Teton are open during your trip. Typically, Yellowstone and Grand Teton park roads close in late October and re-open in mid-May.

Read More: Best Time to Visit Yellowstone

Yellowstone River winds through a golden brown meadow during Fall in Yellowstone
Fall in Yellowstone National Park

How Many Days Do You Need for This Yellowstone and Grand Teton Itinerary?

If you’re looking to explore Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park at a comfortable pace, seven days is the perfect amount of time! A week allows you to see the highlights of each park without feeling too rushed.

This itinerary breaks those seven days into four days in Yellowstone National Park and three days in Grand Teton National Park. 

If you have less time for your Grand Teton to Yellowstone road trip, the minimum amount of time you’ll need is 4 to 5 days. This amount of time gives you one to two days in each park and a half-day for travel at each end of your trip.

I’m sharing some ideas for altering this 7-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton itinerary at the end of this post if you have more time!

How to Get to Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton are located in northwestern Wyoming. The best way to get to these national parks is by flying unless you live within driving distance.

The closest airports to Yellowstone and Grand Teton are:

  • Yellowstone Airport (WYS) – 5 Minutes to the West Entrance of Yellowstone
  • Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) – Located inside Grand Teton National Park
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – 5 Hours to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone

You can read more about the pros and cons of each airport for flying into Yellowstone here.

If you choose to fly into Salt Lake City, you’ll save money versus the regional airports in Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. It also makes for a fantastic road trip.

Check out this post on the best Salt Lake City to Yellowstone road trip itinerary if you’re looking for ideas.

Once you arrive at the parks, the best way to get around is by car. Unlike other parks, Yosemite and Grand Teton do not offer shuttles.

I like to use Skyscanner to compare flight prices to multiple airports and find the best price. Once you find the perfect flight itinerary for you, Skyscanner redirects you to book with the airline directly, so you don’t miss out on any frequent flyer points! Search flights on Skyscanner now.

You’ll also need a rental car to get to and around the park if you’re flying. I like to use to Rentalcars.com find the best deals on rental cars. It allows you to search across multiple rental companies to find the lowest price. You’ll find all the major retailers like Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise, plus budget companies like Budget, Sixt, Dollar, Thrifty, and more. Search rental car prices with Rentalcars.com now.

Where to Stay When Visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton

For your road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, you have several options when choosing where to stay, including both lodges inside the park and hotels and Airbnbs nearby.

Generally, staying inside the parks will save you driving time each day, particularly in Yellowstone National Park. In addition, with a large selection of lodges inside the park, you can find somewhere for your trip if you book early enough.

Plan to book roughly a year in advance for lodges inside the parks. I recommend booking as soon as reservations are available for campgrounds, usually 6 to 12 months in advance. For hotels outside the park, plan to book around 3 to 6 months in advance for the best selection.

Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn from a distance
Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone

Where to Stay When Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has nine lodges inside the national park, plus plenty of hotels and Airbnbs nearby. However, finding the perfect place to stay for your time in Yellowstone can seem overwhelming. So I’ve put together this narrowed-down list of the best places to stay in Yellowstone

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide, check out these posts:

Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park
12 Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone
Best Airbnbs Near Yellowstone and Grand Teton

  • Old Faithful Inn, located inside Yellowstone, is a luxury hotel walking distance to Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
  • Old Faithful Lodge & Cabins, located inside Yellowstone, is a more budget-friendly lodge walking distance to Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
  • Canyon Lodge & Cabins, located inside Yellowstone, is a community of hotels and small cabins a short drive from Hayden Valley and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • The Evergreen, a mountain-inspired lodge with 17 guest rooms in the heart of West Yellowstone
  • Explorer Cabins, resort-style cabins with 50 guest rooms and an indoor pool, perfect for families located in West Yellowstone
  • 1872 Inn, an updated adults-only hotel with 18 guest rooms only minutes to the park entrance in West Yellowstone
Sofa in front of large windows with a view of the Tetons in Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton
Jackson Lake Lodge; Source: Grand Teton Lodging Company

Where to Stay When Visiting Grand Teton National Park

While there are 5+ lodges inside Grand Teton National Park and numerous hotels in nearby Jackson, Wyoming, these are my top picks for where to stay during your time in Grand Teton:

