How Best to Spend 4 days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
I was lucky to explore some of America’s most stunning spots on my coast to coast road trip with Trek America. Two amazing highlights of the trip was spending 4 days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Both parks are only a short distance from one another, yet, seem worlds apart in terms of appearance. Yellowstone attracts over 6 million visitors each year with it’s beautiful thermal pool, hot springs and geysers. Whereas Grand Teton is famous for snow capped mountains and picturesque lakes. On my road trip with Trek America I spent four days exploring some of which both parks have to offer. In this post I have put together a step by step itinerary guide with all my favourite spots from Yellowstone to Grand Teton.
Day 1: Yellowstone National Park
Begin your Yellowstone to Grand Teton adventure by driving from Cody, Wyoming. Cody is a small American town famous for it’s Rodeo scene. The town is one of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park and presents drivers with a stunning scenic route as they approach the park. From the East Entrance, take a 2 hour drive towards Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful. Take some time to explore the grounds of Old Faithful and see it erupt for your very eyes. Then hop back in the car and proceed 5 minutes down the road to the Black Sand Basin. Stroll along the black basins boardwalk and admire some of the trails most beautiful spots including the Rainbow Pool, the Sunset Lake and the Emerald Pool. The next stop, Grand Prismatic Spring is a further 10 minutes down the road. Walk along the Fairy Falls Trailhead until you reach the Grand Prismatic Spring viewing platform. The platform is the host to one of the most spectacular views in Yellowstone. Following visiting the Grand Prismatic Spring, I suggest heading to your accommodation for set up or check in. Those looking to camp, the Grant Village Campground is a lovely camping spot. That is local to many of Yellowstone’s top locations and ideal for those who enjoy star gazing.
(Click on location names for Google Maps Directions)
Day 2: Yellowstone National Park
If you want to see as much of Yellowstone as possible in 2 days, then I’d suggest waking up super early. Start the day off by catching the sunrise at West Thumb Geyser Basin. Watch as the sun reflects on Yellowstone lake. Then a drive a further 40 minutes down the road towards Yellowstone’s Mud Volcano. The 3/4 of a mile trail offers views of the Mud Caldron, the Sizzling Basin and the Dragons Mouth Spring. Once you have explored all of which the mud volcano has to offer, hop back in the car and head towards Artist Point to catch a glimpse of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This point offers one spectacular view. After an action packed morning, drive towards Canyon Lodge at Canyon Village for a slight rest and a bite to eat. The Canyon Lodge varies of fast food for a reasonable price, considering it is inside a national park. Once you feel rested and refreshed, get back in the car and drive towards Calcite Springs Lookout for an awesome view of Yellowstone river. The final stop of day two in Yellowstone is Mammoth Hot Springs, explore both the lower and upper boardwalk to catch a glimpse of Mammoth’s highlights.
Related Post: 2 days Yellowstone itinerary Featuring: for more photo's, information and a suggested timetable
Day 3: Grand Teton National Park
Once again start the day nice and early and begin to drive towards Grand Teton National Park. As you leave Yellowstone, don’t forget the to make a stop at the South Entrance Sign to capture one last pic! A further 10 minutes down the road lies the entrance into Grand Teton National Park, another great photo opportunity. The first scenic stop on day 3 is at Colter Bay Visitor Center. This spot offers an outstanding view of Jackson Lake and the Tetons (pictured above). Get there early, to see the mountains reflect onto the lake. Continue to drive along the Tetons Park Road. Don’t be afraid to stop and take pictures. There are many opportunities to pull in on the side of the road. This is one picture perfect drive! After capturing some stunning road side pictures, drive towards String Lake for the first hike of the day. Following the completion of the String Lake Trailhead jump into the freezing cold water for a refreshing swim. String Lake is also the ideal place for a packed lunch as there is a picnic area by the lake. Once you are feeling nice and refreshed, hop back in the car and drive towards Jenny Lake. Jenny Lake offers some breathtaking hiking opportunities, a shuttle boat and a stunning lake side view. After spending the day exploring some of which Grand Teton has to offer, drive towards Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The starting point for day 4.
South Entrance Sign => Grand Teton Entrance Sign => Bay Visitor Center => Tetons Park Road Picture Stop => String Lake => Jenny Lake => Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Click on location names for Google Maps Directions)
Related Post: One Day Hiking Grand Tetons String and Jenny Lake
Day 4: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
On the final day of the Yellowstone to Grand Teton road trip it is time to explore Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jackson Hole is a charming American town surrounded by the beautiful Teton mountain range. Start the day off by exploring the cute shops and restaurants in the town and maybe stop for some breakfast. After a bite to eat, it’s time for one big adventure, so pack so swim gear and get ready to white water raft down snake river. While at Jackson Hole I camped at the KOA campsite. Luckily for us, the KOA organised a fantastic rafting experience for us. I would 100% recommend this experience! Alternatively, if adventure sports isn’t your forte, why not visit the near by hot springs. The best part is, they’re FREE 😉
After the adventurous day, head back to your campsite/hotel and get ready for a night full of entertainment. Throughout the summer months a cowboy shootout show is put on in the town, an experience not to be missed. The show starts at 6.00pm every night excluding Sundays. Following a good laugh and some excitement, finish the night off with some food and drinks. After food we went for drinks in the million dollar cowboy bar to celebrate four unforgettable days.
Related Post: Road Trip Packing List
Hope this 4 days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton itinerary is helpful for those of you planning a trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National park. As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.
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