9 Things to Do in Grand Teton in Winter (+ Tips for Visiting!)

For those enchanted by the pristine beauty of snow-clad peaks, Grand Teton National Park in winter is nothing short of a daydream come to life.

As frequent snowfall sculpts and changes the mountain’s craggy surfaces and hiking trails get a snowy blanket tucking them in, Grand Teton’s winter panoramas are even more serene.

⌛ Planning your Grand Teton trip in a hurry? Here are my quick picks.

❄️ Best Grand Teton Tours & Experiences
1. Grand Teton Winter Wildlife Safari
2. Dog Sledding Tour with Hot Cocoa 
3. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in Elk Refuge

🛏️ Best Grand Teton Area Hotels
1. Wyoming Inn (lovely boutique hotel with rustic feel)
2. Elk Country Inn (best budget option in the area)
3. Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa (best luxury ski resort)

Want to rent a car Grand Teton and Jackson? 
→ Find the best prices for a rental car here
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Snake river overlook in Grand Teton National Park with the landscape of the Teton range behind, with a winding river in the front

With winter setting in, Jackson Hole‘s ski scene comes to life for the season, and even in winter, Grand Teton National Park become a hub of activity, bustling with visitors keen to explore one of the United State’s most beautiful national parks on a day off from skiing.

For those who find beauty in the chilly, icy landscapes of mountain ranges in winter, the beauty of Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park beckon.

Drawn by the world-class skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, adventurous backcountry skiing in the Teton Range, snowshoeing expeditions, cross-country trails, and those mesmerizing mountain vistas, it’s hard to resist the beauty of Grand Teton in winter, so long as you dress for it!

9 Best Things to Do in Grand Teton in Winter!

Pay a visit to the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center.

Wood, stone, and glass building with snow piled high and on roof with the words "Visitor Center" and one person entering the building

Before embarking on an adventure into any national park, it’s always wise to kick off your journey at a visitor center — and Grand Teton is no exception, especially in the winter.

These centers provide the latest updates on road conditions, and you’ll have the opportunity to engage with experts who have deep knowledge of the park.

Situated in Jackson, WY, just a stone’s throw away from the national park and adjacent to the National Elk Refuge, you’ll find the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center.

Beyond giving you the most current road status and insights on winter safety, this center boasts spectacular views, educational exhibits, a bookstore, and even ticket counters for sleigh rides!

During the winter season in Grand Teton National Park, the Visitor Center hours for the Jackson Hole Visitor Center are between 9 AM and 5 PM seven days a week, except for holidays.

Go winter wildlife spotting.

Moose with antlers in the fields of Grand Teton munching on grass in the snow

Get out of the chilly winter air and warm up on a scenic drive to seek out some area wildlife.

Grand Teton National Park is home to bison, deer, elk, coyote, bear, and even wolves!

Although bear settle in for hibernation in the wintertime, many of the park’s other wildlife remains active.

Hit the road for a drive along John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway (HWY 191) from Jackson, WY.

A good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope will be extra helpful for locating wildlife in the distance.

The Willow Flats Overlook is well-known as one of the best places to scout for wolves in Grand Teton National Park.

Grab a parking spot and set up shop for a little while. Be patient in your search, and remember to have fun!

An elk with giant horns in focus with mouth open and a blurry background with one other elk behind.

Also, elk can often be seen just outside of the park in the winter at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole.

The refuge also is a popular place to spot other types of mammals and migratory birds.

Want to see the best winter wildlife in Grand Teton National Park? A guided tour is the answer!

That means an early wake-up call to spot some of the most beautiful animals in the park on a morning wildlife safari.

This small-group tour includes pre-dawn transit, snacks and water, and several hours of wildlife spotting with an expert guide before returning to your hotel for the afternoon.

Check availability here!

Take a sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge.

Two brown horses in profile wearing bridal, reins, and other horse gear in order to bring travelers on a sleigh ride.

Wintertime visitors can get a close-up view of the massive elk herd that inhabits the refuge by booking a horse-drawn sleigh ride!

Prepare for a magical journey through the snow aboard a horse-led sleigh! Ensure you’re warmly dressed for this unforgettable sleigh ride experience.

Embark on a full-day excursion that whisks you away on a sleigh through the National Elk Refuge, located just on the fringes of Grand Teton National Park.

With the insights of a seasoned guide and a knowledgeable naturalist, you’ll traverse the refuge, getting an up-close-and-personal view of the elk here in winter.

The Jackson Hole elk refuge with the elks and the teton range in the background

This remarkable sanctuary houses North America’s most extensive migratory elk herd, and it’s not unusual to spot other wildlife species as well.

As the horses lead you across this snowy expanse, the majestic Tetons offer a stunning backdrop to all the wildlife oyu see.

Sleigh rides are available from mid-December to early April, so long as there’s enough snow for the sleighs to run.