  • Jackson Lake Lodge, located inside Grand Teton, is one of the most spectacular national park lodges with jaw-dropping views of the Tetons, an excellent cocktail bar, and several restaurants.
  • Headwaters Lodge and Cabins at Flagg Ranch, located inside Grand Teton, is a rustic mountain lodge with a restaurant located in the far northern part of Grand Teton along John D. Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway. Headwaters Lodge is the perfect place to stay between Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
  • Colter Bay Village, located inside Grand Teton, is a community with budget-friendly log cabins and several restaurants, perfect for families exploring Grand Teton.
  • Fireside Resort has modern mountain cabins with kitchens in Wilson, WY, near Grand Teton.
  • The Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole is a mountain hotel with a restaurant near Jackson Town Square.

Read More: 35 Best Places to Stay in Grand Teton and 7 Best Campgrounds in Grand Teton

What to Pack for Your Yellowstone to Grand Teton Road Trip

Don’t forget to pack these essentials as you prepare for your trip!

  • America the Beautiful National Park Pass. You’ll need to pay entry to Grand Teton and Yellowstone on this road trip, totaling $70 per vehicle. If you’re planning on visiting one national park in the next 12 months, you’ll save money by getting a national park pass. Get your America the Beautiful Pass now for $80.
  • Binoculars. One of the best things to do in Yellowstone and Grand Teton is wildlife watching. A quality pair of binoculars helps you keep your distance from wildlife but still see the animals in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for an entry-level pair, I recommend this pair from Occer on Amazon. If you’re looking for a higher quality pair, I’ve invested in the Vortex Diamondback 10×32.
  • Layers. Even in the summer, overnight temperatures are often near freezing. Therefore, dressing in layers is critical. I recommend packing fleeces and down layers, plus a warm hat and gloves even when visiting in the summer!
  • Bear Spray. Yellowstone National Park is located in grizzly bears country. If you are doing any hikes or long strolls in the geyser basins, you should carry bear spray (like pepper spray for bears!). If you’re driving to Yellowstone, I recommend buying bear spray ahead of time. If you are flying to Yellowstone, you can buy it locally from any sporting goods store or rent it (you can’t fly with bear spray, even in a checked bag!).

Looking for more tips on what to pack for your trip? Check out my guides on the best hiking gear, what to pack for a road trip, and essential camping gear for all my favorite gear picks and tips to make packing for your trip a breeze!

The 7-Day Grand Teton and Yellowstone Itinerary

Now that you know all the necessary details for planning a road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, let’s get to the itinerary!

You’ll start your trip with four days in Yellowstone National Park and end with three days in Grand Teton National Park. You can easily swap the order of the parks depending on where you’re flying.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Yellowstone, Visit Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Day 2: Explore Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin, Sunset at Hayden Valley
  • Day 3: Visit Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Lamar Valley
  • Day 4: Explore Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and West Thumb Geyser Basin, Drive to Grand Teton
  • Day 5: See Mormon Row, Hike Taggart Lake, Drive 42 Mile Scenic Loop
  • Day 6: Explore the Jenny Lake area
  • Day 7: Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing, Head Home from Grand Teton

Are you planning a national park trip but don’t know where to start? Get my free 28-page national park ebook where I break down everything you need to know to visit all 63 USA national parks.

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Day 1: Arrive in Yellowstone and Visit Grand Prismatic Spring

You’ll start your road trip by flying into Yellowstone. The closest airport option is West Yellowstone, but Jackson Hole Airport is another good option. If you opt to fly into Salt Lake City instead, I highly recommend choosing a morning flight so you can arrive in Yellowstone by late afternoon.

With most of your first day taken up by travel, I recommend only planning one quick stop for your first day in America’s first national park.

Spend the late afternoon getting introduced to Yellowstone at the Midway Geyser Basin. This area is home to a popular Yellowstone attraction: Grand Prismatic Spring
There are two ways to see Grand Prismatic Spring: up-close via the accessible boardwalk trail or from above via the Fairy Falls Trail. 

Multi-colored rainbow hot springs - Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone
Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook

If you’re able to, I highly recommend opting to hike the 1.2-mile round trip trail to Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook. The vibrant colors are best seen from above and are brightest in the late afternoon in direct sunlight.

After visiting Grand Prismatic Spring, head to your accommodation in Yellowstone for the next few days. I recommend staying inside the park for convenience, either in Canyon Village or Old Faithful.

