Ultimate 6-Day Jackson Hole Roadtrip
By Riley and Taylor | August 22, 2022
Day 1: Pick up the van from VanCraft in Salt Lake City
All campsites in the park are on a reservation-only basis, and they fill up quickly! Everything was almost sold out two months in advance, so book as early as possible. There are several campgrounds to choose from inside the national park. We chose Gros Ventre Campground, the perfect location for everything we wanted to do on the trip! Some other campgrounds in the park include Jenny Lake Campground, Signal Mountain Campground, and Colter Bay Campground. Reservations and availability can be found on recreation.gov and are available up to 6 months in advance!
Day 2: Grand Teton National Park – Hike to Delta Lake (weather permitting)
Delta Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Tetons. The hike is 8 miles round trip with 2300 ft elevation gain starting at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead and leads to a Gatorade blue alpine lake.
This hike is best to do in mid-summer when the lake is not frozen and there’s not still snow on the trail. We could not complete this hike on our trip due to too much snow on the trail, and we weren’t prepared with the proper gear. We suggest checking the All Trails app or website beforehand to see if the lake will still be frozen when you plan to do this hike. You’ll want to start early since this will take most of the day to complete, depending on how much time you plan on spending at the lake.
Day 3: Yellowstone National Park
After a long day of hiking, take a break today with a mini road trip up through Yellowstone. From our campsite in Grand Teton, it took us around 2 hours to get to the Old Faithful Visitor Center. This is an excellent place to stop for lunch and souvenir shopping before exploring Upper Geyser Basin.
Upper Geyser Basin is home to the famous Old Faithful Geyser. Old Faithful erupts every 45 minutes to 2 hours, and you can find the prediction of the next eruption at the visitor center. Old Faithful gets very crowded at each eruption, so make sure you get there early if you want a spot in the front.
After watching an eruption by Old Faithful, start your walk around the upper geyser basin to see the rest of the geysers. There are around 150 geysers just in the upper geyser basin alone, including the Morning Glory Pool. It takes around an hour to walk the entire loop.
If there is time left after exploring the geysers, continue your road trip to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs. At the end of the day, you can stay at a campsite in Yellowstone or head back to Grand Teton. On our trip, all the campsites in Yellowstone were full for the weekend, so we drove the 2 hours back to GTNP that night.
If you decide to camp in Yellowstone for the night, check the recreation.gov website to ensure availability or book your spot in advance since camping in Yellowstone is limited.
Day 4: Grand Teton National Park – Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake was probably our favorite part of this trip. The water is crystal clear, and there are fantastic views of the Tetons from every angle of the lake.
We decided to hike to Hidden Falls, which is about 3 miles round trip if you start at the Cascade Canyon Trailhead located at the boat launch. The other option is to start the hike at the south end of the Jenny Lake loop, which adds around 2 miles to the hike.
At the end of the day, catch a sunset at Jenny Lake Overlook before heading back to camp for the night.
Day 5: Jackson, Wyoming
The trip wouldn’t be complete without a day of exploring the town of Jackson. On this trip, it immediately became our new favorite Mountain Town. Gros Ventre Campground is only about a 20-minute drive to the downtown area. Before heading to town, we started our morning at Mormon Row to get pictures of the most photographed barn in America! By the time we arrived, the parking lot was full of cars. This is one of the most popular picture spots in GTNP, so if you want a chance of having it to yourself, you’ll need to go as early in the morning as possible.
Once we were done at the barns, we headed into town. You can easily spend all day exploring the shops and restaurants downtown. Grab a coffee from Cowboy Coffee, stop by the many souvenir shops, try the best woodfire pizza at Hand Fire Pizza in the old Teton Theater, and have some drinks at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. If you’re looking for another popular picture spot, check out the Jackson Hole Elk Antler Arches in the town square. The arches are made up of 10,000 lbs of antlers and are replaced every 30 to 40 years!
Day 6: Drop off the van in Salt Lake City
Sadly, our road trip has come to an end, and it’s time to start the journey back to Utah and drop off the van, which is about 4 hours and 45 minutes. This time we chose to leave later in the day to soak up every last moment in one of our new favorite road trip destinations!