Given the popularity, especially around the festive season, booking in advance is strongly recommended!

Book your National Elk Refuge sleigh tour here!

Go dog sledding the Grand Teton surroundings.

Dog sledding in the snowy countryside with one dog looking back at the camera and smiling

I’ve experienced the thrill of dog-sledding in both Norway and Sweden, but Wyoming is still on my bucket list — I hope to experience it soon!

There’s an undeniable joy in dog sledding that is shared both the human mushers and the spirited huskies that lead the way!

These dogs, raised for this very purpose, exhibit an infectious zeal that you can’t help but absorb.

With this particular dog-sledding tour, you have a choice: either let a seasoned musher navigate while you sit back and soak in the surroundings or opt for the more hands-on experience of self-driving – which I personally prefer!

Self-driving involves working in tandem with your canine team to steer the sled, manage the brakes, and even give them a hand (well, foot!) on uphill stretches, ensuring it’s not just the dogs breaking a sweat.

Trust me, it’s not just an adventure; it’s an exhilarating cardio workout with the best view you can imagine.

Book your dog-sledding tour today!

Go snowmobile in the Grand Teton backcountry.

A person on a snowmobile going through the backcountry of Grand Teton

The beautiful Heart Six Ranch offers full-day snowmobiling tours of their part of Grand Teton.

This tour includes transport from Jackson, a tasty lunch at a beautiful mountain lodge, and gear rental (bring your own warm base layers).

This is a full-day tour from 8 AM to 4 PM or later, so it’s great for whiling away a day in the backcountry of Grand Teton in winter!

Check availability here!

Admire the beauty of Mormon Row in winter.

A view of the famous "Grand Teton Cabin", a wooden structure shaped almost like a sombrero hat, with a sunrise light glow on the tips of the mountain range behind.

One of the most iconic views of Grand Teton National Park isn’t actually in the park at all, but right on its outskirts: those famous barn houses of Mormon Row.

Constructed in the early 20th century by Mormon settlers, these historic homesteads and iconic barns are a relic from when this part of the Jackson Hole Valley was turned into an agricultural center.

Obviously, its agricultural uses have long since turned over to tourism, leaving these historic barns behind, but they have become one of the most photographed sites in Grand Teton National Park.

In winter, the snow-covered landscape provides a serene backdrop to the rustic structures, casting them in a tranquil beauty that stands against the rugged Teton peaks, a striking contrast between the historic with the timeless.

Show up early, around sunrise, so you can admire the beautiful alpenglow that the passing morning light casts on the peaks, setting them alight like a candle.

Go cross-country skiing through the park’s maintained trails.

A father and son enjoying cross-country skiing on a winter day in Grand Teton National Park with blue skies and snow.

Skiing into Grand Teton National Park is an experience unlike any other!

The area’s powdery snow is perfect for cross-country ski touring, and the views are unbeatable.

There are many professional outfitters located in Jackson that can equip you with everything you need to get out and glide through Grand Teton National Park.

If you are visiting during the holidays or for spring break, you may want to reserve your rental gear in advance to secure availability!

For those interested in cross country skiing in Grand Teton, the Teton Park Road is a great place to start.

The Teton Park Road is groomed from the Taggert Lake Trailhead, where you will likely park your vehicle, all the way to Signal Mountain Lodge.

That’s nearly 15 miles of beautifully groomed trail to explore beginning in mid-December, depending on conditions.

two men cross country skiing in grand teton national park in the winter

The trail passes popular attractions like Jenny Lake and the southern end of Jackson Lake.

Whether you decide to ski only a few miles or the whole stretch of the road, on a bluebird day you’re guaranteed epic views of the Cathedral Group.

Another great option for some in-park cross country skiing is the Moose-Wilson Road.

To ski along the groomed trail on this scenic road, park at the Granite Canyon Trailhead. The road is groomed for about 3 miles, where it ends at another trailhead.

Round trip, the trail offers 6 miles of the wonderful forested scenery. During the winter, skiers often use this road to access Phelps Lake.

Go snowshoeing on the trails of Grand Teton.

A family embarking together on a snowshoeing adventure in Grand Teton National Park away from camera towards the mountains.

Snowshoeing in Grand Teton is a great way to stay active in the winter and explore the park’s beauty easily.

There’s an easier learning curve with snowshoeing compared to cross-country skiing, so it’s an easy new skill you can pick up without needing a big learning curve.

Both the Teton Park Road and Moose-Wilson Road mentioned above in are mixed-use trails, meaning they are open for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

One caveat: do not snowshoe in the cross-country ski tracks!

The cross-country skiers use this to return to the trailhead more easily. It’s poor trail etiquette to snowshoe over their tracks.

A snow-covered landscape at Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park in Winter.

If you’re interested in a self-guided snowshoe excursion, there are a few other areas to consider.

A popular spot for winter hiking and snowshoeing is Colter Bay.