Read More: 22 Best Things to Do in Yellowstone

Day 2: Explore Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin

With your first full day in Yellowstone National Park, you’ll see the park’s main attraction: Old Faithful. While this famous geyser is neither the largest geyser nor the most regularly erupting geyser in the park, it is the most accessible predictable geyser in Yellowstone.

Start your day early at Old Faithful, which erupts every 1.5 hours. Check the geyser prediction schedule the night before to determine when to arrive. 

Early morning sunrise as Old Faithful erupts in Yellowstone
Old Faithful eruption

After catching the Old Faithful eruption from the viewing area, explore the rest of the Upper Geyser Basin. Don’t miss Grand Riverside Geyser, Chromatic Pool, and Morning Glory Pool! Finally, end your time here by walking through the Old Faithful Inn and the Yellowstone National Park Visitor Center.

Yellow and green hot spring, Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone
Morning Glory Pool in the Upper Geyser Basin

In the afternoon, stop at the nearby Biscuit Basin. This lesser-visited geyser basin is often overshadowed but boasts impressive geothermal features. Don’t miss the brightly-colored Sapphire Pool, Mustard Spring, and Jewel Geyser.

Next, stop by the Fountain Paint Pot Trail, located in the Lower Geyser Basin. The Fountain Paint Pot Trail features several hydrothermal features, the most notable of which are the mud pots. These are brownish-gray pools resembling boiling clay or mud.

Bison grazes in a field in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley
Bison in Hayden Valley

You’ll end your second day in Yellowstone National Park in Hayden Valley. This expansive valley near Canyon Village is an excellent place to spot wildlife near dusk. You have the best chance of spotting bison, elk, bears, and bald eagles.

While the drive through Hayden Valley is only about 7 miles, I recommend spending about 2 hours here to increase your chance of seeing wildlife. The best way to spot wildlife in Hayden Valley is to find a spot to pull over and wait. Often you won’t see wildlife right away, so your best bet is to bring a camping chair and stakeout.

Read More: Ultimate Yellowstone Itinerary

Day 3: Visit Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Lamar Valley

Start your third day in Yellowstone with a trip to the Norris Geyser Basin. It is made up of two smaller geyser basins: Porcelain Basin and Back Basin

Unless Steamboat Geyser is predicted to erupt (which is rare), I recommend skipping the Back Basin and just exploring the Porcelain Basin. Don’t miss Constant Geyser, colorful runoff from Whirligig and Pinwheel Geysers, Crackling Lake, and Congress Pool.

Blue creek flows through ground in Norris Geyser Basin
Norris Geyser Basin

After exploring the Norris Geyser Basin, head north along Grand Loop Road toward Mammoth. This small town is located near the North Entrance of Yellowstone. 

Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the more unique hot springs in the park. Unlike other hot springs, Mammoth Hot Springs is made of travertine terraces. These uncommon formations were formed by underground geothermal activity, dissolving the calcium carbonate on the surface.

The best way to see Mammoth Hot Springs is on a short walk through the Lower Terraces. The Upper and Main Terraces are accessible on a short scenic drive, but admittedly there’s not as much to see here.

If you’re short on time, I recommend just doing the Lower Terraces. Don’t miss Palette Spring, Minerva Terrace, and Mound and Jupiter Terraces.

Travertine terraces in Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs Lower Terraces

After seeing Mammoth Hot Springs, walk through the village, checking out the Albright Visitor Center. Mammoth also provides an excellent opportunity to spot elk, particularly during rutting season from mid-August through September.

The last stop on your third day in Yellowstone is Lamar Valley. From Mammoth, you’ll continue east on Grand Loop Road. Keep your eyes peeled for bison – you’re almost guaranteed to see some!

This valley, located in the northeastern part of the park, is an excellent spot for bison, bears, coyotes, and wolves. 

Bison crossing the road in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone
Bison in Lamar Valley

There are plenty of excellent pull-offs in Lamar Valley for wildlife viewing. However, wildlife will be further away as the valley is more expansive than Hayden Valley. Therefore, I highly recommend bringing a pair of quality binoculars or a spotting scope for a closer look.

The best time to spot wildlife is the hour before sunset, so I recommend picking up a to-go meal before leaving Mammoth and having a picnic dinner while looking for wildlife in Lamar Valley.

