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Wintertime Trip to the Tetons

A trip to Grand Teton National Park in northeast Wyoming sits at the perfect intersection of affordable and worthwhile. It offers beautiful scenery that Utah sites are famous for without the locality that comes with remaining in-state.

Person skiing in the Tetons
Photo by Tessa Swensen

Anyone familiar with the state of Utah knows that it’s an outdoorist’s playground. But for some people who live in this beautiful state, there might be an insatiable yearning for more; they might want to experience some new sites without straying far from home.

The Logistics

Using Provo as a starting point, it takes roughly five hours to drive to this park. While the drive is a bit longer than the commute to Moab, Utah, might be, it’s much closer than other popular destinations such as California or Colorado.

Additionally, finding a place to stay is remarkably easy if you know where to look. When I visited the Tetons last winter, my friends and I Airbnb-ed a small cabin in Idaho and drove about 25 minutes across the state border to get to the park. That way, we evaded some of the more expensive options while still enjoying the famous scenery in the region.

Things To Do

Grand Teton National Park has an abundance of things to do, no matter the time of year. Temperatures vary quite a bit throughout the year, making a whole slew of activities not only plausible but thoroughly enjoyable. My trip—which took place in the middle of March—felt like the sweet spot for winter sports. For about $25, you can rent cross-country skis or snowshoes and spend the day skirting along the edge of the breathtaking mountain range.

If hard-core winter recreation isn't your thing, consider grabbing your hiking shoes (and maybe some shoe chains for the ice!) to explore the many hiking trails in the area. As you hike along certain paths, you may find yourself walking through a sunlit grove of trees or standing along the edge of a tranquil lake. It seemed that there was some magnificent sight to be seen every time I looked around, some picture-perfect scenery waiting to be captured by my amateur iPhone photography skills.

And when you want to get out of the cold or get a bite to eat, stop in the historic city of Jackson, Wyoming. Home to several mountain resorts, a unique town square tastefully decorated with antlers, and eclectic dining experiences, Jackson is rustic, mountain-town America at its best.

Picture of the Tetons in the wintertime
Photo by Tessa Swensen

Some Tips

When planning a trip to the Tetons, it’s important to be aware of some things—especially if you travel there during the winter.

  • Weather preparedness: When packing for your trip, pay special attention to weather predictions as well as road and trail conditions—make sure you know what’s closed and what’s open! 
  • Leave no trace: Trail etiquette is a given no matter where you are. To minimize your impact on the environment of the region, be sure to look after yourself and your belongings. Pack away trash when necessary and dispose of it appropriately.  
  • Wildlife safety: Many areas of the park are incredibly secluded, so make sure you’re always prepared to meet any kind of wildlife as you wander around. Don’t forget to pack your bear spray!

By venturing a bit beyond Utah's borders, you can create lasting memories as you wander through the stunning landscapes of Grand Teton National Park. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, this gem offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility that’s sure to fit anyone’s ideal vacation.