Planning a quick weekend trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks? Whether you have two days or more, this Grand Teton Yellowstone itinerary will ensure you hit all of the must-see spots.
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Where To Stay When Visiting Grand Teton And Yellowstone National Parks
When visiting Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, there are a few key cities where you could stay: Teton Village, Wyoming; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Cody, Wyoming; West Yellowstone, Montana; or Bozeman, Montana.
The drive time table below should help you determine which city you want to stay in. Of course, you can also stay inside either national park, too.
|City||Drive time to grand teton National Park||Drive time to yellowstone National Park|
|Teton Village, WY||20 minutes||1.5 hours|
|Jackson, WY||5 minutes||1.5 hours|
|Cody, WY||3 hours||1 hour|
|West Yellowstone, MT||2 hours||5 minutes|
|Bozeman, MT||4 hours||1.5 hours|
We stayed in Cody at the Best Western Premier (hosted stay), and I have zero complaints.
The beds were clean and plush, which were incredibly necessary after hiking up to Delta Lake. The lobby was decorated in classy western decor. Plus, the hotel is situated in the heart of Cody next to plenty of restaurants and rodeo tourist attractions.
How many days do you need for Yellowstone and Tetons?
You need at least two days for Yellowstone and the Tetons. Ideally, you would visit for 3-4 days.
Luckily, even if you are only visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for a quick weekend trip, you will still see the most iconic sights and hikes with the 2-day itinerary below.
How far apart are Grand Teton and Yellowstone?
There is only an eight minute drive between the closest Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park entrances. However, the drive time could vary by multiple hours depending on where you are and where you want to be in each park.
For example, it takes about three hours to drive from West Yellowstone to the Grand Teton National Park entrance even though the parks are situated right next to each other.
You also have to factor seasonal traffic, road closures, weather and wildlife crossings into consideration, all of which can be fairly unpredictable.
Can you see Grand Tetons and Yellowstone on the same day?
While you can technically see Grand Tetons and Yellowstone on the same day, you would be driving for more of the day than sightseeing.
It would be much better to split Grand Tetons and Yellowstone into at least two separate days to see and experience as much of the parks as possible.
Here’s a 2-day Grand Teton Yellowstone itinerary for you to follow and maximize your national park trip.
Grand Teton Yellowstone Itinerary: Day 1
On day one of this weekend Grand Teton Yellowstone itinerary, you’re going to spend the day leisurely driving through and exploring Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park has so much more to offer than pine trees and Old Faithful. In fact, Yellowstone is actually a giant supervolcano, offering some of the most colorful, otherworldly views and geothermal activity in the entire United States.
While you definitely don’t want to miss visiting Old Faithful, the most iconic geyser in the park, there are various other pitstops you will want to make as you drive around.
Best Stops In Yellowstone National Park
1. Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring, located in the Midway Geyser Basin and just near the Lower Geyser Basin, is arguably the most jaw-dropping stop in Yellowstone National Park.
This colorful hot spring boasts steamy, rainbow geological features that you won’t find anywhere else.
The spring is a short walk from the parking lot, but the designated pathway does get busy, so keep the time of day you visit in mind. The best time of day to visit Grand Prismatic Spring is first thing in the morning or just before sunset.
2. West Thumb Geyser Basin
West Thumb Geyer Basin offers more otherworldly geothermal pools.
These pools are mostly turquoise, orange and yellow in color, but you will find numerous smaller colorful pools close by.
There is also an excellent view of Yellowstone Lake here where you can view bubbling pockets of water boiling from the volcanic activity below the lake.
3. Mammoth Hot Springs
As you can see, and as the national park’s name suggests, Yellowstone is home to a variety of naturally colorful geothermal hotspots.
Mammoth Hot Springs is yet another one of those colorful spots, with bright orange, yellow and white sulfur springs.
Like Grand Prismatic Spring and the pools of West Thumb Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs is within short walking distance from the parking lot, making it a must-see stop in Yellowstone National Park.
4. Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone At Artist Point
Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone is where the park’s massive waterfall, which you probably recognize from Instagram and travel magazines, is located.
Because this fall’s view is unique compared to the other Yellowstone must-see sights, thanks to its epic greenery that contrast the park’s rainbow qualities, you won’t want to skip this view from Artist Point.
5. Old Faithful
Finally, you can’t complete a day in Yellowstone National Park without seeing the legendary Old Faithful.
Old Faithful is Yellowstone’s tallest active geyser and the most famous geyser in the entire world.
The Old Faithful geyser erupts roughly every hour-and-a-half or so, so you have a fairly good chance of witnessing its 100-180-foot blow.
Note, none of these stops require any hiking. Luckily, most of them only solicit a short walk from the parking lot, which is good because you’ll save all your energy for Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton Yellowstone Itinerary: Day 2
On day two of this Grand Teton Yellowstone itinerary, you’re going to spend the day exploring and hiking in, you guessed it, Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park, one of the most underrated US national parks, boasts a massive mountainous backdrop, crystal clear glacier lakes, and a quaint historical valley.
With this itinerary, you’ll get to experience all of these unforgettable features by hiking to Delta Lake and visiting the photogenic Mormon Row.
Additionally, I have an entire in-depth guide to spending one day in Grand Teton National Park here that you can use to easily plan your trip.
But, here’s a quick itinerary summary.
Morning: Delta Lake
Although the trek to Delta Lake is rigorous and unmarked, the rare view of a stunning, aquamarine glacier lake is well worth the hike.
To learn more about this particular hike, as well as how to make this hike as easy as possible, check out my best Delta Lake hike tips here.
You’ll want to start your Delta Lake hike early in the morning, no later than 9:00 a.m., due to the crowded parking lot and to ensure that you return to the trailhead by sunset.
Evening: Mormon Row
After a tiring yet rewarding hike, you’ll have just enough energy to stroll around the historic Mormon Row.
As the name suggests, Mormon Row is a row of abandoned homesteads that were once owned by Mormon settlers.
The cross between the famous barns and the gigantic mountains in the background make a perfect Grand Teton photo spot.
Pro tip: use a telephoto lens (or zoom in and back up if you’re using a phone camera) to make the mountains appear bigger in the photo. (For more easy travel photography tips, click here.)
What To Bring On Your Grand Teton Yellowstone Trip
Now, before you embark on your trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, there are a few essential items you need.
- Packed food and snacks. I love my insulated picnic backpack for packing food on road trips and hikes.
- Bear spray (essential, especially when hiking).
- Hiking boots or tennis shoes. I highly recommend these lightweight Timberland hiking boots.
- Weather appropriate clothing.
- Bug repellent. I swear by this L.L. Bean bug repellent sweatshirt. It actually works.
- Download or screenshot of the Delta Lake AllTrails map.
- Grand Teton National Park map (download or screenshot).
- Yellowstone National Park map (download or screenshot).
- Travel camera gear.
Just like that, you’re ready for your epic trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks! Have any questions? Comment in the reply section below or message me directly on Instagram.
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