Day 4: Explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Head to Grand Teton

On your last day in Yellowstone National Park, you’ll explore one of the most underrated parts of the park: the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

This iconic canyon was carved by the Yellowstone River and features dramatic rock colors and distinctive geology. The best way to see the canyon is to take a scenic drive of the North Rim and South Rim, stopping to see the incredible viewpoints and hiking the short trails.

The two main attractions in the canyon are its waterfalls. The Lower Falls is the tallest waterfall in the park and is about twice the height of Niagara Falls. The Upper Falls is smaller and quieter and is best seen from the South Rim.

Sunset over a distant waterfall in Yellowstone
Artist Point in Yellowstone

Start by driving the South Rim to Artist Point. This viewpoint is best around mid-morning after the light can penetrate the canyon. However, if you’re an early riser, I recommend driving through Hayden Valley, looking for wildlife in the early morning hours!

After taking in the picturesque view of the Lower Falls from Artist Point, head to Upper Falls Viewpoint. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, hike Uncle Tom’s Trail too. This challenging but short hike descends 300+ steep stairs for an up-close view of the Lower Falls.

Next, continue to the North Rim. This scenic drive follows a one-way loop. Don’t miss Lookout Point, Grand View, and Inspiration Point. Also, try the steep Brink of the Lower Falls or Red Rock Point trails if you want to stretch your legs on a short hike.

Hot springs scattered across West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone
West Thumb Geyser Basin

After your scenic drive of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, head south on Grand Loop Road towards Grand Teton National Park. Before leaving the park, be sure to stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin

This stunning geyser basin is one of my favorites in Yellowstone. Its location along the shores of Yellowstone Lake provides both incredible views and unique geothermal activity. Don’t miss the Abyss Pool, Fishing Cone, and Black Pool

Distant waterfall on the Lewis River between Yellowstone and Grand Teton
Lewis Falls

After you’ve had your fill of geysers and springs, head south, exiting Yellowstone National Park. John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton on an incredibly scenic drive along the Lewis River. Be sure to stop at Lewis Falls and the Grand Teton National Park Sign!

Before reading about Grand Teton, check out these posts on Yellowstone National Park!

Itinerary: Yellowstone 1 to 5 Day Itineraries
Things to Do: 22 Best Things to Do in Yellowstone
Hikes: 15 Best Hikes in Yellowstone
Getting There: 8 Best Airports Near Yellowstone
When to Visit: The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone
Where to Stay: Where to Stay Near Yellowstone
Camping: 12 Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone
Airbnbs Nearby: 25 Airbnbs Near Yellowstone
Road Trip: Salt Lake City to Yellowstone & Grand Teton

As you enter Grand Teton National Park, be sure to stop at Jackson Lake Overlook. This spot provides one of your first views of the Tetons over Jackson Lake.

End your first evening in Grand Teton National Park with dinner or a drink at Jackson Lake Lodge at sunset. The views of the Tetons from the back deck are the best in the park!

If you want to have dinner at the impressive Mural Room at Jackson Lake Lodge, be sure to make reservations at least a month in advance. The Blue Heron Lounge offers delicious cocktails that you can enjoy on the back deck.

Dinner table with mountain views in the Mural Room at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton
Mural Room in Jackson Lake Lodge; Source: Grand Teton Lodging Company

Day 5: Mormon Row, 42 Mile Scenic Drive, and Taggart Lake

Start your first full day in Grand Teton National Park early with a morning drive to Mormon Row Historic District. This area is a photo-famous community of homesteads built by Mormon settlers, the Moultons, that lived in the Tetons in the 1890s. Their iconic barns provide an excellent foreground with the Tetons in the background. 

Sunrise illuminates a historic barn at Mormon Row in Grand Teton
Mormon Row

After capturing the picturesque Moulton Barns at Mormon Row, head to Taggart Lake. The easy 4-mile loop to this popular lake provides up-close views of Grand Teton. The clear water and excellent views make this hike the perfect summer adventure.

If you’re looking to escape the crowds at Taggart Lake, consider hiking the entire Taggart Lake and Bradley Lake Loop trail. This trail heads to nearby Bradley Lake and loops back past Taggart Lake on a 6-mile moderate hike. Bradley Lake has minimal crowds and is arguably more scenic than Taggart Lake!

