One of the first things guests ask when they’re checking in for a glorious summer stay at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa is, “how do we see Jenny Lake?” Fortunately for those arriving in this vast Yellowstone-Teton region, especially first-time visitors the answer is easy, and so is the drive to Jenny Lake on the east side of the Tetons. Given the fact that most plan on visiting two of the most amazing national parks in America during their stay in Teton Valley, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, Jenny Lake is a convenient stop on the tour. As one departs Teton Springs Resort, all signs point to Jackson Hole, another iconic destination on this excursion. The scenery is dramatic and gorgeous but the first truly wow moment traveling east over Highway 22 heading into Jackson is when you reach the summit of Teton Pass. You’ll indeed know you’re reached the top when you see clusters of tourists’ cameras in hand huddled around the “Howdy Stranger” sign. It’s not just a welcoming sign from Wyoming tourism officials; it means you have truly arrived in Jackson Hole territory.
From this viewing station Jackson Hole and the mesmerizing valley that encompasses this iconic western town is spread out below. It’s a challenge not to spend hours in Jackson Hole given its incredible array of eclectic shops, restaurants, art galleries and mountain attractions, such as the alpine slide at Snow King Mountain. The first ski resort in the Cowboy State and conveniently located literally on the outskirts of the bustling town of Jackson, this adrenaline-filled trip down Snow King’s Mountain slopes is guaranteed to thrill both adults and kids alike. Or if pressed for time, plan on spending an entire day in Jackson Hole and make sure the Snow King slide is on the agenda. The burgers and milkshakes at the King’s Grill complete the perfect ending to a visit at this town hill so beloved by skiers and summer visitors alike.
If Jenny Lake is the main attraction on this particular day, a terrific way to travel through Grand Teton National Park in all its glory is from the back of a bike. Bike rentals can be arranged through the Guest Services staff at Teton Springs. Reliable vendors for such adventures make the process easy whether it’s taking off on your own or signing up for guided tours for the hard-core biker as well as the more leisure minded excursions that cater to mom, dad and the kids.
A terrific starting point for bikers and those on windshield tours is Moose Junction in Grand Teton, a short hop from the town of Jackson. It’s busy throughout the summer season in this region so best to make as many advance reservations as possible for services, attractions and the like. After all, you don’t want to spend any time waiting in line when there’s so much adventure ahead!
Dornan’s is a retail & food oasis in Grand Teton Park and a terrific place to refuel and restock that backpack for a hike around Jenny Lake. The restaurant at Moose offers a dynamic menu but the main course is feasting on the staggering views of the Grand Tetons.
This eatery easily sports the optimum views of the world-renowned saw-toothed peaks and the mighty Snake River is on full display as it meanders through Grand Teton National Park. Dornan’s also has a well-deserved reputation for their incredible wine selection and local brews. It’s always a dynamic stop for anyone traveling through Grand Teton National Park.
There are multiple ways to enjoy Jenny Lake and the many hiking trails that envelop this crystal-clear gorgeous body of water. Boat shuttles run throughout the day and provide a variety of options on how to access numerous hiking trails in and around Jenny Lake. Depending on one’s time constraints, and hiking prowess, take the shuttle to a particular trail head knowing that these water taxis run frequently, thus peace of mind that your return trip back to the Visitor Center fits your personal schedule. Hopping on the Jenny Lake’s Scenic Boat Tour is another gratifying way to sit, relax and spend an hour or so in the shadow of the Tetons, with the peaks looming front & center on every turn of this leisure and informative junket.
As you head back to Teton Springs, and by chance you have one ounce of energy left from your adventuresome day in Grand Teton National Park, you may want to stop at the iconic Cowboy Bar as you drive through Jackson. Cozy up, or in this case saddle up, and enjoy a cold drink as you reflect on a most magnificent day.