The Colter Bay trails are adjacent to Jackson Lake and offer picturesque views of the Teton Range on clear days!

To access the Colter Bay parking area, visitors should use John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway/ HWY 191; it’s a 1-hour scenic drive from the town of Jackson.

Go backcountry skiing in the Tetons.

A man skiing doing a large jump in the backcountry landscape of the Grand Tetons with a powder trail behind him.

Grand Teton National Park requires all snow-season backcountry users to carry the appropriate safety equipment and have expert knowledge of avalanche safety.

There is still a way to explore the winter backcountry for intermediate skiers, however.

For those eager to get deeper into the Teton’s remote terrain, a guided backcountry ski trip might be in order.

There are many professional outfitters that are licensed to offer guided backcountry ski trips into Grand Teton National Park!

Teton Backcountry Guides is one such company, and the one I’d trust with my safety in the backcountry.

Going with a professional guide is a great way to learn about winter safety and ensure that the mountain routes you run are thoroughly assessed for avalanche danger.

Grand Teton Winter Weather

A classic view of Grand Teton National Park in winter: peaks covered in snow with blue skies

In a word? Cold!

In fact, the coldest temperature Wyoming ever experienced was measured in Moran, just adjacent to Grand Teton National Park.

And that was a bone-chilling 63 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), recorded back in 1933!

Of course, that’s a big of an anomaly — it’s not exactly the average temperatures in Grand Teton in winter.

Here are the breakdowns for winter temperatures and weather conditions in Grand Teton National Park from November through March.

November: Average high of 35° F and an average low of 14° F, with 11 days of rain/snow

December: Average high of 25° F and an average low of 3° F, with 12 days of rain/snow.

January: Average high of 25° F and an average low of 0° F, with 12 days of snow/rain.

February: Average high of 30° F and an average low of 2° F, with 10 days of snow/rain.

March: Average high of 39° F and an average low of 11° F, with 10 days of snow/rain.

Where to Stay in Grand Teton in Winter

An aerial photo taken with a drone of Jackson Hole town with a river winding through it and mountains on the edge of town

There is nowhere to stay in Grand Teton National Park itself in the winter, as all the in-park lodging ends mid-October.

Therefore, you’ll want to stay in nearby Jackson Hole or Teton Village.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of incredible accommodations there! Here are our top picks for where to stay near Grand Teton.

Top Choice: Wyoming Inn at Jackson Hole

This cozy inn features Western-style decor complete with a roaring fireplace, warm woodsy colors, rustic design touches, and large, modern rooms.

Added luxury amenities include a fitness center with Peloton equipment, a large hot tub, complimentary tea, hot chocolate, and cookies by the fireplace, and a delicious on-site restaurant.

Check photos, reviews, and availability here

Budget Choice: The Elk Country Inn

This highly rated and affordable for cost-conscious travelers is just a few blocks from the central Town Square in Jackson Hole.

The ambiance is a bit generic hotel, as opposed to more hip or luxurious options, but it’s warm and comforting nonetheless.

It still has nice amenities, though, like an indoor swimming pool and fireplace: a score for a budget-conscious place.

Check photos, reviews, and availability here

A view of a plowed road leading through a pine forest with a clear view of the Grand Teton winter range ahead

Luxury Choice: Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa

This mountain resort is as luxurious as it gets in the Grand Teton area.

There are a variety of room types, all with a gorgeous fireplace and cooking area, so you can find everything from queen studios to bi-level two-bedroom suites.

It’s located in Teton Village, just over a mile from Grand Teton National Park and close to several ski runs in case you’re traveling with skiers.

There is a phenomenal on-site restaurant, a lively bar area for apres-ski drinks, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, an indoor heated pool, a massage and spa center, and a gorgeous outdoor heated pool.

Check photos, reviews, and availability here

Grand Teton in Winter FAQs

A moose walking through the snow with snow-covered Grand Teton range behind him in winter
  • Is Grand Teton open in winter?

Indeed, Grand Teton National Park welcomes visitors every day of the year, winter included!

But note, with substantial snowfall, some roads and sections of Grand Teton NP may become inaccessible at certain parts of the year.

  • Can you drive through Grand Teton in winter?

Absolutely. The two primary arteries cutting through Grand Teton, Highway 89/191 and Highway 26/287, remain open during winter.

They may temporarily close during poor weather conditions, but generally, they are kept open.

Beginning on November 1st, the Teton Park Road is closed to private vehicle traffic from the Taggert Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge. The road remains closed throughout winter until April 1st.

This is so they can become groomed trails for winter sports like cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.

  • Is winter a good time to visit Grand Teton?

Well, if hiking amid snow isn’t your thing, then a winter visit to Grand Teton certainly won’t do much for you.

But if you’re intrigued by winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and wintry wildlife excursions, then the park during winter might just be a dream come true!

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