Aim to be at the Taggart Lake Trailhead before 9 AM. 

Tetons reflected in Taggart Lake in Grand Teton
Taggart Lake

After your hike, stop by the Craig Thomas Discovery Center, the main visitor center in Grand Teton National Park. If you want to talk to a ranger, stamp your national park passport, or buy souvenirs, do it here!

The Craig Thomas Discovery Center also offers the most impressive displays I’ve seen in a national park, detailing the indigenous history of the area and the ecosystems found in Grand Teton.

Orange fall grasses and the Snake River with Teton views from Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton
Oxbow Bend

End your day in Grand Teton by completing 42 Mile Scenic Loop. This must-do scenic drive is the main route through Grand Teton National Park, formed by Highway 191 and Teton Park Road.

Now, depending on where you’re staying, I’d recommend going about the scenic drive differently.

If you’re staying south of the park, like in Jackson, do the scenic drive in its entirety in the afternoon/evening, stopping at the scenic lookouts in this order:

  • Chapel of the Transfiguration
  • Teton Glacier Turnout
  • Jenny Lake Overlook
  • Cathedral Group Turnout
  • Mountain View Turnout
  • Jackson Lake Overlook off Signal Mountain Summit Road
  • Willow Flats Overlook
  • Oxbow Bend (excellent spot for seeing wildlife before sunset)
  • Elk Ranch Flats Turnout
  • Snake River Overlook (great for sunset)
  • Teton Point Turnout
  • Glacier View Turnout
  • Blacktail Ponds Overlook
Clouds around the top of the Tetons from Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton
Snake River Overlook

If you’re staying in the northern part of the park, like Colter Bay Village or near Jackson or Jenny Lake, split up the scenic drive. Instead, you’ll stop at the spots along Highway 191 in the morning on the way to Mormon Row and finish the scenic drive in the afternoon along Teton Park Road.

Visit these scenic stops on the way to Mormon Row in the morning:

  • Oxbow Bend (excellent spot for seeing wildlife just after sunrise)
  • Elk Ranch Flats Turnout
  • Snake River Overlook (great for early morning glow on the Tetons)
  • Teton Point Turnout
  • Glacier View Turnout
  • Blacktail Ponds Overlook

Visit these viewpoints in the afternoon after hiking Taggart Lake:

  • Chapel of the Transfiguration
  • Teton Glacier Turnout
  • Jenny Lake Overlook
  • Cathedral Group Turnout
  • Mountain View Turnout
  • Jackson Lake Overlook off Signal Mountain Summit Road
  • Willow Flats Overlook (great for wildlife viewing before sunset)

Read More: 25 Best Things to Do in Grand Teton

Day 6: Explore the Jenny Lake Region

On your last full day in Grand Teton, you’ll explore the park’s most famous region: Jenny Lake. There are truly endless possibilities for adventure at Jenny Lake. The best and most visited attraction in Jenny Lake is the short hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

Most visitors choose to take the Jenny Lake boat shuttle across the lake, hike Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, and return on the boat. The Jenny Lake boat shuttle cuts off 2 miles of hiking each way and costs $20 roundtrip.

View overlooking Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point in Grand Teton
Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake

Depending on your activity level and interest, here’s what I would recommend:

  • If you’re looking for a limited mobility option: Drive Jenny Lake Road and take a scenic boat tour on Jenny Lake.
  • If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity: Take the boat to hike Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point and venture on to the Cascade Canyon Trail for a stroll until you feel ready to turn back.
  • If you’re looking for a moderate, ultra-scenic hike: Take the boat across Jenny Lake and hike Cascade Canyon (~9 miles, 1,102 feet elevation road trip). This hike is long, but the elevation is mild (~4% average grade). Cascade Canyon is easily one of my favorite national park hikes and well worth it if you’re up for the distance. You can also choose to return at any point as the trail is out-and-back.
  • If you’re an advanced hiker looking for a challenge: Hike to Lake Solitude. This long but rewarding trail is the best hike I’ve ever done. Not only do you get the scenic views of the Cascade Canyon trail, but you reach a quiet, stunning alpine lake at the end of the trail. If you can handle the 16+ mile hike with 2,670 feet elevation, it’s a must-do! You also have the option of shortening the hike by a few miles by taking the boat across Jenny Lake.

