Winter is wild in Grand Teton National Park. Though there are fewer visitors during the winter months, the snow-draped terrain of the Tetons is still alive with numerous outdoor recreational activities and the many species of awe-inspiring wildlife that call the park home. Whether looking to capture extraordinary vistas on film, or feel the rush of mountain air, well-prepared winter visitors will discover both the excitement and tranquil beauty that Grand Teton National Park has to offer.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park

Winter is the ideal time to explore the pristine wilderness of Grand Teton National Park free from the bustle of summer travelers. By ski or by snowshoe, visitors can experience the stunning calm and silence of the landscape, interrupted only by the sound of snow underfoot. During the winter months, several of the park’s famous hiking grounds are transformed into fresh powder-covered trails perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Popular recreation destinations include Jenny Lake Trail, Moose-Wilson Road, Taggart Lake Trail, Colter Bay, and Teton Park Road with many surfaces groomed regularly. For those explorers who seek a more guided experience, Grand Teton National Park also offers Snowshoe with a Ranger, an interactive tour covering topics such as park history, weather science, and wildlife.
Snowmobiling, ice-fishing, snowboarding, backcountry camping, and wildlife observation are also popular winter activities at the park. All visitors who wish to enjoy outdoor recreation should arrive prepared for rugged winter conditions with adequate clothing and UV protection, water and provisions, navigation equipment, and first aid.

Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

Though some animal residents hibernate or migrate during winter cold, many others brave the elements in the mountains and valleys of Grand Teton National Park. An abundance of wildlife against the still backdrop of the park’s snow-blanketed landscape makes wildlife tracking and observation easy, drawing wildlife photographers and enthusiasts. White tailed and mule-deer, moose, and Rocky Mountain elk are all common sites, with bison bald-eagles, swans, big-horn sheep, coyotes, wolves, and foxes active on park grounds as well. Hundreds of wintering elk, big-horn sheep, and bison are also typically visible in the nearby National Elk Refuge, lying southeast of the park, which offers guided tours and safaris.
Visitors to Grand Teton National Park are invited to witness the park’s majestic wildlife and beautiful scenery but must observe proper safety and etiquette around any wild animals. Wildlife present in the park during winter are enduring harsh conditions and should not be fed or approached. The park requires explorers to maintain a distance of 25 yards from any wildlife and 100 yards from any predator species.

What to Expect in Grand Teton National Park

No matter what winter adventure awaits in Grand Teton National Park, visitors should stay up to date on all park conditions, including weather, road, and wildlife closures. Check the National Park Service active alerts and updates, including last minute advisory warnings. NPS also provides webcam views of the park.