Grand Teton National Park is shaped a bit like your left-hand thumb and is dotted with three main entrances. A surprise for many visitors is there is no Grand Teton entrance station when you head south from Yellowstone into Grand Teton.
Granite Canyon Entrance
If you are coming from Utah or Idaho, you might think this entrance on Moose-Wilson Road would get you into the park the quickest. The turnoff for it is at the bottom of Teton Pass on Hwy. 22 in Wilson, Wyo. But don’t be fooled. It’s a slower drive into the park, so if you are looking for a leisurely drive or for hikes near this entrance, take it. Otherwise, drive through Jackson and use Hwy. 89 to enter the park via the Moose Entrance or Moran Entrance, which will give you faster access to Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake.
If you are staying in Jackson, the best way into the park is through the Moose Entrance. Take 191-26-89 north past the National Elk Refuge and the Jackson Hole Airport, which has arguably the best airport views in the nation.
In the Moose area, you’ll find the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, which tells the story of the park, its wild inhabitants and cultural history through interactive exhibits and touch screens. Don’t miss the “video river,” composed of video screens on the floor that lead you on a visual journey about the park.
Just a mile north of Moose on Hwy. 26, 89, 191 and east on Antelope Flats Road, you’ll find the iconic barn that appears in the foreground of so many Teton range photos. It was built by T.A. Moulton. You’ll also find the Gros Ventre Campground and the Menors Ferry Historic District where you can tour an original cabin and general store.
If you are coming from Denver via Dubois, Wyo., the Moran Entrance might be the easiest way for you to get into the park. Hwys. 26/289 flow right into it 30 miles north of Jackson, Wyo. Accessing the northern end of the park through here puts you in the heart of the Jackson Lake and Colter Bay areas. And you’re only 20 miles south of Yellowstone National Park.
Jackson Lake is the largest lake in the park, and it’s 400-feet deep. There is 39 feet of reservoir storage on the top of the lake, which is why you’ll see the Jackson Lake Dam on the lake’s east side.
Along its shores you’ll find Signal Mountain Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, the Colter Bay Village and Colter Bay Visitor Center. The visitor center is 25 miles north of Moose.
Flagg Ranch Information Station
If you visit Yellowstone first, the best way to get to Grand Teton National Park is through Yellowstone’s South Entrance. You have to purchase a separate pass for Grand Teton National Park.
When you enter Grand Teton from Yellowstone, you’ll notice there is no formal entrance station. If you want a park newspaper, stop at the Flagg Ranch Information Station four miles south of Yellowstone or pick up a map and more information at the larger Colter Bay Visitor Center 18 miles from Yellowstone on the shores of Jackson Lake.
You will get a free map of the park when you go through an entrance station, but if you want to purchase a map in advance with trails and more, go to REI.com for a Trails Illustrated map of Grand Teton National Park.