Read More: 18 Best Hikes in Grand Teton

Mountain peaks in Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton
Cascade Canyon Trail

Day 7: Schwabacher Landing and Head Home from Grand Teton

On your last day in Grand Teton, head to Schwabacher Landing for sunrise. This sunrise spot is a favorite among photographers. 

Drive to the end of Schwabacher’s Landing Road (it’s bumpy and unpaved, so AWD or a high-clearance vehicle at a minimum is recommended). While the view from the parking lot is spectacular, walk to the end of the trail for an incredible sunrise view of the Grand Tetons reflected in the Snake River.

Tetons glow at sunrise reflected in the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing
Schwabacher Landing

After sunrise, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, like moose, feeding the Snake River along Schwabacher’s Landing Road. You can also make one final wildlife spotting visit to Oxbow Bend.

Head to the airport by mid-morning, depending on your flight time and airport location. If you have more time in Grand Teton, consider spending time in the town of Jackson or hiking to Phelps Lake.

Do you want to learn more about Grand Teton? Check out these posts!

Things to Do: 25 Best Things to Do in Grand Teton
Hikes: 18 Best Hikes in Grand Teton
Where to Stay: 35 Best Places to Stay in Grand Teton

Old western style building in downtown Jackson Wyoming
Downtown Jackson, Wyoming

If you’re flying out of Salt Lake City, there are many scenic stops on your return road trip. Check out this Yellowstone to Salt Lake City road trip guide for some ideas!

Modifying the Itinerary for Yellowstone and Grand Teton

If you have more or less time to spend in these two national parks, consider some of these options.

If you have more than seven full days in Grand Teton and Yellowstone:

  • Spend more time hiking in Grand Teton. Cascade Canyon, Phelps Lake, Lake Solitude, String Lake, or the Jenny Lake Loop are great options. Read more about the best hikes in Grand Teton.
  • Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle Jenny Lake. Get your rental here.
  • Spend more time hiking in Yellowstone. One of the best hikes in Yellowstone is Mount Washburn. Read more here about the best hikes in Yellowstone.

Check out this post for more ideas on what to do with 5 or more days in Yellowstone!

If you have less than seven days for your trip, consider these itinerary modifications:

  • If you have four or fewer days, focus your time on the top attractions in each park. The can’t-miss days on this itinerary are Day 1 & Day 2 in Yellowstone (Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic) and Day 6 in Grand Teton (Jenny Lake).
  • If you only have five days, skip a day in each park. For example, I’d recommend skipping Day 3 (Mammoth Hot Springs) and Day 5 (Mormon Row, Taggart Lake). Instead, on Day 7, swap out Mormon Row for Schwabacher Landing.
  • If you only have six days, skip Day 3 in Yellowstone and keep all three days in Grand Teton.

Other Nearby Places to Explore from Grand Teton and Yellowstone

If you have more than seven days to spend in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, I highly recommend adding on a few more nearby destinations:

  • Town of Jackson, Wyoming – Minutes from Grand Teton
  • Beartooth Highway – 1 hour from the Yellowstone
  • Salt Lake City – 5 hours from Grand Teton and Yellowstone
  • Glacier National Park – 6 hours from Yellowstone
  • Devils Tower National Monument – 6 hours from Yellowstone
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park – 7 hours from Yellowstone
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – 8 hours from Grand Teton
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial – 8 hours from Yellowstone
  • Badlands National Park – 8 hours from Yellowstone
Hidden Lake Overlook hike in Glacier National Park
Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park

Tips for Your Trip from Grand Tetons to Yellowstone

As you plan your trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, there are a few things you should know.

