Snow is on the ground and many of the roads in the National Parks and in the mountains around Jackson are closed for the winter. It’s a perfect time to grab a cup of hot chocolate, settle in, and plan your summer vacation! Here are the top 7 scenic drives around Jackson Hole. Plan your trip to hit some or all of these beautiful summer drives.
This drive starts out close to Jackson. Drive 6.5 miles north of town to the Gros Ventre Junction, turn right and follow along the Gros Ventre River. It’s beautiful in the summer with the running river and you’ll see bison crossing the road and you may even see moose, deer and elk. This loop will also take you past historic Morman Row and the often-photographed Moulton Barn.
Moose-Wilson Road (closed in the winter season)
The Moose-Wilson Road is the road between Moose, WY and Wilson, WY and takes you past Teton Village. The drive is only 7.7 miles, but it winds through the trees and there are even 1.5 miles of dirt roads so no need to hurry along this drive. The likelihood of seeing wildlife along this road isn’t always a sure thing as with other scenic drives, but it’s still a possibility.
Grand Teton Inner Park Loop Road
What makes this scenic drive special is that provides access to several trailheads and includes the one-way road past Jenny Lake. From Moose, WY, start the loop to the left. You’ll be greeted by amazing views of the Tetons peaks plus the open valley where moose, deer and elk may be seen. Stop at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, which is the historic Harrison Crandall photography studio.
Looking for that perfect panoramic shot of the Tetons? A scenic drive along Signal Mountain will afford those award-winning shots. Continue north from Jenny Lake Visitor Center along Teton Park Road until you see the turn-off from Signal Mountain Road. It’s a 1,000 ft climb along a 5-mile road filled with switchbacks. Once you reach the top, park and take a short hike to the overlook for the view you’ve been waiting for.
Take a scenic drive from Jackson over Teton pass to Victor, Idaho. The pass begins just outside of Wilson, WY on Hwy 22 and will take 2-3 hours depending on traffic. This drive provides amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
Just 30 miles south of Jackson is Granite Hot Springs just off of highway 191/189. This is a pleasant and less traveled highway so you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the mountains around you. Stop and take a dip in the Hot Springs and then head into Pinedale, WY. This western town is home to the Museum of the Mountain Man and the Green River Rendezvous Days in July.
Gros Ventre Road to Slide Lake
If you did the Kelly Loop above, the Gros Ventre Road to Slide Lake will be familiar. Head back to the Gros Ventre Junction along the River, past Kelly, WY to the Gros Ventre Road. Turn right at the Lower Slide Lake sign and find parking. Take the time to read the informational signs on how the Lower Slide Lake was formed back in 1925. This area is part of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
One or all of these drives should be in your summer vacation plans. Enjoy the beauty of the Grand Tetons.