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Rafting, Kayaking, Boating & Swimming

Fun on the Water in Grand Teton National Park

Beat the summer heat with these water activities.

With temperatures reaching new highs, figuring out how to stay cool is key to enjoying your summer, especially when you enter Grand Teton National Park. At an average elevation of 6,800 feet, the intensity of the sun is palpable. In addition to packing sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water, here are some great activities to beat the heat including rafting kayaking boating in Grand Teton National Park.

Paddle Away: Kayaking and Canoeing in Grand Teton

Find your perfect paddling adventure this summer near or in Grand Teton National Park.

You can rent kayaks and canoes from Grand Teton Kayaking & Canoeing per hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Reservations are not available and rentals are on a first come, first-served basis. You can rent them at the Colter Bay Village Marina in the park. Canoe and kayak rental times vary depending on the season and are open to all ages. Find more information at www.gtlc.com/activities/kayak-canoe-motorboat-rentals.

Rafting: Scenic Floats and Whitewater in Grand Teton

Scenic Float on the Snake River with Mad River Rafting. Photo by Grant Ordelheide
Scenic Float on the Snake River with Mad River Rafting. By Grant Ordelheide

For rafting fanatics or first-time boaters, there are other companies that offer wet adventures in the Jackson area. For more than 50 years, Barker Ewing by Jackson Hole Whitewater has offered adventures on the Snake River. See Grand Teton National Park from a totally different perspective on these float trips that take you down 10 miles of the Snake River. More info at www.barker-ewing.com.

Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trips pioneered commercial trips down this scenic section of the Snake River in 1963. Float 10 miles with a knowledgeable guide to experience the natural beauty and wildlife on your trip. Rafters often spot moose, beaver and eagles. And, if you’re really lucky, you might spot a wolf or a bear.  barkerewing.com

Grand Teton Lodge Company, which is Grand Teton National Park’s authorized concessionaire, offers non-whitewater, wild and scenic rafting trips on a 10-mile stretch of the Snake River, as well. Choose a lunch or dinner trp for epic food, scenery and wildlife-viewing or sign up for a non-meal trip. More information at www.gtlc.com/activities/rafting-the-snake-river.

Whitewater rafting on the Snake River by Grant Ordelheide
Whitewater rafting on the Snake River by Grant Ordelheide

When you head down the Snake River with Mad River Boat Trips, you’re traveling with guides that are knowledgeable in local lore, Wyoming’s rugged and beautiful waters, and rafting safety. For those wanting a wild ride, Mad River has whitewater trips in four different boat sizes – the smaller the boat, the bigger the thrills! More info at mad-river.com.

Solitude Float Trips offers two-hour scenic floats through Grand Teton National Park. The Snake River is calm and smooth, so this trip is perfect for everyone from families (with children five years and older) to photographers. Solitude’s two hour tours depart several times a day. More info at grand-teton-scenic-floats.com.

Learn more about rafting in Yellowstone/Grand Teton area.

Boat Tours of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton

Colter Bay Scenic Lake Cruise on the Rendezvous. Photo courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Co.
Colter Bay Scenic Lake Cruise on the Rendezvous. Photo courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Company

If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the park on the water,  Jackson Lake Cruise is an awesome opportunity to explore Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park.  You can sign up for a cruise over the phone or in person at one of three locations. You can sign up in person at Jackson Lake Lodge, Colter Bay Village Activities Desk or at Jackson Lake Marina. Jackson Lake Marina tends to get busy during peak season, so it is recommended to try the other two locations first. (gtlc.com/activities/jackson-lake-boat-cruises)

2022 NOTE: Because of extremely low levels of water in Jackson Lake, it is possible cruises may not run in summer 2022. Check ahead with Grand Teton Lodge Company to see if water levels have been restored and cruises have resumed.

Boating in Grand Teton National Park

Colter Bay. Photo courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Co.
Colter Bay Village Marina. Photo courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Company

In Grand Teton, Jackson and Jenny Lakes are open to motorized vessels, and sailboats are also allowed on Jackson Lake. A boat permit is required and can be purchased at Moose, Jenny Lake, or Colter Bay Visitor Centers.

Boat rentals are available at Colter Bay Marina (www.gtlc.com/activities/marina-slip-and-buoy-rentals), Jenny Lake Boating (jennylakeboating.com/boat-trips/rental-boats/) and Signal Mountain Marina (www.signalmountainlodge.com/lodge-services/boat-rentals).

Fishing in Grand Teton National Park

All waters in the Tetons are open to fishing with some seasonal restrictions. Wyoming fishing license is required.