  • Get the America the Beautiful National Park Pass. The pass covers your admission to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton for an entire year. If you don’t go with the national park pass, you’ll need to pay admission at each park totaling $70. However, if you plan to visit any other national park, historic site, or monument in the 12 months, it’s worth the investment. Get your national park pass here.
  • Visit in the early summer or fall to avoid crowds. Shoulder months in Yellowstone and Grand Teton provide a break from summer crowds with milder weather. To avoid crowds, visit in June, September, or early October. But be warned, the weather will be colder, often in the 60s during the day and freezing overnight. Read more about the best time to visit Yellowstone here.
  • Start your day early to avoid crowds. By 10 AM, parking lots are full, and trails are crowded. Avoid crowds by getting an early start around sunrise. After 4 PM, crowds tend to clear out, so early evening until sunset is also a great time to explore!
  • Book your accommodations early. National Park lodging books up months in advance. Book your lodging one year in advance if you want to stay inside the park. If you’re camping, book your campgrounds six to twelve months out. If you’re staying outside the park, plan to book three to six months out. Read more about the best hotels in Yellowstone, camping in Yellowstone, best Airbnbs near Yellowstone and Grand Teton, where to stay in Grand Teton, and the best campgrounds in Grand Teton.
  • Always check the national park website for the latest updates. The national park website is your best source for up-to-date information, from road and trail closures to current conditions. 
  • Keep your distance from wildlife. While incredible to see, be sure to give all wild animals plenty of room. For example, stay 25 yards away from bison, female elk, deer, and moose. In addition, you should keep 100 yards away from more aggressive animals like bears, wolves, and bull elk during rutting season.
  • Allow extra time to get places. Due to the plentiful wildlife, it’s common to have traffic jams from bison crossings or animals along the road. Allow plenty of time to get anywhere and remain calm when stuck in traffic. If you choose to stop to look at wildlife, respect other drivers, and be sure to pull off the road and not block traffic.
  • Cell phone service in Yellowstone and Grand Teton is limited. Be sure to download all reservations, confirmations, and maps offline before entering the park. I like to save all information in an offline Dropbox or Google Drive folder and take a screenshot.
  • Take the first day to acclimate to the elevation. The Yellowstone Caldera is located above 9,000 feet. If you’re coming from a lower elevation place, it will take a few days to acclimate to the elevation. I recommend saving your more strenuous activities for later in your trip. That is why I put hiking-heavy Grand Teton second and more accessible walks through the geyser basins in Yellowstone first on this itinerary.

Frequently Asked Questions About Driving from Grand Teton to Yellowstone

Can you drive from Grand Teton to Yellowstone?

Yes, you can quickly drive from Grand Teton to Yellowstone. John D. Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway connects the two parks. It is only 7 miles and a 10-minute drive from the Grand Teton National Park Entry Sign on Highway 191 to the Yellowstone South Entrance.

Can you do Yellowstone and Grand Teton in one week?

Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton are located only 10 minutes away from each other. Given their close location, you can easily do Yellowstone and Grand Teton in one week on a road trip!

Can you do Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in a day?

To see Yellowstone and Grand Teton, you need at least two days. One day is enough time to see the highlights in each park quickly but to see the highlights of each park, you’ll need anywhere from 2 to 7 days. 

How long does it take to drive through Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

It takes roughly 1 hour to drive through Grand Teton National Park to the Yellowstone National Park South Entrance. This route follows Highway 191 and covers just over 50 miles. Visitors will need to pay entry to pass through Grand Teton on their way to Yellowstone.

How far apart are Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are only 7 miles apart, separated by John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. From the northern Grand Teton National Park entry sign to the Yellowstone South Entrance, it is only a 10-minute drive.

Is Grand Teton better than Yellowstone?

Whether you find Grand Teton better than Yellowstone will depend on personal preference. If you like hiking and peaceful mountain views, you’ll like Grand Teton better. On the other hand, if you like unique geysers and easily accessible attractions, you’ll like Yellowstone better.

Is Grand Teton worth visiting?

Yes, Grand Teton is worth visiting. This national park provides incredible hikes and opportunities to see wildlife. Throughout the park, you’ll find immense natural beauty. The Teton Range is visible from anywhere in the park!

Final Thoughts: Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park

This epic national park road trip from Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park belongs on your bucket list. In just seven days, you can see the best of both parks, from mountain peaks to geysers.

I highly recommend this 7-day itinerary for your first trip from Grand Teton to Yellowstone:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Yellowstone, Visit Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Day 2: Explore Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin, Sunset at Hayden Valley
  • Day 3: Visit Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Lamar Valley
  • Day 4: Explore Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and West Thumb Geyser Basin, Drive to Grand Teton
  • Day 5: See Mormon Row, Hike Taggart Lake, Drive 42 Mile Scenic Loop
  • Day 6: Explore the Jenny Lake area
  • Day 7: Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing, Head Home from Grand Teton

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